The 20 Funniest HumbleBrags on Twitter

(DISCLAIMER: The concept behind collecting Humblebrag Tweets, ranking, and responding to them is not mine. It was created by Harris Wittels, a writer for NBC’s Parks and Recreation and a regular Grantland contributor. I just thought his @Humblebrags Twitter feed and his Grantland monthly rankings were horrifying/funny, so I thought I’d write some of my own. They are similar to his, only I’ve been informed that mine are “meaner”. To which I reply: whatever. P.S. Originally I wrote these for, but they weren’t published. So here they are for your enjoyment)

The 20 Funniest “HumbleBrags” (my version)

An argument could be made that celebrities have a duty to entertain and horrify us with their Tweeted boasts: after all, if they’re not livin’ the dream, then what do us poor schmoes have to aspire to? Plus, they are famous, after all, and vast numbers of otherwise reasonable people – professional people who contribute to society in many important ways – inexplicably fall all over each other to validate their uninformed opinions.

But what of those lesser celebrities, those who only have the capacity to offend a comparatively small circle of followers at best, or at worst just a finger-wagging from their moms back in Wisconsin?

For those minor stars, and even for some larger ones, we have the relatively new phenomenon of the Humblebrag – a promotional tactic for those who desperately want to brag about their accomplishments/awards nominations/swag/celebrity connections, but just as desperately want to pretend they are not, with oft-times hilariously false humility.

But lest anyone be fooled by this fancy-pants tweeting, trust me: every one of them think they are great.

And you know what? There is nothing wrong with that. In this world – where so many thousands of creative people toil, mostly anonymously, for any scrap of publicity – for the sake of their own careers, they should lionize their accomplishments. Just go ahead and brag!

And I say just maybe, children, there will come a day, not far off, when every one of these celebrities will rest proudly atop the clouds of supreme confidence that right now, perhaps only Mr. Kanye West occupies.  And yea, they will own their boasts.

But for now, let us be entertained by their tortured HumbleBrags.

1. Blake Shelton (country singer) – @blakeshelton

Still can’t believe I’m up for The People’s Choice Awards!! I mean who are the people?!! And why do they like me?!!

At the risk of interrupting your existential crisis, Blake, I’d say you’re just going to have to accept it. They like you! They reeeeally like you!

2. Rebecca Black (teen YouTube sensation, singer of Friday) @MsRebeccaBlack

 …that awkward moment when you’re watching the AMA’s and BAM there you are.

BAM. A classic Humblebrag, Ms. Black.

3. David Spade (actor and comedian) – @DavidSpade

At @redcross breakfast getting an award for some reason. Honored to be w all these actual heroes

But let’s see, you’re receiving an award from these heroes. Which makes you the hero-iest hero in the room! Just in case you didn’t think of it that way.

 4.  Justin Ching (author, Google ad exec) @Justin_Ching

just took one of the more epic naps ever, I’m sooo glad I don’t have to jetset for a living. Not as glamourous as advertised

For a fun little exercise, take out every word in this Tweet but “epic”, “jetset”, and “glamorous”. What do you have left? Yeah, you’re getting the picture.

5. Sia Furler (Grammy-nominated musician) @siamusic

How weird is it when your watching a rerun of friends over cereal when your ex boyfriend jogs onto the show? It’s weird! #friendsforever

I don’t remember this episode. Oh wait wait….now I remember. It’s The One Where Sia’s Famous Ex-Boyfriend Tricks Her into Humblebragging. All right, Sia. Fess up. Was it Joey? Chandler? It better not be Ross – Rachel’s gonna OWN your ass.


6. Neil Patrick Harris (actor, Doogie Howser) @ActuallyNPH

  love the new H&K Xmas movie. It’s rad. Talking about myself in 4 minute interviews for 7 straight hours? Not as rad. #mushybrain

Yet somehow, he still found the inner strength to Humblebrag to his Twitter followers. Whatta champ!

7.  Beardyman (hip-hop artist) @beardyman

Saw tonight. Reminisced about the time me him and Wyclef played an improvised jam in front of al gore. My life is fucking weird.

Ah, Beardyman. Beardyman, Beardyman. Bless you for your world-weary insights. But Wyclef? Al Gore? Even a philosophizer such as yourself has gotta admit: It’s kinda fucking weirdly awesome though, right?

