Ryan brings the case against his friend and neighbor, Allie. Ryan recently moved and has decorated an outside porch area with indoor furniture. Allie thinks the furniture isn't appropriate for outside use. Who's right? Who's wrong? Only JUDGE JOHN HODGMAN can decide.
Special thanks to listener Corrie Woods for suggesting this episode's title!
Chris brings the case against his sister-in-law, Jenna. For many years, their extended family has had kids and adults tables at holiday gatherings. Chris thinks that since the kids are all grown up, they should abandon the kids table. Jenna thinks the table should retain its sovereignty. Who's right? Who's wrong? Only one man can decide.
Special thanks to L. Anthony Sanner for suggesting this week's episode title!
Amanda brings the case against her husband, Mike. Amanda wants to rearrange their apartment to better suit their live/work needs. Mike wants to keep things as they are. Who is right? Who is wrong? Only one man can decide.
Filling in for Jesse this week is Guest Baliff Tom Scharpling. Tom hosts The Best Show on WFMU every Tuesday from 9 PM to midnight EST. There are all sorts of different ways to listen to the show: those in the New York or New Jersey area can listen by tuning their radios to 91.1 FM or 90.1 FM respectively. Those not in the New York or New Jersey area (or those who cannot afford radios) can listen in live on WFMU.org. And for those who don't believe in live-streaming, The Best Show podcast (and its bite-sized companion, Best Show Gems), can be downloaded on iTunes.
Special thanks to listeners Danielle Stillman-Diederich and Julie McMurry for suggesting this episode's title!
Andrea brings the case against her husband, Scott. Andrea loves to sing along with her favorite songs but doesn't think it's important to be especially careful about the notes or the key. Her husband Scott says if she's going to sing, she needs to sing it the right way! Who is right? Who is wrong? Only one man can decide.
Special thanks to listener Julie McMurry for suggesting this episode's title!
Steve brings the case to court. He says he's served as the de-facto leader of a trivia team for years now, and wants to make it official. His teammate Claire says that the team thrives under unofficial leadership. Who is right? Who is wrong? Only Judge John Hodgman can decide.
Special thanks to listener Frank McGeough for suggesting this episode's title!
It's the final week of MaxFunDrive! Help support your favorite MaximumFun shows by becoming a monthly donor. Visit MaximumFun.org/donate. We're getting close to our goal of a thousand new donors – help push us over the edge!
Natalie brings the case against her husband Hugo. She wants to throw food away when she decides it's spoiled or too old. Hugo hates waste, and is aghast that Natalie throws away moldy but "perfectly usable" items. Who is right? Who is wrong? Only one man can decide.
This week, the Judge is joined by television host, chef, and expert witness Alton Brown. Alton continues to host a number of shows for the Food Network, including Good Eats and Next Iron Chef. He's currently working on a podcast of his own, called The Browncast.
Special thanks to listener Miles Taber for suggesting this episode's title!
MaxFunDrive is upon us! Help support your favorite MaximumFun shows by becoming a monthly donor. Visit MaximumFun.org/donate. Our goal this year is a thousand new donors – help us make it happen!
Aldo brings the case against his partner Sean. They decided to plan trips for each other's birthdays, but make each destination a surprise. But the secrecy is making Aldo anxious, and now he wants to know where they're going! Should Sean reveal their itinerary, or must Aldo wait for his birthday surprise? Only Judge John Hodgman can decide.
Special thanks to listeners Sandra Macke and Melanie Bernal for suggesting this episode's title!
MaxFunDrive is just around the corner! We'll be running some of our best shows of the year from April 1 to April 12. Stay tuned for more info!
Ruthie brings the case against her partner Chris. She says he pledged to get a driver's license years ago, but hasn't yet fulfilled his promise. Chris says he's on track to get the license, but he's been slowed down by difficulties with driving practice. Should Chris be held to a strict timeline to acquire the license? Only Judge John Hodgman can decide.
This week, we're joined by actor, comedian, and expert witness Paul F. Tompkins. He'll be performing in the UK from April 2 to April 13 with a new hour of standup comedy. If you want more Paul, check out his weekly podcast, The Pod F. Tompkast.
Special thanks to listener Jaron James for suggesting this week's title!
Matt brings the case against his good friend Jeremy. Matt borrowed a shop vac from Jeremy to do some grease trap cleaning at work, but he accidentally ruined it in the process. The friends finally settled on a replacement appliance, but Matt thinks he got a raw deal, since it was more expensive than the original. How should he have reimbursed his friend? Are they even now? Only one man can decide: JUDGE JOHN HODGMAN.
Joining us in the courtroom this week as an expert witness is internet music legend Jonathan Coulton! His newest album, Artificial Heart, is the first album he has recorded with a full band. You can catch Jonathan as the house musician on NPR's Ask Me Another.
Special thanks to listener Thom Winters for suggesting this week's title!
Drew brings the case against his girlfriend Lyndy. Lyndy says that Drew's tastes and attitudes make him a hipster and that he shouldn't resist the label. Drew says it's a derogatory term and that he's NOT a hipster, anyway! Who's right? Who's wrong? Only JUDGE JOHN HODGMAN can decide.
Special thanks to listener Shawn O'Reilly for suggesting this week's title!
Julie brings the case against her husband Jason. Julie says Jason is a book hoarder, letting old novels and textbooks rot away in their garage. He says he's acquired a great collection of books and is working his way through the stacks. Who is right? Who is wrong? ONLY ONE MAN CAN DECIDE.
Special thanks to listener Steve Ciabattoni for suggesting a variation of this week's title!
Beca brings the case against her sister Jessica. They're both proud of their Jewish heritage, but Jessica objects to Beca's claim that they are both "part-Jewish" due to their ancestry. Jessica says that since she and her sister were raised in the Catholic faith, they can't in good conscience call themselves “part-Jewish”. Who is right? Only one man can decide.
Thanks this week to Rabbi Mike, former litigant from the episode "Parents Just Don't Understand", who joined us to share his expertise.
Special thanks to listener Larry Herold for suggesting this episode's title!
This week, our episode is live at Marines Memorial Theater from SF Sketchfest!
