Every decade brings forth an odd figure upon whom celebrity is conveyed in contravention of prevailing dictates and standards, someone who, when you look back years later, seems to somehow capture the essence of the era in a way that was not apparent at the time. It may be too early yet to determine who will represent the zeitgeist of the oughts (or whatever the hell we're calling this decade; can we please settle that already?), but our money's on Mac pitchman John Hodgman, who has turned a career as dude who had a column on the McSweeney's website into a multimedia extravaganza, and whose baffled nerd persona peers out at you from countless covers on neighborhood newsstands (see above). We've never heard a mean thing said about Mr. Hodgman, so we don't begrudge the success, but, dude, you might want to nip this overexposure in the bud before you become the '00s equivalent of Donovan Freberg. Just trying to help out.

Earlier: John Hodgman & George Plimpton United in Advertising