8. Josh Horowitz (MTV presenter/interviewer) – @joshuahorowitz

Hey whoever just screamed “I love you” from a cab, right back at you. My stunned confusion = gratitude. #ThatsANewOne

Josh, did you just arrive in New York City? Awww! Okay, let me clue you in: they were drunk and high. You could have been literally anyone. But I’ll shut up and let you have your moment.

9 Dane Cook (comedian/actor) – @danecook

Being famous and having a fenderbender is weird. You want to be upset but the other drivers just thrilled & giddy that it’s you.

Uh….yeah. Weird. But is it really thrilled giddiness, Dane? Or are they just in life-threatening shock from whiplash? Well, when you get through strenuously high-fiving yourself, buddy, I think he might have just passed out.

10. Brett Davern (star of MTV’s Awkward as Jake) –  @BDavv

Getting recognized at the grocery store while wearing the same T-shirt you wore at the VMA’s #awkward

Wow, another double-Humblebrag. So far these up and coming Tweeters are really out-douching their elders.

11. Greta Van Susteren (Fox News personality) – @gretawire

Ugh. I just pocket dialed spokesperson for Pentagon.

Greta? Greta? Can I call you back, I’m kinda in the middle of someth…..oh SHIT. There goes the Eastern seaboard. Double Ugh.

12. Maggie Q (actress/fashion model – @MaggieQ

I AM featured in People’s “Most Beautiful” (what can I say, they all make mistakes) BUT did the shoot w no makeup and I have to say…SCARY!

The only scary thing is how tremendously you are twisting yourself in order to avoid making this sound like the blatant boast that it is. Careful! You might give yourself a hernia.

13. Adam Levine (singer, Maroon5) – @adamlevine

Wow. We got mobbed at the airport. I think they thought we were @justinbieber

That must be it. What a shameful waste of journalistic resources. You must stop this travesty and immediately alert them that it’s only you guys, White Soul.

14. Joe Jonas (singer/guitarist, The Jonas Brothers) – @joejonas

Totally walked down the wrong escalator at the airport from the flashes of the cameras…Go me

Yeah, go you!…No, really. Just go.

15. Anna Kendrick (movie actress, Scott Pilgrim vs the World)

I am in an LCD Soundsystem video. Who knew?

Why, if no one else, you knew. And now – oh dear! – everyone else does too. That couldn’t have been why you just Tweeted it, though, right?

16. Karey Dornetto (comedian, writer, Community and Portlandia) @kareydornetto

ugh, community may top all the best of ’10 lists but we’re last place in xmas gifts that fit me. new years res: gain weight, u waify bitch.

Woah, two – almost three! – Humblebrags in one post. Add to that what may have been the least sincere “ugh” of all time. You know, they should really create a new fattening-up reality show just for “u waify bitches”: The Biggest Humblebragger.

17. Khloe Kardashian (actress/model/reality TV star):

I still can’t believe I have a Cosmo cover! #RandomTweet

Oh yes, you can. You definitely can. Unless Cosmo’s editors jumped you in an alley, kidnapped you, smuggled you to their studio in a windowless van, and then blackmailed you into posing for the cover photo. In that case, you have my sincere apologies.

18. Patton Oswalt (stand-up comedian/actor) @pattonoswalt

I have got to stop saying yes to every interview request. 9 minutes that felt like a week.

It’s a heavy, heavy burden being in such demand. But…curse your big heart!… you feel bad for them and their families. What would they do without you?


19.  Sam Halliday (singer/guitarist, Two Door Cinema Club) @SamTDCC

What? How are we up for this MTV thing…that’s just silly… Someone is humouring us up there. Very good.

You said it, not me. But now that you mention it, it is rather silly, no? With all the great live acts out there, MTV picked a paste-faced indie-rock outfit with little stage presence or charisma as one of their Top Live Performances of 2011? Well, maybe it will score you guys a guest spot on 16 and Pregnant.

20.  Jemmye Carroll (reality T.V. star/MTV’s Real World: New Orleans) @JustJem24

Omg these two chicks are googling me as I sit next to them.. #awkward. I can see the computer screen you fools..