Brianne, a dog trainer, owns a small poodle named Shilo. She likes to take Shilo everywhere – the bus, classes at SF State, even restaurants. But this annoys her boyfriend, Zach, who thinks that Shilo's constant company is annoying, saying that it's representative of Brianne's attitude that the rules don't apply to her. Does Shilo need a shorter leash? Only Judge John Hodgman can decide.
We're also joined by past expert witness JOHN DARNIELLE of The Mountain Goats for a truly special musical set.
Andrea brings the case against her friend Joe. Joe has adopted a minimalist lifestyle, and has vowed not to own more than a single car-load's worth of belongings. Andrea thinks he's shunned material possessions to an extreme degree and should acquire some creature comforts. Who is right, and who is wrong? Only one man can decide.
Special thanks to Jon Ahjudah Barr for suggesting this title.
Dimitri brings this week's case against his boyfriend, Landon. Whenever the two of them go out to eat at their neighborhood diner, Dimitri wants Landon to sit next to him, leaving the other side of the booth empty. Landon isn't terribly enthusiastic about this, telling Dimitri that it's a little too lovey-dovey for his liking. Will Landon have to take Dimitri's side? Only Judge John Hodgman can decide.
Special thanks to Paul Ruh for suggesting this title.
Kim brings a case against her husband, Chris. Kim has owned a parrot, Kobe, for a little over twenty years. The problem: Chris works at home and Kobe's constant squawking is driving him crazy. Kobe isn't too keen about Chris, either; Kim says that the parrot hates both her husband and their 12-year-old son. Are Kim and her family going too far to accommodate Kobe, or is it time for Kobe to (metaphorically) spread his wings and fly? Judge John Hodgman decides.
Special thanks to Jaron James, who suggested a variation of this title.
This week, Nick has a bone to pick with his wife, Sara. Nick admits he has an interest in the macabre, which has led him to consider collecting taxidermied animals, their skeletons, and (possibly) a human skull. Though Sara is willing to let one or two preserved animals lie around the house, she's horrified by the prospect of Nick collecting any more, nor is she terribly enthused about the prospect of sharing their home with what was once a human head. Will Nick's new hobby flourish, or will Sara have it laid to rest? Judge John Hodgman decides.
John Roderick from The Long Winters lends the court his expert testimony. John's most recent album is One Christmas At a Time, a holiday collaboration with Jonathan Coulton. For more signature John Roderick insight, you can tune in to his weekly podcast with Merlin Mann, Roderick on the Line.
Elizabeth brings this week's case against her husband Eric. Elizabeth and Eric make a living performing together; Elizabeth is a visual artist who paints on stage while Eric, a singer-songwriter, performs original songs. At the core of their dispute is a question of propriety -- Elizabeth objects to the use of swear words in Eric's songs as children occasionally attend their performances. Also, Elizabeth is intrigued and inspired by artists who see avoiding profanity in their work as a challenge. Eric, on the other hand, believes there is a place in art for profanity if its use helps the artist get a point across. Who is right? Judge John Hodgman decides.
John Roderick from The Long Winters lends the court his songwriting experience this week as an expert witness. John's most recent album is One Christmas At a Time, a holiday collaboration with Jonathan Coulton. For more signature John Roderick insight, you can tune in to his weekly podcast with Merlin Mann, Roderick on the Line.
Special thanks to Frank McGeough for suggesting this title.
Brad brings this week's case against his wife Kyra. Brad and Kyra's 20-month-old son Winslow's hair has never been cut, and Kyra believes it's time to take the plunge. She claims his long hair gets in his face and the practical response is to trim it. Brad thinks his son's long hair sets him apart from other boys his age and would like to keep it untrimmed until Winslow turns 3. Brad also has a sentimental reason for keeping Winslow's hair long: he'd like to recreate a long lost photo taken of himself as a youngster with long hair. Do the ends justify the means, or should this toddler get a trim? Judge John Hodgman decides.
Special thanks to Nathan Seltzer for suggesting this title.
Ben brings this week's case against his girlfriend Sara. Ben and Sara work at the same firm, and they have been dating for three months. Both agree the relationship is going well, but one small detail stands in the way of total domestic bliss -- their relationship remains a secret among their work friends. Ben wants to share the news with their co-workers, claiming he is proud of their relationship and doesn't want to hide it anymore. Sara believes their professionalism may be called into question. She further claims the secretive nature of their romance adds elements of fun and excitement. Should Ben and Sara keep their romance under wraps? Or is it time to lay it all out on the table? Judge John Hodgman decides.
Special thanks to guest bailiff Scott Adsit for keeping order in the court this week. He can be seen on NBC's 30 Rock on Thursday nights or on stage with fellow 30 Rock actor John Lutz in the UCB New York show John and Scott. Scott also has an Off-Broadway improv show in the works called Stolen House.
Special thanks to Scott Nicolson and Angie Robertson for both suggesting this title.
Jason and Kenan are longtime friends who made a gentlemen's agreement when they were but teenagers. The person who could resist certain romantic entanglements for the longest time would win a sum of money for each successful (dis)engagement. Now Jason accuses Kenan of bending the rules to stay in the game. Who is right, and who is wrong? Only one man can decide.
Marisa brings this week's case against her husband Jay. Marisa and Jay have a young daughter, and they've blended their differing religious beliefs and upbringings (Marisa is a "spiritual" person who was raised Catholic, and Jay is an atheist who is culturally Jewish) into a new tradition that they are both happy to share with her. The two disagree about one thing, however: whether or not to display a manger in their home around Christmas time. Marisa is in favor of the display -- she claims that because they celebrate Christmas, it is important for them to display a representation of the holiday's religious roots. Jay, on the other hand, objects to the display for religious and aesthetic reasons. Who is right? Judge John Hodgman decides.
Andrew brings this week's case against his wife Alex. The birth of their first child last year made real a long-running dispute which had been hypothetical up until that point: should parents foster a belief in Santa Claus? Andrew says no -- he believes perpetuating the Santa myth damages parents' credibility, and he doesn't appreciate a fictional character getting the glory for bringing the best gifts. Alex says yes -- she claims Andrew is unable to appreciate the joy Santa brings to children because he grew up without the belief himself. Who is right? Judge John Hodgman decides.
Thanks again to The Cave in Long Island City, New York for generously allowing us to use their recording facilities this week and to engineer Marcus Parks. The Cave hosts several comedy podcasts, and you can find them at CaveComedyRadio.com.
