Fat Man in a Bathtub

I figure I have run this blog for ten years, you should have a chance to look at the fat bastard that runs it. I’ve avoided it, because I don’t like the way I look- I used to be a skinny little kid- now I am some middle aged fat shit with grey in his beard and a double chin, but you know what, at some point you just have to deal with what you is. And this is what I is.

So ten years in, here is your host:

At this point, you probably understand why I post pet pics most of the time. Never thought I would hit 41 looking like Santa’s greying helper.

455 replies
  1. 1
    wasabi gasp says:

    I love you, man.

  2. 2
    Amir Khalid says:


  3. 3
    Suffern ACE says:

    Thank you and finally.

  4. 4
    cbear says:

    You’re a fine figure of man, John Cole. Fuck anybody who says otherwise.

  5. 5
    JeremyH says:

    Dude, you’re totally not like how I imagined you.

    Oh, well. I guess that’s not surprising.

  6. 6
    cbear says:

    @Amir Khalid: Fuck off, asshole.

  7. 7
    ranger3 says:

    You don’t come near as bad posting your picture as Romney did posting his tax returns.

  8. 8
    rdalin says:

    You’re not so bad, Cole

  9. 9
    Emdee says:

    Obligatory: “Now we know where Tunch gets it!”

    Actual first reaction: “You look crankier than you write. I didn’t think that was possible. The world is a wondrous place.”

    (Yeah, like I’d look any better. Keep up the good work, Cole, and I shall reciprocate by reading it and staying off your lawn.)

  10. 10
    ranger3 says:

    More cushion for the pushing. Also,too.

  11. 11
    David Koch says:

    You look just like Tunch

  12. 12
    Luthe says:

    Is this what we get instead of having the Edit function fixed?

  13. 13
    not motorik says:

    I salute your humanity, John Cole.

  14. 14

    Holy shit! It’s ME but with better hair!!!

  15. 15
    Amir Khalid says:

    Not claiming to be any prettier than John Cole. I have gray in my beard too, And I ain’t exactly the picture of health, either.

    I was just reacting to the size of the picture as I first saw it: it was HUGE, and Cole seems to have disembiggened it since.

  16. 16
    amk says:

    what a fucking serious looking dude. chill man. you’re not about to change the fucking world single handed.

  17. 17
    TheColourfield says:

    Glasses aside, you could be my long lost brother. Does that make me fat ?

  18. 18
    David Koch says:

    Actually, you look like Seth Rogen, and he’s presentable.

  19. 19
    piratedan says:

    JC, you just made a bunch of regular readers happy.. so thank you for being brave enough to put yourself out there.

  20. 20
    FlipYrWhig says:

    You look just like one of my best friends from grad school.

    And also just like the Tunch “FEED” poster to the right of the pic.

  21. 21
    Splitting Image says:

    John, just looking in your eyes I can tell you have the legs of a dancer.

  22. 22
    Uncle Glenny says:

    Hey, I get mistaken for Santa himself.

  23. 23
    John Cole says:


    Glasses aside, you could be my long lost brother. Does that make me fat ?


  24. 24
    David Koch says:

    Actually, you look like Seth Rogen, and he’s presentable. a movie star.

  25. 25
    freelancer says:

    Now I know why Lily is so smitten with you!

    But when I first saw this post title, I thought you were going to be referencing a Bill Hicks bit.

    John, you’re awesome.

  26. 26
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @amk: Hey, he personally destroyed the public option!

  27. 27
    MikeJ says:

    What’s fun is to open another browser window, hit google image search, and drag this pic to the search field to get the visually similar pics. Hot Russian blonde, Obama with a pancake on his head, toddler in a lion costume…

  28. 28
    PeakVT says:

    This isn’t a comment on Cole’s pic one way or another, but I really prefer not to know what the people I read look like, whether it’s bloggers or journalists or authors. I find it to be a distraction, for lack of a better word.

  29. 29
    Nemo_N says:

    I always pictured you as a taller, slightly chubbier Dean Cain. Not sure why.

  30. 30
    amk says:

    @FlipYrWhig: who does he think he is ? fucking obama ?

  31. 31
    Alexandra says:

    I’d marry you.

  32. 32
    wasabi gasp says:

    You don’t look like feet anymore.

  33. 33
    Louise says:

    No one looks his or her best when staring at the computer camera. That said? It’s good to see you finally!

  34. 34
    David Koch says:

    @MikeJ: I just did that, and it came up with picture of Jenna Jameson, Jeff Bridges, and bin Laden! No, really.

  35. 35
    kdaug says:


    Damn it Cole, I got woken up by a dog scared of a thunderstorm, and now this?

    I may never sleep again.

  36. 36
    Murc says:

    I always kind of pictured you as this ex-military West Virginian coal country badass with arms like tree trunks who could wrap his entire hand around my neck.

    I feel disillusioned. You look like the guys I spend time discussing what instance we’re going to raid that night. And we’re sort of a gang of schmucks.

    Joking aside… I respect you for being able to grow a proper goatee. I see so many guys who try to do it and its end up half-assed because they’re missing little strips of hair on either side of their lips. You have the real thing.

  37. 37
    Thoughtcrime says:

    You have a face best suited for blogging.

  38. 38
    Comrade Mary says:

    John, I was browsing the site in bed before forcing myself to sleep (deadlines!) and when my iPhone refused to show the pic, I shrieked and ran back to my computer, just in case this was a fake-out (like that Hemingway Halloween costume) or you changed your mind and took it down.

    No, you don’t look like George Clooney. But those of us who calibrate on real live people we deal with every day (in the flesh, not distorted in webcam closeup, please don’t get me started on how much I hate what I see in mine) give you a thumbs up.

    (On preview: Seth Rogen? Mmm, a bit. Someone else, too, but I’ll be damned if I can make the connection. Let me sleep on it.)

  39. 39
    Splitting Image says:


    Obama with a pancake on his head

    Astonishingly, Sarah Palin with three pancakes on her head is a better likeness.

    It’s the glasses.

    Also, damn you for making me search.

  40. 40
    middlewest says:

    Probably a bad time to do this, after everyone was looking at our handsome prez all night.

  41. 41
    freelancer says:


    You have a face best suited for blogging.

    And you’re an asshole with a banal and trite handle.

  42. 42
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    A fine figure of a man.

    You remind me of me.

  43. 43
    drunken hausfrau says:

    I have always wanted to set you up with one of my sisters… still do! You’re a charming, cranky fellow! And you cook! And you love animals! And you have integrity. And lovely hair and beard! And you drink! What’s not to love?

  44. 44
    cbear says:

    @Thoughtcrime: Fuck off, asshole.

  45. 45
    Politically Lost says:

    Lose the glasses and shave the beard and I’d be looking in a mirror. I just turned 41, too. Fuck, Cole it spooked me for a second. Try to give some warning next time you are posting doppelgänger pics. .

    I know controlling body weight ain’t a team sport but I’m with you on those goals.

  46. 46
    John Cole says:


    You have a face best suited for blogging.

    Or radio.

  47. 47
    Warren Terra says:

    Not how I pictured you. Honestly, I’m not sure I had a mental picture of you; the whole disembodied voice thing worked just fine. Still, guess it’s nice to have a face with the voice.

  48. 48
    John Cole says:

    @cbear: lighten up, it is what it is. I’m not winning any fucking pageants.

  49. 49
    patrick II says:

    Nice to meet you John. As they say, the only perfect man died on the cross. I look like you but cannot write like you — we all have our gifts.

  50. 50
    TuiMel says:


    I’ll second that and say you look very close to what I imagined. Don’t be so dang hard on yourself. Your letting go of this bit of your mystery is a surprise to me. It’s nice to have face to go with the attitude.

  51. 51
    Thoughtcrime says:

    @John Cole:

    At least you know the old joke, John. I assumed you were trolling for flippant comments, given the unflattering picture.

    Hope you didn’t take offense, as did the others.

  52. 52
    THE says:

    So, you’re about to start VLogging?

  53. 53
    TheColourfield says:

    @John Cole:

    Who’s kidding Who? I already knew it :-))

  54. 54
    RichinPiria says:

    Not at all what I pictured. Actually better looking than I imagined. Brave man!

  55. 55
    Anne Laurie says:

    You’ll regret this in the morning, but kudos to you anyway, John.

    Also — I say this as someone who’s been living with a bearded man almost as long as you’ve been alive — over-the-counter hair coloring products work just fine on beards, too. Just remember to go one shade lighter than your (original) hair color, and always do the allergy test first. (Or you could go to a professional hairdresser and have them do it for you… but maybe not in West Virginia.)

  56. 56
    kdaug says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    You’ll regret this in the morning…


  57. 57
    TheColourfield says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Nah. Leave the beard. Mine’s a little bit grayer but it works (of course I have 3 years on Cole)

  58. 58
    John Cole says:

    @Alexandra: Email me your digits.

  59. 59
    cbear says:

    @John Cole: You’re right, Cole, I doubt Angelina is going to see your mug and start looking sideways at Brad, but you’re also being pretty hard on yourself. You ain’t exactly John Merrick, bro.

  60. 60
    John Cole says:

    I think you just dated yourself with the Elephant Man reference.

    Fuck. You nailed me too..

  61. 61
    cbear says:

    @John Cole:

    I’m not winning any fucking pageants

    Yeah, and you’re probably out of the running for Miss Congeniality too, but, shit dude, you live in West Virginia–fourth or fith runner-up ain’t out of the question.

  62. 62
    Arclite says:

    Hmm, pretty much as I imagined. I guess I wasn’t expecting the specs.

    A few years ago, I got a hankering to see what Mr. Cole looked like, so I Google imaged him. This is the picture that came up, posted by someone over at Red State. Obviously, I knew it wasn’t our gentle host, but I couldn’t shake the image. Anyway, compared to that, you look like Brad Pitt.

    Thanks for finally sharing.

  63. 63
    furioso ateo says:

    I was pretty close I think, though I always picture you in boxers and an open robe in my head, for some reason. I didn’t peg the glasses or the beard though. But hey John, you’re looking pretty dignified man.

  64. 64
    demkat620 says:

    Thanks for this John. I like having a face to go with what I read.

    Maybe now you could do a podcast with Tunch, Lily and Rosie.

    You look great to us. :)

  65. 65
    Betty Cracker says:

    Awww, you look like a sweet, ole, gruff, bespectacled teddy bear. Which you are, you know.

  66. 66
    slackerjax says:

    Hmmm, so basically you look like the rest us humans. Ain’t nothin wrong with that, far as I’m concerned (I’m assuming you’re not hiding a vestigial third arm or scorpion tail behind your back, though that would be pretty darn cool too). Thanks for the awesome blog, dude.

  67. 67
    chowkster says:

    You do not look nearly as clumsy as you come across on this blog.

  68. 68

    Never thought I would hit 41 looking like Santa’s greying helper a superstar.

    Fixed it for you. :-)

  69. 69
    furioso ateo says:

    So now that we have a picture, you gonna make us wait another ten fucking years to find out what you do for a living?

  70. 70

    Speaking as someone who is nearly twenty years older than you, John, you look pretty good for such a young whippersnapper.

    And if you posted photo on a bear website, you’d have them lined up around the block. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  71. 71
    Mark S. says:

    You kind of remind me of my favorite sportswriter Dan Rafael.

    So who are your top 10 heavyweights?

  72. 72
    chowkster says:

    @chowkster: Or cranky, for that matter.

  73. 73

    See, I told you he was a young Sean Connery with just a hint of William Howard Taft around the edges, and you all thought I was joking.

