Max Hodges Talks About Time at TMZ

Max Hodges Talks About Time at TMZ | See Him on this Season’s Millionaire Matchmaker

Written By: Erik Hale Max Hodges Talks About Time at TMZ
Photography By: Adam Gentry Max Hodges Talks About Time at TMZ

Even though there are billions upon billions of stars in the night sky, very few shine brightly enough to be detected by the naked eye. The brightest stars- whether by proximity or size hide, overshadow and disguise the beauty of stars nearby that deserve the same attention. In a large city the size of Los Angeles, this same phenomenon happens with people. There are people you should know more about. These people shine very brightly in their own space and time. We found these people. And, not just people—dudes. I don’t mean dudes in the vernacular of Sean Penn (Spicoli) in “Fast Time at Ridgemont High or Ashton Kutcher (Jesse Montgomery lll) in “Dude, Where’s My Car, ” but rather the way it was first intended in the late 1800s. It was considered a compliments, referring to how one dressed (or rather appeared); to be pulled together; to have the appearance of having “it” together. Our focus in this interview, which taps into a disc jockey/music director and a former television personality, is to shine a light on personalities that we feel should be gravitating into your consciousness and are deserving of our collective attention.    tmz Millionaire Matchmaker

Q: Where did you grow up, and what made you move to LA? tmz Millionaire Matchmaker

Max Hodges: I grew up in Santa Cruz, California, surfing and skating and enjoying that great place. I moved to LA after high school, thinking hair metal was alive and well on the strip, but boy, was I wrong. So, I moved back to Santa Cruz, traveled, moved to New York for a bit—NY rules!—moved back to LA when my brother (who still lived here) gave me the news that he was going to be a father.   tmz Millionaire Matchmaker

MH: My brother was a production coordinator at Victory Studios and gave me an entry-level job as a runner. I worked on a lot of different things during my time at that job. In fact, I was the prop boy for the “Ellen DeGeneres Show” pilot. I vividly remembered thinking, “This show is going nowhere…” WRONG!
(laughs) I learned a lot. I learned how to get around LA, found the South Bay (I’m sure I’d die in this city without the South Bay). So, I worked my way up from being a runner and took a job working for a tiny website Harvey Levin founded. I started as a PA. Harvey grew that website into what is now TMZ—which I’m pretty sure is the first website to successfully turn into a TV show. That guy knows news, man! He is a brilliant man, and he works 17 hours a day. I learned so much working there. Harvey Levin is the embodiment of “there is no such thing as no.” You just had to figure it out and do it. Millionaire Matchmaker

Q: You were formerly the Clips and Clearance Producer for TMZ. How did your career in television start?   tmz Millionaire Matchmaker

Q: After eight years with TMZ, you decided to leave. What have you been doing?   tmz

MH: I stayed at TMZ for a long time, and as fun as the show looks, news is really a hard and stressful industry in which to be. News is gnarly—it’s just a lot of work. I wasn’t surfing enough, and I was dying at my desk. It was just time for me to go.  tmz

Q: So one thing I can say after hanging out with you a few times, is that even though you’ve had your own amount of a celebrity, you’re still just like one of the guys.

MH: I’m no better than anyone else. My biggest problem with leaving TMZ wasn’t the money or anything else, it was that I knew I had fans, and I was making them laugh, and that’s what bums me out.  tm 

Q: What’s the biggest piece of news you ever broke?   tmz Millionaire Matchmaker

MH: It’s a team effort—it’s a newsroom, but clips clearance was very instrumental in the Michael Jackson death. We kind of got the ball rolling on that, and we beat every other media source by an hour. You have to break original stories.   tmz Millionaire Matchmaker

Q: So, you’re out, you break a story, and you run into that person when you’re out. Is that awkward?   

MH: One time we did something on Suge Knight about him going bankrupt and all this stuff. One night, I’m at Mel’s Diner, and I saw him, and I was like—oh crap. So he goes to the bathroom, and I follow him over there, because I wanted to see if things were cool. I’m not the final editor. I was so stupid, trying to tell him in the bathroom. And he said, “Why don’t you wait outside, so I can take a pee.” And then, everything was cool, and he invited me over to his table. Most people get it. I’m not a tattletale. Millionaire Matchmaker

Q: Van Halen or Van Hagar and why?   tmz Millionaire Matchmaker

MH: Are you kidding me, bro?! Van Halen for life—there’s no Van Halen without David Lee Roth.   tmz

Q: What’s your favorite album?   tmzMillionaire Matchmaker

MH: That’s like trying to pick your favorite kid… I love “Dance the Night Away.” Ever since the day I heard it, I love that song—one of my favorite songs ever. Millionaire Matchmaker

Q: What’s your perfect day?   tmz Millionaire Matchmaker

MH: Honestly, I love the stock market, so I wake up at 6am everyday and do my trades—I’d make a bunch of money on my perfect day. Go surf. The perfect day is really unplanned.   tmz Millionaire Matchmaker

Max Hodges TMZ

Q: It seems like no matter what you’ve wanted to do, you’ve been successful at it.

MH: I’ve never really wanted to do anything. I’ve always just taken opportunity where I’ve found it. I’ve never planned.   tmz

Q: Is there a long-term goal?   tmz Millionaire Matchmaker

MH: It’s like John Lennon says, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.” I say that all the time. So, I’m not big on plans.   tmz

Q: Do you have aspirations?   tmz Millionaire Matchmaker

MH: I want to make my mom proud. She asked me specifically not to do porn, so I guess I can’t do that.   tmz

Q: Do you have any new projects in the works?  tmz Millionaire Matchmaker

MH: I sure do, and I’m ready for anything fun that comes along! I also try to get in the water whenever it’s best.   tmz

Q: Do you have any friends you want to give a shout out to?   tmz Millionaire Matchmaker

MH: Eddie De Rosa, my best friend, and I, we’re going to start up an e-commerce business downtown. He’s one of the reasons I got my job at TMZ, because we started a blog back in the day. I like being behind the scenes more, we have a lot of great ideas in sales and finance. But, I am in the midst of doing a few other projects for other shows, because you might as well take advantage of it while it’s there, you know?


photo 2

 Millionaire Matchmaker

See Max Hodges on this season’s Millionaire Matchmaker

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Erik Hale is the visionary and publisher behind LOCALE Magazine. He launched the magazine in 2010, wanting to give the community of OC a premiere lifestyle magazine that knew all the native knowledge behind OC. “Six years ago Ashley and I sat at a table scratching the name LOCALE (among some other names) onto a sheet of paper,” says Erik, “coming up with story ideas and basically dreaming. Everything we imagined has happened and we have been blessed with so much more. I am so grateful as we start another year for my family, my two wonderful children, my health, our amazing writers, designers and photographers, our advertising partners and you.”


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