TRANSCRIPT Judge John Hodgman Ep. 466: Rights of Shirts Refusal

Lana wants her family of four to wear matching t-shirts on the next family vacation. Her husband, Daniel, and their kids are opposed!

Podcast: Judge John Hodgman

Episode number: 466

Transcript

sound effect

Three gavel bangs.

jesse thorn

Welcome to the Judge John Hodgman podcast. I’m Bailiff Jesse Thorn. This week: Right of Shirts Refusal. Lana brings the case against her husband, Daniel. On their next family vacation, Lana wants the family of four to wear matching t-shirts. Daniel and the kids are opposed. Who’s right, who’s wrong? Only one can decide. [The sound of heavy footsteps and seats scraping along the floor.] Please rise as Judge John Hodgman enters the courtroom and presents an obscure cultural reference.

john hodgman

“Since it all started in 2013, there’ve been a ton of clubs. But most of them don’t make it past a few months. However, those of that are successful? [Scoffs a laugh.] We’re a fiercely loyal and protective group of Judge John Hodgman fans. We hang out in the parks, with our own clubs, and other ones—we take over rides. We dance in the backlot. Make a lot of magic, and a little teeny bit of mischief and just enjoy hanging out with other people who are as crazy about Judge John Hodgman as we are. With Judge John Hodgman clubs, you find yourself immersed in a world where Judge John Hodgman is your home and the clubs are your family and friends.” Bailiff Jesse Thorn, please swear them in.

jesse

Lana, Daniel, please rise and raise your right hands. [The scrape of chairs.] Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God or whatever?

daniel

We do.

lana

I do.

jesse

Do you swear to abide by Judge John Hodgman’s ruling, despite the fact that—since the last time that he recorded a case with actual litigants—his Bailiff forgot how to put a joke in this part of the show? [They laugh.]

lana

[Giggling.] Yes! I do! Yes.

jesse

Daniel? I wanna hear a yes.

daniel

Yes! Yes, absolutely. Joke or not.

jesse

Judge Hodgman, you may proceed.

john

Well, I won’t tell you to be seated, Daniel and Lana, ‘cause I can see that you are. Because this is the very first tele-conferenced episode of Judge John Hodgman. I am speaking to you, as always, from my reinforced chambers, here in Brooklyn. Jesse Thorn, you are at home. Jennifer Marmor, super producer, is at her home. And Daniel and Lana are at their home, I believe in Queens, New York. Is that correct? [Lana confirms.] Terrific. Well, it’s nice to see you. It’s distracting, I’ll tell you this much. Normally I’m used to recording this podcast while staring dead into space, like a—like a shark, a great white shark circling a verdict. [They chuckle.] But now we’re here and we’re all—and we’re all gonna go easy on each other, Jesse. That’s the whole point. We’re all doing the best we can. So, for an immediate summary judgement in one of yours favors, can either of you—Daniel or Lana—name the piece of culture that I referenced? And if neither of you can, I’m canceling the podcast. [They laugh.] I take it back.

jesse

Because we’re all tired! [They giggle.]

john

Uhh, Lana you go first.

lana

Wow. Um. I don’t think it’s right, but I’m gonna guess Goonies.

john

Goonies. [Lana confirms.] Yeah, it’s about a club. It’s not a club.

lana

Yeeeah! Y’know. Yeah.

john

And your instincts are correct, that I have substituted “Judge John Hodgman” for another, more recognizable piece of culture that would have given it away. There are—I hate to admit that there are no packs of Judge John Hodgman fans taking over parks and causing mischief. [Lana laughs.] Daniel, what’s your guess?

daniel

That is, in fact, a quote from a journal entry of the first round of Club D23, at Disneyworld, membership.

john

Club D23? Look, I’m not saying you’re right or wrong, but I don’t know what you’re talking about. What are you talking about?

daniel

That is a secret, exclusive club in Disneyworld. [John hums in understanding.] It was founded by Walt himself, in Disneyland, and they have a special entrance, right by Pirates of the Caribbean. And—

john

Oh, you mean Club 33.

daniel

Club 33, my bad. My bad.

john

How dare you, Daniel? [Lana laughs.] How dare—how dare you?

daniel

Club 23 was actually the pre-version of the— [Lana cackles.]

john

The precursor? [Daniel confirms.] Sure. Sure, I saw where you were going with that.

jesse

A D23 is what you need to play the new Warhammer. [They laugh. Daniel agrees.] Tabletop gaming, John.

john

Tabletop gaming joke. You’re back, Jesse Thorn! You’re back, my bailiff.

jesse

That was my little tribute to our friend Stuart Wellington, from The Flop House.

john

There we go. Yeah, a little tabletop gaming joke! [Jesse agrees.] Club—you can’t tell me about Club 33, Daniel. Ooh, I’ve always wanted to go. Aaalways wanted to go. It was reading about Club 33—the unmarked, private dining club in New Orleans Square, in Disneyland—I read about it in the book by William Poundstone, Big Secrets, I’m going to say in 1987 or ’88—that set me down the road of my fascination with secret clubs, rooms, and societies and then led me to write my first book of obscure, made-up trivia! The areas of my expertise! A direct line! So, it’s a good guess.

jesse

John, you know my Jordan, Jesse, Go! co-host, Jordan Morris, has been in Club 33—when he was—when we were in college, he dated a young lady named Emily. Really cool lady. And her dad was an executive at Kodak! [John chuckles in delight.] Then—now—now defunct. Then, a big sponsor of Disneyland. And so, she could go to Club 33 whenever she wanted.

john

Yeah. And you know what? I envy Jordan, because I cannot go to Club 33. A) ‘Cause the parks are closed right now, appropriately so. B) Because some years ago, Daniel and Lana—you may or may not know—but Disneyland closed Club 33 and expanded it. And they changed the entrance and they made it larger, so they could admit more members. And now that the original club is no longer the same footprint, I will never set foot in it. No matter how many times you invite me, Disney! [They chuckle.] I will not go! Unless I am actually invited. Then I’ll probably go.

jesse

Yeah, just try him, Disney! Just try him!

john

Yeah. Just try! Test me!

jesse

We’ll see what happens! [Lana laughs.]

john

Yeah, that’s right! Offer me Modok, in Iron Man 19, or whatever. See what happens! Offer me a role! See what—I’ll probably say yes. Okay. Daniel and Lana, both good guesses. Daniel, that was an extremely good guess. Right on the money for what I was thinking of. But you’re wrong! And the show is now canceled, thanks to you, Daniel and Lana. Last ever Judge John Hodgman show, in the books. Shut it down. No, we’ll go on. I was quoting from the “about” page of a website called, “SocialClubsofDisney.com. For while there is one official, secret club of Disneyland, Club 33, there are—certainly at Disneyland and probably at Disneyworld, as well—multiple, many, many, many, many other, unofficial, semi-secret clubs. Actually, not so secret at all, because starting in 2013—starting with a group called the Neverlanders SC, Neverlanders Social Club, a bunch of Southern Californian people—young folk in their 20s and 30s—started wearing denim vests and leather vests, like biker gangs, with outlandish patches. They created their own, essentially, motorcycle clubs, but just for—no motorcycles, just wandering through Disneyland. Together.

