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Over the last couple years, John and Hank have bestowed upon the world some true gems of advice and anecdotes. We compiled some favorites in one episode for you to enjoy!

We'll be back with a regular episode next week, so if you're in need of dubious advice, email us at

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 (00:00) to (02:00)

(intro music)

Hank: Hello and welcome to Dear Hank and John!

H: (imitating an elderly woman's voice) Or as I like to think of it, Dear John and Hank.

H: It's a comedy podcast where two brothers, me, Hank Green, and

H: (higher pitched) me, John Green

H: bring you all the week's news from Mars and AFC Wimbledon, and we answer your questions and give you dubious advice. What's going on right now? Don't worry about it! I'll explain it in just a second. 

John, I was at a restaurant recently and the waiter said: "Hey, do you want to hear today's special?"

And I said "Yes,"

And the waiter said, "Today is special!" 

And today is special, in that John's not here and I'm all by myself. I don't even have a special guest, but we're doing a special thing for our 199th episode, and also because we lost our wills to live after Vidcon. So we have edited together an episode that is all of the best things that have happened in the last year or so. I hope that you enjoy!

What are we going to do for our 200th episode next week? I don't know! I don't have any plans! Probably nothing in particular, but, hey, if you've got ideas for us you can tweet them to me, but not to John cause he's not on the social internet. Are we gonna pretend to be alligators? That sounds like it could be fun. What noises do alligators make? What kind of advice do they give? I remember I was in Florida - I grew up there - and I have heard alligators. The only noise I remember them making is sort of a hissing noise, like [Hank hisses], and all I can tell you about that is if you can hear an alligator, you are too close.

Thank you for liking the things that we do. Enjoy!

 NewSection (0:05)

(swishing noise)

John: Dear John and Hank, my long-term girlfriend recently broke up with me, and after having something of a nervous breakdown, I found myself flying from my small liberal arts college in Ohio to Seattle, Washington for the weekend. This would not be so weird except that I had never been to Seattle, have no friends or family in Seattle, and was not aware of having had any particularly strong inclination to visit Seattle before the breakup. Now I've found myself living in a hostel with two very friendly Australian snowboarders and a dog named Snappy, but I still don't know why I'm here. [Hank chuckles]

 (02:00) to (04:00)

J: Any insight would be helpful.

H: It's not gonna hurt to try and be, like, okay - let's go get a fresh - let's go hang out with a dog named Scrappy - or Schappy - or Fl- Flappy - whatever it was!

J: [laughs] Those are all great dog names. [Hank chuckles]. I think we might have just discovered Hank's secret superpower! [Hank laughs]

H: What? What?

J: Give me - give me 20 good dog names right now, go!

H: Notebook, Jennifer, Pants,

J: Yes  

H: Alvin,

J: Yes. Great.

H: Tambourine,

J: Love it.

H: [laughs] Candle,

J: Yes!

H: Manhole, [pauses]

J: Nope! [Hank laughing] You - there - we got there. Nope! Okay, so it turns out - it was looking really good for a minute - but it turns out Hank does not have a secret superpower that allows him to name dogs. [Hank continues laughing]

H: Somebody send me a picture of your dog, Manhole!

H & J: [unintelligible speech while laughing]

H: You're gonna have to - any animal in your house - if you get a new pet and you name it Manhole [J: By f-], I'll send you [J: No, no] a free poster.

J: No. That is by far the worst dog name. [Hank laughing]. Like, everything before that - Alvin is a great dog name, Pants is a great dog name, you - you were on such a roll! Even Candle is a great dog name because it doesn't make any sense, I love it, but then - I mean you just went in the worst possible direction. [Hank laughs] Oh, man.

H: It's bad. I got- [John laughs] - that made me very nervous, John, I started to get sweaty, I got the meat sweats! I was like. "Oh gosh, I'm being put on the spot!" I don't know why! What a dumb thing to get nervous about!

J: Oh, man. [Both laughing]

(Swishing noise)

H: Dear Hank and John,
In the internship I have at my college this summer one of the major things I'm doing is calling prospective students to gauge their interest in school. Sometimes, though, I. have to call someone who has my same first name. It just feels very weird to leave a voicemail saying, "Hi, Lauren, this is Lauren." What should I do?

