All The Great Shows

All The Great Shows is one of the most famous bits of the show. It has been introduced in Episode 125 of Roderick on the Line.

The origin of "All the Great Shows" (RL125)

At one time around 2000-2005, John was standing with Sean Nelson at a bar. A guy came up and said "Hi!", but John mistook him for someone else and replied "Oh hi, great to see you, great show the other night!" The guy countered "What show?" and John realized his mistake. The guy was also a guitar player which made the whole encounter extra-awkward, so John just threw out "All the great shows! Big fan!" Sean will still today once in a while say to John "All the great shows".

John's awkward moment with Dan Harmon (RL125)

At XOXO 2014, some guys wanted John to meet Dan Harmon although John himself didn't think so, but why not? Jonathan Coulton had shown him this one Christmas episode of Community that they had done as a musical and John found it very charming, but otherwise he hadn't seen any program by Dan Harmon, meaning that John was not technically a big fan.

John had just gotten off stage after giving a presentation he was very proud of and Dan Harmon was the next presenter, but it would become clear that Dan had not seen John's presentation. John being introduced to Dan and Dan replying "Oh, hey! I really liked the talk that you just gave!" would have been a good introduction, but that was not what was going to happen. John entered the room where Dan Harmon was pacing, communicating the kind of energy that makes it clear that he is the lion, he is in charge of the room, and he is the reason the room was built! The room was only built to house Dan Harmon for this short amount of time. John likes this kind of energy from a grey beard who feels that every room in the world was built to house him. He put out his hand and greeted Dan Harmon with "Hi, nice to meet you! Big fan!" - "Oh yeah? Fan of what?" and John replied "You know, some of your old shows!" - "Which one?" Maybe Dan had sensed that he had gotten John on the ropes as he was walking into the lion's den covered in fucking hamburger. John stumbled "Eh Eh Eh… Community!" - "You mean the one that is back on the air now?" and everybody in the room was watching a lion take apart a lamb.

John was clinging to the tail lights of the "Big fan!" train that was disappearing in the mist as he was standing there. Part of him wanted to say "You got me, I've never seen anything you've done, I just read your name once in Wired magazine and I wanted to be part of it for a second", but Dan pressed in, so John was trying to divert the conversation to Joel McHale, who is a fan of John's band The Long Winters. As he started pivoting with "Actually, I know a couple of people on your show!", he didn't remember Joel McHale's name, because he has a name that is like "Nick Drake", a name that Marco Arment calls a "snap-to-grid name", and as Dan asked agin "Who?", John still couldn't remember the name. "I know two people on your show that I have lots of stories about that we can talk about, but I don't remember any of their names!" - "Who?" - "Some actors that are on your show!" John could smell the diesel oil coming out of Dan's ears, he platted both feet, leaned in and said "Tell me more about the actors on my shows that you know!" John was nervous, not because he was talking to his hero, but because he was shoving feet in his mouth. Eventually Dan stopped talking, John stopped talking, they looked at each other and John remembered Joel McHale's name.

This whole encounter did not last very long, but it felt like 1000 years. It was instructive to John, because he is normally good at social lubricant like "Big fan! Great to see you!" and does it frequently himself. He probably picked up his dad's way of moving through a crowd while not remembering people's names. "Counsellor!", something like that. John is pretty good at that. If Dan Harmon would have come to John and said "Big fan!", John would have said the same thing "Of what?" That is Show Biz!

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