Patrick brings this week’s dispute against his housemate Wyatt. Patrick and Wyatt were engaged in a spirited neighborhood prank war with other houses on their street. It was all fun and games until Wyatt felt a prank levied against their house went TOO FAR, and he took to social media to bring the conflict to an end. Patrick believes Wyatt overreacted, and he feels the outburst alienated them from their neighbors. Who is right? And should the prank war continue? Only one man can decide.
Thanks to The Cave in Long Island City, New York for generously allowing us to use their recording facilities this week and to engineer Marcus Parks. The Cave hosts several comedy podcasts, and you can find them at CaveComedyRadio.com.
Shumanay brings this week's case against her husband Jon. A chronic illness has long prevented Shumanay from engaging in strenuous physical activity, but recent improvements in her condition have allowed her to take up running. She would like to take advantage of her new abilities by participating in a long-distance endurance run with obstacles, but Jon objects to the plan, citing possible threats to Shumanay's health and a belief that Shumanay's chosen race is silly and embarrassing. Who is in the right? Judge John Hodgman decides.
For Thanksgiving week, this episode is all about the ENJOYMENT of FOOD.
Angela brings the case against her good friend Justin. Justin actively avoids dairy, claiming to HATE cheese, butter, and cream. Angela is irritated by the avoidance, alleges that Justin has consumed and enjoyed dairy in the past, and thinks he should own up. Who is right in this food fight? Only one man can decide!
Zoe brings this week's case against her mother Rochelle. Zoe and Rochelle adopted a puppy last summer, and Zoe did much of the heavy lifting when it came to caring for and training the dog. In the fall, however, school started up, and Zoe moved thousands of miles away. Now Zoe wants to have a long-distance say in how her mother cares for the dog -- Rochelle balks at the idea. Who is right? Judge John Hodgman will decide.
Guest bailiff Scott Adsit joins us in the courtroom this week! You can catch him on 30 Rock, which airs Thursday nights on NBC; if you prefer to see him live, he performs with fellow 30 Rock actor John Lutz in the improv show John and Scott at the UCB Theater in Chelsea. Scott will also be part of a larger improv show called Stolen House, which will appear Off-Broadway in January.
If that's not enough excitement for one episode, Judge Hodgman also announces the winner of the WarioWare: Smooth Moves contest issued in Judge John Hodgman Episode 79: Irre-console-able Differences! Congratulations to the lucky (and talented) winner!
Special thanks to Gabriel Sisquieros for suggesting this title.
Our second edition of LIVE Judge John Hodgman, recorded in New York City at WNYC's Jerome L. Greene Performance Space on October 22, 2012.
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Slob
Katharine and Amy have been friends since college. They meet up at a local cafe to write together several times a week. Amy recently showed up for a writing session wearing an outfit that Katharine found unprofessional and unbecoming of Amy's image as a “writer.” Does Amy need to improve her image to be taken seriously?
Chad and Angela have been friends for years. Angela insists that with her level of access to Chad and knowledge of his habits, she could kill him and get away with it. Chad says she MIGHT be able to commit homicide, but she'd never get off scot-free. Who is right?
MANY, MANY THANKS again to
The team at the Greene Space for their help in making our live shows possible!
Jean Grae, MeLa Machinko, and Mr. Len!
And our live litigants, for bringing their problems before strangers!
TO OUR FRIENDS AND LISTENERS affected by hurricane Sandy: our thoughts and best wishes go out to you.
Judge Hodgman suggests that if you would like to assist with the relief effort for those affected by the storm, to consider a donation to the Red Cross.
A very special edition of Judge John Hodgman, recorded in front of a live audience in New York City at WNYC's Jerome L. Greene Performance Space on October 21, 2012.
David brings the case against his wife Natily. The issue? LAUNDRY. When it's clean, how should it be folded and prepared to put away? David sorts it into two big piles: his and hers. Natily prefers to have her clothing sorted by article. Judge Hodgman puts them both through the wringer!
The Right Not to Bare Arms
Peter and Barbara bring their case involving parenting and medicine to the court. Barbara recently struck a bargain with their daughter at the doctor's office: if she would take her flu shot without crying, Mom and Dad would each get a flu shot, too. Peter wasn't there to weigh in on the deal and refuses to honor it. Did Barbara have the right to make this bargain, and should Peter comply?
Plus: a session of "If It Pleases the Court" with musical performances from special guest Jonathan Coulton. Check out his album Artificial Heart now, and look for his Christmas album with John Roderick this winter.
MANY, MANY THANKS again to
The team at the Greene Space for their help in making our live shows possible!
Dr. Elizabeth Gifford for medical expertise!
Jonathan Coulton for music based on domestic disputes!
And our live litigants, for bringing their problems before strangers!
This week, daughter squares off against father in a temperature tiff! Olivia brings the case against her father Mike. Mike lives in Arizona where temperatures often soar, and he drives a car without air conditioning. Olivia believes this is a health hazard and disapproves of her father's homemade solutions to cool his vehicle, citing specific times when his efforts have embarrassed him. Mike contends plenty of people have survived without air conditioning in the past and claims he enjoys employing his improvised fixes. Who is right in this coolness quarrel? Judge John Hodgman will decide.
Guest bailiff Elizabeth Gilbert returns this week! You can find information on Elizabeth's most recently released project, At Home on the Range at www.elizabethgilbert.com. Her newest novel, The Signature of All Things, comes out next fall.
Want to see Judge John Hodgman LIVE? The Judge will be arbitrating disputes on stage on Sunday, October 21 at 8:00 PM at the Greene Space in New York City. For more information, click here!
Evelyn brings this case against her sister Fran. Since childhood, Evelyn has been known by the moniker "Evie" -- a nickname she doesn't care for. Evelyn believes she's outgrown the name and wants her family to stop referring to her as "Evie," whether she's present or not. Fran, on the other hand, believes one cannot mandate one's own nickname and claims she and the rest of Evelyn's family are entitled to call her whatever they like. What's in a name? Judge John Hodgman will decide.
Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, joins Judge Hodgman this week as guest bailiff. Elizabeth released her great-grandmother's cookbook earlier this year under the title At Home on the Range, and her latest novel, The Signature of All Things will be published next fall. You can find Elizabeth online at www.elizabethgilbert.com.
