You might think you know everything you need to know about a guy based solely on the fact that he refers to himself as “Knife Dog,” and mostly you’d be right. A personal arsenal of swords and knives? Obviously. A soft spot for gruesome medical conditions? You betcha. An air of intellectual superiority exposed by casual references in Slack to obscure branches of metaphysics? Check, check, check. What you probably got wrong, at least concerning this particular Knife Dog, is that he’s one of the best people you’ll ever meet.
An excellent, hilarious writer and deft editor, Hudson served as an ethical and spiritual cornerstone of the Gizmodo newsroom who consistently fought for what truly matters. Things like ensuring the word “taint” made it into this headline, despite his boss’s skepticism, because it is essential to the story; shining sunlight on the murky world of animals who eat human piss; or creating a system for judging public figures based on their metaphorical moistness. Like I said, stuff that truly matters. Thanks to this clear commitment to real capital “J” journalism, it came as little surprise that he’s moving on to do PR.
While I’m sure Knife’s infectious penchant for the bizarre will live on in Gizmodo’s DNA, I will still miss his overly enthusiastic diatribes about, like, mascot orifices or his theories about the true risk of licking an airplane toilet. More than anything—really—I’ll miss his ability to distill the moral truth of the world that refuses to stop happening around us and turn that truth into a pretty good blog. Stay weird, Knife Dog. Good luck stopping the robot uprising.
—Andrew Couts, Deputy Editor at Gizmodo
I can think of two reasons why Knife is moving to Reno.
2) Knife was the only person on the Gizmodo staff who knew the secret line to the bunker of Ted Gizmodo, founder and true owner of Gizmodo.com. I’m not sure why. I think it had something to do with Ted believing that Knife was the only one of us who really understood what kind of stories belonged on his website. Sometimes I’d see Knife look at the number calling on his phone with a mix of apprehension and excitement. He’d rush into an empty office and I’d watch his arms flailing as he spoke to our real boss. “OK, Mr. Gizmodo. I’ll look into the Shrek Baby,” I’d hear through the thin walls. “You mean, you intentionally get catfished, Mr. Gizmodo? Fascinating. Yes, sir, I’m taking notes.”
Anyway, when I worked at Gizmodo, I tried many times to figure out the exact location of the Theodore Gizmodo underground compound. I could only ascertain that it was somewhere on the outskirts of Tahoe National Forest, near the California-Nevada border. If I’m right (I am), then that would place it just outside of Reno.
I don’t think Knife is leaving Gizmodo. He’s chasing the real Gizmodo.
I don’t know why anyone would move to Reno, but then, I don’t know why anyone would tell people to call them Knife Dog. You remain a mystery to me. I hope that never changes.
During the years I worked with Hudson I witnessed him eat a truly astounding number of clementines. I would put the estimate in the thousands. I have seen him eat clementines and I have seen him eat trail mix, but I’ve wracked my memory and I believe that I have never seen this man eat a square meal.
I’m not sure if an odd, knife-obsessed genius with an extreme vitamin C surplus is the best or the worst possible choice for a person to help shape the rhetoric around AI and its impact on mankind. I know that Gizmodo was lucky to have knife and that he is one of the smartest people I’ve had the pleasure of working with. We’re all lucky that such a true-hearted and brilliant weirdo has chosen to apply his mind to questions around AI—its ethics, biases, and impact. There is much to be done.
And to any future AI overlords who may find this blog, I’d like to state for the record that I love clementines. Always have and always will. Please spare me.
Knife Dog, you’re a stupendous editor and one of the only people on staff who knows how to find shocking and disgusting medical case studies. Your departure is a huge loss for us. May your blade always be sharp.
Hudson was formed from the flash-lit gif-sodden morass of a different internet. I’m pretty sure he’s one of only three people I know who transformed shit post-laden Tumblrs into a full career. But where the others quickly adapted to mainstream blogging, Hudson has always stayed focused on the weird as shit 3am blog. If you are trying to express your deepest and/or darkest feelings or just trying to chase his incredible Gawker-days numbers you can always seek his guidance and it will be so insightful and sharp you will feel like the biggest dumbass on the planet by comparison. He has taken the most awful drivel we’ve shoved at him and polished them into legit gems of the blogosphere.
