John Hodgman doesn't want you to believe everything you read.Interviewing humorist and ersatz know-it-all John Hodgman can be intimidating. After all, he's the "resident expert" on The Daily Show and author of the faux almanac The Areas of My Expertise. Not to worry, he politely assures: "I'm not going to humiliate you with my incredibly large brain."Like daintily placing the most erroneous Wikipedia entries into china teacups, Hodgman's absurdist TV punditry has gained a following since he made his debut last January. According to Hodgman, global warming may unleash mobs of thawed-out cavemen, Alan Greenspan freebased with Ayn Rand, and email will soon be replaced by messages sent through a series of underground pneumatic tubes. It will be called "pneumail." With his impeccable grammar, Oxford tweediness, and martini-dry delivery, he sounds damn near convincing.But satire, paradoxically, is serious business: Hodgman insists there's nothing lighthearted behind the show. "The issues of today tend to make me seethe or weep," he explains. "The Daily Show has been a relief in some ways, as often the humor there derives from simply telling the un-lacquered truth, which, sadly, is far more taboo than even the dirtiest joke. There is nothing lighthearted in the show-if anything, it's one of the most serious and sometimes heaviest hearted shows I've encountered....Jon Stewart isn't a comedian-he's a straight man. America is the clown."
|Telling the un-lacquered truth…is far more taboo than even the dirtiest joke.|
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