John Hodgman in George Plimpton homage

As I flipped to “Talk of the Town” in the latest issue of the New Yorker, I was immediately taken aback by the full-page ad on the facing page.

The first thing I noticed was John Hodgman, (probably) better known as “The PC” in the recent Apple ads. Here he was not playing the straight man to Justin Long‘s cool, laid-back Mac, but rather hawking his own book, The Areas of My Expertise. But what really got me was the ad itself. It was a perfect send-up of the old George Plimpton ads for Intellivision in the early ’80s, wherein he compared Atari’s Home Run against Mattel’s Major League Baseball.

Here, Hodgman’s spoof pits Intellivision against “Complete World Knowledge.”

It’s a fairly obscure ad to parody, but I’m glad to see that I’m not the only person who caught the reference. John Hodgman’s own blog explains a bit more here and here.

And, since I understand the ephemeral nature of the Internet (better than I understand the definition of “ephemeral,” in fact), I’ve grabbed the two images from Flickr just so this post doesn’t become incomprehensible in a month. (Yes, I think my blog entries have more staying power than Flickr.)

George Plimpton in Intellivision ad
John Hodgman in John Hodgman ad