lana

I love it. [Jesse cackles.]

john

With greaser hair and—[chuckles].

jesse

This is the subject of the new Sons of Anarchy spinoff, right? [Lana cackles.]

john

It is. It is. Holy Moley, this—I mean, this is gonna be—honestly? This is gonna be the next Tiger King.

daniel

Tigger King?

john

Tigger King!

jesse

[Laughing helplessly.] Oh god, no!

john

Lana, I think you just lost the case. [They laugh.]

lana

[Pinched from laughter.] That was my fear.

john

I think you just lost the case. [Jesse moans through laughter.] Because [laughs] I only learned about these clubs from our friend, Jessica, quote “Jessie” unquote, Char—frequent MaxFunCon attendee. And a friend of mine. And a Disneyland devotee. She goes to Disneyland all the time. She sometimes dresses up. But mostly, is just fascinated with the parks. And she told me about these social clubs, and she told me about how, in fact—I mean, there are lots of them. I’m just gonna read a few of them to you. There are the Mr. Toad’s Wild Riders. There are the Neverland Ghosts, the Neverland Mermaids. The Once Upon a Timers. Oogie Boogie’s Dice Rollers, SC. Park Hoppers, SC. Plaid Vest Mafia. [Lana wheezes with laughter.] That’s a deep cut for Disneyland people, for sure. And then this is probably the dopest one of all: The Poor Unfortunate Souls. Wow! And there are lots and lots of them. They’re unofficial and they’re normally very friendly with each other, but if you—if you wanna read an interesting article in Los Angeles Times, from 2018, you’ll read about how two of them got into a feud. One of them alleging a [laughs]—essentially threatening the others with a protection racket for a fundraiser. It’s really intricate. But the White Rabbits—let’s just leave it at this, the White Rabbits and the Main Street Fire Station Five social clubs have beef. So. Don’t stay—keep them apart from each other. And this all came up because our dispute is over dressing alike—particularly in visiting amusement parks, conventions, and other things. Who brings this case before me for justice, please?

lana

That would be me, Lana.

john

Alright, Lana. [Lana confirms.] What is the issue, here?

lana

Well, the issue is that we go to at least once, twice, maybe more times a year. We really like family vacations.

john

This is a classic “once, twice, three times a maybe”?

lana

[Explodes with laughter.] Yes!

john

See? I can do wordplay too, Daniel. Watch it. Watch it.

jesse

[Sighs heavily.] I don’t wanna have to quit, but I will. [Lana and John cackle.]

john

Jesse Thorn, I cannot see via video, right now. But I can—I am having a good time imagining his face when I made that joke. [Jesse laughs.] Lana! What’s going on? Once, twice, three times a maybe, you go to a park. You’re married to each other.

lana

And you know, you see those families that have the matching shirts and they have the cute, maybe cheesy, little sayings with their names on the back and they’re all matching. You know. I’ve always wanted that. Some people might look at that and think it’s ridiculous. I think it’s absolutely amazing. And every time we go, whether it’s to Disney—which, usually we got to Disney a lot, ‘cause we’re big Disney fans—but whether Dollywood or Universal, I’ve tried. I’ve put it out there. I’ve even said, you know, “You guys could come up with the cool shirts, if you want!” And they absolutely refuse. I am shut down every year.

john

So, wait, when you say, “you guys”, you were talking about Daniel, your husband. And you have two children, is that correct?

lana

And—yes. Uh-huh. My two kids, Lillian and Danny.

john

And you would like to force them to all dress the same, as a family team, when you go to, say, Dollywood or Disneyland?

lana

Well, when you say “force” it doesn’t sound so good. But yes! [Laughs.]

john

Well! Encourage.

lana

[Laughing.] Yes! Yes. Strongly encourage.

john

Encourage forcefully.

lana

Guilt in. That’s fine, too.

jesse

I think, John, to clarify, they go to Dollywood or Disney or Universal. Shortening the name of the park is the wearing matching t-shirts of saying the name of a theme park. [John and Lana laugh.]

john

Alright. You know you’re deep into park life when you can just say, “Universal.” When you say Universal, do you mean Universal Studios amusement tour or whatever it is? [Lana confirms.] In California or in Florida?

lana

Florida. Since we’re originally from Florida and we live on the East Coast, we’ve only been to Disneyland once, when we lived in Arizona.

john

Right. Okay, gotcha.

jesse

I’m going to Marine, by the way. That’s Marine World Africa USA, in Valona, California. [John and Lana cackle.]

lana

[Pinched through laughter.] Marine!

john

Okay, you moved all over the place. What are you running from, anyway?

lana

This is your—this for you.

daniel

Apparently we’re running from success.

lana

[Laughing.] Oh no.

daniel

We moved around a lot because of my job. So, it’s taken us across the country quite a few times. [Lana affirms.]

john

What is your job, if I may ask?

daniel

I’m a former actor. Now, I am a business consultant for the auto industry in the US.

john

Uhhh, that sounds very mysterious. What do you specifically do?

daniel

So, I specifically help train dealers to conduct themselves in a ethical, compliant manner.

john

[Chuckles.] I bet—I bet your acting degree comes in handy. [Lana wheezes a laugh.]

daniel

I would say that the listening part, for sure, comes in well.

john

Okay. That’s fine. And Lana, what do you do? During normal times. Now is an unusual time in our history, but during—in the before-times, when the idea of going to an amusement park was something more than a thought experiment, what would you do?

lana

Actually, I used to teach at a university, and then—well, for other reasons, I ended up being the stay-at-home mom. And now that my kids are grown, I have, actually, a YouTube channel and a cooking channel that does pretty well. [John hums, impressed.] So, I do that, now. And I hope to go back into teaching.

john

I think—I think that’s worth a plug. What is the—what is the channel?

lana

Oh! It’s Lana Under Pressure.

john

Uh-huh! Lana Under Pressure. That’s a great title for a thing. [Lana thanks him.]

jesse

This is a submarine cooking channel? [John agrees and Lana laughs.]

daniel

Kind of!

lana

I converted my family’s Cuban and Jewish recipes to the Instantpot pressure cooker, and now I do also the air—Instapot air fryer and all that.

john

Do you get, like, a lot of sponsorship from Instapot?

lana

You know, I don’t! I actually receive free things from other companies, but Instapot—they gave me an apron. But. [Laughs.] [Jesse blows a raspberry sound from holding back laughter.]

john

C’mon, Instapot!

jesse

Get your act together.

john

I’ve not watched the YouTube, but I’m going to give it the Judge John Hodgman cautious seal of approval, because you seem adorable. [Lana thanks him.] So, let’s talk through this, Lana, so I have a picture of exactly what your… your desires in life are. [Lana affirms.] If you were to go, obviously we’re in fantasy land right now ‘cause no one’s going to any parks—but, let’s say Instapot came through, finally, and said, “You’re going to three parks of your choice.” Top park you would go to first and outfit would be?

