John Hodgman's Powerful Documentary: "Hobo Matters"

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"They called it the war to end all wars. The called it the London Fire. They called it the Trail of Tears. But they were all wrong. It was called the Great Depression, and the hobos saw it coming." So begins the powerfully hilarious eight-minute mockumentary "Hobo Matters," assembled by Andrew Quitmeyer using audio from John Hodgman's audiobook rendition of The Areas of My Expertise, along with still photography from the PBS documentary American Experience: Riding the Rails. I'm stunned that I didn't spot this when it came out in 2007.

I should point out the three operative jokes here, just so we're clear. First, Hodgman's fake hobo history is the main thrust. Second, this is of course not an American Experience episode, though it almost could be one, given the overall tone. Third, I very much enjoy the repeated use of a single photograph, endlessly Ken Burns Effected, for nearly eight minutes. More like this one, please.

For more on Hodgman, see That is All: John Hodgman’s Transcendent Final Audiobook of Complete World Knowledge or THAT IS ALL, John Hodgman’s Final Book of Complete World Knowledge (the latter contains significantly more Nick Nolte material). Also weirdly pertinent: Amenities Available at the Original "Big Rock Candy Mountain."

(Via Kottke.)

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December 3, 2012 - 6:17am
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