Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I HAD LUNCH with my former editor/former client/former DONKEY KONG CHAMP/and always pal John Sellers yesterday.

AND THEN HE SENT ME this curious internet video from THE PAST:

OF COURSE, YOU ALL KNOW MY DREAM of being called "Mr. Intellivision" some day.

BUT CAN ANY OF YOU EXPLAIN the child's weird, gape-mouthed stare at the end of this commercial?

IS THE JOKE HERE supposed to be that neither George Plimpton nor Henry Thomas of recognize each other?

REALLY? Were there really that many TV watchers in 1980 who loved both ET and The Paris Review enough to find this little screwball mix-up so hilarious that they would then run out and buy INTELLIVISIONS?




The whole thing is so weirdly paced, opaque, and odd. It reminds me of ANOTHER COMMERCIAL YOU MIGHT HAVE SEEN RECENTLY.

That is all.


tonedef said...

no way.

never did i imagine, in my wildest, extra-strength cough syrup induced dreams, that john hodgman would rickroll me.

miss jaime said...

nothing quite like a rick roll.

Tonamel said...

I'm with tonedef on this one.

Well played.

Heidi said...

Best Rick Roll ever.

chris said...


ttrentham said...

Got me too. Darn you, Hodgman! *shakes fist*

According to wikipedia, they never say Thomas's name in the commercials because Atari threatened to sue Mattel if they did. Atari was in the process of acquiring the rights to E.T. for the 2600, which we all know ended up being of the worst games ever.

They're definitely awkward commercials. I had an Intellivision with both Lock & Chase and Nightstalker. I wouldn't really say the bats were scary. The Night Stalker television show with Darrin McGavin however....that was scary.

Here's Thomas's MySpace page.

Perry Gerakines said...

"Never gonna give you up... never gonna-" Oops, forgot you were there. My, this is certainly embarrassing.

Thomas Burchfield said...

Darn you to Heck for that, Hodgman! Darn you to Heck!

JackalFive said...

I LOVE Intellivision.

Note the lack of past tense. I still have the one my parents raised me on (which I played since I was about 4). We had Lock n Chase, but my favourite is still BeamRider.

And that commercial is disturbing to no end.

Kudos on the Rick Roll. I'll get you back.

CliffM said...

In an unrelated, yet Hodgman-related note: because it's in the NY Times, does that make it true?

wilson said...

Paper Lion,
Plimpton was a player
Paris Schmaris Review....intellivision was the year rancid lard and sweet potato stench wafted into young boys febrile little minds.

So the slack gaped mouth was the introduction of a dick the likes of George Plimpton into the head of young boys everywhere.
Really he was instrumental in bringin the house of paper pain that is now on fire in America. The pong of Game theory, and the entire Chicago school of economics as it were.
Mr Intellivision could be said to have planted the kerrnel of an idea
that became the Black Scholes we hung up on today.
The aimless watching of ticks on a computer screen pale young men waiting for the pong to right itself at the center of their universe. Before the lampreys swallow them hole

Phil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Benjamin said...

Oh my god. Kudos John Hodgman. You have bested me at the interweb.

There can be only one.

Patrick said...

Dear Hodg-man.

Thanks to this entry, I just spent a good half hour watching George Plimpton videos on youtube.

THANK YOU. (sarcastic and genuine SIMULTANEOUSLY)

tony said...

Wilson, you may have unwittingly just invented the next six degrees of Kevin Bacon party game. We'll have to work on the name but the gist is : "Connect the cultural icon (?) to the UChicago Econ dept."

Are you all with me? We'll make hundreds, people, hundreds!

tony said...

Oh yeah, and damn you for the rick roll, John.

Mike said...

My understanding is that there was a legal issue with using the kid's name, since E.T. the Video Game was made by (and destroyed) Atari, so they turned it into a joke, since surely no one would not know who this kid is. Of course, 25 years later, it loses some of it's impact.

I foolishly read the comments before clicking the final link, so I guess I Rick Rolled myself.

Mr. Zickler said...

I thought I was one of the few diehards left who'd never been rick roll'd.

But if it had to happen, I'm just glad it was Hodgman.

portablelife said...

Mr Hodg man,

I think you should know that 4 days later and Rick is still singing in my head.

The humanity.

Teddy Paris said...

I should have known you were a /b/tard, Hodgman (if indeed that is your real name!), much lulz, mein herr.

aaronak said...

I have been Rickrolled by John Hodgman! What an honor!