Yeah…those two chicks? Like the rest of America, they think they might recognize you from somewhere, but have no idea who you are. Except now, all America is aware that you compulsively spy on complete strangers’ personal computer screens for mentions of yourself. Wow! You’re fast becoming the most popular lunch mate in the cafeteria.

An Interview with J-Pop and Cosplay Phenomenon, Reni Mimura (a.k.a, Reni-Reni)!

Though she arrived on our shores only four short years ago from her home in Japan’s Yamaguchi prefecture, singing and dancing dynamo Reni Mimura has already made quite a name for herself in the Big Apple. She has performed all over town, on NY8 TV, and as a featured act at Asian Power! Summer Festival in Queens.

Reni Mimura (courtesy of Reni's Facebook)

Reni-Reni, as she nicknames herself on her website, blends the related anime subcultures of J-Pop (vocals performing hits from Japan’s world-famous, Anime-crazed entertainment industry) and Cosplay, a related trend in which otherwise ordinary folk transform themselves into whatever animated, video game or comics character they are obsessed with through the magic of hand-crafted costumes.

Reni’s performance and event schedule at shows and comic conventions nationwide tends to be packed, but I managed to get her to sit still for an email interview recently to explain just how she managed to break into New York’s tough music scene.

beejmckay: Hi Reni! Thanks for responding. So, where are you from?

Reni Mimura:  Reni came from the future!!\(>w<)/. 13 hours ahead of the United States, from a place called Japan!

What exactly do you do as a J-Pop singer, for people who might not know?

People say Reni is a “J-pop singer,” or Japanese Pop singer.

J-pop coexists with Anime, Japanese Animation, games and the internet. These days,  there are more and more followers of Japanese Anime and games in the U.S. I think that’s the main reason why my activities are getting a lot of attention.

My music is 100% POSITIVE Electro music. One of my events that I organize is a famous Japanese “Maid” cafe style event where everybody can enjoy being an idol of their own imagination by wearing costumes and participating in the show! This, in Japanese term, we call “COSPLAY”.

If you go to any of Anime conventions which you can find anywhere in the U.S., you will know what I am talking about. In my events, people enjoy being in virtual reality – a fantasy world, away from reality for a while. I think it’s a very futuristic concept!!

How do you incorporate dance into your show?

Reni has a strength in dancing because I’ve been formally trained since I was seven years old. Singing and dancing together with costumes is my artistic style. I change my costume often. By doing that I transform from one persona to the other.

Reni, being Japanese, would like to introduce this whole new concept to people in the U.S.  I like to have fun with it and share love and joy. (^w^)v

Who are your fans in New York City?

Reni calls my fans Angels. I have about 20,000 Angels worldwide. And since I started a event called Japanese “Maid” Cafe and Show in New York in 2009, a lot of angels are in and around NYC. I have an average of 70 to 100 people coming to my show every month in NY now.

I am glad people find my concept interesting. After my activities were spread by word of mouth, I started to be invited to Anime conventions across the U.S.  I have been to Boston, Virginia, Tennessee, Texas, and so on.

Also, I was featured in a Japanese fashion TV program, so many people who are into Japanese fashion became my Angels. Since it’s hard for me to physically go everywhere my Angels live, I interact them on my website, and Facebook.

What are your costumes based on (Anime characters, comics characters?)

Reni at Arlene's Grocery (courtesy Infinite 7 Productions)

I have established my own character, a “Maid” outfit with bunny ears. Maids represents cures and healing, but I added bunny ears because I think it’s simply cute!

Why do you think Cosplay has
become so popular?

The Internet generation is very shy. Actually, I am also shy as a person. By dressing in costume, you can be whatever character you want.

Have you ever experienced this? If you wear something different, people treat you differently. You also feel different and act differently. For example, if you wear a hero costume, you’ll be strong instantly. Can you believe Reni?

I hope that the fashion industry adapts more of Cosplay culture.(^^)

Who are your favorite characters to dress up as?

My favorite character is  Sailor Moon. I used to wear this costume in my acting classes while I was in Japan. I made the costume by myself(^^)

Sailor Moon is cute but strong, and I like the tension between the two.

What do people not understand about J-Pop and Cosplay?

Cosplay culture in Japan tells you that no matter how old you are, you can be as unreal and fantastic as you want. It’s so hard to do in this society, but please, do not forget about the innocent mind in you.