Friends! MaxFunDay is rapidly approaching. Mark your calendars for this Monday, October 15th and join us for Google Hangouts, trivia contests, and to help us reach our goal of 1000 new donors of Maximum Fun and 20,000 meals to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. And THANK YOU, as always, for your support!
THIS WEEK'S CASE
Jessica gave away most of her possessions when she left for the Peace Corps -- including a video game console that went to her sister Eden. The system broke while under Eden's care, but she says she's not obligated to return a working system to Jessica. Is restitution due?
Plus, listen for a creative challenge issued to you, the listener, by the Judge for a chance to win a download of his new audiobook, THAT IS ALL.
Matthew and his wife Y want to raise their children to be bilingual in English and in Y's native language, Vietnamese. Matthew's Vietnamese is pretty rusty, so he thinks Y should teach him and their children at the same time. Y thinks that Matthew needs to study on his own until he can keep up. Who is right?
Erin brings the case against her friend and co-worker Abby. They work in an office that regularly schedules happy hours at a nearby bar. Erin accuses Abby of ducking out of happy hour, even when it's planned around Abby's own schedule. She wants Abby to stand by her word when she says she'll attend. Abby says the gang is getting together whether she comes or not, and it's OK to decide that she'd rather spend the evening doing something else. Who's in the right? Only one man can decide.
Ben brings the case against his wife Jenna. They wed and moved in together a few years ago, and have yet to come to an agreement on their morning routine. Jenna isn't really an early-riser, and prefers to get as much sleep as she can before getting out of bed. Ben believes in a schedule that allows them plenty of time to wake up and prepare for the day. How should they model their mornings? Only one man can decide.
YOUR ATTENTION, PLEASE: This episode includes references to and discussion of smoking and drug use, which you may not find suitable for children.
This week: a case of Cigarettiquette.
Robert brings the case against his good friend Bradley. Bradley, in an attempt to quit smoking, has substituted electronic cigarettes for the use of real, tobacco-filled cigarettes. He'll "smoke" the e-cigarettes wherever they're technically allowed. Robert worries about the appearance of the "smoke" and thinks Bradley should show more discretion when e-smoking in public places, whether they're hanging out at a sporting event or a concert. Who is right, and who is wrong? Only one man can decide.
This week, Raj brings a case against his girlfriend Surita. He alleges Surita, a filmmaker and film aficionado, constantly recommends classic and arthouse titles he, a movie layperson, finds horrible. Despite his lack of enjoyment, Surita persists in her artsy suggestions, and Raj is beginning to lose patience – he wants to watch movies and TV shows that entertain, and he claims Surita enjoys and is even inspired by many of his lowbrow suggestions. Is Surita right in her efforts to up Raj’s cultural ante, or should she lose the privilege of calling the shots? Only one man can decide.
Complainant Caroline and her boyfriend Will share many interests, but there's one thing they just can't agree on. Will says that metal is an important genre to him, musically and personally, and that Caroline hasn't given it a fair shake. Caroline finds the music jarring and distasteful and says she's heard enough to say so. Who is right, and who is wrong?
Guest bailiff Monte Bailiff Belmonte of WRSI offers his assistance this week, and we are joined by a SECRET EXPERT WITNESS.
Jordan, a lifelong comic book fan, and his friend Charles were discussing the DC comics villain Mr. Mxyzptlk and made a wager: if Jordan's friends could trick him into saying his own name backwards, he'd owe them five dollars. Charles says the group succeeded using Jordan's middle name -- but Jordan refuses to pay up, saying the middle name doesn't count. Who is right, and what's in a name, anyway?
Donald, his wife Jessie, and their son plan to attend a Star Wars fan convention that will comprise their family vacation this year. Donald and their son have been planning and executing costumes to wear for the event. Jessie says she shouldn't have to wear a costume, since she's not a big fan herself and she agreed to let the convention double as their family vacation in the first place. Will Jessie have more fun in costume? Or should she be allowed to opt out?
Harry and Dan are best friends who grew up together in New York state. After college Harry took a chance and moved to LA – a move he thinks Dan should make now. Their mutual friend Sammy insists there are plenty of reasons for Harry to stay put, and Dan sees wisdom in both positions. Is the west coast the best coast for Dan, or would he do better sticking to New York? Only one man can decide.
Casey and Matt are a young married couple. Matt loves to go out for midnight fast food runs with his best friend, who is a fellow night-owl and grad student. He says it's a chance to eat and have quality time with friends. His wife Casey objects to the practice, saying it strains their budget and the time Matt has to get things done around the house. Who is right?
Lauren brings the case against her husband Jon. The couple just moved to the surburbs, and Lauren envisions the perfect addition to their new big backyard: chickens! She says she'll take care of them and they both will benefit from the fresh eggs and bug control. Jon worries that they'll become too much work. Is Lauren playing chicken? Only one man can decide.
Katy's big brother Steve gets on her nerves, as all good brothers do -- and he's had one unbreakable and annoying habit for over a decade. He refuses to leave a voicemail to say "call me back!" and instead relies on a missed call list as an indicator that he's trying to get in touch. Katy says, the rest of the world believes in leaving messages, and he should too! Who is right?
This week’s case pits friends Lauren and Mike against each other in a battle over social graces. Lauren brings the case against Mike – she claims Mike texts, emails, and updates his social networks when he should be devoting his attention to their conversation. Mike believes performing these tasks while socializing with others is completely appropriate, especially if the offending phone use is for professional purposes. Is it time for Mike to hang up the phone, or is Lauren wrong in prioritizing face time over screen time? Only one man can decide.
Scott and Jennifer are a married couple who bring this tidiness dispute before the judge. Jennifer has a passion for organizing, and she believes her filing and sorting make her a neater person than her husband. Scott admits his organizational skills could use some improvement, but he claims his habits of vacuuming and counter wiping are more critical to cleanliness. Who is right? Judge John Hodgman will decide.
Note: Are you spoiler sensitive? Judge Hodgman discusses key plot points for several shows and movies, including season one of Game of Thrones. Be warned, and be ready to turn down your volume.
Adam brings this case against his friend and roommate Andrew. Andrew finally convinced Adam to start watching a favorite show – Breaking Bad. However, Adam feels an off-handed comment made by Andrew spoiled part of his viewing experience. How soon is too soon for spoilers? And what detail is significant enough to be considered a spoiler? Only one man can decide. SPOILER ALERT – it’s Judge John Hodgman.