 (04:00) to (06:00)

H: You just gotta make a joke out of it, yeah?

J: No, you change your name. Not permanently,

H: Right.

J: Just for the sake of the call.

H: So, you sa-

J: The person doesn't care, frankly, if your name is Lauren, so-- and this, to me it gives you a great opportunity. Now you can only do this when you're calling Laurens, you can't do it every time cause it'll be seductive and super-fun and you'll want to do it every time and you can't. But every time you're calling a Lauren, they answer, they say hello, and you say, "Hi, this is Bette Midler from Florida State University." 

H: [Laughs]

J: And they say, "What?" And you say, "This is Bette Midler. I'm a student at Florida State University. I'm calling because I know you've been admitted to the school and I was just wondering how you feel about it."

H: [Laughing, high-pitched] How- I love that you chose Bette Midler

J: Well I just think it's the perfect- cause that's, that's a name that prospective college students will really resonate with, you know? Because they remember Wind Beneath My Wings.

H: Um, I, yes-

J: They saw Beaches.

H: Bette- Bette Midler is good. I think, I think in general like, something a little bit obscure is excellent. You could also be like, "Hi Lauren, this is Manhole. [John laughs] I'm calling from Florida State University and I'm just wanted to let you know that we're really in, in giving you as much information as you want on the great programs we have at FSU." [John still laughing in the background]

J: Ok, this is- you're on to something here Hank, which is that, what happens when - because nobody's listening to the beginning of the call anyway - what happens when you try an increasingly obscure [both laughing] and absurdist series of things, right? Like what happens if you're like, "Hi Lauren, uh, this is a gang of turkeys calling from Florida State University, there are seventeen of us. Um, we were just wondering how you feel about Florida State's excellent classical music program. We have four, uh, four classical music majors here among our gang of seventeen turkeys who are making this phone call. Be happy to connect you with one of them directly. I'm an anthro- anthropology major." 

H: [Laughing] "Hi- Hi, L- Lauren, this is... one scissor."

 (06:00) to (08:00)

[John laughs]

H: "Now, you may be thinking to yourself, Is that possible? Yes! Cause scissors are a pair of scissors, I'm just one of them. My pair- my other pair is- my other friend is calling a different Lauren right now." 

J: I'm basically a knife.

H: [Laughs] I think-

J: Anyway, 

H: Basically a knife with a loopy handle-

J: Anyway, how do you feel about FSU?

H: Anyway, FSU is really great. I've had a really, really positive experience here. 

J: Hey, Lauren. Have you ever been driving alone at night and you're filled with a sort of vague melancholy but not an unpleasant one? That's me! Here to call you about FSU!

H: [Bursts out laughing]

J: Whaddaya think? Would you like to go to college here? 

H: [Still laughing]

J: Don't feel pressure, I know there's a lot of great schools!

(Swishing noise)

H: Uh, John, I just made a huge mistake and looked up "saltine salad." Uh, and there is in fact a thing called a saltine salad. It's like a potato salad except [laughing] it's saltines instead of potatoes, it's just saltines crunched up, mixed with like mayonnaise and stuff, and I-

J: Oh-

H: Don't know how I feel about America anymore. [Laughs]

J: Oh... oh, no. Oh, God. It's like egg salad but without protein.

H: Yeah, they just put saltines in it.

J: Oh. Ok. I've seen- I've now seen something that's even more disturbing.

H: Oh gosh.

J: There's this thing in the midwest, and I - I cannot explain it or justify it so I'm just gonna say it - which is that in the midwest, sometimes at, like, barbecues, people will serve what is essentially a ball of ground beef that has not been cooked, but it's been, like, spiced -

H: Oh.

J: - in some way? 

H: Ok, I don't like it. So far I'm -

J: But it's raw,

H: Yep.

J: And it's just sitting there with flies on it, and people eat this.

H: Oh, wow.

J: And I've just seen a version of a saltine salad that's like that, plus a bunch of saltines.

H: Oh, it's just raw... ground beef and saltines?