  74. 74
    JR says:

    Just to be clear:

    You couldn’t sleep, so you drank some booze to help relax and, at some point thereafter, decided to do this, right?

  75. 75
    Anne Laurie says:

    Never thought I would hit 41 looking like Santa’s greying helper.

    Of course, to be honest, there were probably days when you didn’t think you’d make it to 41, in any shape…

  76. 76
    kdaug says:

    Hrm. Power went out, came back on, and now my formatting buttons are back.

    Cole, post your mug more often.

  77. 77

    @Mustang Bobby:

    And if you posted photo on a bear website, you’d have them lined up around the block. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    Is true. Someone get John a grindr profile.

  78. 78
    chowkster says:

    I also want to add – as a single 34 year old guy living alone, I find Cole’s obsession with housekeeping utterly fascinating.

  79. 79
    Tony J says:

    Funny, I always imagined you looking more like Michael Chiklis – in The Shield, not The Fantastic Four.

    Instead we get Uncle Buck – The Wonder Years. And yes, that is a compliment. You don’t look nearly mean enough to have ever been a wingnut.

  80. 80
    Jamey says:

    You look like a Steelers fan.

    As the proud (Giants-rooting) member of a largely Steelers-boosting clan, this is a compliment…

  81. 81
    Citizen_X says:

    Aha! Now we have a face to go with the name. NOW WE CAN CHECK HIS COUNTERTOPS!


    I respect you for being able to grow a proper goatee.

    It’s a full beard! And you call that gray, Cole? Pshaw!

    (I used to have a goatee, until a couple of different people told me I looked like a Nazi. Off it came.)

  82. 82
    Citizen_X says:

    Also, you really look like a friend of mine. With a beard.

  83. 83
    Thymezone says:

    Nice to meet you. It’s our seventh anniversary next month, I hope you got me something really nice for once.

  84. 84
    montanareddog says:

    I ‘spect Sully will be linking to this post under his “Bear Watch” category or whatever he calls it.

    I too was a skinny young man who has filled out a bit since my 40th. I am not too fond of seeing pictures of myself (never was) but I learnt years ago that proves that:

    1) I must be vain because I am upset by the difference between my self-image and reality

    2) I must not be a wingnut because I recognise there can be a difference between a mental construct and reality

  85. 85
    Bludger says:

    Sexy time

  86. 86
    kdaug says:

    Why do I get the feeling this is going to be another 300+ comment post

  87. 87
    Sourmash says:

    Seth Rogen is definitely in the running for the lead role in “The John Cole story”. Glad to see you’re a regular guy, but I’m definitely staying off your lawn from now on.

  88. 88
    Keith says:

    I’ve been reading Grover Norquist’s blog this whole time?!??!

  89. 89
    Padraig says:

    Nice to see you, John!

  90. 90
    Johannes says:

    I’m five years older than you John, and I identify with the whole “wait a sec, I was a skinny kid” thing. But, as the Cat might say, “you still look good!”

  91. 91
    Pseudonym says:

    Now it’s time for the rest of the frontpagers to pony up. (I’m looking at you, Sarah Proud and Tall.)

  92. 92
    Karen says:

    Except for the color of your hair and beard, you look just like my husband. And I’m 5 years older than you, btw.

  93. 93


    (I’m looking at you, Sarah Proud and Tall.)

    Just imagine Cole in a Farrah Flip wig and a beaded Dior babydoll dress, and you’re pretty close…

  94. 94
    Jebediah says:

    Kudos for having the nards to do this. Not a thing wrong with how you look, but I pictured black hair…

  95. 95
    Jebediah says:

    Also thanks for the little feat reference!

  96. 96
    daryljfontaine says:

    (1) Cole FEED poster needs to happen now. It can double as the graphic for blegging.

    (2) WHAT? Just a headshot? We need the long-form photograph. Er. That came out less sexually ambiguous in my head.

    (3) Not what I pictured in my head, but ain’t nothing wrong with your mug, man.


  97. 97
    hamletta says:

    Aw, nice to see you, dude!

  98. 98
    R-Jud says:

    Ah, I always thought you sounded like a blonde.

    Thank you for not posting an actual bathtub shot, btw.

  99. 99
    Pseudonym says:

    P.S. Anyone else think he looks like a 25-year-old kid?

  100. 100
    RedKitten says:

    SO nice to finally see you, sweetie!! :)

  101. 101
    Rita R. says:

    This is what comes of drinking coffee after 6 p.m. Maybe Mittens and his Mormon bretheren (and sisteren?) are on to something…

    In all seriousness, it takes balls for anyone to put themselves out there like that after 10 years incognito, especially in a 3:00 a.m. insomnia photo taken too close up with a computer camera. Good for you John! I’ll second the Tunch resemblance, and we all know what a handsome yet pleasingly plump fellow he is. And the grays, sigh, yes, they come to us all.

    Like the man said, don’t be too hard on yourself. And smile in the next one, it makes a difference. :)

  102. 102
    catperson says:

    Yay! But where are your pictures from 2005-2011? What are you hiding, Cole?

  103. 103
    Virginia Highlander says:


    John, it’s great to see you at last, dude.

  104. 104
    mothra says:

    Smile, John. SMILE. :)
    Digital cameras suck!

  105. 105

    @John Cole:

    They have fucking pageants? Where do I sign up for those?!

  106. 106
    LT says:

    Shut the fuck up , Donny.

  107. 107
    Ben Cisco says:

    I’ve avoided it, because I don’t like the way I look- I used to be a skinny little kid- now I am some middle aged fat shit with grey in his beard and a double chin

    Time and gravity are both undefeated in their weight classes. You yam what you yam and that’s all what you yam.

  108. 108
    donnah says:

    I think you’re adorable. Thanks for the pic.

  109. 109
    Lance Boyle says:

    This was a masterstroke. Ten years laying the groundwork. Dude is so gonna get laid now!

  110. 110
    abo gato says:

    I think you’re kinda cute too. Glad to finally see who it is I’ve been reading all these years.

  111. 111
    Carrie says:

    You look exactly how I pictured you and I think you’re absolutely faboo.

  112. 112
    R-Jud says:

    @Pseudonym: Not 25, but not 41. I would’ve said he’s 35-36.

  113. 113
    harlana says:

    YOU LOOK JUST LIKE I PICTURED YOU!!!! I’m so friggin psychic!

  114. 114
    Palindrome says:

    *out from lurking* You look great! *back to lurking*

  115. 115
    JohnK says:

    You’ll get no sympathy from me, only encouragement. You can be what you want to be, you just have to want it bad enough to do it. A year ago I was 10 lbs past obese looking and having to buy another size up of fat pants. Today my battle is to cross over past BMI 22 to 21 and looking for cloths in the boys sizes. It isn’t easy but it is rewarding. I can look in the mirror and see an old man that looks 15 years younger, no man boobs, no pot belly, two hat sizes smaller, and far less likely to have a stroke, heart attack, diabetes, joint problems, whatever. Google livestrong nutrition nutrition calculator. Exercise allows you to eat more high density nutrition that enables you to exercise and eat a little bit more. Find some hills and get on your bike and ride! Ride or die, your choice.

  116. 116
    Peter says:

    Hey, in a few years you can go the full Santa route. My grandson (18 months) calls me “Anta”. As do many other children.

    Also too, what @Ben Cisco said.

  117. 117
    harlana says:

    you shouldn’t feel bad about your looks – you are a nice looking guy, sort of a burly Irish look – teehee – but we like that sort of thing.

    you’re going to regret this, however, as the wimmenz commentators will be on you now and you won’t get any work done.

  118. 118
    jayboat says:

    The stress from running this place is obviously getting to you.

    Post a photo from ten years ago so that we may see the deterioration.

    /not at all what I imagined

  119. 119
    Lit3Bolt says:

    You look like a young George R. R. Martin.

    Need to work on the beard, though.

  120. 120
    Carrie says:

    I’d do him.

  121. 121
  122. 122
    currants says:

    holy mackerel–you look like my little brother!

  123. 123
    Valdivia says:

    Hi John! I can’t believe you relented. Good to see ya’

  124. 124
    montanareddog says:


    Not Grover Norquist, Matthew Yglesias!

  125. 125
    Ron says:

    Speaking as a uh…mass-enhanced 41 year old man myself, I’d say don’t sweat it. When I last had a beard a couple of years ago or so there was still no real grey in it, but my curse is the thinning hair and receding hairline. And I’m with furioso ateo, although that’s obviously not really any of our business , but that never stopped people from being curious.

  126. 126
    Josie says:

    Nice to finally meet you, John. It’s interesting how our inner image of ourselves doesn’t always match up with what we see in the mirror, especially as we age. I don’t mean body image necessarily, like fat or thin. I feel inside like the 30 year old I used to be, but when I look in the mirror, I am surprised to see that I am actually more than twice that age. I firmly believe that the inner image is the more important one and that the people who matter will pick up on that one.

  127. 127
    Elroy's Lunch says:

    Brave post John. You don’t look like what I imagined. Of course, I don’t look like what I imagine either.

    Well done.

    /back to lurking/

  128. 128
    Elizabelle says:

    No pet in vicinity. Maybe it’s John, maybe it’s not …

    Seriously ticked expression ….

    Warmer, warmer ….

  129. 129
    ErinSiobhan says:

    It’s a pleasure to meet you.

  130. 130
    Baron Jrod of Keeblershire says:

    Hey, at least you still have your hair. Count your blessings.

    Just watch your back, John. Derf knows what you look like now. The fucker is probably already on the road to West Virginia.

  131. 131
    Chinn Romney says:

    I’m an infrequent visitor here, but somewhere along the line I picked up the notion that you were a college prof. If I have that right then all I can say is you look the part.

    Actually you look better than I expected after 10 years of keeping the inmates in check here. I suspect years of “is that going to be on the exam” would toughen one. As a student that used to drive me bonkers, I can only imagine the receiving end of that question.

  132. 132

    My wife has agreed to my explicit request that “Fat Man in a Bathtub” be the opening song at any memorial service for me, should I kick off before she does. So I count myself honored to be a kindred soul, of sorts, to you. I’m a big fan.

  133. 133
    res ipsa loquitur says:

    Did not expect the strawberry blonde locks!

  134. 134
    cintibud says:

    Cool John. My first reaction was that you didn’t look like I thought you would, but now, that’s what John Cole looks like and it fits.

    I’ll be keeping my eyes open when I’m in the Morgantown area.

  135. 135
    grass says:

    You look a little like this guy half way through. 15 years older of course, but it’s never too late.

  136. 136
    Elizabelle says:

    Incidentally, thank you for reintroducing me to Little Feat.

    Dixie Chicken CD in heavy rotation. Got some others on vinyl.

    Got to see the Feat with Lowell George at least twice, maybe thrice, many Spanish Moons ago.

    Album stands the test of time.

  137. 137
    amy c says:

    John Cole, you look just like my first husband.

    It’s not a bad thing. We were way too young and stupid to be married, but he was basically a good guy. And hung like a goddamn steed, frankly.

  138. 138
    Lavocat says:

    Cole, when you take a fucking picture of yourself, just remember one time-honored rule: SMILE, GODDAMN IT!

    Great, now I can put a face on all those piss-yer-pants rants o’ yers.

    And, dude, cheer up: for a fat bastard, you look pretty good for early middle age. Don’t worry though, time will change that in no time at all.

    Congrats on 10! I doubt most blogs make it to 5.