Alex and Kristina are a married couple, and are academics who both have pursued admittedly nerdy careers. They're happy with their lot in life, but disagree on handling potential nerdiness in their future children. Should they be allowed to geek out at academic summer camps, or be forced to socialize at camps that focus on the traditional stuff, like canoeing or Capture the Flag?
Holly brings this case against her writing partner Todd. They live in Los Angeles, and meet at restaurants to work together on projects at least once a week. Todd prefers to eat at a few agreed-upon, time-tested restaurants to eat one of his dishes of choice. He says that eating the same meals helps keep his mind free to focus on work. Holly feels her creative spirit is stifled by eating at the same places, week in and week out. Should Todd’s habits or Holly’s spontaneity rule?
ALSO, RIP to Awesome Cone, from The Cone-Tractual Dispute.
Luis brings this case against his older sister Alejandra. They currently live with their parents and share a car to get to school and work. Luis claims that his sister prioritizes giving rides to her boyfriend over rides to her brother, leaving Luis lugging around art supplies on the city bus. Alejandra says Luis refuses rides and then pouts over it. Who is right? Only one man can decide!
Patrick and his girlfriend Hannah made a cross-country move to Portland, Oregon last year in Patrick's Camaro. Once they were established, Hannah needed a car for her commute and bought Patrick's car.
Her feelings on the care and ownership of the car differ from her boyfriend's -- namely, she sees the car as a utilitarian possession and Patrick thinks she should have some care for its appearance. Who is right?
Gail brings this case against her sister Aimee. Gail believes she and her nephew Ray are similarly sensitive kindred spirits. As a loving aunt, she thinks she should be able to comfort Ray when he's upset, even over rule-breaking, and help him handle his feelings. Her sister Aimee believes Gail is unnecessarily coddling Ray and encouraging him to become an overly emotional child. Who is right? Only Judge John Hodgman can decide!
Rebekah, her mother Denise and grandmother Gloria bring to the court a generational clash of memory -- specifically, whose memory is more reliable, an adult's or a child's? Denise is positive she lived next door to a grey house as a child, while Gloria insists the house exists only as a figment of her daughter's imagination. Rebekah has played referee many times in the dispute of the Grey House Universe, but she has several issues of her own with her mother's allegedly faulty memory. Each testimony accepted, each dispute resigned; it's maternal sunshine of the spotless mind. In this match of memories, we turn to the man who never forgets: Judge John Hodgman!
Michael and Patrick have been best friends since high school. Michael likes to think of himself as Patrick's wingman, helping alert him to interested ladies when they're out together. But, Patrick doesn’t see this service the same way. He thinks his friend lacks the subtlety to be a wingman, believing that Michael will overexaggerate a girl's interest in Patrick to get him to ask for her number. Michael contends that Patrick is merely too modest causing him to mistake genuine flirting for politeness.
Is Michael helping his friend find love and happiness, or is he steering him towards disappointment? Only the Judge can determine if the ladies are batting eyes or making benign banter in this week’s Judge John Hodgman!
Troy and Carmen are a married couple caught in a clash of the clock. Troy is a stickler for punctuality, going out of his way to never be late for appointments, parties, movies or concerts. But his quest to avoid tardiness has gone too far in the other direction, arriving extra early everywhere he goes. Carmen says her husband's early bird ways are making her squirm, arguing that it's just as rude to be so early as it is to be late. Troy makes the case that there are perks to being first in line -- and besides, it's family tradition!
Is it too late to change Troy's habits, or should the couple loosen up and live a little less by the clock? In this time tiff, only one man can decide. Judge John Hodgman!
Rachel and Leeman are American citizens who moved to Canada for school and work. Having lived in Toronto for some time now, the couple have planted their roots in Canadian soil and plan to make the city their home for the foreseeable future. They've already become permanent Canadian residents, and enjoy the primary benefits of being Canadian (universal health care, foremost). Rachel believes they should go all the way and become citizens so that they may vote, run for office, and fully commit to life in the Great White North. Leeman takes issue with the Canadian Oath of Citizenship, however, particularly the idea of pledging allegiance to the British monarchy.
Should they stand on guard for thee united as a family, or is Leeman correct in rebelling against the crown? In this royal rumble, only one man can decide!
Hodgmaniacs, we're into the final week of the annual MAX FUN DRIVE, and the time to donate is now. It's your donations that make the show possible, so if you love this show, please take a moment to support it. We can't make the magic happen without your help, and there's a level of support to fit any budget. Thank you.
Brothers Adam and Noah share a home bought out of foreclosure. They are slowly fixing up the house together and the rent is cheap, but it comes at a cost: bats! The webbed-winged creatures seem to be entering the house through the cracks in the unfinished roof of the bathroom. Animal-lover Noah is spooked by their presence, but would rather keep the bats confined to the bathroom than see them come to harm. His brother Adam meanwhile has a lust for blood matched only by vampire bats, and would like his brother to join him in beating them to death.
Should the brothers run in fear, or face their phobias head-on? And just what is the solution to this flying mammal mess? In this battle of the bats, only one man has the answers: Judge John Hodgman!
Hodgmaniacs, the annual MAX FUN DRIVE is happening right now. It's your donations that make the show possible, so if you love this show, please take a moment to support it. There's a support level to fit any budget, and any and all donations are hugely appreciated. Thank you.
Ara and her mom Julia enjoy spending quality mother-daughter bonding time together while canning all sorts of foods, from apple sauce to jams and chutneys. Ara has brought the case against her mother that their health protocols are not up to snuff, insisting they should follow USDA safety manuals, books, and internet advice to make sure their canned goods are 100% safe. Julia says Ara's detailed demands are driving her nuts, and they should continue to rely on the tried-and-true methods that have always done them well.
This culinary clash falls outside the realm of Judge John Hodgman's area of expertise, and the good judge defers to the encyclopedic knowledge of Food Network personality Alton Brown! You probably know Alton from his show Good Eats, and he also serves as the host of Iron Chef America.
Will Ara's meticulous methods rule the day, or does mother truly know best? In this food fight pitting mother against daughter, only Judge John Hodgman can settle the score!
Is not knowing how to drive a manual transmission in this day and age A CRIME? That's the question for Cosmo and Jen, a married couple who own a manual and an automatic car, respectively.