Since you are leaving behind your original persona for a while, you are also leaving behind whatever you are taught is “important” in reality – like competing against other people. You just simply imagine what you want to be, and you become that one. Just know who you are (^w^)

Who was your craziest fan and why?

Reni Fan Art (by Clarice Garcia)

My Angels all have good manners! But taking pictures of all the moves that Reni makes on stage might be strange to general people in the U.S. (^w^)v

My Angels protect me all the time. I’m soooo lucky to have met them(*w*) I believe in my Angels, who support Reni all the way. \(>w<)/

What have been your favorite places to sing in New York City?

Even though I have performed in some very famous clubs and live music halls in New York –  like Arlene’s Grocery, Living Room, Sullivan Hall, and so on – I love to perform in unique places, like art spaces/galleries, cafes, and even museums. I think it goes well with my style. (^0^)/

What was your favorite show in New York?

That’s very easy! Reni’s Maid Cafe and Show!! I enjoy being in a fantasy world and interacting with my Angels.

When you enter the cafe in the West Village, the Maids will greet you by saying, “Welcome home my Master and Princess.” (*w*)v. And you will always be treated as “Masters” and “Princesses” by the Maids.

Now I’ve added a Reni’s Maid Cafe & Show in Boston and D.C. every month, so if you are around those areas, please COME BY…!

Thank you for support!!(^0^)/

Reni is looking forward to seeing you!

Thank you Reni!

(In addition to her semi-regular Maid Cafe & Shows at the Amber Village in Manhattan, Reni can be seen on her very own UStream show every other Tuesday here, and she’ll be performing at the upcoming 52nd Annual Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival in downtown Washington, D.C. on April 14th.)

12.26.2011 – Occupy Wall Street Using Toy Helicopters to Record Cops (for Conspiratorium)

Occupy Wall Street Using Toy Helicopters To Record Cops

Benjamin J Spencer
By Benjamin J Spencer
December 26, 2011 2:43PM

CopsCount Occupy Wall Street down, but not out.

The NYC faction of the movement has just invented a whimsical, but potentially effective, tool in response to what they say is overbearing surveillance, police violence, and the barring of photographers and journalists from protests: a toy helicopter.

Bought cheaply online, the device is controllable from an iPhone and rigged with a tiny camera that can record and stream video in real time to the social video website, Ustream…

Though just successfully tested a couple of days ago, the so-called “Occucopter” already has a Facebook page and is chronicling its adventures in counter-surveillance on its very own Twitter feed.

The mini-chopper is the brainchild of Tim Pool, a New York-based tech specialist, multimedia journalist and OWS supporter who has already gained some fame for his live chat-enabled Ustream broadcasts from Occupy encampments nationwide. Pool’s latest innovation: installing 3G cellular controllers to vastly extend the Occucopter’s range.

Will we soon see police battling hundreds of hovering, buzzing toy spy drones controlled by multiple operators, who could be thousands of miles away? And could this technology, intended to keep tabs on police abuses, be turned used for more nefarious purposes?

Some observers fear the ramifications of an escalating drone race much like the nuclear arms race of the 1980s, where authorities could justify their own use of drones by pointing to devices like the Occucopter. Think about it: a remotely-operated drone chopper could live-stream your wife taking a shower.

We may not have to wait long for the brave new world of Big Brother warfare. But for now, the live-streaming of Occupy events continues. Recently, Occupy Albany was being forced to move out of their encampment. Tim Pool – and his Occucopter – were there, documenting the eviction live on Ustream.

11.22.2011 – Conspiracy Roundup: Aliens, Yeti and Dolphins (Oh My!) (for Conspiratorium)

Conspiracy Roundup: Aliens, Yetis and Dolphins

Benjamin J Spencer
By Benjamin J Spencer
November 22, 2011 7:14AM

Dolphins photo by Jesslee Cuizon
Those smelly Yeti are leaving their tree-nests all over Siberia again, angering environmentalists with their wanton destruction. Patience, tree huggers. Give the Yeti time to develop ecological consciousness.

In Southern Ranches, Fla, elected officials secretly kept their plan to let the federal government build the nation’s largest illegal immigrant detention center from their own constituents for a decade. The town’s immigrant activists and immigrant-fearers now agree on something: they’re pissed.