  139. 139
    Lojasmo says:


    In all seriousness, though. At forty-three I am no longer my lithe twenty-three year old self (I blame the beer). The good thing is that you can ameliorate almost all the I’ll effects of moderate daily exercise (even briskly walking) and abstaining from smoking.

    Cheers, and good on ya.

  140. 140
    Cassidy says:

    I wish I could grow a beard. I grow facial hair for 4 days and it stops.

    If you’re interested I have a PT plan that’s based around Army stuff, easy to do, and doesn’t require a whole lot of space and equipment. That being said, nothing wrong with some extra poundage. I’m in good shape and I still have some extra pounds. Don’t sweat it. I used to be a skinny guy too.

  141. 141
    Lojasmo says:

    FYWP, still no edit.

    You can ameliorate most of the ill effects of being overweight by moderate daily exercise, etc. etc.

  142. 142
    Elizabelle says:


    That picture is so funny. The look of surprise.

  143. 143
    Michael D. says:

    @John Cole: I know a couple or three pageants you would win. But then, you’re probably not into that sort of thing. :-)

  144. 144
    Frances says:

    This photo shows a kind, strong face and loads of hair.

  145. 145
    JPL says:

    You look great.

  146. 146
    Princess says:

    They’re just jealous, John. I think you’re cute.

  147. 147
    BarbF says:

    Still love reading John? Check

    Still think he’s smart as hell? Check

  148. 148
    Halcyan says:

    Over my internet years, I have met many folks in 3d whom I had only known for years in 2d. My first reaction is “That’s not what you look like.” Not that I had a sense of what they did look like, but it was always at first a big disconnect.

    Then, they become matched, 3d and 2d and then they do look like what they look like. As you say, it is what it is. I don’t like pictures of me either.

    Gained 40 lbs after I quit smoking 3 years ago. Started a new diet couple of weeks ago. Guy HIGHLY recommends eating beans frequently. I make soups, I put them in salad, I mash ’em up. It has done wonders for my blood sugar.

    I am working on health now, and figure the weight will find its equilibrium somewhere.

  149. 149
    Trabb's Boy says:

    Christ, John, stop looking so damned worried! To me you look big and strong and smart, and you’ve got lips that look like they could some fine things to a girl. Hold your head up and smile. They’ll eat you alive around here if they smell weakness.

  150. 150
    Greg says:

    I’m slightly older and in the same boat as you. I run every day but the weight never drops. I watched fat, sick and almost dead and got the juicing bug. Even if I don’t lose any weight I like the juice. Never give up trying to get back to the glory days. Always remember Al Gore is fat..

  151. 151

    @Cassidy: I’m interested in the plan, if you’ll share with the rest of us.

  152. 152
    flukebucket says:

    Well by God finally! We have a visual. Damn I appreciate this.

    Never thought I would hit 41 looking like Santa’s greying helper.

    Shit man. You could pass for my much, much younger brother. Glad to see you.

  153. 153
    Steve says:

    I am pretty sure this is not the first time John has posted a pic, although I don’t remember the beard.

  154. 154
    Peregrinus says:

    I don’t set much stock by appearances, but I will say that if that qualifies as a “fat shit” I must be well on my way to joining you in that department.

    Hell of a 10th anniversary gift. Now I can visualize who it is posting Mickey Avalon’s “My Dick” at midnight.

  155. 155
    ornery_curmudgeon says:

    Thanks, Cole … you look much like I thought, very cool. It’s all good. Gravitas, man, gravitas.

    With some dignitas emerging.

  156. 156
    RSA says:

    My first and only reaction: I always pictured you with dark brown hair.

  157. 157
    gogol's wife says:

    You are adorable. Almost as cute as Tunch. Almost.

  158. 158
  159. 159
    Pockmark says:

    All this time, and it’s been Simon from The Yogscast all along.

  160. 160
    Rita R. says:

    @Lance Boyle:

    The workings of the male mind never fail to amuse. A cigar is never just a cigar, right?

  161. 161
    AmyFarr says:

    And ditto adorable, too.

  162. 162
    BroD says:

    Yeah, as I figured, just some Ken-doll with a keyboard.

  163. 163
    Zeeb says:

    I’ve been lurking about 6 years now…for some reason this brought a tear to my eye! Weird. Thanks for sharing your awesome face!

  164. 164
    Soonergrunt says:

    Well, I must say that this is a completely unexpected development on several levels.

  165. 165
    Cassidy says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): No problem. I keep it as an Excel spreadsheet on my work computer. I have plenty of free time at work, so I’ll spend some of it researching routines and then updating my schedule. I’ll also go back and put down what I’ve done to track my progress after the fact. Sometime after 3 Pm EST I’ll email the actual spreadsheet to Cole and maybe we can start a kind of fitness club to support one another.

    But, the basics are this: Everything is body mechanics and easily tooled to your own fitness level. Secondly, I choose from a “buffet” of exercises so I’m not getting bored. I start with 5 mins of warm up on an elliptical. I have a torn meniscus so that’s my machine of choice. I don’t do static stretching, I just go nice and easy and literally get warmed up. Then I do a core series of 4 exercises choosing between the plank, elevated plank, side plank, oblique ankles, slow count crunches, the swiper (see Men’s Health), mountain climbers and slow count mountain climbers. I do a 30 secs or a minute of those exercises x 2 sets.

    Next is alternating days of Strength and Conditioning and Circuit Training. On S/C days I simply do 200 p/u, 200 s/u, 300 squats and 100 reverse rows. These are done in whatever number you can manage to do them right, so 10 sets of 20, etc., whatever you can tolerate. If you can only do 100,or even 20, then start there. I try and do it for time and be done in about 20-30 mins. That helps you to keep moving and not dick around. One day a week do a Burpee pyramid.

    On circuit days, I choose 10 exercises and do a continuous set of 60 secs each with 15 secs in between to get to the next exercise. I rotate upper to core/abs with a squat or lunge thrown in at the halfway points. Once again, I have about 30 exercises to choose from and just plug in which ones sound fun that day. I do 2 sets of this with no more than a 5 min break between sets. So, do as tolerated and adjust times accordingly. I’m constantly researching new exercises to keep it varied. Proper form is better than numbers; quality over quantity.

    For cardio, on S/C days I do 15-20 mins of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). If it’s 15 mins, I sprint for 2 mins and then rest for 1 min, keeping the resistance the same. On 20 min days, it’s 1 min of sprint, 1 min of rest with increasing resistance every 2 mins. Again, do as tolerated. I start at 8 and go up. If you have to back down, then back down.

    On circuit days, I just do 20-45 mins of cardio, depending on how I’m feeling, sticking to a speed goal.

  166. 166
    Frapalinger says:

    John, hire a personal trainer. You might not be stinking rich, but you gotta have some money for this kind of thing. We want around for like another hundred years. Get to it.

  167. 167
    Greg says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): I picked up the Kindle version of “The Juice Master turbo your life in 14 days” to get started. After a month I have a pretty good feel on what to do. Watch some of Jason’s Youtube videos to get a feel for it. He is a typical pitchman.

  168. 168
    Rarely Posts says:

    I’ve been lurking for a long-time, and I had actually searched to see if I could find any pics of you. I’m glad that you shared.

    Personally, I consider you an attractive man, and you’d definitely have a fan club at the bars that I frequent (gay bars in Baltimore). Not sure that’s helpful, but I’m putting it out there.

  169. 169
    victory says:

    It’s like seeing your favorite radio DJ for the first time and he looks nothing like what you’ve imagined.

    I always thought of you as a brunette.

  170. 170
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    Way to go Cole!

  171. 171
    Donut says:

    John, I am about a year younger than you. I stand 6 feet tall, and about 2-3 years ago had plumped up to 275 lbs. I weighed 180 when I graduated high school. Anyway, I was the ultimate sympathy spouse during both of my wife’s pregnancies – if she had a craving for Taco Bell, well, damn it, me too. And on it went. Add a stressful job and commuting 70 miles via car all the time, etc., and it was not looking good for my blood pressure and type II diabetes (the latter with hereditary risk from both sides, too). About two years ago I finally got tired of being fat and tired and just made a change. It was not easy, but I made myself get aerobic exercise no less than three times a week, and eat less meat and more vegetables and fruits. Those are the biggest lifestyle changes I made, and I’ve dropped over 50 pounds, to date. I have two kids under age 6, and find time to work in exercise. I still enjoy my whiskey and too many slices of pizza, and I really should be wearing one pants size smaller, but my BP and cholesterol are under control, and that is what counts. You can do it, you just have to decide to.

  172. 172
    Hugh says:

    I think most people think they look a lot worse than they do when they get older. The shock of seeing how we age makes us even more self critical. BUT, Mr. Cole, if the way you look makes you unhappy, 41 is YOUNG. Go out and work that body. It’s good for the soul as well as your health. Get those pecs back. They’re there. Really, 41 is truly young. Your body will respond quickly to regular workouts.

  173. 173
    geg6 says:

    Holy shit. Color me gobsmacked. You must have been drunk to finally do this.

    That said, you look fine, Cole. You look like every good guy I know, but with more and blonder hair. And the epitome of your average Stiller fan (and that’s a compliment since I happen to be one, too). I can totally picture you rockin’ your game day shirt and twirling a Terrible Towel.

    Smooch. You are adorable.

  174. 174
    Raven says:

    @Cassidy: I swim 1250 yards a day and walk the pups 2 miles at dawn. No booze dropped 20 lbs 20 years ago and it’s stayed off.

  175. 175
    Raven says:

    The Fat Trap from NYT, worth a read.

    So where does that leave a person who wants to lose a sizable amount of weight? Weight-loss scientists say they believe that once more people understand the genetic and biological challenges of keeping weight off, doctors and patients will approach weight loss more realistically and more compassionately. At the very least, the science may compel people who are already overweight to work harder to make sure they don’t put on additional pounds. Some people, upon learning how hard permanent weight loss can be, may give up entirely and return to overeating. Others may decide to accept themselves at their current weight and try to boost their fitness and overall health rather than changing the number on the scale.

  176. 176
    D says:

    I thought of you as a scrawny guy with grey hair that was longish. You look much younger than I imagined.

  177. 177
    Cassidy says:

    @Raven: Not giving up the booze, lol.

    I love swimming, but I don’t get to do it enough. I have yet to do any workout that makes me feel as completely and totally worked as swimming does.

  178. 178
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    JC, you have the face of someone who has gained some wisdom along the way and that’s a very good thing. Thanks for lettings us into your home these many years. Here’s to 10 more years!


  179. 179
    General Stuck says:

    Ha, good one

  180. 180
    Raven says:

    @Cassidy: I feel very lucky to have been able to make the switch after years of hoops and then running. So many people just say “I’m not a good swimmer”. The heart doesn’t know how good or bad your form is!

  181. 181
    slightly_peeved says:

    An appropriate song for this auspicious occasion, and in honour of all bearded men:
    The Beards – You Should Consider Having Sex With a Bearded Man

  182. 182
    Cassidy says:

    @Raven: I stopped weighing myself. It was giving me a complex. I gained a significant amount of weight when I started taking anti-depressants after Iraq. At the time, I was running my 2 mile in the 15’s and still ballooned up. Emotionally, it was exhausting. I was killing myself to lose weight, even though I could perform physically. I finally reached a point where I was able to realize that I’m healthy and my weight is not the only indicator. My last blood tests said my cholesterol is a little high. Other than that, my resting heart rate is below average and my blood pressure is healthy. I’m a lot happier since.

  183. 183
    jibeaux says:

    @Donut: Congratulations, that’s pretty awesome. The impressive part is sticking to it.