lana

Do you mean—would be Walt Disneyworld. Or do you mean—are you talking about the parks within? Like EPCOT or just in general, Walt Disneyworld?

john

Would you have different outfits for EPCOT?

lana

Yeeeah! ‘Cause that’s more global!

john

Let’s just say Magic Kingdom, at Walt Disneyworld. Your classic, straight down the middle, Disney theme park, iconic—what would you—what would you have your family dress up like?

lana

Oooh. I would like to do something Hawaiian theme, because we really like that side, the Jungle Cruise and all that. And, you know, I’m being nice because my son likes, kind of, Hawaiian prints. So, you know, I think about their wants too. So, I think maybe, like, matching kind of—[wheezes into laughter] matching, kind of like, Hawaiian shirts, maybe, with—you know—"Perez Power” on the back or something like that.

john

That would be your name? Perez Power?

lana

That’s kind of like our unofficial—my unofficial motto for our family.

crosstalk

John: Perez Power? Lana: I try to sneak it in. I’m trying to get them to use it, too, but it’s not working. John: So, let me give— Daniel: But yes, Perez is our last name. Lana: Yes.

john

Gotcha, gotcha. Let me give you a hint: don’t put that on the back. Put “LanaUnderPressure.com”. [Lana giggles.]

daniel

Now we’re talking!

john

Would they be matching Hawaiian print shirts or complementary Hawaiian print shirts?

lana

Well, I would prefer matching so that people know that we’re family. You know? Like, we’re all together. Yeah.

john

Right. And there’s no way to do that by, like, showing love. Or holding hands or anything. Or being together. [They laugh.] Let’s move on from the gently problematic, cultural appropriational-y area of Adventureland. [Lana laughs.] I mean, everyone’s heart’s in the right place, here, so let’s just move over to park number two. What would be the number—the number two park you would go to and what would be the outfit you would like to curate for them?

lana

Oooh. I would probably put Universal Studios next.

john

Universal Studios, in Florida again, right? [Lana confirms.] Then I gotta—I gotta tell you something. I’ve never been. I have never been to Universal Studios in Florida. But I’ve been to Disneyland a few times. I’ve been to Universal Studios in California, a few times. Universal Studios in California is a lawless land.

daniel

It’s the escalators. It makes everyone mad.

john

[Chuckles.] They serve alcohol, there. Things are poppin’ off, at Universal Studios. And my kids and I found a way… of following the rules. We had—we had a certain pass that allowed us to do this. That—we found a secret path back to the front of the line of the Jurassic Park line. [Lana makes an “oooh” sound.] And we just went—we just zipped around in a circle and did it four times in a row. That’s not something that a human should—a brain should take in, like that. Like… that place is wild! Like, wild! That’s where people should be wearing biker gang gear. ‘Cause it’s—they should just turn it all into Mad Max Land. Alright. Anyway. Universal Studios, what would you—everyone would be dressed like what?

lana

I don’t know. Something like—

daniel

Are we going to Wizarding World of Harry Potter?

lana

[Gasps.] That’s right! Yes! There you go. I totally forgot. But yes. It would definitely be Harry Potter themed. Thank you.

john

Nothing conjures the magic of the village of Hogsmeade than people wandering around with tall Boys of Modelo beer, which you can get from a cart. [They laugh.] That’s what I’m talking about! [Beat.] Universal Studios. Anyway. I love that place. It’s fun. You’re basically looking for matching t-shirts here, right? [Lana confirms.] Not matching cosplay.

lana

No, no, we don’t have to all—no. I—don’t roll your eyes, Dan. [Giggling.] No, I’m not for—

john

Let the record show, for the first time in Judge John Hodgman history, I witnessed—visually—a dude rolling his eyes.

lana

I mean, I’m not saying we have to cosplay it! You know, or anything like that. Matching shirts is fine.

john

In fact, at Disney, you wouldn’t—you wouldn’t be allowed to. It’s only on special days.

lana

You wouldn’t. You’d have to do, like, Disneybounding, where you, like, sort of, kind of… but…

john

You know what I’m talking about. Tell us what bounding is.

lana

Oh, that’s where you dress up with a nod to the character to get through the entrance. And everybody knows that you’re dressed up, but you’re not really dressed—it’s like dressing up like.

john

Yeah. ‘Cause Disney doesn’t let you dress up as characters.

lana

Yes. Terrible.

john

For obvious reasons. [They laugh.] I found out that the hard way when I—when I wore a loincloth and claimed to be Tarzan, in the Tarzan Treehouse, that time. Tried to upcharge everybody 20 bucks, cash. They’ll throw you out, take advantage of that. So, what you’re talking about is bounding, right? Which is where—and I learned about this from Jessie Char, too—is where, like, if you wanna seem like Snow White, you’re gonna wear, like, red lipstick and then a blue top and then—but I don’t know. What’s a Snow White look like? What’s your—what’s your skirt look like, Lana? You know this. Come on. You got this.

lana

Uuum. Isn’t it—isn’t Snow White’s blue? Her colors are blue, red, white, and yellow.

john

Right. And then, you’d—

lana

So, you could wear, like, a little red headband with some lipstick. A little yellow somewhere. A little blue skirt. Something like that.

john

Right. That’s—how’s that sound to—that sounds good to me. I think that sounds great. You should all go that way. [Lana laughs.] You should all wear those colors.

jesse

Let’s take a quick recess. We’ll be back in just a moment, on the Judge John Hodgman podcast.

sound effect

Three gavel bangs.

promo

Music: Fun, upbeat music. [Speakers 1 and 2 talk over each other and fade out as Jesse Thorn starts a voiceover.] Speaker 1: I can't hear myself, but I'm assuming that— Speaker 2: Are you plugged in? Is your headset plugged in headphones? Jesse Thorn: These are real podcast listeners. Not actors! [Speakers 1 and 2 continue speaking over each other briefly.] Speaker 3: Hey, thanks for coming! Here's a list of descriptors. What would you choose to describe the perfect podcast? Speaker 1: I mean, "vulgarity." Speaker 2: "Dumb." Definitely "dumb." Speaker 1: And like... uh, right here. This one. "Meritless." Speaker 3: What if I told you there was a podcast that did have all of that? Speaker 1: [Gasps.] Speaker 2: No! Speaker 3: Jordan, Jesse, Go! ...And it's free! Speakers 1 & 2: [Astonished] Jordan, Jesse, Go!? [A round of applause in the background.] Speaker 1: Jordan, Jesse, Go! Jesse: Jordan, Jesse, Go! A real podcast. [Music ends.]

sound effect

Three gavel bangs.

jesse

Court is back in session. Let’s return to the courtroom to hear more of the case.

john

Daniel and Lana, you did provide some evidence—in fact, evidence… of the two of you dressing—wearing matching t-shirts, in the past. [Lana confirms.] Who—Lana, you submitted this evidence. Here’s you and Dan… at age 16?! [Lana confirms.] Wowie! You guys have known each other forevers!

jesse

And it looks like—if I’m—if I’m not mistaken, this is the two of you—you’re both wearing head-to-toe denim, and you’re attending the 2001 American Music Awards? [They both burst into laughter.]