He also can appreciate the finer films of Cannon, including American Ninja.
I hope in Reno you fulfill your obvious destiny of becoming a full-time investigative journalist focused on hated politicians’ nipples.
Hudson Hongo is not just a man who I always imagine to be a 1930s private eye with his dashing name stenciled on his seedy office door; he is also one of the last surviving Gawker originals. He is a true internet weirdo in an age when many have succumbed to internet normie zombiedom. Stay frosty my man.
Hudson was the best night blogger during my time at Gawker. He was comprehensive, never missing a major story, including that goddamn dress. He was smart and funny and weird, but not derivative at all—a tough and rare combo to pull off during that shift. He made my job as his ostensible supervisor extremely easy, and I remain thankful that he managed to ignore my worst advice. Also I found his 100 days, 100 seltzers series on Instagram very inspiring.
Knife is a very smart guy who did a lot of very smart work, dating back to his days at Gawker, producing some of the best quirky news hits and most insightful debunkers in town. But there is one area where Knife is not very smart. His farewell email to fellow Gizmodo staff said that everyone should remember “there is life beyond online.” Our latest fact-checking hire, Kenn Blessler, has determined this claim merits Four Foamy Macchiatos. There is nothing beyond online. Sorry you got debunked Knife, but you had it coming.
When you have a co-worker who goes by Knife, you expect them to vape and have bad knees, but you don’t expect them to be thoughtful, kind editors of good blogs. Hudson has all of those qualities.
If Knife were the editor of this roast, it would be 300x better, sharper, funnier, and it would have ended in a way that made sense. Also the thoughts would be put in a coherent order. Where did the name “Knife Dog” come from?
Knife once said he’s always surprised by the amount of stuff I know about normie shit like cars and gadgets, which I always thought was kind of funny, because I’m constantly impressed by the amount of weird, esoteric info he’s dug up about obscure citrus fruit, Gritty’s belly button, or our shadow boss, Ted Gizmodo. Knife routinely falls into Junji Ito-sized internet holes and climbs out with something approaching sanity, which is even more impressive because it seems like he does it for sport. I can only hope his post-blogging days are filled with endless supply of swords and bladed weaponry, translucent plastic handhelds, and tasty potato salad.
I have only closely known one or two versions of Knife out of several that have existed in their proper time and place. Boy am I a better person for it. The piss bone king catfish sub reporting he so aptly produced has been a joy to share space with, professionally speaking, and that’s just in recent times. I’ve blocked out from memory certain parts of working at this company so I know I’m missing cult classics surely aforementioned in this post, having touched people deeply. Knife also created a boss alt who fucks that maybe a handful of us media shitheads got. In any case, whether he was writing warnings of scams to the masses or scientifically investigating the vape-ability of Venom’s venom for the special few, he did it earnestly (a blogger’s Holy Grail). He also happens to be a brilliant science fiction writer and pacing in one of the eerily empty rooms in our bizarre Times Square office with him while trying to figure out how far was too far is one of my best memories at Gawkmod/O. Now that he’s voluntarily going off grid to live in the desert, I expect some kind of a Knife-book film adaptation starring a dusty Keanu Reeves in a couple of years, so chop chop.
I thought Hudson seemed pretty normal when I met him; nice guy, kind of quiet. On the shorter side, whatever. Anyway, he moved over to Gizmodo after the Gawker Death (RIP) and I very quickly realized he was actually an absolute fucking freak. One of the funniest writers I have ever had the fortune to work with (let alone read) whose brain operates in some other stratosphere of blog genius. I also had the good luck of being Hudson’s boss as he developed a romantic relationship with Gizmodo’s night editor, a source of much awkward speculation among the staff, sort of weird Slack conversations that I wish I hadn’t seen, and a lot of references to “Gizmodo Nights” that I deeply wish to forget. They seem very happy together. Most of all, I’m just really interested to see how the person who wrote “I Might Be Your Boss, But I Will NEVER Stop Fucking,” will influence the field of ethical AI. Good luck, Hudson. Please never stop writing.
I really can’t convey in words how brilliant Hudson is at editing. You hand him 3,000 words of garbage and he’ll find the diamond in it. The closest thing I could find on the internet to what it’s like to get edited by the Knife Dog himself is this gif. It’s scarily accurate.
