Last November, One World Trade Center aka Freedom Tower in New York City became America’s tallest building. But it came too little, too late as the United States is no longer the most stature-d nation on the planet. Already back in 2007, the Netherlands surpassed the United States as the tallest country in the world meaning that any effort to build bigger and taller only reinforces a cultural inferiority complex. Oh well.
Instead, we can now celebrate the wondrous talent that exists in the land beneath 1.8 meters! For decades, the advantages of the vertically aided were pronounced in society. Playing in the NBA, being a professional light bulb changer, fighting off marauding barbarians with longer sword reach…and, um, yeah, I’m sure there are many other things that the lack of modern day technology where height was a pronounced need for humanity’s continuance. Instead, today’s society almost penalizes a puberty free of excessive alcohol and junk food consumption. Whether its sitting in Economy Class, maneuvering the catwalks of a nuclear submarine, or apparently being a Head of State, falling within the 5’3″-5’9″ range has apparently produced some of the world’s greatest talent.
On to the All Stars!
5. Aziz Ansari (Height: 5’6″)
Most widely known for his part on the (very underrated and very funny) TV show Parks and Recreation, Aziz Ansari has taken the lead in the Millennials’ Comedian race, ahead of Daniel Tosh and Dane Cook (thankfully). Born and raised in South Carolina, Ansari deploys a mix of self-deprecation and social observation (especially of the romance trials and tribulations of 20 somethings) with a willingness to use crude sex/racial elements to put on one laugh fest of a show. Let Mr. Ansari do the talking for himself:
Like his ability to go after The Bros:
Or the situation every guy runs into when texting the opposite sex:
Or when he’s doling out some good old social commentary on gay rights
And here’s the thing: Aziz isn’t even the funniest guy on this list!
4. Josh Hutcherson (Height: 5’6″)
The dude co-stars in with Jennifer Lawrence in a multi-million dollar movie franchise, The Hunger Games, and probably does the best acting job of all the younger characters in it “short of”, you know, Jennifer Lawrence. Then again, acting next to Liam Hemsworth could make Jordana Brewster look like Meryl Streep. And don’t listen to us, HuffPost did an entire 15 point piece on Why Josh Hutcherson is the Perfect Boyfriend. And did we mention he gets to play the love interest of Jennifer Lawrence?
Then again, he might want to avoid too many non-movie camera magic trick shots with J-Law…
3. Martin Freeman (Height: 5’6″)
He’s currently co-stars on the best (THE BEST I SAY!) show on television right now, BBC’s Sherlock. And of course, he probably takes home the short guy actor gold for staring as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit franchise. But come on, the role was made for Freeman! Or even the other way around! But back to Watson. There is no doubt Benedict Cumberbatch is the most fun character to watch on television. But before he decides to leave the small screen to A) take over Hollywood and wrestle away the Best Bad Guy conch from Alan Rickman (who, btw, Cumberbatch does an excellent impression of) or B) get hired by Apple to be the new Siri (wait, why hasn’t this happened!?!), his Sherlock needs his BFF (or BF?) Dr. John H. Watson by his side.
Without stealing Sherlock’s thunder, Freeman plays the role of lieutenant to the nines. Implementing a quick British wit, a blend of compassion and cynicism, and most importantly being Sherlock’s stable (if not constantly tortured and lambasted) second set of grey cells, Dr. Watson is as ever important to solving London’s crimes as the man under the deerstalker hat.
A little tribute to the best couple on TV!
2. Philipp Lahm (Height: 5’7″)
We could have gone with Wes Welker (5’9″ – NFL), Manny Pacquiao (5’7″ – Boxing), Nate Robinson (5’9″ – NBA) Floyd Mayweather Jr. (5’8″ – Boxing), or very close runner up Lionel Messi (5’7″ – Soccer) for the Best Short Athlete spot, but chalk this one up under the bias category. Philipp Lahm is one of the world’s best defenders in the world’s most popular sport (soccer/football), for the world’s best soccer club (FC Bayern Munich), in the world’s greatest country (Germany) and will be showing off his skills at the world’s grandest sport showcase (the World Cup) for one of the world’s greatest collection of soccer talent ever (2014 Team Deutschland).
All that while being unable to brush the crossbar with his finger tips on his tippy toes. His accolades go on and on still, with honours including WC All Star in ’06 and ’10, a 4 time member of the UEFA Team of the Year, and a 2013 FIFA/FIFPro World XI.
Did I mention that he’s has an über German looking wife…
And that together they are both über German…
No really, like even when hanging out with buddy/teammate Thomas Müller, its like an über German-thon. Even I might have some reservations…
1. Jon Stewart (Height: 5’7″)
The man is a god while crafting his own legend that he solidified years ago. Nothing else really needs to be said.
The late night wars are looking more like the late night Afghanistans as Fallon, Kimmel, and (never going to retire) Letterman fight out it out for ever so dwindling and irrelevant network TV ratings. And while the younger generation might love Conan and would have taken a bullet for him during his Tonight Show controversy in 2010, they’ll freaking take a nuclear missile for Jon Stewart.
Yes, we here at The 500 try to remain impartial to third rail issues such as politics and religion, but let’s be real: if you don’t find Jon Stewart funny, you probably just wasted your last two Presidential votes. How does it feel to lose, losers? (Cue to the Rand Paul inauguration in 2017).
Still, there’s no doubt that Jon Stewart has taken the conch as voice of reason and justice in the midst of the muddle that is known as “televised informative media”. No, people should not be getting their news from 23 minutes of The Daily Show. But that’s the point, if you’re reading up on your Economist, NY Times, HuffPost and Guardian, you should be able to get the second by second satire and mockery that is Stewart and Co. It’s supposed to be a half hour escape from the frustrations and complexity of the dire real world issues that we face day in and day out…by using those dire real world situations as comedic fodder. The more we know, the more we laugh. And Jon Stewart and his army division of writers have figured out just how to channel the day’s content into top notch humor.
Whether it’s the The Best F#@king News Team Ever
…or the crafted simplicity of their outrageous graphics
…to the amazing interviews with the 22 people left in America that still don’t know how to avoid the Daily Show Interview trap
And the old school print media that make the best holiday gifts ever
…And of course the time Stewart took Bill O’Reilly to the mat
Where Jon even made up for the only advantage O’Reilly had in the debate!
So really this is no contest. Jon Stewart and his ream of blue paper is a hero to all, regardless of height, weight, ethnicity, nationality, income level, or religious creed. Unless you live in Clarendon…just stay where you are and don’t get in the way of progress!
For your moment of zen, we leave you with Stewart’s best moment on TV. Yes, the jokes are what keep us watching, but only Jon Stewart knows how to hammer it home even when its not a punchline…