Jen's car is less than reliable and Cosmo has suggested that when her car is out of service, she can drive his instead (and he'll tool around on his motorcycle). The problem is that Jen refuses to learn how to drive a stick shift car, citing her unsure driving nature and the safety of their baby boy. Why not replace her car with a more reliable form of transport?
Only one man can decide this case - and that's Judge John Hodgman.
STAY TUNED next week when our pledge drive begins on March 26th - we'll have a special guest, awesome donor gifts, and more! It'll all be happening here.
Lindsay and John are a married couple locked in a bridal brouhaha, having been invited to a pair of weddings that fall on the same day. John wants to go to his childhood friend's wedding by himself, leaving Lindsay free to attend her cousin's ceremony. But Lindsay believes they need to pick one and show up together.
Will the Judge find in favor of family or friendship? And will these lovebirds stick together, or fly solo? Find out the answers to all this and more on an all-new Judge John Hodgman.
Marybeth and Paul are a couple of busy animal loving attorneys who already own a dog and a cat. Marybeth would like to add another dog to their family to help their current toy schnauzer, Olive, relax. Paul argues that with their busy schedule, and the already antsy Olive, another dog would only exacerbate the situation.
Will the Judge mandate they double down on their puppy love, or will he send this idea to the dog pound? Find out on this week’s Judge John Hodgman.
Jessie and Jason are a happily married couple with a time-sensitive issue. Jason has been enrolled in a Master's Degree program that offers its courses in two different semester lengths. He can choose to split up the semester in an 8 week on and 8 week off frame, or compact the course work into an extensive 16 week semester with a 16 week break. Jason has already slogged through the lengthier version once, to Jessie's dismay.
The issue is that when Jason is in classes (and attending to his full-time job), he has no time for anything but the bare necessities -- and that does not involve what Jessie considers "husbandly duties," including cooking, household chores, noticing of fancy attire and well-appointed hairdos or handyman-related issues.
Can the Judge keep this marriage from falling apart at the seams? FIND OUT THIS WEEK!
Bobby and Katie are dating and like many young couples are at odds over towels. But unlike most domesticated disputes of the household variety, these towels serve a higher, almost divine purpose. To their fans, the Pittsburgh Steelers have a place amongst the heavens - the most memorable play in Steelers history is called the Immaculate Reception! Just as the many religions of the world have their own iconography, so too does Steeler Nation in the form of the “Terrible Towel.”
Bobby has become a Steelers fan within the past year and a half he’s been dating Katie. Bobby purchased a towel (the proceeds go towards an autism charity) and feels that once it’s yours and the money has gone on the charity, you are free to do what you want with it. He also asserts that his love for the Pittsburgh Steelers is no less than those ordained from birth.
Katie, being born into the Steeler family, has the utmost respect and pride for the Towel. She offers that the towel is more than a foam finger or a pom-pom, and that the towel and the history of the franchise are one in the same. Its disrespect in any way is an affront to the team and the charity it supports.
So, should the towel be treated as a weaving of fabrics meant to absorb liquids or as a sacred object of one of football’s most historic franchises? Only one man has the secular fortitude to decide on the next Judge John Hodgman!
Keep Calm and Carry on.
Blair and her sister Lisa both travel frequently for business and pleasure (occasionally together). Blair always brings a carry-on instead of checking a bag, since her trips are usually of a shorter duration, perhaps two to three days. She is 5'1" and sometimes needs assistance getting her bag into the overhead bin. A helpful person usually offers their services; if not, Blair is not opposed to asking for help from a fellow passenger.
Lisa feels that if a person does not have the ability to handle their own carry-on bag and get into the compartment without assistance, they have the option of, and should choose to, check their baggage.
So, who is free to carry on and who won't help you move along? Only one man can decide, but be careful!- contents in the overhead bin may have shifted during the flight- on the next Judge John Hodgman!
Dueling banjos! Or at least, a banjo and bandleader. Greg and Eric bring a question of performance before the Judge. Eric is in favor of suggesting that the audience clap along to their music, to enhance the experience and the music itself. Greg claims it's uncool and uncalled for as an imposition to the listeners. Who is right, and who is wrong? Listen in and feel free to clap along!
Pop Quiz: The super-pocalypse is imminent --the zombies have already crawled out of their graves and infiltrated the capitol. Volcanic earthquakes have devoured the coastal cities in flames and you realize you’re no longer safe in your home. Where do you go?
Carrie and her husband Phillip are at odds like billionaires and the 99%. The dispute of whether or not to Occupy Wal-Mart is at such a fever-pitch the four horseman are breaking a sweat. Phillip has a military background and believes that the most logical plan is to take control of a nearby Wal-Mart which is fully stocked with food, ammunition and has cold storage. It’s also easily defensible.
Carrie, on the other hand, feels that a more holistic approach to fleeing the locust swarm is the answer. She posits that Wal-Mart on Black Friday is already like the rapture and that the best medicine is to stay away. With abundant farmland and plenty of Natural Resources nearby, a return to nature will provide a safe haven.
Should they batten down the hatches and roll back the prices or live off the valley in the shadow of death? Only one brave man (who’s actually written a book about just this sort of thing) can decide! Judge-ment-Day John Hodgman
Chris and Emily bring a case against their friend, Pat. Pat has asked to stay at one of their small apartments while visiting their area. He says he's willing to sleep on the couch. They say that he has a good-paying job, they have a small apartment, and he shouldn't have put them in the awkward position of turning him down.
Is it appropriate to ask to crash on the couch when you could reasonably afford a hotel?
Jesse and Jessica are used to squaring off against one another when they play online word games on their smartphones. In this episode of Judge John Hodgman their rivalry spills into the courtroom as they litigate their literary license. Please use JUSTICE in a sentence!
A few months ago, Jessica made a last ditch effort to play her turn and plugged in a few letters. Surprisingly, the game accepted and points were awarded.
Jesse felt that without full knowledge of the word's spelling or its meaning, simply plugging in letters at random is "spamming" and therefore cheating.
Jessica ascertains that any word accepted by the game and not ill-gotten through outside help is perfectly legal and that "letter crunching" is just a way to play in the brave new world of on-line gaming.