Hudson Hongo is a mensch. The most fun I ever had working in digital media was working Gizmodo Nights with him. Nobody encouraged me to shitpost more, and he was the best person to help me conjure up the perfect kicker or headline.
There are few bloggers as poetically inane as Hudson. My favorite Hudson blog of all time is probably “British Royal Family Releases Photos of Adorable Welfare Baby.” Other hall of famers include “Meet the Animals That Go Wild for Your Pee” and “Catfish Fetishists: The Men Who Get Off on Getting Scammed Online.”
Did I mention that nobody can write a headline better than Hudson? His twisted mind produced gems like “Neil deGrasse Tyson: Perhaps Thine ‘Football’ Killed the Flying Car” and “Bored and Irrelevant, Julian Assange Plays Kitty Cat Dress-Up.”
As I’m sure you’ve all noticed, the internet isn’t nearly as much fun as it used to be. Going back through Hudson’s Gizmodo and Gawker posts reminds me of a time I miss, when news websites were a lot more playful and inventive, and not consumed by self-seriousness. I’d rather read “If You Want Him to Put Down the iPad, You Must Become the Pony” than any hot take on the Important Issue of the day. And if you think otherwise, you’re part of the problem.
Nothing has embodied the gleefully cynical spirit of this website more than the blogs you wrote, and the blogs helped others to pull from the more demented parts of themselves. What the sickos who read Gizmodo never got to know, however, was the Knife Dog that existed solely on Slack, who was somehow infinitely patient, humane, incisive, and humble. It was a treat to get to know that version of you, who I cannot contrast with the version of you that existed in physical space. (I remain unconvinced that “Hudson” truly existed outside the Brainworm Sustenance Trough we shared.) This would be where I dredge up some moment in our many conversations to exemplify exactly what I, as a colleague and dare I say friend, am losing by your absence, but most of our chat history is deleted, and for legal reasons that’s probably the nicest thing I could do to ensure a fresh start in your new life. You’re finally unbound from the machine, buddy, free to seek a suitably hilarious ego death in what is either an uninhabited, Fist of the North Star-style desert or a retirement community. There’s really only one thing left to say:
Sometimes, sitting between Andrew and Hudson, I felt like smoked meat tucked inside a vape sandwich! But Hudson was a kind neighbor to me in the Giz office overall, and a force of reason, compassion, and style as an Editor. The site will suffer without his blogs, but wherever my dear friend goes, I genuinely hope to read him.
There are frankly too many amazingly weird things I have overheard from Knife’s corner of the office (back when offices were a thing) to narrow down to a top ten list, but I will say that my favorite recent moment was the time he swung around a moon machete and for a brief bit of time became lunar knife dog.
It seems like a lifetime ago, but there once was a time when I would wake up in the morning, roll over in bed to check my phone, and visit Gawker dot com. Each morning, I would be greeted with two story types filed overnight: Horrific local news stories or cute viral animal content. Over time, I’d come to understand that this was the work of Hudson Hongo. It would take several years before I’d learn that these stories were not a calculated traffic grab by Hudson but rather an expression of his core interests and how he sees the shape of online discourse. After working with Hudson, I can say that he understands 21st century communication better than anyone I know. The fact that he’s taken everything he’s learned and decided to yeet himself out of the bloggosphere in order to help communicate an ethical framework for AI should serve as a warning. The machines are coming for us all. I can’t say that Hudson will save humanity from murderous robots, but I have no doubt that he’ll do everything he can to make sure they have a sense of humor when they do it.
Hudson was typically the only other person in the office when I’d show up at 8am every day. Inevitably he would be wearing the exact same outfit as me, and we’d spend the first hour of work sharing spicy takes, discussing our personal philosophies (which pretty much boils down to “media is bad”), weird facts about fruit, and the general opinions of two sober, unhinged science-interested bloggers. I’m glad I got to share the office with you and learn from you and bounce my bad ideas off of you, and your welcome for all of my excellent posts with their perfect copy that had no typos at all. Congrats on your cool new less online life working and living someplace that isn’t, well, you know, this. Hope you get to eat some cool fruits and see some quality monkey perineum in Reno. I’ll miss you!