daniel

That was the first time that I’ve ever worn a matching shirt with anyone. And it is a Phantom of the Opera shirt, at a high school musical theatre competition, in Tampa, Florida! That was our state competitions, and if you look closely into my eyes—Judge Hodgman—

john

Uh-huh. I’m looking.

daniel

You can see what’s happening, there. [Jesse giggles.]

john

Uh, what—of course this photo—this photo and all the photos will be posted on the Judge John Hodgman page, at MaximumFun.org as well as our Instagram page. [As John talks, Jesse’s laughter gets out of control until Lana’s cackling along with him.]

jesse

[Barely holding it together.] Look at these two! What’s happening in your eyes is you’re like, [deeply] “I happen to be a jock.” [Everyone laughs.]

daniel

For the record, I’m about 6’3” and Lana is, uh—well, she’s not as tall. [Lana chuckles.]

john

She’s—she comes up to your armpit. You’re wearing matching Phantom of the Opera t-shirts. [Lana agrees with amusement.] And Dan is—the look in your eyes, to me, is a look of both… resignation? [Lana wheezes into a laugh.] That this is how you’re going to spend the rest of your life. And behind that, a certain happiness!

daniel

Yes! This is a young man who met his soulmate. [John agrees.] And didn’t wanna mess it up!

john

You were—you were willing to do anything!

daniel

Including a Phantom of the Opera t-shirt.

john

Yeah, but—I appreciate that this was something of a big ask, but when you’re 16 and a—and someone that you have a crush on asks you to do such a thing, you do it. [Daniel agrees.] The real question I have here is: did Lana ask you to tuck in the t-shirt into your belted jeans? [Lana laughs.] Or was that your call?

daniel

I’m gonna say yes. [Lana laughs out an “oh ho!” in shocked betrayal.] I’m gonna say yes.

john

Remember you’re under fake-oath.

daniel

Uuum, no that was a personal choice.

john

That was a personal choice.

crosstalk

Lana: [Laughing.] You’re cute. John: Look, it was a long time ago. It was a long time ago.

jesse

Daniel, where would you have drawn the line. I see the Phantom of the Opera t-shirt, here. I see a Gershwin t-shirt, here. [Lana agrees with delight.]

daniel

Crazy for You. [John confirms.]

lana

That was the next year, I think.

jesse

Would you—if she had asked you to wear a Starlight Express t-shirt, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s legendary, sentient train musical? Would you have worn that?

daniel

So, I was a young kid from a very poor neighborhood in Hialeah, Florida, who didn’t know much about musicals. So, Jesse, I probably would have worn whatever she asked me to. [Chuckles.]

crosstalk

Jesse: [Pleased.] Awesome. Lana: I would have gone for The Rink.

john

You would have gone for what?!

lana

The Rink? You know, the musical The Rink?

john

I do not!

lana

Oh, fantastic.

john

What is that one?

lana

Um, it’s about an Italian family that owns a roller-skating rink.

john

What a minute, you’re telling me—so, for people who don’t know Jesse’s reference: Andrew Lloyd Webber, creator of CATS, followed up that musical with a musical that’s like, “You know what I’m gonna do? Now that I’ve made cats sing, you know what I’m gonna make sing next? Trains.” [Everyone laughs.] “Gonna be all these sentient trains rolling around, singing about being a train.” And when I say rolling around, I mean rolling around! ‘Cause the entire cast was on roller skates. And now you’re telling me there’s another musical based on roller skating?! [Lana wheezes with laughter.]

jesse

[Chuckling.] John, it’s the 9th longest running production in West End history, and the most successful musical in Germany, where it’s been performed in a purpose-built theater since 1988. [They laugh.] The workshop of Starlight Express featured Tracey Ullman. [Lana expresses surprise.]

john

Of course! If you were Tracey Ullman, in 1988 or whatever, and you were a fresh, young talent and Andrew Lloyd Webber came a-callin’ saying, “I made Jesus Christ Superstar, I made CATS. I’m Andrew Lloyd Webber.” And you’re gonna tell me—

jesse

[Laughing.] “And I got the rights to adapt Thomas the Tank Engine!” It’s based on Thomas the Tank Engine! I’m not making it up, John! It really is!

john

[Disbelieving.] No, it’s not. No.

jesse

[Desperately.] It is! It really is!

lana

Wooow!

john

Well, we all learned something today about Starlight Express.

lana

I love it even more.

john

Choo-choo! So, okay. Look. Again. Here you are. You’re not in Starlight Express t-shirts, now. So, you’re following 17-year-old, young people in love. Now you’re wearing the new—your matching shirts, from the new Gershwin musical comedy, Crazy for You. Fast forward. More matching shirts. Now you’re—now you’re adults. You’re wearing matching Disco shirts, and by “disco”  I don’t mean the music, I mean Star Trek: Discovery, correct? [Lana confirms.] Now, this has to be fairly recently that you’ve done this, Dan.

daniel

In fact, your honor, I’d like to point out that there is a 28-year gap between [laughing] our matchy-matchy shirts and the one that we wore to watch a taping of After Trek. So, we all—we made those shirts. [John affirms.]

lana

I—that’s only because I’m usually the photographer, and I didn’t take a lot of pictures in between that time. So, I’m sure that—had I done that—there would have been times where I talked somebody into it. I’m sure.

john

Then the sins of the father were visited upon the younger generation. Your daughter and son bent to your will, again, Lana. Here, in a photo of you guys at a New Jersey performing arts center—Harry Potter in Concert—you’re all wearing your respective Hogwarts Houses garb. [Lana confirms.] And there you are, again… Dan. In your Gryffindor shirt, being a good sport. And then, finally—well, semi-finally, incredible family Halloween costuming as Beetlejuice and Alec Baldwin and Gina Davis and Winona Rider, from Beetlejuice. Your whole family. Which one are you, in this one, Dan?

daniel

I’m playing the Alec Baldwin character.

john

Yeah, but your head—your face is all turned inside-out, like in Beetlejuice. This is incredible costuming. Is this your home? In Queens?

daniel

That’s our home, in Queens, and every Halloween, we try to go all-out and we play a movie on our front window, so the kids can watch. And we make it a whole event.

john

When you say, “We try to go all-out,” do you mean Lana forces you all to go all-out?

daniel

Yes. [Lana sputters.]

john

Come on.

lana

Okay. Yes, it did start like—I did push for the all-out, but they really like—my daughter loves Hallow—everybody loves Halloween. That’s like their favorite. So, it wasn’t that hard to push them into it. And, yes. So, I pushed us into slowly morphing into, like, a family-themed Halloween, where we all kind of, you know. Before, it was like we dressed up as clowns and my kids could kind of dress up as what they wanted, sort of. This is the first year where I was able to pick a theme where they all got onboard. And I made those costumes. So. [Laughs.]

john

It’s—listen—I mean, everyone needs to check this out. ‘Cause it looks—you guys look great. And then, finally, a family portrait of your whole family in the style of The Simpsons, including a mischievous dog. [Lana agrees on a laugh.] Who is not Santa’s Little Helper, too—but what is the name of your dog?