    I also think JC looks adorable. I look like a mom, without so much of the ilf part, and I’m sure that has something to do with being a mom, but I think being somewhat depressed with the course of aging is part of the human experience.

  184. 184
    Mr Furious says:

    Well, this is not a judgement one way or the other, but you don’t look ANYTHING like what I was expecting. Not sure exactly what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this… I figured dark hair, no beard. But, in hindsight, this mugshot seems entirely believable of a WVU college professor.

    Only with more plaid. And corduroys. Definitely corduroys.

  185. 185
    FFrank says:

    John just did this so he could start hitting the Wheeling-Morgantown Pundit\Consultant circuit.

    Well John next time you’re in the burgh, I’ll buy ya a drink or a coffee and invite you to some of the wilder party’s since you are not incognito and don’t have to worry about pics revealing your secret identity anymore. (ps. google santarchy pittsburgh pics you’ll get a laugh)

  186. 186
    Mr Furious says:

    I will say this, you could go undercover at a GOP debate with ease. Everyone they showed in the crowd reacting to Newt skewering John King looked like this +/- 10 pounds.

  187. 187
    Montysano says:

    @Ben Cisco:

    Time and gravity are both undefeated in their weight classes.

    I’ll be stealing that. Thanks.

    And thanks for the pic, JC, and also too for the awesome blog. I regularly tell people that I learn more in a good BJ comments thread than by reading any of teh so-called pundits..

  188. 188
    Raven says:

    @Cassidy: As the Aussie’s say “good on ya mate”! It took me a long time to crawl out of the Vietnam hole when I came home too.

  189. 189
    Raven says:

    @FFrank: I spent some wild times at Oglebay Park and the Wheeling Downs back in the day!

  190. 190
    Brian R. says:

    @Mr Furious:

    I will say this, you could go undercover at a GOP debate with ease.

    In other words, you don’t look like the world’s stereotype of a liberal blogger — and that’s a good fucking thing.

    You look like my uncle (or, well, like he did when he was 40), a rough union guy who would not take shit from anyone and always reminds me that liberalism doesn’t have to have a bunch of latte-sippin’ Volvo-drivin’ tree-huggin’ whatever whatever anti-Howard Dean ad whatever whatever, and can instead be what it is — regular folks.

    Good for you for showing yourself, man. And, moreover, good for us.

  191. 191
    gelfling545 says:

    I pictured dark hair & a buzz cut. This is better. You are a fine figure of a man, sir.

  192. 192
    Jim Pharo says:

    You handsome devil!

    Here’s a weird thing: I find that I often share your sentiments, John, even down to the phrasing, etc. I was a GOP-er, but left after the hideous embarassment of the 1980 GOP Convention where one of the main topics was How Evil the ERA Is.

    Now I find we look alike. You can see me on my name ‘dotcom.’

    Cheers, you good-looking bloke!

  193. 193
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Mr Furious:

    I will say this, you could go undercover at a GOP debate with ease.

    Well, he’s no Erik Eriksdottir

  194. 194
    driftglass says:

    You look just fine, JC. Your face suits you, although this particular expression says that, dammit, this time you are gonna nail that final Galaxian boss level.

  195. 195
    ploeg says:

    So John Goodman plays you in the movie. That’s not doing too bad.

  196. 196
    Brian R. says:

    Oh and, for what it’s worth, I’m roughly the same age as you and I lost 30 pounds last year through a simple plan — no beer, no soda, and some fucking exercise.

  197. 197
    CynDee says:

    Dear John,

    You made my day.

    I like you as you are;
    I wouldn’t want to change you
    Or even rearrange you, not by far.
    I like you, yes I do–
    I like you Y O Uuuuuuu
    I like you, like you aaaaz you arrrrre.

    Mister, I love your person, brain, and Soul. And your pets.
    Can we have a date and talk and cook together?

    You are my humanitarian Warrior and friend, fighting Republicans and stupid destruction all theses years so all creatures can have a better life, and you shared Tunch and the girlss with us.

    As I’ve often said in relation to you — you’re my idea of a Real Man.

    And you attract the most INTERESTING other bundles of life who have made my life better and helped me not to give up. And taught me some new words. O, my.

    Your BJ is my place to revel in the commonplace and the outrageous at once. What a trip, to coin a phrase.

    Humor, humanity wit and discourse — you’re one of those rare folks whose presence in my life I celebrate every day.

  198. 198
    CynDee says:

    Um, when with the Edit be fixed?

  199. 199
    Brian R. says:

    Between Steve Benen retiring and John Cole being unmasked, this feels like one of those comic book plots in which our heroes are all sidelined through some nefarious scheme.

    Fucking Lex Romney.

  200. 200
    Brian R. says:


    Your BJ is my place to revel in the commonplace and the outrageous at once.

    FWIW, John, I would definitely go on a date with a woman who said my BJ was her place to revel.

    If my wife wouldn’t kill me for it.

  201. 201
    Aqualad08 says:

    I’m thinking Philip Seymour Hoffman for the movie…

  202. 202
    Mike M says:

    I’d do you….

  203. 203
    JCT says:

    Blonde! Didn’t see that coming — c’mon guy a grin wouldn’t hurt, — and you look like my husband…

    And be serious — you’re not really graying until you’ve been mistaken for your younger sibling’s MOTHER at age 44. And the sibling was 41.

    I will never recover from that horror.

  204. 204
    Jerry says:

    Nice jpg name for the photo as well, John.

  205. 205
    fourlegsgood says:

    Dude, we all get older, don’t beat yourself up. But if it’s really bothering you, take control of it – get on weight watchers, take up interval training (which is horrible, but really works – I’ve dropped a bunch of weight that way.)

    Fuck the gray hair – who cares? You look fine. I still get a start every day when I peer into the mirror and realize I’m not 21. But again, who gives a fuck? the most important thing is being healthy.

  206. 206
    tBoy says:

    You must have been a pretty baby

  207. 207
    Birthmarker says:

    @Carrie: Me too! Seriously, we don’t all love the skinny body type. I like somebody robust I can hold on to.

    You look about like I imagined from your descriptions, but I didn’t expect the light hair coloring.

    My most successful weight loss has come from cutting carbs way down, avoiding flour and sugar, and walking three miles a day. It’s hard as hell but over time the exercise hits the pleasure center in your brain as much as the flour/sugar did. Other people can load up on grains, beans and fruit, but not me. I have to moderate these things, and emphasize lean proteins and green veggies. It has made my blood work awesome, too.

    We all metabolize food differently, and we have to find what works for us.

  208. 208
    RosiesDad says:

    You look remarkably like me at 41.

    Don’t fret, Cole, you still host one of the most entertaining places on the Interwebs. And we still love you.

  209. 209
    Paul in KY says:

    @Jamey: I think he sorta looks like Ben Rothlisburger’s cousin.

    It is an honest face. Good on ya for posting this.

  210. 210
    Trinity says:

    OMG John Cole…you totally look like my college boyfriend!! Craziness. He is the sweetest guy in the world but ended up moving to Seattle and I didn’t want to go. Best.Snuggler.Ever.

    Love you man :)

  211. 211
    gibsojj says:

    I’d hit it

  212. 212
    OneWhoYawns says:

    Thank you. I too do not like how I look so I have some sense of what it took to post this. But truthfully, I’m more interested in how you sound. Especially in rant mode.

  213. 213
    Raven says:

    @Birthmarker: Remember in the “Sweet and Lowdown” when Penn was critiquing Samantha Morton after sex? “I like to feel like I’ve been somewhere”!

  214. 214
    dead existentialist says:

    @John Cole: I can see you winning Mr. Congeniality . . . .

  215. 215
    RossInDetroit says:

    Nice shirt. I like a grey striped button down Oxford. Classy but not too formal.
    Can we get a picture of SPAT next?

    And thanks for curating the Internet’s most entertaining exhibit of madness.

  216. 216
    Halcyan says:


    you’re not really graying until you’ve been mistaken for your younger sibling’s MOTHER at age 44.

    There’s nothing wrong with gray hair, unless it’s on your KIDS!

  217. 217
    RossInDetroit says:


    I’m thinking Philip Seymour Hoffman for the movie…

    John Goodman.

  218. 218
    Raenelle says:

    That’s sort of how I pictured Stan Marsh grown up.

  219. 219
    pj says:

    That is a very nice looking face, and if Tunch had not chewed off your ears there would be more of it to admire.

  220. 220
    Donald G says:

    John: I, too, was a skinny kid: 5’7″, 128 lbs when I graduated high school; then 5’10”, 150 lbs when I got married at 23; then 160 lbs at 28 when we moved to West Virginia after the wife got her Ph.D. After my first Appalachian winter, I was up to 170. By the second winter, I had ballooned up to around 195 lbs. By the time I left West Virginia at age 37, I had reached 210 lbs. I’ve been fluctuating between 200 and 210 over the last seven years.

    The weather, geography and lack of infrastructure (pedestrian or otherwise) of the Southern Coalfields isn’t really conducive to outside exercise and encourages “cocooning” among certain personality types. It’s not a good recipe for keeping off the weight.

  221. 221
    Comrade Mary says:

    @RedKitten: Happy birthday! And wasn’t it nice of John to give you this present?

  222. 222
    pablo says:

    There’s a part opening up for you on Treme….John Goodman’s long lost son!

  223. 223
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Finally, a face to go with the masturbating.

  224. 224
    RossInDetroit says:

    I think it’s amazing that a 31 year old Republican would start a blog and still be doing it at age 41 as a Democrat.
    That shows a great deal of character, and the character is what keeps me coming back here.

  225. 225
    tarheel belle says:

    that is exactly how I pictured you. you fine.

  226. 226
    Angry Egilsson says:

    I’m sure you have a very nice personality…

  227. 227
    Anya says:

    Not how I imagined you, but you can alway loss weight. You don’t sound like a lazy person, so a bit of exercise (walking will do), and healthy eating. Also, too, cut down on the alcohol, man. But you look fine, even with that weird camera angle.

  228. 228
    Special Ed says:

    When I saw your picture, the first thing I though of was that Andrew Sullivan would think you are hot. You do have the bear thing going for you, which is a compliment. I hope to see more of you and the critters. Back to my lurking…

  229. 229
    AdamK says:

    Cute as a button.

  230. 230
    Mister Papercut says:

    I’m not trying to be flip, honest, but the Cole-Tunch resemblance really is un-fucking-canny. Like attracts like, and all that.

    And since we all think that Tunch is an adorable mound of feline crotchetiness…

  231. 231
    Dr. Squid says:

    That’s not gray. You won’t even have gray when you’re 60.

    But damn, get some sun. You look so pale you’re almost British.

  232. 232
    Hawes says:

    @ploeg: Yes, I can imagine Cole screaming “I don’t bowl on Shabbas!”

    John, you have your hair, man. You have your hair.

  233. 233
    Birthmarker says:

    @Raven: I haven’t seen the movie, but..yeah.

    To any of you fellows out there who are single and don’t want to be–don’t underestimate a woman’s desire to be approached by you. As long as you come off friendly and funny, not overtly sexual/creepy, you’ll do fine most of the time. We get lonely too. We want you to invite us somewhere! Even for coffee-that’s pretty nonthreatening for everybody.

  234. 234
    Hawes says:

    And I hope someone has gone there already, and I missed it, but…


  235. 235
    RossInDetroit says:

    The pic was a little surprising. I’d expected visible scarring and maybe an eye patch from the pratfalls, pet attacks and misadventures documented here.

  236. 236
    MikeInSewickley says:

    First picture I see coming here this morning is Eric Cantor.