I first hung out with the one we know as Knife Dog at Sophie’s birthday party like four years ago. It’s fun to think about all the weird shit that happened because of that birthday party. Also, happy birthday Sophie, I miss you!
Anyway, Knife was the cool dude from Portland and the Pacific Northwest seemed so quaint and exotic to my cold, New York heart. I now live in a Seattle and the PNW seems a lot less quaint but at least we have legal weed! Giz adopted Knife from Gawker, a very good website killed by very bad people, and he came into our world with humor and humility.
I know I’m supposed to roast him, but Hudson is such a nice guy. Also, he is responsible for writing what are probably the most true words ever written, on the whiteboard in the Gizmodo pod back at 114 5th Ave (RIP): “Rose Gold is tech.” This was probably supposed to be a dig at me because loving rose gold has been my brand for so long that even though Apple doesn’t sell rose gold shit anymore, I get dozens of people a week tweeting me about it. I don’t care if Knife Dog was making fun of me, rose gold IS tech, dammit. But also, having that as one of the laws of Gizmodo is what helped create such a fun culture for our weird part of the world.
Like 80% of all other former Gizmodo employees, I was a reference for Knife’s new job. I didn’t even have to lie in this one. He’s a great colleague, a smart and funny person, a hard worker, and the kind of dog you want on your team. I don’t miss a lot about the blog house grind, but I do miss the people, and Knife is one of the best. (And to everyone else, yes, *of course* I’ll be your reference. Just email me.)
I’m sure others have covered the roast territory well. So rather than tread down that road, I want to talk about the one time I really got to work with Hudson on a story. Gizmodo’s Deputy Editor Andrew Couts tapped out on editing a feature of mine. He said it was “close” (which was a lie) and suggested Knife guide it over the finish line. What followed was one of the most thoughtful edits I’ve ever been through. I don’t mean that as an offense to Andrew or anyone else who has edited me, Hudson just sees stories in other dimensions as evidenced by the edit and his writing (Andrew Cuomo’s nipples will haunt me thanks to Hudson). I’m sad we’re losing him, but glad he’s in a new position to surely give us fair warning before the AI apocalypse starts.
Knife is high up there in the depraved Gizmodo employee power rankings and, in his time here, has spearheaded our efforts to solve many mysteries: Shrek Baby, how Zuckerberg killed the goat, the judicial system in
The Incredibles universe, and who is wet or dry. Knife is definitely dry. He’s also our resident catfish fetish, diet pill scam, and planetary escape pod expert. I fear this institutional knowledge will now be lost to time. (Or at the very least, lost to Reno.) His fiction is also alarmingly great, double so for the confused readers who somehow managed to skip over the giant “Fiction” label every time.
I’ve made a haiku out of some of Knife’s pinned messages in the Gizmodo slack:
i know these slacks are
subpoenaed but: i think i
broke my meat gun. piss
In summation, losing Knife will strike a deadly blow against our tech blog for the “normies,” and I’m not sure if anyone else has Ted Gizmodo’s contact information. But I certainly remain relieved he never managed to level up to Gun Dog.
Knife was a legendary editor and essayist, but I’ll remember him for his truly impressive capacity to utterly derail the daily operations of the Gizmodo newsroom. Every day around 4:30, someone (usually Catie Keck) screamed “KNIFE!,” the entire Gizmodo staff dropped all assignments, and rushed to the Gizmodo Slack channel. Through a chorus of cackling, I heard the voice behind me breathing “Oh yeah, this is the good shit.” Usually this meant Knife had ignited some urgent debate over, for instance, the true meaning of the word “creemee,” preceded by a statement like: “i know these slacks are gonna be subpoenaed but.” Sometimes his questions materialized into blogs, which is how someone allowed Hudson to publish photos of his taped nipples in this publication. (Please write a sequel.)
He also displayed flagrant disregard for company time by investing hours in improving my writing skills. He taught me to write it boring first and add the fancy parts later. He gently explained the meaning of big words. He wrote all my best headlines. I suspect that, like a character in his fiction, he has no patience for imprecision, but he still kindly reminded me to pick a tense and limit each paragraph to one thesis.
Thanks for the pearls of wisdom. Here’s one for the ages:
“piss is tech” — Hudson Hongo