lana

Daisy-Mae.

john

Aww, Daisy-Mae.

jesse

Does she always wear a bowtie? Or just in this instance? [Lana laughs.]

crosstalk

Daniel: Actually, her collar—that is a Minnie Mice—Minnie Mouse bowtie collar. Lana: It’s a bowtie. Minnie Mouse. Yes.

john

[Snorts a laugh.] That she wears in real life, as well, not just in this—

daniel

That she wears in real life, yes. [Lana confirms.]

jesse

Did the two of you commission this family portrait to celebrate [chuckles] Disney purchasing Fox? [Everyone laughs. John and Lana both struggle to get it together.]

john

Ooh, that’s Bailiff Jesse Thorn’s joke, Disney. Please don’t fire me from culture. I’d like to work again, please. [Jesse laughs; Lana hasn’t stopped laughing.]

jesse

It’s just some of my classic humor [laughing] for Hollywood Reporter readers.

john

It’s an adorable illustration of your family in the classic Homer, Marge, Lisa, Bart couch/TV position, in the style of The Simpsons. Those are your two kids. Do you mind saying their names? Their first names?

lana

Oh, sure! Lillian, she’s my daughter. And Daniel is my son.

john

And their ages?

lana

Oh, my daughter just turned 19 and my son just turned 16.

john

They’re young and—at least in one case—legal adults who can make up their own minds. [Dan and Lana agree.] For example, about how they dresssss. Alright. [Lana laughs.] I have a letter from your kids, which I’ll read in a moment. But, Lana, what does it mean, to you… to be able to dress all alike? Especially now that your kids are a little bit older? What would it mean to you, to be able to go to any of these parks and get you all to wear matching outfits?

lana

[Sighs.] I really, really love my family. And we’re really tight. We’ve moved around probably to seven different places. So, it’s kind of like the four of us are all we have. And, you know, Dan and I came from divorced parents, so—you know—we never had that whole thing. And just… I don’t know. There’s something about it where we’re all dressing alike, it just kind of makes me feel even closer to them. And as they get older, like—like I said, I was a stay-at-home mom. So, I was with them—we made the decision, and I was with them 24/7. And, you know, I’m a Cuban, Jewish mom. So, I was [laughing] really on top of them. You know. But it’s like my whole world. And now that they’re older and I have one go—that’s off to college and one who will be going off to college soon. I don’t know. I just feel, like, this pull to kind of—the more they pull away, the more… I’m getting all verklempt, right now. [John reassures her.] But, you know, the more I wanna—I don’t know! I just wanna keep the Perez family kind of together. [John agrees.] And I feel like if we’re wearing matching shirts, not only do we know—you know—we’re together, but it’s just—you know, it’s a uniform! We’re the Perezes!

john

You feel your nest emptying. You feel your family moving into a new phase. And you want, for at least one hot, humid, crowded afternoon, to be in a constructed world where you’re all together. Visibly. [Lana agrees emphatically.] Right. So, Dan. You heard how Lana put it, which I thought was very moving. You’ve heard how I put it, which was—frankly—a pretty good punch-up from a professional writer. But that doesn’t mean that the emotion wasn’t there. And my question for you is: how do you feel when you hear this? Does it make you feel differently about this request?

daniel

So, I… love my wife. She is my soulmate. She’s wonderful. She is the—she is the most optimistic person I’ve ever known. Her optimism is not just a superficial Pollyanna. She truly finds joy in the simple things, in life. I tend to overcomplicate things. So, I definitely do appreciate how much she loves the family and has that sense of unity. But there is nothing I find more obnoxious— [John cuts in with a loud laugh.] —than a family wearing matching t-shirts, at Disneyworld or anywhere else. I mean, we get it! We know you’re together! You came together. It is obvious.

john

When you go to Disneyworld or any of these parks and you see families wearing Team Family shirts or jumpsuits or—that would be pretty cool. Jumpsuits. Hang on. Like cool, Venture Brothers speed suits? That’d be cool. But when—anyway, when you see them, what is your instinctive feeling when you see these families? What do you think about them?

daniel

I feel like the family’s trying too hard! [Lana makes a disgusted sound.] I feel like it is an outward expression of quote-unquote, “What a family should be.” And not necessarily anything meaningful to those people wearing the shirts! I think even when they go as a convention or a family group, they’re wearing the shirts ‘cause they wanna be identified.

john

Does it feel show-offy to you?

daniel

It feels a little show-offy to me. [John agrees.] Also, I guess, instinctually, as a kid when I went to Disney, we—you know, we didn’t have money to buy anything at Disney or do anything. So, the idea of making a shirt and creating it and taking it in there just seems very extra.

john

Oooh, interesting. So, like, there’s a class issue, here. There’s a little bit of, like—

daniel

I think it—there is—there is.

john

There’s a little bit of, like, you didn’t have—you didn’t have money to go out and commission matching speed suits, like I’m suggesting. Like, you were just lucky to be there and that was enough.

crosstalk

Daniel: That was— Lana: [Disbelieving.] You know, we grew up in the same place. So, he can’t [laughing]—like—

jesse

Well, I—what I’m struck by is a man trying to convince us of a class argument against being extra, who has a master’s degree in theatre. [Lana and John cackle.]

daniel

Jesse, that’s a—that’s a MFA, actually, Jesse. [Jesse and John agree, laughing.]

john

Would you feel very self-conscious wearing one of these shirts? Would you not be able to enjoy yourself?

daniel

I think I could enjoy myself. I think I could do it. However, I think there are other things that we can do that show unity as a family and creativeness that isn’t as saccharine, that isn’t as—I feel—superficial. There’s an—there’s a authenticity that’s lost when you force the group to do something together, right? We can find a way to get everything you wanna do but do it in a way that everyone can express their own personalities and creativeness. And I would argue that that would make them even more involved and mooore wanna participate in these family outings. Especially as our daughter’s going off to college.

jesse

What are you arguing for? Complicated secret handshake?

daniel

[Laughing.] I wouldn’t mind saying, “We’re gonna go dressed in a general theme.” Let’s just say, “Hey, we’re all gonna—let’s wear—we’re going to Harry Potter World, so let’s wear Harry Potter shirts.” I don’t mind doing that. It’s just the “Perez Power” on the t-shirts?! Seems a little much, to me.

john

I think it’s LanaUnderPressure.com, now, is what it—we decided on. But okay. [Lana and Jesse laugh.] Well, good news for you, Dan. Your children agree with you. We have, here, an exhibit—a letter, an affidavit from your children, Dan Jr. and Lily, and I’ll read it. “The reason as to why we prefer not to wear matching shirts, especially when going to a theme park—i.e., Disney, Universal.” Boy, they’re your kids, alright. “Is because—"

jesse

[Listlessly.] Disney. Universal. Marine.

john

Marine. [Chuckles.] EP. That’s short for EPCOT. Can’t think of another one. Actsh. That’s short for the late, lamented Action Park, New Jersey. Also known as Traction Park. Lotta people got—

daniel

Traction Park, yes.

