Mr. Hodgman strikes out for loopier territory, in an impersonation of Ayn Rand, whom he recalls watching with fascination on the “Phil Donahue Show” (of all things) in the late 1970s.
Stripping down to his underwear (thanks!) to don a hilariously fusty frock, Mr. Hodgman employs a thick pseudo-Russian accent to impersonate Rand in a role she never played, as advice columnist for Parade magazine, the middlebrow Sunday newspaper supplement. In between urging readers to live up to their birthright, the right to be utterly selfish, she makes cranky comments about the difficulty of opening soda cans and the cultural scourge that is Alan Alda.
Even Mr. Donahue’s wife, Marlo Thomas, must be upbraided for spreading an evil philosophy: that popular self-esteem-boosting children’s album she produced would not be so bad, Rand insists, if only she’d called it “Free to Be ... Only Me.”
I read this a few days ago and thought to myself I must see this. And then I slacked off only to find out that no tickets are available. Dammit Hodgman, now all I have is your New Yorker piece Ask Ayn Rand.