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John Hodgman: Ragnarok (2013)

TV-14 | | Comedy, Music | Video 1 June 2013
The deranged millionaire John Hodgman plays his last Ragnarok stand-up comedy show on the last day of human history: December 21, 2012.

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Cynthia J. Hopkins ...
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Joel Ronson ...
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Storyline

On December 21, 2011, John Hodgman predicted that a series of major catastrophes would strike the planet in one year, ending life on earth as we know it. On December 21, 2012, he gathered his followers to a former warehouse on the shore of the Gowanus Canal to greet their fate together. This is the only document of that evening. Written by J.H.

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stand up comedy | apocalypse | See All (2) »

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Comedy | Music

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1 June 2013 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Vanessa Bayer from Saturday Night Live is interviewed at the beginning of the special, about the end of the world. See more »

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2012
By Lawrence Parker
Performed by KRS-ONE
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User Reviews

Mostly doesn't work and has surprisingly few good laughs
12 January 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I'm a Daily Show fan and have generally enjoyed the deranged millionaire character he plays in his segments satirizing the actions of the wealthy. I also have enjoyed him in his support for projects like You Look Nice Today and other such things, so I was looking forward to this Netflix project. The concept of the standup show is that the world is coming to an end (called Ragnarok in Norse mythology) so Hodgman has gathered his followers together in one place (a comedy club n Brooklyn) to prepare for the end of everything. While they wait he make observations, talks preparations and sends a teenage boy out onto the street.

I was curious how this deranged millionaire character would work outside of the structured bits on the Daily Show and after watching this show I am not sure that it does. Hodgman doesn't really use this character very well here and there is nothing specific that justifies it beyond the "higher than you" stance he takes. From this position he gets a few good laughs but mostly the material is at best amusing and mostly not even that. It is very odd to sit and listen to him talk about jars of mayo and urine and other such things needed to be hoarded, because while he talks I'm thinking "there are no laughs here" and generally this is the case. The audience seem to feel the same way – they are unusually subdued and it can be a little painful to see some of those in the front rows really not having a great time. Bits involving Joel Ronson (son of the writer) just offer nothing, while the appearance of Hopkins just seems too big a change in tone and throws the show off. Adsit is the only bit that actually seems to be consistently funny as an idea.

A real shame – I wanted to like it but although I did get a few laughs, I generally was surprised by how little of it worked and how much of it seemed baggy and unfocused. Hodgman can be very funny when he has material and structure – and with Ragnarok he doesn't have enough of either.


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