Who's playing fair game, who's making it up and where CAN I play this Q? Only one man can decide, Justice of the Game-Piece, Judge John Hodgman.
Austin brings the case against his good friend Ethan. A year ago, they drove cross-country from Santa Cruz, California to Brooklyn, New York. Austin says that during the trip, he experienced "car lag," a variant form of jetlag. Ethan says the very idea is absurd. The argument has driven a wedge into their friendship.
Is car lag real? Only one man can decide.
DVR WARS! Anthony brings this case against his good friend Joseph. Their issue arose when Anthony asked Joseph to record a reality TV cooking program for him. Joseph has an extensive cable TV package with digital video recording service, while Anthony has a much more basic set of channels and no DVR. Anthony has asked his friend to record multiple shows for him, but never consistently comes over to watch them. The shows sit on the DVR, taking up space and annoying Joseph.
Is Anthony obligated to watch the shows after he's requested them?
John Hodgman's final book of trivia and world knowledge, THAT IS ALL, is now available in bookstores (that are still around) and online retailers. To find out when he may be visiting a city near you, see Areas of My Expertise.
Julienne and Emily are neighbors, co-workers and romantically involved. They both have a live/work spaces set in urban surroundings that needed a little touch of flora.
Julienne wants to add the Mexican Daisy which she prefers because of its scent and simple beauty. Emily, not fond of the daisy or its odor at all, has refused to come over to Julienne's if the daisy is planted.
Will Julienne need to create a daisy-free habitat? Will Emily have to wake up and smell the flowers? It's the war of the roses that only one man can decide!
John Hodgman's new book of fake trivia and world knowledge, THAT IS ALL, is now available in bookstores (that are still around) and online retailers. To find out when he may be visiting a city near you, see Areas of My Expertise.
While Bryan was compiling a comprehensive list of the top 100 horror movies the issue arose of what shared characteristics all the movies in the genre must have.
Bryan says that the content is king and what matters most is what takes place with the characters themselves. His friend Jay, whose help was enlisted for the compilation, maintains that it’s the director’s intent for audience reaction that holds sway.
Who will be tricked and who gets treated on this thriller of a case for Judge John Hodgman!
John Hodgman's new book of fake trivia and world knowledge, THAT IS ALL, can now be pre-ordered for its release on 11/1/11. To find out when he may be visiting a city near you, see Areas of My Expertise.
Flynn and Helen are frequent guests of a particular pizzeria in Canada that offers free prize tickets on their pizza boxes. Flynn, Helen's boyfriend, goes to great lengths to find as many of these tickets as he can -- even rummaging through the trash to find discarded and unpeeled tickets. Helen finds this extremely embarrassing and feels that no slice of pie is worth the disgraceful effort of dumpster diving. Is Flynn's treasure hunt for free prizes an admirable quest? Is Helen's embarrassment of her boyfriend's trash digging ways justifiable? Only one man can decide!
John Hodgman's new book of fake trivia and world knowledge, THAT IS ALL, can now be pre-ordered for its release on 11/1/11. To find out when he may be visiting a city near you, see Areas of My Expertise.
Judge John Hodgman Episode 37: Panta-lunacy
In today’s case, the court will decide the statute of limitations and proper etiquette of the lost-and-found box. Seth and Stephen are both friends and colleagues currently performing together in a play on Broadway. During their rehearsal time, Seth noticed a pair of linen trousers retired to the lost-and-found box for four months. When he finally decides the fate of the pants should be covering Seth’s legs and not the wasting away in the lost-and-found, Stephen raised a claim the pants were in fact his and should be returned to the rightful owner.
Is there a set precedence for the lost-and-found box? Finders Keepers? Losers Weepers? We’ll find out!
John Hodgman's new book of fake trivia and world knowledge, THAT IS ALL, can now be pre-ordered for its release on 11/1/11. To find out when he may be visiting a city near you, see Areas of My Expertise.
We are joined again by guest bailiff Jake Tapper, Senior White House Correspondent for ABC News (who last was on duty for the case of De Plane). We are delighted he could join us and lend us an air of legitimacy.
Today, a case of Beard Science. A few years ago, college pals Bilder, McElroy and Pattley agreed to a game of beard chicken. The game is traditionally is played when two or more men face-off against each other by not shaving; the man who goes the longest without a shave wins the game. Bilder claims that he participated only because they settled on a modified version of the game, which would allow him to shave partway through.
In the course of the game, Bilder accumulated the most days unshaven, but McElroy claims he is the winner, with the most consecutive bearded days.
Was their original agreement valid? Did the modified terms fundamentally alter the essence of the game? And who is the real winner of beard chicken?
We are assisted by the guest bailiff stylings, chosen especially for this case, of Monte Belmonte. Monte hosts a very popular morning radio show at 93.9 The River in Northampton, Massachusetts. We very much appreciate his musical expertise and fine baliffing.
Jack brings this case against his brother and bandmate Jeff. They play together on albums and on tour as The Jeffrey Lewis Band. Jack had requested several days off on their upcoming European tour to attend a friend's wedding, which seemed unprofessional to his older brother Jeff.
Who is "the boss" of the band? Was Jack right to ask to schedule the band's tourdates around his own schedule? These questions, and more, answered by the Honorable Judge John Hodgman.
ALSO, an important buzz marketing message! You, the JJHo listener should know that the Judge's book of fake trivia and world knowledge, THAT IS ALL, can now be pre-ordered for its release on 11/1/11.
Come out and see John present excerpts from the book at The Bell House in Brooklyn on November 1st, and then on tour in a city near you. Check Areas of My Expertise for current dates!
For this case, we are joined by guest bailiff Jake Tapper, who you may know from his day job as ABC News Senior White House Correspondent and occasional hosting of ABC's This Week. Thanks again to Jake, who took time away from covering important political events to join us.
Elisabeth and Melissa are good friends and enthusiastic travelers, who often journey together on planes and in cars across the country. While their traveling styles mesh for the most part, they are divided on a hot-button issue: the correct way to de-plane once you've arrived at your destination.
Elisabeth, who prefers to take the aisle seat, believes that the aisle-sitter bears some burden of judgment, and may choose to wait a reasonable amount of time before stepping into the aisle, without asking permission of his or her seatmates.
Melissa, on the other hand, is frequently a window-seater, and believes that people should abide by the "row by row" rule as a general rule. Melissa thinks that Elisabeth (or whoever is aisle-sitting) should ASK before letting others off the plane before them.