john

Lotta people got baaad, bad bruises and burns. “The reason we prefer not to wear matching shirts is because it is flat-out obnoxious. We understand that wearing matching shirts to a convention or other event is appropriate. However, if we were to listen to our mom’s plan and wear something that is themed specifically for our family—such as a last name or a family slogan.” LanaUnderPressure.com. “It comes off as very annoying! The reason for this is whenever we see a family with matching shirts, it’s as if they’re screaming, [mockingly] ‘We’re a better more perfect family than you!’” That’s—I—that’s my acting. How did I do? Good? I don’t have an MFA, or whatever, alright.

daniel

That was—no, that was really—

jesse

I’ve got a phone call here from Disney! They say you’re hired! [Lana giggles.]

john

Oh boy! “We don’t care how good your relationship is with your family members, we just want to wait [chuckles] on five-hour lines to go on rides. And, of course, at the end of the day it’s a little embarrassing, since we’re such a small family. We can see if you’re a huge group and need to spot people in a crowded park by having matching shirts, but there are four of us. It seems extreme, irritating, and dumb. Thanks, Daniel and Lily.”

crosstalk

Lana: Wow. Daniel: Ouch

john

Strong. It’s a strong argument. Dumb. Your children say it’s dumb. Teenagers, boy oh boy, Lana. It does—I think that the concern is that it feels performative.

lana

He’s an actor and my daughter goes to school for theatre! What—and my son does background work in movies, and then—

john

That’s work! This is play! [Lana laughs.] This is play! You just wanna disappear into the crowd! Alright. And as for my verdict, I’m gonna have to go into my chambers in a moment. Before I do… Lana, this is all a thought experiment, right now. If I were to rule in your favor, however, what precisely would you have me rule?

lana

That at least—and I’m only asking for one day during our vacation. So, not the whole vacation, just one day, that we wear matching, family-themed shirts that are matching. And then, once a year, we take one good quality, like—you know, like professional quality, cheesy family photo. The reason I got The Simpsons one done is because they refuse to do those—you know, like the professional photos on the beach, where everybody’s wearing the white shirts and the jeans? [Laughing.] And—

daniel

[Dryly.] Kill me. Kill me.

lana

[Defensively.] You know! That everybody has in their—in their living room! I don’t have those. So, this was kind of—you know—it was like, “Well, nobody can say no,” because it was all me just sending the artist pictures and they couldn’t—[laughing] they couldn’t say no!

daniel

That sounds so sad!

lana

But it’s the—well! But it’s the only family—

john

Wait, so Daniel you—you didn’t want this Simpsons family photo?

daniel

I love The Simpsons—and in fact, it was a Father’s Day gift to me! [Lana and John agree.] So, I loved it! She did it as a surprise. What I don’t wanna do is the matching all-white on the beach, awkward family photo.

john

Alright, first of all… Lana, you can’t introduce a new request at the end of the case. [Lana laughs.] I’m hearing one case at a time, here. And I’m gonna—I’m gonna say—what is it? White t-shirt and jeans? On the beach? [Lana laughs.]

daniel

That is correct.

john

No, that’s not gonna happen. Sorry.

sound effect

Three gavel bangs.

lana

[Laughing.] Okay, so then just matching themed shirts, but we’ll take a picture at the park. [John agrees.] So, [laughing] that way I’ll have a picture of us all matching. How about that?

john

Alright, I feel that. Daniel… what would you have me rule, if I were to rule in your favor? I’ve already ruled against t-shirt and jeans on the beach family photo.

daniel

Thank you. And I recognize that and appreciate it. If you rule in my favor, I would ask that we find a different way that is not requiring everyone to wear the exact matching shirt. I would also request that we do not come up with a family superhero slogan. Especially “Perez power”. [John makes an “ugh” sound.] But! I really—I will follow your advice, Judge Hodgman, your ruling. I just feel like there are other ways that we can accomplish the same thing.

john

But what is the way?

daniel

Weeell, um—[laughs.] That’s a good question.

john

You come to me with no—with no alternative.

daniel

Your honor, I really don’t have an alternate solution. [Laughs.] I’m just asking for no matchy-match and no “Perez Power”.

john

No matchy-match. No matchy-match.

lana

[Sadly.] Wooow.

jesse

[Laughing.] He wants to save “Perez Power” so he can trademark it for his business consultant. [Everyone laughs.] [Dramatically.] With my Perez Power System, your ethics…

john

Are going to go sky high! You’ll be moving Kia Sorentos faster than ever! But this time, by telling the truth! Is that a—is that a car? Is Kia Sorento? [Jesse confirms.]

daniel

It is! That was accurate!

john

Okay. And I’ll—right. Accurate. Okay. Cute. That’s the first thing I care about, in this podcast. Alright, I’ve heard everything I need to in order to make my decision. Who am I kidding? I’m not going anywhere. You can see where I am. There’s no—there’s no magic, anymore. We’re all just peering into each other’s lives as we sit here, in our pajamas. But I’m gonna think for a minute. I’ll be back, in a moment, with my decision. [Footstep sounds and the scraping of chairs.]

jesse

Please rise as Judge John Hodgman exists the courtroom. Lana, how are you feeling about your chances, here?

lana

N-not feeling good, actually. [Laughs.] I thought when I started—when I wrote it out to send it, I was like, “Of course they’re gonna rule for my—like, why wouldn’t they wanna rule for a cute family to wear, just, matching shirts together as a family walking through the park?! How sweet!” And now, I don’t know. [Laughs.] I mean, now I’m thinking—not feeling good, Bailiff.

jesse

[Laughs.] Daniel, how are you feeling?

daniel

I’m not feeling good, either. I don’t think I thought this through. I don’t think there’s a—this is a no-win scenario for Danny-boy, over here. [They laugh.]

jesse

We do try and make sure Judge John Hodgman is an “everybody loses” situation. [Laughs.]

daniel

I think we’re gonna be both mutually dissatisfied. [They laugh.]

jesse

Do you think your family could maybe start a new Disneyland gang? You think that might be in the cards?

daniel

[Excited.] Oh my—Lana, I’d be—

lana

That would be awesome! I would be so into that. While he was talking about the jean jackets, I was already putting them together in my head.

daniel

[Weakly.] Oh. Oh no. Nooo. [Jesse laughs.]

lana

I got my bedazzler out! I’m ready!

daniel

[Sadly.] She’s not even kidding. [They laugh.]

jesse

You know what I wanna do? I wanna join one of these—you know they have Rockabilly gangs in contemporary Tokyo? [Daniel and Lana confirm emphatically.] I wanna join one of these modern Rockabilly gangs. I’ve met a few of these Japanese Rockabilly guys at, like, menswear things—that have giant pompadours and stuff. It’s the greatest. I mean, it’s completely ridiculous. But it is fantastic. Okay, well, we’ll see what Judge Hodgman has to say about all this when we come back in just a second, on the Judge John Hodgman podcast.

sound effect

Three gavel bangs.