    Next full picture is yours.

    I rather see your face everyday and twice on Sundays than that piece of heartless, manipulative Republican crap on any day.

  237. 237
    Libby says:

    Wow. Been waiting a long time for this. In the nine years I’ve been cruising the intertoobz, you’re my only blogging hero I’ve never seen in person.

    Add me to the list that expected dark hair, but otherwise, I think you’re adorable.

  238. 238
    schrodinger's cat says:

    I pictured you without a beard, you look fine, if a bit Tunchesque. Don’t be so hard on yourself. BTW, Andrew Sullivan is going to like you even more.

  239. 239
    Jamey: Bike Commuter of the Gods says:

    @RossInDetroit: My sentiments, exactly.

  240. 240
    RossInDetroit says:

    So, John. You’re also Banksy, right? A-and Pynchon?

  241. 241
    Dr. Squid says:

    @Splitting Image: I thought this one was funnier from the self proclaimed “Painter of Pancakes”.

  242. 242
    MazeDancer says:

    There are pics of two scowling males on the front page of BJ this morning. One is adorable. The other is Eric Cantor.

    You’re adorable. Men hate that cuddly descriptor. But cute you are, Mr. Cole. Or would be if you weren’t making that “I hate looking at the web cam” scowl. Behind that grimace are clearly nice features, good hair, and what women also know, one of the sexiest brains in the business.

    Please may this uncloaking mean two things:

    1) You’ll now and then comment on the TeeVee. Or at some event, lecture, or class.

    2) You’ll post a picture of what you really look like – which is happy and smiling and feeling blessed when you’re with Lily, Rosie, Tunch, or cooking at a party for your friends.

  243. 243
    handsmile says:

    Bravo to you, John Cole! That was a real leap of faith.

    Of course, insomnia may impel one to do peculiar things.

    Your expression seems perfectly apt for the dyspeptic persona you often portray here; a smiling visage would have been unlikely. (Though the legion of friends and family who often gather at Clubhouse Cole certainly suggest that it is just a role here.)

    Santa’s helpers bring happiness to a lot of people. With this blog, clearly you do as well.

  244. 244
    Will says:

    I always imagined you as a brunette

  245. 245
    Svensker says:

    @Paul in KY:

    I think he sorta looks like Ben Rothlisburger’s cousin.

    Zackly what I was thinking. Without the rape, though.

  246. 246
    Redleg says:

    Jeebus- you look like me- except my hair is brown!

    I wouldn’t be able to pass a PT test for all the money in the world.

  247. 247
  248. 248
    The Moar You Know says:

    Never thought I’d live to see the day. Nice to meet you, Mr. Cole.

  249. 249
    Violet says:

    You’re a brave man, John! Thanks for introducing yourself to us. You look almost exactly like a guy I went to high school with. I did a double take when I saw the photo.

    Also, too, if Phillip Seymour Hoffman could play you in “Balloon-Juice, The Movie” that’s not all bad.

  250. 250
    zzyzx says:

    At least you have grey. I went straight from black to white in my beard.

  251. 251
    Kane says:



    Nice to see a face behind the words.

  252. 252
    handsmile says:

    @RossInDetroit: (#240)

    Oh man, now you’ve gone and done it….

    Buy the whey, your #224 comment was an especially fine tribute to this website and its proprietor.

  253. 253
    RossInDetroit says:


    I meant what I said @ 224. I just love that picture. So cuddly.

  254. 254
    wobblybits says:

    I just have to add the following:

    muito sexy!

  255. 255
    blahblah says:

    I came.

  256. 256
    Vishnu Schist says:

    Right on Cole, somehow I envisioned you without hair. Hate to tell you this but you look like a Portlander (Oregon that is), could see you downing some local micro brew while wearing a kilt and a viking helmet.

  257. 257
    RedKitten says:

    @Comrade Mary: It WAS a nice birthday present! Truly the gift that keeps on giving. Goodness knows John knows enough about my life — it’s nice to finally see what his face looks like!

  258. 258
    South of I-10 says:

    Well hey there John! You could actually be my brother.

  259. 259
    Shinobi says:

    This picture did not help me have less of a crush on you John, nice try.

  260. 260
    Larold says:

    You is kind. You is smart. You is important.

  261. 261
    satby says:

    I second (or 22nd, lost count) that you’re adorable John.

  262. 262
    Ronzoni Rigatoni says:

    @Halcyan: I just knew I was older’n I deserved (smokin’, drinkin’, galavantin’) when I suddenly noticed that my kiddies were older’n ME! Gaaah!

  263. 263
    virginia says:

    I love your blog, recommend it most everyone — some of the best and most amusing commenters out there too.

    It makes me sad that you feel about yourself this way — if, in fact, you are being serious. You and the folks who respond to you have give me tons of pleasure over the course of some years now. I do a lot of lurking, a lot.

    Get out more for real … it helps in every respect … and I say this as fellow recluse who loves to keep house, cook, tend to others, watch movies.

    And remember, John Cole, that camera angles and proper lighting are essential to any attractive photo. Nobody but nobody looks good when the camera is shoved in his face head on like this. Camera on high with you looking up and good lighting. Marlene Dietrich insisted on these up until the very end. These are tricks she learned early in her career in Germany under Von Stroheim’s careful tutelage.

  264. 264

    Totally claiming to be both older, skinnier and prettier than Mr. Cole. Also been blogging longer than he has, but to his credit he has atoned up for his admittedly homely looks with a more prolific posting regime than I ever attempted. While the veracity of my beauty might be subjective, my ability to smell bullshit better than you is not. To wit:


    I know you have atoned (whatever) for that bit of miscreant juvenile delinquency, but it worries me that someone as OTHERWISE intelligent (you do a good blog sir) could ever have been ignorant enough to have fallen under the spell of such ludicrous bullshit.


  265. 265
    Tractarian says:

    It’s remarkable how many people in this thread claim to look just like you, John.

    Really, though, I do. Like spitting image, really.

  266. 266

    What WMD? What Weapons Violations?

    by John Cole

    How many more stories like this before the left stops with the incessant “Bush lied to us” chorus that is reaching a crescendo: British military officers have uncovered an attempt by Saddam Hussein to build a missile capable of hitting targets throughout the Middle East, including Israel, The Telegraph can reveal. Plans for the surface-to-surface […]

  267. 267
    Rosalita says:

    Yay John! Thank you for letting us “meet” you finally

  268. 268
    Ash Can says:

    John, handsome is as handsome does. And you do, so you are.

    Besides, to Tunch, Lily, and Rosie, you’re the best-looking guy in the world. What’s more important than that? (Okay, maybe Tunch thinks your can opener is better-looking than you. But still.)

  269. 269

    Well, you look just fine, I would say!

    From the way you’ve been managing our expectations, I’ve been expecting an appearance somewhere between Newt Gingrich and the Cloverfield monster.* :P

    Now I know who to look out for if I’m ever in WV and in the mood to buy someone a beer.

    * On my attractiveness scale, of course the Cloverfield monster is far better looking than Gingrich.

  270. 270
    Birthmarker says:

    @The Tim Channel: Hey, we were all young and foolish once. Surely JC has earned redemption by now.

  271. 271
    Dead Earnest says:


    Not long after I began reading your blog, it’s been a few years now, I came to respect and appreciate you. Came to think of you as a friend who doesn’t happen to know me, someone I’d enjoy spending time with.
    Over that time I sometimes wondered what you looked like.

    You look like that guy.


  272. 272
    Culture of Truth says:

    oh my

  273. 273
    Garbo says:

    Thanks for sharing, John. None of us look how we think we look, and mostly we look much better than we imagine. Frankly, if your picture matched your wit, intellect and character, you’d be insufferable. So thanks for being human like the rest of us!

  274. 274
    cathyx says:

    What the hell happens here over night? I go to bed and everything is calm-ish and I wake up to a confession?

    You’re just hurting yourself with this reveal. Now you won’t be able to go anywhere without someone asking you for your autograph or a picture. Your privacy is over.

  275. 275
    Lex Lurker says:

    @Palindrome: I’ll do the lurking around here, bub.

    JC looks just like my baby bruddah!

  276. 276
    Deb T says:

    Man get someone to take a picture of you. Those computer cam just suck. Look at that angle. Never flattering to anyone. I always look about 10 years older, fat, dark circles under my eyes, washed out and unpleasant on them – did I mention fat? — when of course, I’m none of those things. (well I am fat)

    True color would help and not that yellow haze over everything. I swear, you look better than you think you do. Do not go by that picture.
    That said, nothing wrong with the picture of you. It looks like you just got out of bed. It doesn’t change your charm, your great writing, or good intentions.

  277. 277
    Deb T says:

    Man get someone to take a picture of you. Those computer cam just suck. Look at that angle. Never flattering to anyone. I always look about 10 years older, fat, dark circles under my eyes, washed out and unpleasant on them – did I mention fat? — when of course, I’m none of those things. (well I am fat)

    True color would help and not that yellow haze over everything. I swear, you look better than you think you do. Do not go by that picture.
    That said, nothing wrong with the picture of you. It looks like you just got out of bed. It doesn’t change your charm, your great writing, or good intentions.

  278. 278
    RalfW says:


    No one looks his or her best when staring at the computer camera.

    Yeah. Find us a party pic of you, JC. When you’re at the backyard grill, workin’ your food magic for your friends and family. That’s want I want to see.

    People look their best doing what they love.

  279. 279
    flukebucket says:

    Love the name you gave the photo also, too.

  280. 280
    Paul in KY says:

    @Svensker: No rape at all. From the comments I’m seeing, our wimmens are liking.

  281. 281
    Culture of Truth says:

    I somehow pictured a guy more like the grizzled veterans I know. Heavyset, weatherbeaten, cynical. He’s too cuddly.

  282. 282
    flukebucket says:

    You know guys, how do we KNOW this is John and not somebody he just picked up at the bus station? This could just be an attempt to confuse the drones.

  283. 283
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    I expected a Jim Cavizel or a Jeremy Renner look alike. But hey! I could pass for a Hispanic looking Mike Golic.

  284. 284
    AliceBlue says:

    Pleased to meet you, Mr. Cole. You look like a guy who loves animals (and I mean that as a compliment).

  285. 285
    Felanius Kootea says:

    Oh ma ga :). Love you anyway.

  286. 286
    Paul in KY says:

    @The Tim Channel: Give it a rest on this thread.

  287. 287
    TBogg says:

    I thought Cole was a black woman.

    Go figure…

  288. 288
    MikeyG says:

    Dude, you’re fcking hideous. The next pic should be you sans glasses with a double-sided axe in your hands, Gimli.

    Still my favorite blog though.

  289. 289
    realbtl says:

    John the grey one sees as one ages is there for a purpose. It’s telling you YOU’RE NOT 20 ANYMORE, DON’T DO SOMETHING STUPID like:
    Riding you dirt bike at 50 mph and attempting that jump all the kids are doing or;
    Sure I can ski down this hill with no turns or;
    Anything that starts out “Hold my beer and watch this.”

  290. 290
    Gustopher says:

    Somehow, I thought you would look a lot more like Dan Ackroyd circa “Driving Miss Daisy”. You do not.

    That’s probably a good thing.

  291. 291

    […] John Cole did it, I think it’s only fair to let you guys see a photo of me, too. So, here […]

  292. 292
    Birthmarker says:

    @TBogg: Ha!

  293. 293
    tesslibrarian says:

    @Betty Cracker: I second this sentiment.

