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Hanson was working as a dishwasher, when he first started as a writer and cartoonist at The Onion. He wrote an article in The Onion that was optioned as a movie by DreamWorks and co-wrote the comedy filmThe Onion Movie (2003), which he has since disowned.
Todd was an ensemble member in the Ark Improvisational Theater in Madison, Wisconsin from 1987-88. He voices the character Dan Halen on Squidbillies. He made two guest appearances in the episodes of Aqua Teen Hunger Force called Interfection and Hypno-Germ. He is also on the commentary for Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters in which he stated that he is a big fan of the show. The commentary also states that he came up with the Chicken Bittle character which was rejected to be an Aqua Teen for several years.
On the July 7, 2011, episode of WTF with Marc Maron, Hanson spoke about his long history of depression, as well as a suicide attempt he made in January 2009. Though he had been in counseling and on medication for the condition, he checked into a hotel room near his home in the Brooklynborough of New York City, wrote two notes (one to his family, another to whoever found his body), consumed a bottle of Scotch whisky and over 60 Xanax pills, and lost consciousness for more than 24 hours.
He survived the attempt and was awakened the following day by a hotel maid. In a blacked-out state, he returned home, where he was discovered, still highly intoxicated, by his roommate. Hanson was then checked into a hospital for detoxification and placed on suicide observation. He now considers this day his "second birthday," and has since been in more intensive treatment and has a better grip on his depressive states.