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Toby Barlow

Toby Barlow

Posted: September 15, 2006 02:22 PM

Bill Gates morphs into George Plimpton


You know those new Apple ads where the guy who vaguely resembles Bill Gates gets his comeuppance from the kid who looks a little like Steve Jobs?

The Gates character is played by none other than John Hodgman, author of the brilliant and hilarious collection "The Areas of My Expertise." To promote the paperback edition of his book, Mr. Hodgman is currently running a print ad that is a homage to the old campaign George Plimpton did for Intellivision, a video game that disappeared under the couch something like four score years ago.

Over at the oak paneled offices of The Plimpton Project, we were quite amused, though we thought the ad's allusion would probably escape general notice. For while we work daily to preserve the memory of George Plimpton, it doesn't always seem like the rest of the world shares our obsession.

Imagine our pleasant surprise then when the bloggiest blogs in the blogosphere, Gawker and Boing Boing, both went to town on the ad.

Apparently the memory of Mr. Plimpton is alive and well. As is the memory of Intellivision.

Making the world an even smaller one, the winner of our recent Plimpton Song Contest was Jonathan Coulton, who wrote this lovely piece. Mr. Coulton is known for, among other things, providing musical accompaniment at the live readings of - yes - John Hodgman.

It's nice to know that in a slightly bizarre, and completely irrelevant way, it's still a small, small world.