The Best People Of 2011

This is the time of year when we celebrate our heroes. As one should with one’s heroes. We lift them on our shoulders and we carry them all around the Internet, shouting their praises and championing their success. These guys are great! They all do good work and some of them even seem like decent people. We would like to take a moment out of our “busy” lives and genuinely thank them for making the past 12 months better, each in their own way. Yay! Everyone else in the world is worse than these guys just kidding! But these ARE the ones we picked for the list. That is true.

Louis C.K.
It seems like this hardly even needs discussing, but between his self-distributed comedy special Live at the Beacon Theater and his always interesting often hilarious FX show Louie, combined with his funny appearances and stuff, Louis continued the streak he opened up in 2010, carrying it to ever greater heights and widespread recognition. He’s pretty universally agreed to be the best working stand up in the world right now, and I even heard some dudes at the GYM talking about how funny he was the other day, SOME DUDES AT THE GYM, so it’s all really happening. Congrats to him! (Honorable mention to Dane Cook for being game enough to participate in that stand-out scene, also.)

Ryan Gosling
It’s pretty clear that 2011 was the Year of Ryan Gosling. He was good in Blue Valentine last year, and most of the ladies had already picked up his scent in The Notebook, but between Drive and the memes and the pancakes and breaking up that fight and the rest of it, 2011 was the year it all really HAPPENED. Even my dad called me the other day and told me he was a huge Gosling fan. What?! Lots Of Love, Dad.

Herman Cain
Herman Cain’s politics are nonsense and he’s clearly got a “woman problem” but few candidates for President have ever been quite as fun to make fun of, and let us not forget about the time he sang John Lennon’s “Imagine” but about a world without pizza. Oh, Herman Caine. You should have called your 999 tax plan the LOL tax plan because you’re hilarious.

Laura Dern
Mike White’s new HBO show, Enlightened, has been picked up for a second season because Hollywood finally got something right. Watching the first episode, I wasn’t sure what to think. The show was beautifully shot and well acted, but usually in TV shows you’re supposed to actually like the main character and want to spend time with them, and I found Laura Dern’s character, Amy, to be completely unbearable. But as the weeks went by, I realized that I was allowed to and even encouraged to COMPLETELY HATE her. And I did! So hats off to Laura Dern, not only for being a very talented actress who is very good on a TV show, but for willingly signing up for and co-creating a series about a woman who is so deeply unpleasant. That takes some balls. And she’s got them. (Also: honorable Best People mention to everyone involved with the episode that followed Amy’s mom for a day. GOOOOOD EPISODE!)

Beyonce is the best, everyone knows that. She is beautiful and her music is great and she seems fun and nice and cool even if some of those things are probably impossible at least insofar as incredibly famous people are never quite as fun and nice and cool as you’d hope because they have too much MONEY pouring out of their EYEBALLS to PAY ATTENTION. But as great as Beyonce has been in the past, there was something about her this year that was just streets ahead. We were particularly huge fans of her constant surprising of groups of screaming children with a good old fashioned dance-off. Beyonce!

Aaron Paul
Aaron Paul, as a person, is kind of a mixed bag it seems. A beautiful mixed bag where it’s so beautiful that you hardly even care, but then you find him in a CÎROC ad with P. Diddy, and that’s weird, and then you see a video of him saying that “CDs are the new records,” which is like, ugh, AARON! Who are you?! But Aaron Paul, as an actor, was nothing but wonderful in 2011. On Breaking Bad, Jesse has evolved from a clown foil to possibly the most realistic human on TV. At least the most realistic human on Breaking Bad, a show FULL of realistic humans. And the way he portrayed that humanity worked very well against the growing nightmare Teethface became/is becoming in season four. So congratulations, Aaron Paul. You’re great at what you do! WE LOVE YOU! WILL YOU MARRY US?

Courtney Stodden
Courney Stodden brought absolutely nothing but joy to our 2011. It’s hard not to worry about her, as she is merely 17 and you can tell she’s only acting in a way that she thinks the person she wants to act like would act, like we all probably did when we were 17, except in our cases we were probably trying to act super alt rather than super “sexy” and super married to the oldest man. But in any case, she is just the best and so fun to hate and her faces are so fun to watch. Remember back when we talked about her bullying video? We had NO idea what we were getting ourselves into! And now look at us, celebrating the holidays with her, totally knowing what we have gotten ourselves into. Also, speaking of that video, her Twitter account is certainly one of the top ten of 2011 as well. Maybe the top 1? God bless you, Courtney Stodden. Do put it on me, girl!

More Sand Girl
My goodness, the more sand girl. Not that there isn’t something to be said against harping on one specific thing so much that the specific thing kind of loses more and more of its charm because it’s like, ENOUGH WITH IT, but…the “more sand” girl is maybe the overall best person of 2011? Certainly the #1 person that you can turn to without fail, time and time again, when you need a quick happiness bost. A perfect child who has never done anything wrong in her life and was only sent here right from Heaven to show us how good life can be, if only our moms would put more sand on us like we requested. Thanks, “more sand” girl! We love you! SO MUCH!!!!!

Brit Marling
We already spoke of our love and admiration for Brit Marling in our favorite movies post, but, uhhh, IT WASN’T ENOUGH! Brit was working at an investment bank until she somewhat recently moved to LA to be a filmmaker and this year she produced and co-wrote and starred in two films, Another Earth and Sound of My Voice, and though we haven’t seen the latter we can tell you that the former is VERY GOOD! And we can’t wait to see what she does in the future. Because she is very talented. And we like her a lot.

Charlie Day, Chris Pratt, and Danny Pudi

We know that these are three people and not one person, but they are three people that we love for the same reason and that reason is that this year they were the best parts of the already great TV shows that they’re a part of! (It’s Always Sunny, Parks & Recreation, and Community, doy.) Great job, boys! You’re the best of the best. Also, Charlie Day had a baby this year (we think?) and hosted Saturday Night Live! Whoa! Big year! Congrats to him! So, thank you to all of these men for their wonderful characters, and we can’t wait to see you in the new year. We hope. (Danny Pudi.)