promo

Music: Tense sci-fi music. [Speaker 1 narrates in voiceover intercut with dialogue from the show.] Speaker 1: Strange planets, curious technology, and a fantastic vision of the distant future. Featuring Martin Starr. Martin Starr: So, we're going on day 14. Shuttle still hasn't come. Speaker 1: Aparna Nancherla. Aparna Nancherla: [Cheerful and electronic] The security system provides you with emotional security! You do the rest! Speaker 1: Echo Kellum. Echo Kellum: Can you disconnect me, or not? Speaker 1: Hari Kondabolu. Hari Kondabolu: I'm staying. Speaker 1: From Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Geoffrey McGivern. Geoffrey McGivern: Could you play Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun"? Speaker 1: It's The Outer Reach: Stories from Beyond. Speaker 2: Now available for free at MaximumFun.org, or anywhere you listen. [Music fades out.]

sound effect

Three gavel bangs.

jesse

Judge Hodgman, we’re taking a break from the case. You’ve got your Instagram Live telephone program. [John chuckles.] That you’re doing. That’s—

john

[Laughing.] That’s right, Jesse.

jesse

That’s what it’s called, right?

john

I—yeah. I—my name is John Hodgman. I used to be on TV a lot. Now, I’m home alone a lot. Like we all are. And so, I’m reaching out via fake TV—that is to say, Instagram TV—with a daily, weekday, daytime talk show called Get Your Pets, where I interview people’s cats and dogs and other pets. I’ve interviewed Cocoa and Sissy, at your house, Jesse, before. I’ve interviewed George the Dog, at Jennifer Marmor’s house. All delightful pets. I’ve met all kinds of people all over the world, with their cockatiels and their snakes and their emus. It’s just a delightful 90 minutes every weekday—except for Fridays, when we go for 2 hours. And you can always find out when I’m gonna do it by going to my Instagram, at Instagram.com/johnhodgman, where I announce every morning the time where I do it. It’s usually 4PM, Eastern. But sometimes, for example, I’ve gotta record Judge John Hodgman, so I have to do it earlier! And sometimes, I have to record pickups and little extras for other podcasts, such as I, Podius! Wait a minute, John Hodgman, you said I, Podius is over? Well, those of you in the know, know that a final, bonus, reunion episode of I, Podius dropped on the 11th. Our 13th episode, lucky 13. You thought it was over! But history is never over! It continues. And this was the episode in which Elliott Kalan and I, and our producer Jordan Kauwling, all got together for the first time in the studio—at MaximumFun HQ. Boy, that seems like a long time ago. And we all basically just had a chance to finally catch up on what a wild, wonderful, weird journey it was to watch this show together, to hear from Jordan’s mom, Avis. To talk to members of the cast. To listen to everyone’s letters and reminiscences of watching I, Claudius in Latin class and getting traumatized. It was a lot of fun. And one thing that’s come up over the course of it, that I didn’t realize would happen, is that Acorn TV—which is an amazing streaming service focusing on the best in British, Irish, and Australian programming, which has I, Claudius on its service, came in and offered to underwriter us, as they say in the old PBS term. And I was thrilled, because I’ve been an Acorn member for a long time. And so, we agreed. And one of the things that I realized was that people hearing about I, Podius might feel like, “I don’t know where to get I, Claudius. I don’t know whether I should start up again.” And I just feel remiss if I don’t that Acorn is offering, for listeners of I, Podius, a free 30-day trial. That’s an extended trial period. That’s all the time in the world that you need to watch I, Claudius, if you’re home and wanting to start a new show. Just go to Acorn.tv. Promo code is “podius”, P-O-D-I-U-S. And if you haven’t been listening to I, Podius or watching I, Claudius—now’s a great time to start! And I don’t say this because it’s bringing a huge—a huge amount of wealth to the—to the Roman Empire of Hodgman and Kalan, here. It’s mostly that we love the show I, Claudius. We loved making I, Podius. And we’re grateful for Acorn’s support. So, if you wanted to start, because you’ve run out of whatever other show you were watching, this is a great way to do it. Acorn.tv, promo code “podius”. P-O-D-I-U-S. Jesse Thorn, what do you got goin’ on?

jesse

Well, I got a really nice tweet, the other day, from a guy named Michael—who is a long-time Judge John Hodgman listener. He listens to a lot of MaxFun podcasts but started as a Judge John Hodgman listener. And he said—he told me that he just checked out Bullseye, the other day. He listened to my interview with Ben Schwartz—who was, of course, of Middleditch & Schwartz and was the—played Sonic the Hedgehog in Sonic the Hedgehog, Jean Ralphio on Parks and Recreation. And he said, “I just listened to Jesse Thorn’s interview with Ben Schwartz. Now I’m fairly certain I’m gonna go back through the whole Bullseye archive.” And I am—I’m really grateful to him for doing that. And he’s tweeted at me a couple of thoughts about Bullseye episodes that he particularly liked. Bullseye is my arts and culture interview show that runs on NPR stations around the country. And I would love for people who are Judge John Hodgman listeners, who are looking for something to check out, to check out Bullseye. We’ve had… Ed Helms was on the show, recently. Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top was on the show, recently. [John whistles.] Both of those were great. Christoph Waltz was on the show. The great Nikki Glaser was on the show. Uuh, this week, Eugene Mirman is on the show with a both very funny and very moving conversation. And we just reran two interviews that I did with the late Bill Withers, who died about—let’s see, I guess maybe two months ago, now—who was a real hero of mine and who I still can’t believe I got the chance to talk to, on two occasions. And he’s very wise and he a was very wise and brilliant man. As well as being very funny for being one of the greatest American songwriters of the 20th century. So, I would recommend that everybody go check out Bullseye, like Michael did. You might find something you like! You just go through those episodes and see what name jumps out at you.

john

I absolutely agree. I love Bullseye and I listen to it very week. Jesse Thorn, you’re one of the great conversationalists. So, thank you very much for bringing it to us.

jesse

Thank you! Let’s get back to the case!

sound effect

Three gavel bangs.

jesse

[Footsteps and the squealing of chairs against a wooden floor.] Please rise as Judge John Hodgman enters the courtroom and presents his verdict.

john

So, this has been a very tough one to consider, because—not because I don’t feel a basic, emotional response to these arguments. I mean, I look at this family drawn in the style of The Simpsons, and these kids are big. They’re growing up! They’re going away. And this is gonna be hard! Like, you know, we have—kids who are sort of a little bit behind your kids, and we’re getting ready to lose them. And it’s a very heavy thing to think about. Bailiff Jesse Thorn, you don’t know what it’s like, because your kids are all under the age of 10, and I’m so much happier to be me. [Jesse chuckles.] ‘Cause it’s hard—hard in a different way, to have kids under the age of 10.

jesse

Yeah, all I do is long for my kids to leave. [Laughs.]

john

Yep. It’s a—look, there are a lot of emotions in parenting. And, baseline, like—you should do what your mom wants you to do. Wear a shirt, make her happy! It’s a baseline emotional response. The hard part was to figure out—there’s so many different ways that, with my ruling, I could make you all miserable! For my own amusement. [Beat.] I could order you guys to go to Disneyworld all wearing Phantom of the Opera t-shirts. [Jesse wheezes a laugh.]

