What a long strange trip it’s been! Just kidding. It’s been a pretty short normal trip. Nevertheless, it is interesting to stand at the vantage point of a year gone by and reflect on how things have changed. This December is particularly meaningful, of course, because Videogum didn’t exist last December. But even the Lawnmower Man birth cry of all the phones in the world ringing in unison–which is what we did for our launch party–aside, there are plenty of notable people and events from the past year outside of the inception of THE WORLD’S FOREMOST RESOURCE ON TRAMPOLINE ACCIDENTS.
After years of much appreciated silence, Gwyneth reappeared this year, and it appears she spent the past decade locked away in some Tibetan monastery somewhere, mastering the ancient art of being the worst. She was FINE in Iron Man, because she was playing a fictional character who does not exist. But the actual Gwyneth Paltrow was a walking nightmare of self-indulgent satisfaction. From her PBS series about traveling around Spain with Mario Batali like a couple of aging Talented Mr. Ripleys, to her lifestyle website, Goop, in which she throws it in everyone’s face that she likes clean spaces, as if we don’t all like clean spaces, you pampered condescending asshole, she is at the top of this year’s Worst list.
We like 50 Cent’s theatrically monosyllabic boast raps and simplistic hyper-sexualized robotic love songs, but this year he definitely proved that the well-worn adage “you can take the G out of the hood, but you can’t take the hood out of the G” is patently false. If you take the G out of the hood and put him in a 37-bedroom mansion in Connecticut and have him create his own videogame, Apprentice-rip-off reality show, and self-directed movies based on his new album that’s a watered down parody of his old album, there’s not much hood left. It’s mostly just the black Citizen Kane, wandering around in his diamond shorts, wondering why people don’t connect to the hard-living experience of an incredibly financially successful media mogul with terrible ideas.
Brody Jenner will appear on this list every year until he is forgotten, and every year we will collectively pray that it’s the last one. But he’s been on TV since the Princes of Malibu in 2005, and his reign of self-absorbed mediocrity has not ended yet. And with the premiere of Bromance on December 29th, he has already solidified his place on next year’s list. ))<>((. The man has Bumble and Bumble sculpting mud for brains.
David Blaine is terrible, yes, but his latest “illusion” went so terribly wrong that you almost felt bad for him. From the constant snack breaks he took from hanging upside down, to the botched finale where he was clearly lifted up into the air by a crane, the whole thing was such a monumental FAIL that it would almost make you pity the guy, but then the next day he blamed the whole thing on George W. Bush (?) so fuck him.
Kathie Lee Gifford
We used to think Al Roker was the worst because his grinning embrace of high-energy mediocrity embodied everything that is wrong with middle class middle America, with its complacency and its fear of difference. But that was before we were introduced to this woman. She’s the embodiment of Mike Albo’s Underminer wrapped up in the psychologically fragile cipher of an aging would-be Broadway star who’s grasping with all 10 talons at anything that might stave off the slowly drooping effects of age, but there’s nothing there. She is grasping at air. Kathie Lee Gifford would eat your face if she thought that it would keep people paying attention to her.
Look, if you like Kathy Griffin’s comedy, bully for you. It’s not for me, but neither are a lot of other really successful people who make a lot of money and laughter for the people, so that’s not my beef. But the woman is a liar. If she would simply drop this whole Life on the D List schtick and make peace with the fact that she’s a wealthy, popular celebrity with a hit TV show, then we could all move forward with our lives. I’m not even saying that she has to change the name of her show, but enough with the put-upon frantic tap dance routine. Work that shit out in therapy, or in your infinity pool.
It’s tempting to feel bad for The Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Kim Zolciak. She’s almost a tragic figure. Despite the fact that she made up a completely unacceptable story about one time thinking for three days that she might have cancer as if that made her a “survivor,” the fact of the matter is girl does wear a wig, most likely due to some kind of health issue. She was also recently dumped by the married man she was dating, and probably hates the shit out of herself. The rest of the cast seems to despise her, and she was carefully edited by the producers into the villain of the show. Nevertheless, almost all of this is her own doing. It’s her own dark, insatiable hunger for attention that brought her to this. And anyone who goes on a reality TV show with their children is a fucking bad parent, case closed.
M Night Shyamalan
Oh man. This guy. Where to even begin. The chokers? The self-aggrandizement? Or should we just begin with the tone deaf unintentionally hilarious-but-so-hilarious movie he made about KILLER TREES? M. Night Shyamalan has been terrible at his job for a long time, with movies like Signs and Lady in the Water ranking among the worst movies of the past decade, but he really outdid himself with The Happening. In fact, it was so bad that you almost want him to keep going, just to see what his self-indulgently, filterless retard brain will come up with next. Almost. But actually you want him to stop.
Mark Wahlberg is one of the best actors working today. We like him very much. But 2008 wasn’t his year. Between The Happening and Max Payne, he farted all over the movies. And we will always blame him for Entourage. But the thing that earned him a spot on the list was his humorless, anti-Semitic feud with Andy Samberg after Samberg’s “Mark Wahlberg Talks to Animals” impression on SNL. In the end it turned out to mostly be a well-orchestrated publicity stunt, but even when the two of them met face to face, Wahlberg still had to make a completely unnecessary remark about the size of Samberg’s nose. Bad vibrations.
Mike Myers is one of the worst people of 2008 because of The Love Guru, ads for The Love Guru, interviews about The Love Guru, and the DVD release of The Love Guru.
Serena Van Der Woodsen
Admittedly, Serena Van Der Woodsen is not an actual person, but she’s still one of the worst “people” of 2008. She was bad last year, too, but a) this list didn’t formally exist last year, and b) she’s even worse now. Her whole “I need to shine the way God intended” mean-spirited Queen B-ascendant bullshit is really unacceptable, EVEN FROM A FICTIONAL CHARACTER. And if you need further proof that she’s the worst, SHE DATES AARON ROSE. On the night Bart Bass died, we prayed that fake God would fake take Serena instead.
The creator of the execrable Family Guy re-upped his contract this year for 100 million dollars. He also created a series of on-line videos that seemed to have been culled from the execrable Family Guy’s cutting room floor. He also held a contest in which one lucky fan would win the honor of buying him dinner at Burger King. He also wore fake tanner on his hands. You cannot begrudge the man his success, the blame for that lies elsewhere, but you can begrudge the world that made him so successful through its embrace and encouragement of his terrible, terrible work. And in that sense, we are all responsible. And for that, we are all the worst.