Last Tuesday, I attended the book release party for John Hodgman’s That Is All at Brooklyn, NY’s The Bell House. The event featured appearances by David Rees, Wyatt Cenac, Jonathan Coulton and Paul Rudd.
The show started with an artisanal pencil sharpening demonstration by Mr. Rees and his apprentice who was played by Wyatt Cenac. We learned that there are many different ways to sharpen a pencil and one can master the various techniques such as sharpening a pencil behind one’s back (a la Jimi Hendrix) or sharpening the pencil with the pencil sharpener on top (this move is called “The Mindblower”).
John Hodgman read various things from That Is All including how the world will end on December 21, 2012 (per the the Mayan Calendar) and discussed sports. Prior to taking the stage, Hodgman had a song about him performed by Jonathan Coulton and The Jonathan Coulton All-Stars. The song referenced how Mr. Hodgman is now a deranged millionaire. An example of his insanity? John Hodgman trademarked Jonathan Coulton’s “feral” look and then proceeded to auction off this persona to the audience. The winning bidder paid $15,000 to become feral Jonathan Coulton. That winner was Paul Rudd.
One of the highlights of the night was a reading of a reality show TV script written by John Hodgman (we all know that reality shows are totally scripted and he wants to get in on that action). The premise of Mr. Hodgman’s show is that it is a reality show about hording and the contestants are acquired by the age old technique of kidnapping.
Images from the night appear above. Additional pictures from the show are now on Flickr and Impose Magazine. The night ended with a musical performance featuring Cynthia Hopkins on accordion, Jonathan Coulton on guitar and John Hodgman on ukelele.
That Is All, the final volume of John Hodgman’s book of knowledge is in bookstores now.