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John Flansburgh

John Conant Flansburgh (born May 6, 1960, Lincoln, Massachusetts) is an actor and musician. He is half of the longstanding Brooklyn, New York-based alternative rock duo They Might Be Giants, for which he writes, sings and plays rhythm guitar. He is left-handed.

Commonly referred to by the nicknames "Flans" or "Flansy," he is married to writer/singer/puppeteer Robin Goldwasser, with whom he occasionally performs. His father, Earl Flansburgh, is a retired successful architect and former principal of his own firm His mother, Polly Flansburgh, is the founder and president of Boston By Foot. His brother, Paxus Calta, is an anti-nuclear activist and political organizer.

They Might Be Giants

Flansburgh co-founded They Might Be Giants, with longtime friend John Linnell, in 1982 while a student at Pratt Institute. The two share singing and songwriting duties, with Flansburgh on guitar, in addition to performing a variety of instruments when the need arises. In the 2002 documentary Gigantic: A Tale of Two Johns, he was stated to hold somewhat of a leadership role in the group, managing most details of their live act and handling much of the promotion effort.

As a songwriter, Flansburgh enjoys a mix of styles; many of his songs have an absurdist and satirical bent, but he often breaks for more earnest and romantic themes as well. He penned and performed vocals on the group's first Grammy Award-winning effort, "Boss of Me", which charted in Europe and served as theme song to the hit television series Malcolm in the Middle.


Self-described as "manic depressive, without the depression", he is known to keep extremely busy when not touring with They Might Be Giants. Some side-projects include:

In 2004, Flansburgh created and hosted a series on WNYC entitled Now Hear This. The program spotlighted a variety of his musical interests, featuring interviews with artists such as Stephen Merritt, David Byrne, Matt Stone, and The Darkness. While no longer in production, it continues to be archived on the station's website.

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