When I first did the deranged millionaire character for They Might Be Giants — that was in 2003, I think — it was one of the first on-camera things that I did.


RS: So you were actually in the music videos? I haven’t seen those.


JH: I did interstitial bits between series of music videos in which I played an unnamed deranged millionaire and an enemy of They Might Be Giants who was, just for his own amusement, torturing them by forcing them to write and perform a different song for each venue they played at on tour. And I made that because at the time, I thought it was a hilarious joke that I would ever be anything other than, at best, a deranged thousandaire.


Without going into my personal finances, the money that I earned, and the doors that going on television opened to other earning opportunities, was a huge change in my life compared to what I was earning, even as the author of a best-selling book, and writing for one of the best magazines in the country, The New York Times Magazine. So for the first time in my life, I was financially independent. Like, truly financially independent, like a grown-up. Do you know what I mean?