J: Yeah, if you scroll down far enough you'll see it. It's, uh... it's noticeable (?).

 (08:00) to (10:00)

H: Uh, I think, that we need to burn it all down.

J: Yep. Unfortunately we're gonna need to cancel saltines.

H: Or, just, like, the Earth.

J: Imagine, Hank, if you felt like you had the power to cancel saltines. Like, um, certain people in the United States right now clearly feel like they have the power to cancel certain industries at their whim. Im-

H: Yeah.

J: Imagine if you could, like, tweet, "Saltines, colon, Bad for America. Don't love America. Saltines CEO Blasgurburm Flarmedurk is a bad person and as such saltines will no longer be part of the American diet." Now, I know what you're saying, Hank. You're saying that's way more than 280 characters. No, don't worry, I posted it as multiple tweets but I didn't threat them.

H: Yeah, it also is just like right in the middle of the word-

[Both laugh]

(Swishing sound)

H: Dear Hank and John, can I take apples off the ground? There's a house across the street from me that has an apple tree and there are so many apples that just fall off and sit there. Are they mine now? I think that the tree grows more apples than a person could possibly eat but I don't  know how many people live at that house. Maybe there's like an army in there, packed in, like a clown car.

J: [Laughs]

H: Apples and aardvarks, Ken.

[Both laugh]

J: I mean isn't it possible that this person just runs, like, an extremely small apple farm, and that Ken is essentially-

H: Stealing.

J: Trying to steal their livelihood from them?

H: They're on the ground. Once they're on the ground they're questionable as to whether Ken should eat them for health reasons.

J: Oh, I'm not worried about that at all. But, I don't know, I was thinking about this question because I was thinking... now, if somebody were in my garden, and a tomato were on the ground, and they picked that tomato, I would be mad. Because I- Not because they picked the tomato, but because why are you in my garden, Ken?

H: [Laughs] Yeah but, if it falls on the other side of the fence, that's fair game. There- there's-

J: Yeah!

H: There is a lot of fruit around in my town right now.

 (10:00) to (12:00)

H: And frankly, it, the- the town doesn't even let you plant fruit trees in the boulevards (?) anymore because, like, no one picks the fruit and it just sits there and gets stinky, and then the squirrels eat it and they get drunk, and then they are crazy squirrels,

J: Wait, what?

H: Well the fruit ferments on the ground, and the squirrels eat it and they get drunk.

J: Shut up, squirrels do not get drunk off of ground fruit.

H: They do. And it happens to bats too. Bats can-

J: No.

H: [Laughing] Bats can get drunk-

J: Noooo.

H: Yep.

J: Nooo.

H: Definitely a thing.

J: Drunk fruit squirrels. I-

H: It happens on Naked and Afraid, too, where this guy was really hungry and he needed-

J: Drunk...

H: - to eat food, and so he ate some rotten food and he got really drunk. Or he, he hadn't eaten in like two days so he didn't get that drunk, but he didn't need a lot of alcohol in that fruit to make him get a little tispy. And to be clear I only know this cause I was told this by Hannah Hart. I do not watch Naked and Afraid. 

J: Yeah, that seems like something that somebody who watches Naked and Afraid would say.

H: [Laughs]

(Swishing sound)

J: Jacob writes, Dear John and Hank: my girlfriend and I recently found out that her mother plans to give us a live duck as a present when we get engaged.

H: [Chuckling] Oh, no. Why'd you put it on the registry?

J: [Bursts out laughing] HA ha ha ha, that's on you, Jacob! If you don't want a duck-

H: [Laughs] yeah

J: Don't register at for four hundred ducks. Both my- [laughs] - girlfriend and I agree that we're not ready for a duck-

[Both laughing]

J: And likely won't be by the time we get engaged. I mean of course!

H: I mean maybe! Who says! 

J: I like that Jacob is open to the idea that they 

H: Of future ducks.

J: They will be ready for a duck someday, but they're just not there yet. How do we tell my girflriend's mother that we don't want a duck without hurting her feelings, or revealing the sources of our information? 

H: Oh yeah, you can't reveal your sources, that's, that's like, textbook ethics.

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