March 9th, 2013 | by JAY HORTON Arts & Books | Posted In: Comedy

Know-It-All John Hodgman Knows a Lot in Portland

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On Thursday evening, March 7, the contestants battling for prize money at the bar trivia night hosted by Portland mainstay trivia-host Shanrock at her Triviology challenge at La Merde, the bar in the back of long-running Le Bistro Montage restaurant, faced an unexpected challenge.

Daily Show "resident expert"/Bored To Death regular/PC embodiment John Hodgman wandered into Le Bistro Montage lounge halfway through. Wearing a dark windbreaker with thick glasses and thicker mustache, Hodgman sipped a martini and spoke with a few friends as trivia jockey and Shanrock founder Shannon Donaldson introduced the sixth round of the competition. 

Under the somewhat eccentric format of Donaldson's Triviology—a fanciful elaboration of traditional pub quizzes created by Donaldson eight years ago and currently hosted at a dozen local bars—one of the trivia rounds offers successively more obvious nuggets of information about a singular person, place, or thing. As Hodgman wandered into the bar after appearing at the Bagdad Theater, the theme was "I Am A Walrus."  

Turns out Hodgman's know-it-all persona isn't just for show.

Shanrock's crowd was regaled with a barrage of factoids, in the style of a Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me teaser. 

It's one of Canada's three maritime provinces, host Donaldson said. It was initially inhabited by the Mi’kmaq people, she said. It was once considered the 14th colony. 

Hodgman was the first to raise his hand, and he correctly identified Nova Scotia. 

During the final round, a Name That Tune-styled test of musical references, Hodgman aided nearby team "Linda Is A Whore" by correctly identifying the theme music for the Claire Daines Showtime series Homeland



"Hodgman, you're killing me!" shouted a member of (eventual champions) Blood Fart. The author responded with a broad smirk. 

"I didn't recognize him," said host Donaldson after the event, "but people came up afterwards and said he was famous. 'The guy with the mustache?' 

"I was impressed, though. When people walk into the bar midway through a game, they usually blurt out answers as soon as they hear the question. Hodgman stayed quiet, and he didn't even know the rules!"

If the Mac-pitchman ever needs the skrilla, it turns out he'd have a solid chance of winning arch-conservative flack Ben Stein's money, after all.
 
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