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American Humor, from Mark Twain to John Hodgman
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This conversation originally aired on April 17, 2013.
Ben Click chairs the English department at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and he has also studied the work of Mark Twain extensively.
In April, Click brought humorist and author John Hodgman to St. Mary’s for the annual ‘Mark Twain Lecture Series on American Humor and Culture.’
You may know Hodgman from his appearances on This American Life...or The Daily Show with Jon Stewart...or from his "Ask Judge John Hodgman" feature in the New York Times Magazine...or from his many books—the latest is called That is All—full of entertaining and often apocryphal information.
Ben Click started the Twain lecture series. He’s a professor of English at St. Mary’s College, chair of its English department, and a major Twainophile, having given many lectures and authored many papers about the man. He also has a new book— with two other scholars, he has edited a collection of essays on the films of Charlie Chaplin. It’s called Refocusing Chaplin: A Screen Icon through Critical Lenses. It comes out in October.
Sheilah Kast talks to Ben Click and John Hodgman about Mark Twain, David Rakoff, and why John Hodgman is a a monster.