WHO IS RIGHT, and WHO IS WRONG? Only Judge Hodgman can decide.
Mike's three children were enticed to try a foreign food -- bacon-wrapped scallops -- by an offer from their father of $5 for each boy. However, Mike now claims that since the boys enjoyed the food, he no longer owes them compensation. Mike's wife Ellen represents the boys in court.
For more from John Hodgman, visit Areas of My Expertise.
Ted brings this case against his father Paul, who has become obsessed with cows. Ted argues that his father's cow collection and his inclination to randomly say the word cow, among other issues, indicate the need to tamp down the cow-talk. Paul argues that his obsession is merited, because "cows are our most important animal friends."
Pat and Joe come before the court with a case about that famous rock band, The Beatles. Pat claims that The White Album is one of The Beatles' worst albums and has a scattered approach. Joe argues that the album benefits from its variance and is one of their best works. Who is correct?
Randi and Chris were gifted Mulder and Scully action figures for Christmas, but differ on their purpose in their household. Should they be kept in their original packaging, to retain value (and for laughs)? Or should they be freed, to re-enact X-Files episodes and general playtime?
When Jake listens to his favorite classical music, he finds himself conducting furiously and with abandon. His wife Erica, an accomplished concert musician, says his flamboyant conducting makes a mockery of her life's work, and insists that he correct his style or stop entirely. Must Jake cease his carefree conducting style?
Evidence (submitted jointly)
Friends Adam and Will have a dispute about social networking. Is it Adam's responsibility as a young adult to get with the program and join the online social networking world, or is Will pushing his own life choices on his friend?
Jason's mom, Faith, argues that whenever he passes gas, he should proffer an "excuse me" to whomever is present (according to general social etiquette). Jason says he's an adult and as such, is allowed to do as he pleases. Should Faith butt out, or should Jason be held to her standards?
Jeff says his live-in girlfriend Courtney habitually hides food from him. Courtney admits that she's hidden food in the past, but only to save Jeff from his own ravenous tendencies, and that she has since stopped the practice. Is Courtney a FOOD-HOARDER, or is Jeff a FOOD-STEALER?
College pals Corey, Tyler and Caitlyn are moving into a new apartment in the coming school year at Ball State University. The apartment has three bedrooms: two small, one gloriously spacious. Who deserves the biggest room? Corey, the eldest; Tyler, the musician; or Caitlyn, one of the current occupants?
Is it appropriate to ask a cab driver to take you through a drive-thru after a long night of drinking? Nick brings this case against his friend Brandon, whom he considers a repeat offender in a breach of taxicab etiquette.
Take a ride in the Justice Cab to find out who's in the right!
You can also find the photo referred to in our Docket Clearing segment behind the jump.
In this episode, we are joined by SPECIAL GUEST and EXPERT WITNESS Morgan Webb, of G4 TV's X-Play. John argues that using a strategy guide when playing a video game is cheating, pure and simple. His friend Josef argues that while it provides an advantage, it's not out of line to use a guide and constitutes no cheating.
We have a pronunciation problem. Matt brings the case against his friend Josh, who he argues pronounces a number of words incorrectly. Affectations, shibboleths, and regionalisms: we've got it all.
Friends (and Canadian barristers) Nick and Phil bring this fruit-based case: which gentleman's technique for peeling a banana is correct?
Should an endurance event enthusiast (and former couch potato) be allowed to participate in an Ironman Triathlon against the wishes of his wife?
Tom turned his life around several years ago, losing 80 pounds through running and other exercise. He's since participated in a marathon and a half-Ironman triathlon, but dreams of seeing his addiction to extreme physical fitness through to a capstone event, the full Ironman triathlon.
His wife Veronique is supportive of his exercise regime as it stands and approves of Tom participating in less strenuous events. However, she feels the Ironman is just too risky for him to attempt.
Our first ever sports-and-exercise-related case: how will Judge Hodgman rule?
Andrew and his girlfriend Britt attended a Hollywood party, at which they spotted television's Stephen Colbert. Britt requested assistance in taking a photo with Colbert, but Andrew refused to comply. He argues that when it comes to photographs with celebrities, discretion is key; Britt claims that accepting adoration by fans is part of a celebrity's job.
Should a father be able to compell his teenage daughter to watch classic films? Or does a 16-year-old deserve autonomy in her entertainment choices?
Plaintiff Avigayil brings this case against her father, Michael. You can find the evidence submitted by both parties after the jump.
Two best friends disagree on the morality of the potluck. One says it's a great opportunity for everyone to pitch in. One says it's a sign of a host who's abdicated responsibility for the party. Only one man can decide who's right.
A group of high school kids kidnapped their youth group leader Chris' life-size Ernie figure as a prank, but he was stolen from them before his safe return. Student Ben serves as the legal representative of the offending group. Should the students be held responsible for Ernie's disappearance if they intended to return him?
After the jump, the submitted evidence from Chris.
A fiancee demands that her sweetheart shape up and dress for a promotion, plus other clothing-related disputes.
After the jump, the evidence submitted for consideration.
A friends' night out at a Polynesian restaurant, several Scorpion Bowls and an abandoned bag of takeout are all involved in this accusation of impropriety and substandard hygiene. Longtime pals Evan and Ryan bring this case of the Tahitian takeout before the judge.
Sisters Carol and Michelle have a disagreement over the pronunciation of their last name, Martucci. Carol believes in the traditional Italian "Mar-too-CHEE" and Michelle thinks it honors their grandfather to pronounce the name in his preferred fashion, "Mar-too-SEE". To restore a unified family front, they seek a ruling from the Judge John Hodgman.
Carol's evidence for the case can be found after the jump.
Brothers Evan and Michael battle it out: as a toddler, Michael stole Evan's things, and gave them away at pre-school. Does Evan deserve an apology?
Also: evidence referred to by Judge Hodgman is viewable here.
The manufacture of a food truck awning leads to a Portland-infused nightmare. Judge John Hodgman decides what the best compensation is for 40 hours of sewing, and teaches us what's really important: friendship.
Judge John Hodgman decides the case of a couple who disagree: do parentheses have a place in fiction?
Recorded live at The Talent Show in Brooklyn with guest bailiff Elna Baker.