    I’m also on the verge of 41 (few weeks) and am starting to believe that with the exception of a few who stay skinny their whole lives, we all become some version of Santa/Mrs.Claus when we get old. Sort of the way most newborns spend the beginning of their lives looking like Winston Churchill during the war years.

    Also,too: I love the gray in my husband’s beard. I’m not sure why, but I find it very sexy–maybe because it’s evidence of our years together, or maybe because I’ve bought into the double standard on aging for men and women. Still, you shouldn’t worry.

  294. 294
    kideni says:

    You look cuddlier than I’d imagined. No wonder Tunch, Lily, and Rosie spend so much energy jockeying for lap time. And grey is good, especially on a guy.

  295. 295
    dianne says:

    I always pictured you as Jack Nicholson in his “Here’s Johnny” mode especially when in the middle of one of your classic, rightous rants. And I can see him still just a little. That Little Feat song is my favorite one of them all. I never saw the real group – just an offshoot in Reno once.
    Your blog is the one I never miss.

  296. 296
    BGinCHI says:

    Fuck. I go see some quality Shakespeare last night and then sleep in with the baby and I miss Cole’s coming out party?

    I gotta start taking the laptop to bed.

  297. 297
    scarshapedstar says:

    You’re Roethlisberger?

  298. 298
    alhutch says:

    No worries on the gray in the beard, it makes you look distinguished (so I tell myself). At nearly 42, my beard is 90% gray now. Nothing to do but roll with it.

  299. 299
    Meg says:

    I, for one, am not convinced that is really you.
    Unless you can prove it by posing for another one with Tunch or Lily sitting on you.

  300. 300
    gogol's wife says:


    Isn’t it annoying? I have to sleep at night, strangely enough, and all the interesting posts happen at 3:00 AM or so.

  301. 301
    Cermet says:

    While I have over tens year on you, most people guess me to be your age – health wise, more like high eighties; I’d trade in a heart beat to switch those two but since I am carefully conserving the beats I have left and might not get too many more … I’ll just hope you don’t follow my path when you get into your fifties.

  302. 302
    Davo says:

    Love the site and I love the way to turn a phrase. Cheers, sir. Here’s to another ten years of Balloon Juice.

  303. 303
    MildlyAmusedRainbowPerson says:

    I used to be a skinny little kid- now I am some middle aged fat shit with grey in his beard and a double chin

    Cheer up, John. Give it a year or so and your hair will be so perfectly white that the GOP will probably nominate you in 2016 with Tunch as VP!

  304. 304
    Nicole says:

    Totally did not picture you with facial hair. DougJ also did not look at all like I pictured him. I would be a great failure at “match the writer voice with the writer” games.

    I have the “where did this saggy face in the mirror come from?” glummies going on now every time I look in the mirror. But, as a magnet on my grandma’s refrigerator said, “Never resent growing old; it’s a privilege denied to many.”

  305. 305
    Birthmarker says:

    @Cermet: Good luck to you.

  306. 306
    BGinCHI says:

    @gogol’s wife: Maybe an alarm feature for middle of the night posts? Could be an issue with spousal units.

  307. 307
    Dee Loralei says:

    Aww, John, you’re adorable. Thanks for sharing!

  308. 308
    srv says:

    Well now you’ll at least go to a BJ meetup and not fear the paparazzi factor. Starting to wonder if you were one of the Daft Punk guys or something after all these years.

    If you’re worried about your weight, a lot of us older geeks are trying out standing desks. Heck, I know a 26 year old who has lost a few pounds in the last couple of months using one, and he’s very fit already.

  309. 309
    bvac says:

    Perfect. For the past 5 years my political views have been influenced by THIS guy: http://i.imgur.com/58XXT.jpg

  310. 310
    LightsOut says:

    Good for you, man. I actually pictured you with dark hair, no beard, and older looking. Now we need to hear a voice to go along with the visuals. I would seriously pay to see you do a mock version of Sully’s “Ask Me Anything.”

  311. 311
    muddy says:

    The computer cam can really be horrifying. I got my first laptop a while back, and accidentally opened PhotoBooth with my dangling hand. One minute I was reading a blog, suddenly there was this awful scary woman all over my screen. I literally (yes literally) screamed. And then realized it was me.

    I remember decades ago my father telling me that every once in a while he would “see” himself while shaving. Apparently you don’t really look ordinarily? He said he would be startled by the old man in the mirror, and then have to realize he was the old man.

  312. 312
    Ray Dio says:

    We’re the same age and at least your hairline doesn’t seem to be in a running retreat to the back of your neck like mine is!

  313. 313
    Comrade Mary says:


    I gotta start taking the laptop to bed.

    iPhone. I swear to God, it launched me out of bed and into my office so I could actually see the picture.

    Adding to what other grizzled veterans are saying:

    1) Yep, webcams suck like a hoover.
    2) We are more aware of the changes in our looks from our youth than other people. I swear to God, I could bitch-slap my younger self for bewailing her looks because I actually have a few pictures of her around, and she wasn’t that bad. John, 41 looks good on you, and I predict 61 year old John will look back even at this webcam pic and go, “Damn. I looked pretty good.”

  314. 314
    Jay in Oregon says:

    After the video you linked you made the other day on Twitter, I half-expected you to look like the lead singer for Mungo Jerry.

    But I give you props for giving us a glimpse behind the curtain. Are the other frontpagers going to follow suit at some point? Personally, when I read Sarah Proud and Tall, I see her in my mind’s eye: http://unrealitymag.com/wp-con.....15;305.jpg

  315. 315
    Tone In DC says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    Be nice.
    We are none of us Adonis.

  316. 316
    Ray Dio says:

    And for whatever reason, I envisioned you with a high and tight military type haircut. I have no idea why.

  317. 317
    Jay in Oregon says:

    Oh FFS, WordPress mangled the URL and I seem to have misplaced my Edit button.

    Try this for Sarah Proud and Tall: http://is.gd/VjV1tW

  318. 318
    passerby says:

    Well Hello John!

    Back when you posted that picture of yourself as a child, dressed as Robert Louis Stevenson (or whatever literary character it was (Halloween costume?))it was evident to me, that you’d look like this.

    Really. I wasn’t far off. Wasn’t expecting the beard though.

    I salute you for the courage it took to “out” your face. Now, please let’s have one with a smile.

    Looking forward to Naked-mopping photos in the weeks to come.

    Yours truly,


  319. 319
    elftx says:

    Well at least you didn’t walk into the Spanish Moon..and thanks for it all !!

  320. 320
    sharl says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: JSF! I’ve missed you around here.
    Hope all is well.

    And John, just keep on keepin’ on. This is a great joint you have here. It would appear you’ve recognized the metastable nature of the blogosphere, and you hustle to keep things running (without fatally crashing) accordingly.

  321. 321
    gogol's wife says:


    Definitely an issue. My spouse is already a little disturbed by my addiction to this blog.

  322. 322
    BGinCHI says:

    Wonder if Levenson is walking around Cambridge today considering a tattoo of Cole’s face on his bicep?

  323. 323
    Jacquie says:

    I lurk more often than not, but had to de-lurk to join the chorus of “great to see you, man!” Also, if I was 3 years more single than I am now, and not profoundly terrified of West Virginia, I’d have some serious designs on cuddling you.

  324. 324
    passerby says:

    And BTW, IIRC, the word Apocalypse roughly translates to:

    That which is unseen, becomes seen.

    So, seeing your face is a sign of the Apocalypse.


  325. 325
    Ordovician Bighorn Dolomite (formerly rarely seen poster Fe E) says:

    Well, Damn! I never thought I’d live to see the day! As yet another 41 year-old formerly skinny dude who just got asked to play Santa Claus, you don’t look too bad–you just look human.

    Oddly enough I just shaved my beard off, priamrily because I got tired of people making a big deal out of the grey in it.

    And, while I can’t speak for either group, judging by the comments, both the ladies and gay men of “the BJ” think that in addition to being both the bees knees AND the kittens mittens, you are ALSO all of that with a bag of chips thrown in for good measure.

    Go get ’em, Tiger!

  326. 326
    Poopyman says:

    Really? After all these years you’re oddly ordinary, in a totally not-oximoronic use of those two words. I at least expected the Blofeld/Dr. Evil Nehru jacket since you’ve already got the white cat.

    And now it’ll be tougher for you to go to Netroots Nation incognito. Or are you just preparing us for your stint as weeklong sub for Rachel Maddow?

  327. 327
    Peter VE says:

    I see a cross between John Goodman, and Dennis the Peasant (late lamented blogger proud to post self pix in Sponge Bob PJs). Most importantly, you write damn well.

  328. 328
    bemused says:


    Ha! Hysterically funny story. Many of us have been startled by unexpectedly not recognizing ourselves but your experience was vividly hilarious.

  329. 329
    Kola Noscopy says:


    Hope you didn’t take offense, as did the others.

    Relax. There are about 20 Juicers here who, apparently having no life in meat space, take everything here WAY too seriously, especially when they see an opportunity to brown nose Cole. As if he cares.

    Glad to meet your face, John. You look great, or as great as anyone looks staring downward into a camera with a sour expression does. I’m guessing there are plenty of candids out there in which you’re smiling/laughing, relaxed and looking plenty handsome.

  330. 330
  331. 331
    Kola Noscopy says:

    Cole, I just had a terrible thought: Are you revealing your face as the first step in a process by which you will end up pontificating with the other blowhards on the MSM bobble head shows?

    Please tell me this isn’t the case.

    Do not follow ACL into the grifter world of punditing in the media.

  332. 332
    Terry says:

    You guys are always in my top 5 sites. I’m with @JohnK, and offer my encouragement, John.

    I’m 64. Two years ago I weighed 249 and wore 48″ pants and 2X shirts. I decided that I did not want to go further into my 7th decade slowly losing the ability to be active, and inviting all sorts of avoidable illnesses.

    Now I weigh 188, heading for 167 (my military weight) and am wearing 38″ pants and, depending on the brand, a Medium shirt. I tell you, just walking across the parking lot at the grocery feels more like dancing than it does just walking.

    It was supremely easy to do. I don’t want to write an essay here, but there are a few easy things to do I would love to share. How about a thread? I bet some of the folks here have some thoughts about that as a topic of conversation.

  333. 333
    Libby says:

    @Peter VE: Is Dennis the Peasant dead?

  334. 334
    Brachiator says:

    Happy to make your acquaintance.

  335. 335
    Jay says:

    Next up: Cole audio!

    Want. Balloon. Juice. Podcasts.

  336. 336
    Poopyman says:

    @RossInDetroit: Both Goodman and Hoffman are older than our good host, you realize?

  337. 337
    Paul in KY says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Hope you are well. Drop on in & slag us all.

  338. 338
    cmorenc says:

    You picked a camera angle and focal distance from which NO ONE looks good, not Brad Pitt, not Angelina Jolie. It makes everyone look like they’re practicing their zombie look, before the makeup is applied.

  339. 339
    zimzam says:

    why not post a picture of yourself 10 years ago, too, so we can see just exactly what this blog has done to you.

  340. 340
    dance around in your bones says:

    Awwww, Cole….you look like a sweet fat teddy bear. You are a good guy with a great heart.

    Man, it sucks getting old, huh? When I pass a mirror I am always surprised to see that slightly chubby greying-blonde middle-aged lady in place of the svelte 18 year old I still feel like. Ack!

