How John Hodgman persuaded Bruce Campbell to write his memoirs
The 'Evil Dead' actor's new book is out Aug. 15
John Hodgman is an author and comedian, best known for his many appearances on The Daily Show. But did you also know that, during his earlier career as a literary agent, Hodgman was the one who suggested Bruce Campbell write what would turn out to be the Evil Dead actor’s bestselling 2002 memoir, If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor?
“John Hodgman was the guy that sent me an email aeons ago, more than 15 years ago, saying, ‘Hey, ever thought about writing a book?'” Campbell said in an interview with Sirius XM’s Entertainment Weirdly show Monday. “He had read some internet stuff, some early crude website stories, that I had put up. And I’m like ‘Eh…’ But he’s the one that came up with the angle of, ‘You know, most of these books, they’re the A-movie people. It’s Charlton Heston writing a book, it’s a book about Judy Garland. Well, most people are not Charlton Heston, most singers are not Judy Garland.'”
A decade-and-a-half on, Hodgman has written the introduction to Campbell’s second memoir, Hail to the Chin: Further Confessions of a B Movie Actor (see cover, below), which continues to details the highs and lows of his life as a famous — but not famous famous — actor.
“The B-movie side of the tracks, the working stiff side… is most of the people in the industry,” says Campbell. “‘B’ doesn’t mean bad to me. It means you have less money, you’re working with stars that are not as big, people are less experienced, and you’re doing stuff that is, you know, a little rough around the edges. But… we work every bit as hard, probably harder, than the A-list people. We work longer hours, we don’t have the giant PR machine behind us. So, when our movies succeed, it’s more because you got good word-of-mouth, not because you were on a Taco Bell drink cup. So it’s interesting to see how [the industry] has continued to evolve. I think the trick is trying to tap dance as fast as you can.”
Hail to the Chin: Further Confessions of a B Movie Actor is out tomorrow. Watch the book’s trailer above, and hear the full interview with Campbell on Entertainment Weirdly, on Sirius XM’s Entertainment Weekly channel (SiriusXM 105) at 1PM ET on Aug. 21.