daniel

[Softly.] Oooh nooo.

john

As an homage!

jesse

Matching Looney Tunes gear?

john

You could all be wearing Starlight Express shirts! But I realized that… making your kids wear that Phantom of the Opera shirt—while it would be wonderfully humiliating to them—it would not honor the truth of your relationship, which is that it started when you were—when you were young. And when, Dan, you were a little bit more pliable. Little bit more agreeable. It started long before you knew that you were going to have kids. And it represents a period of time, going into the future, when—you know—those kids’ll be off into their own lives and all you guys will have are the two of you and your Phantom shirts. [They let out soft, muted laughs.] So, their kids don’t deserve to wear a Phantom of the Opera t-shirt. That’s for you two, alone! So, then I’m like, “Well, then what am I gonna do?” ‘Cause the other aspect of it is this, Lana: if I get everyone to wear a matching “Perez Power” t-shirt, and give you exactly what you want… I get it. I get the idea of having your family together, fulfilling your dream, in a dreamworld, that isn’t going to last. I don’t think you’re gonna be able to handle it, Lana. I think you’re gonna break down the minute you see it. I think you’re gonna just—you’re starting to cry, now! I can see it! [Lana sniffles through laughter.] You’re crying just talking about! This is gonna be waterworks the entire time! There’s gonna be a whole Splash Mountain coming outta your face! That’s how bad it’s gonna be. And also! That’s gonna be hard—I mean, maybe cathartic, but I’m a—I’m worried of finding in your favor, under the request that you’ve made. Because I think it’s gonna be a really heavy day in the Magic Kingdom! And also, these kids, they’re adults now. They can’t be dressed by their mom. They gotta be able to pick their own lives, now. You had a chance. You had your chance to make them wear a thing. Ages 0 through probably 12. That was your chance. [Beat.] Probably the boy until 16, right? ‘Cause he probably didn’t even know where his shirts were. So, he needed you. [Lana agrees with a laugh.] And Daniel is a—is a part—you know, you’ve done the damage. You’ve made him wear Phantom of the Opera, before. He’s done his work, wants to experience himself. Experience in his own way. So, here’s what I’m gonna say: I will not allow matching t-shirts with “Perez Power”. [Lana makes a disappointed sound.] However. Dan, you are the author of your own fate. Welcome to your new gang, The Tigger Kings Social Club. [Everyone cackles.]

lana

[Delighted.] That’s amazing! YES!

john

How could I not? It’s just too compelling an idea. Jessie Char is also an extremely talented designer. I’m going to consult with her to design a Tigger Kings Social Club patch, for you. I know a guy who makes patches. It’s gonna be a recognizable patch that you’re all going to wear on a piece of clothing, when you go.

lana

Oh my goodness, that’s awesome.

john

That way you, Dan, Dan Jr., and Lily can all style themselves however they want, but they gotta wear the Tigger Kings SC patch. [Lana giggles.] And, meanwhile, in the traditions of moms embarrassing their children and husbands through time immemorial, you get out your bedazzler and your denim vest and you do it up. That’s called LanaUnderPressure.com! This is the sound of a gavel. [A “sproing!” sound.] Judge John Hodgman rules. That is all. [The sound of footsteps and chairs squealing against the floor.]

jesse

Please rise as Judge John Hodgman exits the courtroom. [A thump of a microphone being fumbled.] Lana, I heard you scream in exultation.

lana

I was trying to stay quiet, but that was amazing! [Laughs.] That’s the best!

jesse

Dan, how do you feel?

daniel

I feel like I’m gonna be wearing a denim jacket bedazzled.

john

You don’t have to wear a denim jacket bedazzled.

crosstalk

Daniel: Oh, I don’t! Lana: That was my jacket! John: No! She could— Lana: Like I wear it. Daniel: Oh! John: Anyone can do whatever they want!

daniel

God bless you, sir.

john

You could wear a jumpsuit. That’s my recommendation. [They laugh.]

lana

I think you should dress up like the tiger king.

daniel

I think it’s a fair decision. I think it’s a fair decision. Everybody’s gonna be able to express themselves. This is gonna be a great time. Are you happy? [Lana confirms enthusiastically.] Okay.

jesse

Lana, Daniel, thanks for joining us on the Judge John Hodgman podcast.

crosstalk

Daniel: Thank you. Lana: Thank you so much!

sound effect

Three gavel bangs.

jesse

Another Judge John Hodgman case, kapow! In the books! Before we dispense Swift Justice, our thanks to Megan Hodgekiss for naming this week’s episode, “Right of Shirt’s Refusal”. If you wanna name a future episode, just like Judge John Hodgman on Facebook. We regularly put out calls for submissions, there. You can follow us on Twitter, @JesseThorn and @Hodgman. Hashtag your Judge John Hodgman tweets, #JJHo and check out the MaxFun subreddit, at MaximumFun.reddit.com to chat about this episode. We’re on Instagram, @JudgeJohnHodgman, as well as on our personal accounts: @JohnHodgman and @PutThisOn. Make sure to follow us there for evidence and other fun stuff. Our producer is the ever-capable Ms. Jennifer Marmor, as aided by a giant barrel of pretzels that her dad sent her.

john

And, hey Jesse, let me also plug the Instagram of Jessie Char, our friend—thank you so much, Jessie, for all the deep background information on the social clubs at Disney. Jessie Char is doing some amazing stuff. She is of Hawaiian heritage and she’s doing some amazing stuff about Hawaiian foodways and cooking in her own, personal bunker—over there in San Francisco, and it’s all on her Instagram. It’s @Jessie. J-E-S-S-I-E. She was an early adopter. Check her out. She’s great.

jesse

Now, Swift Justice, where we answer your small dispute with quick judgement. Gaieda asks: “Is a book a device? I say yes, because it’s a form of technology. My friend said no, because it’s not mechanical or electronic.”

john

[Laughs.] Wow! I had forgotten that we did Swift Justice. I had forgotten to even check this one before we recorded it. And it is a true throwback to, “Is a machine gun a robot?” Is a book a device? [Beat.] Uuuuuh… what do you think, Jesse?

jesse

I don’t think that is. I think a device…

john

I mean, let me put it this way: would you call it a gizmo?

jesse

I certainly wouldn’t call it a gizmo.

john

Then you can’t call it a device. Sorry, Gaieda. I’m with the bailiff on this one. If it’s a device, it’s a gizmo.

jesse

[Chuckles.] That’s it for this week’s episode. Submit your cases at MaximumFun.org/jjho or email Hodgman@MaximumFun.org. No case is too small. We’ll see you next time, on the Judge John Hodgman podcast.

sound effect

Three gavel bangs.

music

A cheerful guitar chord.

speaker 1

MaximumFun.org.

speaker 2

Comedy and culture.

speaker 3

Artist owned—

speaker 4

—audience supported.

About the show

Have your pressing issues decided by Famous Minor Television Personality John Hodgman, Certified Judge. If you’d like John Hodgman to solve your pressing issue, please contact us HERE.

Follow @judgejohnhodgman on Instagram to view evidence from the cases tried in court.

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