  341. 341
    kdaug says:


    Why do I get the feeling this is going to be another 300+ comment post


  342. 342
    Jayne says:

    unlurk/John, you could have a hair lip,pock marks all over your face and be 5′ tall and I’d still think you’re cute. It’s all about what’s going on upstairs and you’ve got that in spades./unlurk

  343. 343
    lake the snake says:

    My first reaction was, “It’s Jonah Goldberg’s evil twin”.
    Then I decided that was too harsh to be as funny as it seemed when I thought it.

  344. 344
    kc says:

    Thanks! This will make it easier to stalk you.


  345. 345
    Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn says:

    I can’t have been the only one expecting an Evil Spock beard, can I?

  346. 346
    lake the snake says:

    Is the doughy pantload enough to get put in moderation, or
    was it G*o*l*d?

  347. 347
    pragmatism says:

    very bold John. good for you.

  348. 348
    Swishalicious says:

    infrequent commenter, constant reader here: good for you Cole, and don’t put yourself down so damn much. you are the man

  349. 349
    Ripley says:

    Nice to see you. Now stop staring at me.

  350. 350
    Cermet says:

    @Terry: WOW! Great work and stay with it! I’m impressed!

  351. 351
    flukebucket says:


    I would love to know those few easy things. I would be glad to join a Balloon-Juice weight loss challenge.

  352. 352
    LawyerInTheMaking says:


    I also want to add – as a single 34 year old guy living alone, I find Cole’s obsession with housekeeping utterly fascinating.

    Ummm, as a 26 y/o female with a roommate, I also find it fascinating… especially considering how I’m seriously looking into how much it’ll run me to have Merry Maids or some similar company come clean my apt every week or two. I absolutely abhor any and all housework other than cooking, with a special disdain for washing dishes.

  353. 353
    Keith G says:

    About fucking time. You are a good man Cole.

    BTW Andrew called and all is forgiven.#

  354. 354
    Davo says:

    @murck Holy Shit, my friend! Can I run with you guys sometime?!? DCUOers who follow Balloon Juice?!?! We’re kindred spirits, sir! Im a schmuck too! The schmuckiest, this side of Joe Walsh!!!

  355. 355
    Liz says:

    I wish I had time to read this whole thread, but I don’t, at least right now.

    John, do you have the Blues, too? (Sure I’m not the first to ask).

    Anywho, you’re cute, just like your pets. And we don’t care what you look like, really, just that you keep on being you. XO

  356. 356
    wrb says:

    Now there is a guy who looks like a president should.

  357. 357

    Last year, a little kid sidled up to me and said softly, “Ho ho ho.”

    How else could I respond? I winked and put a finger to my pursed lips.

  358. 358
    wrb says:

    And where’s the edit button?

  359. 359
    ronin122 says:

    Fuck this, give us more Tunch pics.

    /Seriously, knew you were a bigger guy but imagined you less redneck-looking. Not sure why that is. But as to pic, whatever; it is what it is no more or less.

  360. 360
    Jody says:

    You’re adorable.

  361. 361


    I’m a professional photographer who specializes in making everyday folk look good. Given all I’ve read of your blog, if you’re ever in NYC I’d be happy to take some photos you’ll actually like.

  362. 362
    Polar Bear Squares says:

    Oh snap! Good to finally see a photo of you, my man. Thanks.

  363. 363
    gogol's wife says:


    It could be called Tunch’s Biggest Loser Contest.

  364. 364
    eco2geek says:

    Aaaaaaaagh! Unicorn chaser, stat! :-)

    Good God. We, the readers of this fine blog, obviously need to get up a donation to help pay for a proper picture of its proprietor.

  365. 365
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    Actually, given your reluctance to post anything like this before, I figured you’d look like Jason without his mask. You’re a decent-looking dude. You shouldn’t have the sort of self-image issues you have, though it might not kill you to smile every once in a while.

  366. 366
    pk says:

    And here I was thinking you were tall dark and handsome! Oh well, but teddy bears are good too! Seriously two thumbs up for the courage.

  367. 367
    WaynersT says:

    not only are you not bald (as I imagined)
    you’re a ginger! You’re a fat ginger bastard- Awesome!

  368. 368
    WaynersT says:

    Wait until Sullivan sees this – a bearded ginger. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!

  369. 369
    Terry says:

    I pictured you as a good looking Eric Cantor. It doesn’t matter how you look – the first time I discovered John Cole and Balloon Juice you’ve been my first hit of the day. Love you.

  370. 370
    Poopyman says:

    @FormerSwingVoter: To be fair, that is a 3:30 AM face.

    Why the hell aren’t you in bed asleep at that hour? Talk to your doctor.

    And I’m not kidding.

  371. 371
    Jay C says:

    OK, add me to the “had-no-idea-what-John-looked-like-but-didn’t-expect-THIS” group. Though running down your own appearance isn’t really necessary, Cole: isn’t that what you gin up a blog-following to do?

    And btw, what sort of lens/camera DID you use for this pic? We really didn’t expect the Internet Adonis; but is your jawbone really three times the size of your skull?

  372. 372
    Denali says:

    You handsome devil, you. Oh to be single!

  373. 373
    Jennyjinx says:

    Good to meet you, Mr. Cole. You look a lot like my favorite cousin- he’s got red hair, though. Of course, we’re both from Appalachia, so we may very well be cousins.

    Now when you’re blogging about your Steelers losing, I can imagine you wearing that jersey and hollering at the tv, complete with the red face. Awesome. :0)

  374. 374
    CynDee says:

    @Brian R.: Ohhh, NO! I went out and looked up bj on the internet. I didn’t know it meant THAT! You can’t say anything these days without getting into trouble. Oh NO.


  375. 375
    Felinious Wench says:

    John, it’s a pleasure to meet you. I admire the insanity it took to subject yourself to the inevitable abuse this crowd will rain down.

  376. 376
    redshirt says:

    Classic Steeler Fan. I can see him at the bar in his Rocky Bleier shirt.

  377. 377
    gnomedad says:

    @Ryan Brenizer:

    I’m a professional photographer who specializes in making everyday folk look good. Given all I’ve read of your blog, if you’re ever in NYC I’d be happy to take some photos you’ll actually like.

    Motto: “I’ll make you look better than that photo you shot with your webcam at 3am when you couldn’t sleep!”

    Kidding, kidding!

  378. 378
    Montysano says:

    For my You Kids Get Off My Damn Lawn rant for the day: I’m a fairly accomplished photographer, still using film and stumbling around in a darkroom. I fucking despise cell phone and computer cameras. MP3 files, also too. They’re the Devil’s work.

    I’d shoot you in B&W with a 135mm prime lens; you’d look like a young Sean Connery much better.

  379. 379
    El Cruzado says:

    After all these years, I expected far worse.

  380. 380
    Funkula says:

    So it turns out our host is Walter Sobchak. I’m ok with this.

  381. 381
    mandarama says:

    I’ve been a lurker / reader here for some years, and my sister actually texted me this morning: “Cole posted a pic of himself.” I _ran_ to the computer so I could see the guy that I’ve always said I would want to marry if I wasn’t already married to a great guy.

    And I’d still marry you, if it wasn’t for that whole “already married” thing. So take that for what it’s worth.

  382. 382
    Rey says:

    Hey now! you are VERY cute, thought you may have been a blonde! Anyhoo- you could get it!

  383. 383

    anyone complaining about getting grey in their beard after age 40 is a pu, pu, ponce.

    try losing pigment at age 14. then neurotically shaving at least twice a day from then til middle age. also, avoiding sun and making whiteness work for me yet again.

    at some point you say fuck it, those 20yr olds ain’t looking and if they are they aren’t seeing what you want them to be seeing anyway.

  384. 384
    cybergal619 says:

    Hello Handsome!

  385. 385
    nancydarling says:

    Is it possible that Cole is scamming us by using one of those programs that alters portraits? My son sent me pictures of himself that he had doctored. I am concerned that his ears have disappeared and the lower 2/3 of his face is way out of whack size-wise.

    Maybe it’s just the camera angle. Avedon, he ain’t.

  386. 386
    Mark says:

    re:”I’ve avoided it, because I don’t like the way I look”

    That sucks. You look good John–don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

  387. 387
    JC says:

    @Hawes: LOL, now I’m going to read everything that Cole writes, in a John Goodman voice.

    I can live with that.

    Glad to finally ‘see’ you, Cole.

  388. 388
    Darkrose says:

    Huh. About what I’d imagined, only I pictured you with dark hair.

    And you know, I used to be a cute skinny chick with big boobs. Now, I’m a big fat dyke. The alternative, however, is not being alive, so I’ll take my fat self and be okay with not looking like I did when I was 20.

  389. 389
    ruemara says:

    You’re cute, JC. You look like a blonde panda. Face fuzz is not my thing unless you are cat, but I adore cute cheeks. Besides, you cook, you clean, you play WoW and SWOTR. What else can a girl ask for? Don’t beat yourself up. In the interest of full disclosure, this is me and I’m romping on a bed with hawt young men.

  390. 390
    Comrade Mary says:

    @ruemara: Ha! You’re really cute, ruemara. The cats are cute, too :-)

  391. 391
    Cmm says:

    Add me to the list of female readers who think you look just fine. I have thought often, reading your posts about taking care of your house, and your cooking, and your devotion to your pets, family, and friends, that you are truly a Catch and it is amazing you are single. Your picture changes that opinion not one bit. You look just fine to me, and furthermore, I tend to become attracted to people based on their personality. If I like you, however you look becomes attractive to me. I think a lot of women (and a fair number of men, stereotypes about visual stimulation uber alles aside) are wired like this. Frankly, at the risk of sounding like an Althouse commenter, if I were single and further to the hetero end of the Kinsey scale I would have been sending you flirty emails long since. Yeah, that’s right, your milkshake brings all the dykes to the yard. Well one or possibly two anyway.

  392. 392
    Rome Again says:

    Looks pretty average to me. I don’t get the reason for all the self-deprecation. John, perhaps next time (now that we know what you look like) you can post one of you smiling, and to get to that point, try practicing some of that beforehand.

    I know you know HOW to do this!

  393. 393
    Beauzeaux says:

    @mandarama: Gonna have to stand in line. Cole is the perfect man.

  394. 394
    Catherine says:

    Holy shit, you look like a younger, blond version of my husband. Thus, you know, awesome.

    Well done, you. Thanks for giving us a face to put with the words.

  395. 395
    Skippy the Wondermule says:

    Listen Kim Dotcom, Obi Wan never told you what happened to your father …

    Kim, John Cole is your father. Search your feelings, you know it to be true!

    We love you John :-)

  396. 396
    tomvox1 says:

    @ John Cole:

    Shine on, you crazy diamond.

  397. 397
    tomvox1 says:

    BTW, this has been a heady week in the Progressive blogosphere. First, Steve Benen leaves Political Animal and now Mr. Cole relinquishes his anonymity. What’s next, Markos in drag?

  398. 398
    DonkeyKong says:

    Post a video with your head shaved, eating pistacchios in the dark will patting your head with a wet cloth ranting “you’re all errand boys sent by grocery clerks to collect a bill.”

  399. 399

    You have the look of a man who is either hung over, or just read something so appallingly stupid that you really, really need a drink.

  400. 400
    Bettencourt says:

    I suspect this thread is already long dead, but I’d always imagined Mr. Cole as looking like a younger, thinner cross between J.T. Walsh and Guy Boyd.

  401. 401
    virag says:

    there was a spot for you on the ‘grizzly adams’, maybe as the guy who passes through a few times a season to bust the balls of the guy with the bear.

    or as the idaho nephew of uncle jessy on the ‘dukes of hazard’ tv show.

    good, honest work.

