John Hodgman is what you might consider a food-world-adjacent celebrity: He’s never written his own cookbook or starred in a series of food-related videos, but he is a known food lover, a friend of the industry, and a regular sight at bars and restaurants around New York. So when Grub ran into him at this past weekend’s American Comedy Awards, we took the chance to chat him up. (And, since our reporter’s friend happens to know Hodgman, we knew we’d have the inside track on a hard-hitting, food-related line of questioning.) Read on to see what Hodgman has to say about Purina’s cat café and his desire to eat an entire bowl of mayonnaise.
I know you have a cat that you rescued — have you been following the Cat Café at all?
No, what’s that?
Oh, you’re so lucky you don’t know; I don’t know if I should tell you. Purina rented, like, a store for four days.
So far this could go in a number of bad directions.
What they’re doing is free coffee, free pastries, and like, 20 cats that are there for adoption. And the line has been like four hours long and they’ve been turning people away.
Are they strapping Cronuts to the backs of these cats?
I don’t know, but it’s been all over Twitter and The New Yorker’s written about it. Because people will look at cats on the internet.
How many of these cats are getting adopted?
Like, all of them. But people just want to touch them.
Yeah, why not touch some pre-screened cats in the café-type environment?
So, in addition to your cat, I asked Katey [a friend who knows Hodgman] if she had any recommendations for questions for you. She said, "He really likes mayo."
Yeah, that’s true. I do like mayonnaise.
What is it about mayo?
I don’t know, you just like the things that you like.
Yeah, but that is such a specific thing. Like, do you put it on everything?
There was a time in my youth where I said to my mother, "I think I’m just going to eat a bowl of mayonnaise."
Did you really?
Yeah. She said, "Please do not do that." And I took her advice. I’m still wondering if I made the right call … I don’t have a sweet tooth, but I do have an alcohol molar. And I’ll enjoy a martini at any given moment. And I also like salt and fat. Mayonnaise is a perfect combination of those things. When they figure out how to make mayonnaise alcoholic, that’s when I’ll stop making public appearances.