  402. 402
    virag says:

    or the herman-cain-loving u.s. marshall on ‘justified’. that guy looks like he dropped a ton of weight between the seasons.

  403. 403
    Paul in KY says:

    @ruemara: Lookin fine!

  404. 404
    virag says:

    west virginia, right?

    mountain bike mountain bike mountain bike.

    get yourself to the shop, buy the entry-level bikeshop mountainbike brand they sell, and get yourself out into the wide wide world. after a while, you will actually start to like it.

    you don’t need a knolly or an intense or any of that stuff, just something to get you out and mobile.

  405. 405
    RossinDetroit says:

    The reason JC apologizes for his appearance is he thinks his readers are all more attractive than him*.

    Isn’t that sweet?


  406. 406
    Tractarian says:


    mountain bike mountain bike mountain bike.

    Aah, but there’s a problem: for men like Cole and myself – men of a particular stature, I should say – biking for more than 5 minutes means not being able to sit down for the next 5 days.

  407. 407
    Karen in GA says:

    Relax. You look fine, even if the facial expression screams “proof of life.”

    Hey, I’m 43, and probably wouldn’t fool anyone into thinking I’m younger. After I quit smoking I put some more weight on, which I really didn’t need to do. And that’s all I’m saying about what I look like.

  408. 408
    RossinDetroit says:


    mountain bike mountain bike mountain bike.

    Jesus H. Christ on a postage stamp no! No 2-wheeled vehicles.
    Google ‘Balloon Juice mopping incident’. He’s no good to us as an invalid.

  409. 409
    Donut says:


    I’m up for that. I would like to lose about 10-15 pounds more of the ol’ belly fat. That’s really the only place I’m still carrying more extra weight than I should be.

  410. 410
    Ecks says:

    doooon’t go chaaaangin’
    just to…

    Yeah, comment count +1

    (because in some weird way the general sentiment of a post is magnified by the comment volume, right, and it seems right to amplify the basically happy/supportive and slightly weirded vibe here)

  411. 411
    Short Bus Bully says:

    Late to the party as usual.

    Nice pic Cole. How about offering it up as a HD desktop wallpaper?

  412. 412
    West of the Cascades says:

    Late to the party but want to help push this string to 500 comments … can we get a t-shirt in the Balloon Juice shop with JC’s photo on it? Maybe a la Tunch’s “Feed” red & blue version but with the word “Blog”?

    Or what other single word would be appropriate to caption John’s photo if it were on a t-shirt?

  413. 413
    West of the Cascades says:

    @Short Bus Bully: jinx

  414. 414
    Carnacki says:

    Surprising how much we West By God Virginia bloggers all look alike

  415. 415
    RossinDetroit says:

    @West of the Cascades:

    Or what other single word would be appropriate to caption John’s photo if it were on a t-shirt?


  416. 416
    Blue Neponset says:

    Add me to the list of people who thought you were bald.

    You look like a normal American male John. If you had your Steelers jersey on and a beer in your hand I don’t think I could pick you out of a line up.

  417. 417
    mai naem says:

    Jeebus, the one day I don’t look at BJ in the AM you decide to out your peecture. Seriously, dude, you could have waited for my presence.

    Anyhoo,you look okay. I was not expecting a beard. Hell, you never mentioned any shaving hemorrhaging accidents. I was expecting more militarish kinda hair only because you were in the military….whatevah… I’ll be watching some tv news/mag show and they’ll show some old middle aged looking person and then they’ll announce their age(in the 40s sometimes in the late 30s) and I am thinking to myself, sheet, do I look that old too? You know when the cashiers start calling you sir or ma’am you’re beginning to look middle aged.

  418. 418
    Luci says:

    Hey! At last! Thanks for the picture, and I’m glad to finally see it. I thought you’d have darker hair though. You look like the rest of us…just a normal person who is going through life getting older but hanging in there and loving their pets. :) I think after you took in Rosie and learned to deal with her personality I decided you were a great guy and even if you looked like a troll, which you do not, I’d still have thought you were handsome.

  419. 419
    Phoebe says:

    I am completely disoriented by the blondness. Blonde! I knew you were fat because you’ve always gone on and on about it, like my friend Nick. He used to sound like an anorexic, but he was (and is) very funny in a gloomy kind of way, and because you remind me of him, except for the blondness, I will tell you what he did to lose a ton of weight: lots of bike riding. If you hate that (don’t do what you hate), do what my brother did, and walk the dog(s) a lot.

    At any rate, thanks for posting that. It’s good to know what your imaginary friends look like.

  420. 420
    Philip says:

    You don’t give yourself enough credit, John! I think you’re a great looking guy!

  421. 421
    Death Panel Truck says:

    Always pictured you with dark hair. Dunno why. My dark hair is slowly turning silver.

    @Fucen Pneumatic Fuck Wrench Tarmal:

    anyone complaining about getting grey in their beard after age 40 is a pu, pu, ponce.

    I started getting a greybeard when I was 42. I actually thought it looked pretty cool. I’m 48 now, even more of a greybeard, and I still like it. So does my wife.

  422. 422
    uptown says:

    Try smiling in the next picture, it makes a world of difference.

    41 is a good age to realize that your muscles won’t exercise themselves. Get out there and do something (biking, hiking, Tai Chi, etc) on a regular basis for the next 41 years.

  423. 423
    Msilaneous says:

    Just when I thought I couldn’t admire you more, you pull a brave stunt like this. Happy 10th, handsome.

  424. 424
    Birthmarker says:

    I look forward to pets/master pics…

  425. 425
    Wile E. Quixote says:

    I’m still waiting for those naked mopping pics.

  426. 426
    Peter VE says:

    “Dennis the Peasant” is dead. The ex-blogger formerly known as “Dennis the Peasant” is alive and well and recovering, afaik.

  427. 427
    2liberal says:

    i wonder if tunch is embarrassed about John’s fatness.

  428. 428
    Quarks says:

    (yes, thread is dead, and you’ll probably never read this, but, whatever…)

    Huh. I, too, thought you were bald. Definitely better looking than I expected from your self descriptions.

  429. 429
    Juju says:

    I almost missed this because I’ve been sick. I feel the need to comment like everyone else. You are adorable in a gruff teddy bear sort of way, and almost exactly the way I thought you’d look. I just figured your hair would have a bit more red.

  430. 430
    Curtis says:

    Posting in legendary thread. WTG Cole :)

  431. 431
    La Caterina says:

    Don’t tell my other half Johannes I said so, but you have a very kissable mouth and soulful eyes behind those specs. From the comments i scanned it looked like at least one eligible female finds you attractive.

    Also, too- too bad you’re a het boy. Otherwise I could set you up with some bear afficionados. Just sayin’.

  432. 432
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    429 posts and not a single flame war about ABL? OMG!!!

    John, you look like an awesome guy.

  433. 433
    COB says:

    Better than Lowell in looks, but can you carry a tune?

  434. 434
    Mike S. says:

    Maybe the cellulite has gotten to your brain.
    That would explain the enthusiasm you expressed last night for the President’s latest round of shameless and transparent pandering.
    Anyone with grey matter, as opposed to a head full of trans-fat, would understand that POTUS couldn’t give a rat’s behind about best interests of The People in our once great nation.

  435. 435
    Dilbatt says:

    You’re a good man, John Cole.

  436. 436

    john, you look like a long-lost friend. great to see you. maybe someday i’ll post a picture of the fat old auntie i’ve become. i’m not as brave as you.

    and seriously, bad lighting, bad camera angle, and you need to smile. otherwise, what’s not to love?

  437. 437
    flukebucket says:

    You figure out a way to put that exact mug shot on a coffee cup with the caption on the back reading, Oh Juanita, my sweet Chiquita, what are you up to? and I will proudly buy 12 of them.

  438. 438
    suzanne says:

    You’re adorable, Cole. Chillax. At least you’re not one of those dudes who tans and/or uses Just For Men.

  439. 439
    Rob says:

    Dude. Just smile.

  440. 440
    Anne Laurie says:

    @suzanne: Oh, right, you’re in Arizona — where pale skin has novelty value :)

    He is cute, though. And must be unusually crafty, to have stayed uncoupled this long.

  441. 441
    JordanRules says:

    Dead thread on life support!

    Love it!! Count me in with the lot who think you look like they thought you would. Cannot believe you did this, just dropped the pic finally. Courageous and cool just like your blogging and political evolutions. Go Stillers…next season

  442. 442
    suzanne says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    you’re in Arizona—where pale skin has novelty value :)

    I’m in Arizona, where getting skin cancer chopped off is a way of life.

    I have always found tanning unattractive. I just turned 32, and my friends who tanned when we were in our teens and twenties are starting to look wrinkly. I am starting to get gray. I used to dye my hair for fun; now I dye my hair not to feel shitty about myself.

    The biggest bummer about aging I’ve found so far: I am starting to get fine wrinkles, BUT I STILL GET ACNE. What the FUCK is that?

  443. 443
    5x5 says:

    Pleased to meet you.

  444. 444
    befuggled says:

    Holy shit. You start planning a funeral, and you miss all the good shit.

  445. 445
    RossInDetroit says:

    The comment box has gone all strange looking all of a sudden. There are weird symbols. Who’s developing this, Facebook?

  446. 446
    pebble says:

    Don’t be so hard on yourself, John. You do great things in the world.

  447. 447
    dearolddad says:

    I guess I assumed a leaner person with dark hair. Instead I see someone who looks like me 20 years ago.

  448. 448
    sloan says:

    You know when you read a book and then they make it into a movie and nobody looks right because you already know what they look like in your head? It’s kind of like that. But after clicking back on the picture ten times while reading 447 comments I’m getting used to it.

    Are Tim and Doug next?

  449. 449
    ArchPundit says:

    Goddamit, you fucker. You still look better than I do.

  450. 450
    Jebediah says:

    Yeah, I’m starting to get used to it too. I had always pictured him as a surly, erudite version of the guy on the Brawny paper towels package, but with darker hair.
    And, of course, as eleventy-four commenters have already said, it wouldn’t matter if he were completely unsightly – he provides us with an entertaining and interesting blog, and he is very good to a some lucky critters. (I arrived here right about the time of the finding/rescuing Rosie story, so as far as I am concerned he is permanently a Good Guy.)

  451. 451
    Summer says:

    I don’t comment often, but I consider myself a Woman of Balloon Juice and this thread makes me feel ridiculously happy.

    Thanks, Cole. Lookin’ good.

  452. 452
    harlana says:

    wow, the “unveiling” has generated 451 comments!! and yeh, i was gonna say something about you still having your hair but did not want to piss off the hair-challenged, but that has no age (i work with a 20 something who is balding) – but damn, it is hard to find anyone my age with hair anymore!

    getting older sux, i know – after 5 years of craziness, i just woke up one day and realized i was an old woman – no one wanted to hire me and i realized at that time i was old as fuck

    i’m pretty self-conscious about it now, whereas before i thought my looks and ability to charm people (yes, i know it’s hard to believe, guys, i’m quite charming and lovable in person, ask anyone – that’s because i avoid discussing politics with anyone!) would last forever.

    i don’t really want to hear the whole “consider the alternative” thing at this time!

  453. 453
    harlana says:

    also, too, “hot redhead” – that’s my final analysis


  454. 454
    Redheadwglasses says:

    Yay! I’d do ya!

  455. 455
    Samara Morgan says:

    He doesnt really look like that.
    Its iphone effect.
    my tweenie cousins and their friends all took “big-jowl” pics of themselves and posted them on their facebooks.

    still pretty brave. … or foolhardy.

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