The U.S. military may soon be able to identify you – yes, you there, hiding in that crowd – by your heartbeat, with Star Trek-style life-form readers.

Could this bizarre skull, mummified in a Peruvian city, be an alien?

After receiving an unspecified number of death threats, Herman Cain is officially the first Republican candidate to request and receive permission to employ the Secret Service as security.

Egad. Do we have yet another foiled New York City bomb plot?

Bored with simply smuggling us blow, Sinaola, the largest Mexican cartel, has been plotting to deliver major strikes to U.S. targets,in Mexico City.

Meet America’s elite marine mammal fighting force!

Italian scientists conducting experiments in what resembles the Galactic Senate Chamber from Star Wars (sans crappy CGI) thumb their noses at Einstein and conclude that neutrinos are faster than light.

11.18.2011 – Conspiracy Roundup: Goodbye Monkey Crotch. Hello Censorship (for Conspiratorium)

Conspiracy Roundup: Goodbye Monkey Crotch, Hello Censorship

Benjamin J Spencer
By Benjamin J Spencer
November 18, 2011 2:56PM
Gobi desert
Could the Congress-proposed Stop Internet Piracy Act result in censorship of the World Wide Web? Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, AOL,  and eBay seem to think so.

What are the gigantic, mysterious patterned structures spotted by Google Maps satellites in China’s Gobi desert? Messages to alien visitors? Target practice for missiles? Or simply an innocent tool to calibrate China’s spy satellites?

If upstate New Yorkers didn’t have enough reasons to distrust hydro-fracking, here’s another one: it’s suspected to have caused hundreds of small earthquakes in the Midwest.

Well, perhaps it wouldn’t hurt to follow Pakistan’s lead and ban “monkey crotch” on the internet and in text messages. No good can come from that phrase.

Why have the Feds suddenly become reluctant to continue declassifying decades-old spy satellite imagery? (And did anyone even know we have something called a “National Geo-Spatial Intelligence Agency”?)

And  Russia’s military chief warned that NATO expansion to its former satellite republics could provoke nuclear wars.

11.17.2011 – Conspiracy Roundup: Naughty Facebook (for Conspiratorium)

Conspiracy Roundup: Naughty Facebook

Benjamin J Spencer
By Benjamin J Spencer
November 18, 2011 12:36PM


Are the nation’s mayors actually coordinating with the help of Homeland Security, the FBI, and other federal agencies?

Pennsylvania police arrested Oscar Ramiro Ortega on suspicion of firing an AK-47 near the White House last Friday. Ortega had a “fixation” with Obama’s current abode. Maybe more than a fixation: investigators found a bullet hole in a shatterproof White House window and another bullet elsewhere on the grounds.

Did the Energy Department ask Solyndra, whose main investor was Obama’s buddy, to delay layoffs until after the 2010 midterm elections? These emails suggest they did.

Facebook finds out who caused my dear, sweet Aunt Greta to flood my news feed with naughty Photo-shopped Justin Bieber pics and promises to wreak vengeance on the hackers responsible.

Oh, incidentally, all of you pre-verts now suddenly searching for naughty Photoshopped Justin Bieber pics online? Facebook knows what you’re doing. And it’s very disappointed in you.

The Spy Who Buzzed Me: the city of Lancaster, CA wants to prevent crime by deploying a surveillance spy plane equipped with infrared and video cameras flying over the city 10 hours a day.

DSK is back and France and already making headlines for another case, this one involving highly-paid prostitutes.

Add some kale and presto! Pizza is now a government-sanctioned vegetable.

11.11.2011 – Conspiracy Roundup: Satanic Rituals? (for Conspiratorium)

Conspiracy Roundup: Satanic Rituals

Benjamin J Spencer
By Benjamin J Spencer
November 11, 2011 4:49PM

Poster_363px_REUTERS-LandovThere’s a new drug war brewing. This time, it’s between Anonymous and the Mexican cartels, as their campaign of terror against bloggers and social media continues.

Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson’s “doctor,” speaks! We still want to know if MJ actually faked his death.

The mysterious (and very, very obscure) Lake Ogopogo Monster – revealed? This guy with a video camera seems to think so.

Was a “Satanic ritual” (and threesome) behind the alleged sexual assault and stabbing of a man?

How much does the internet weigh? About as much as a strawberry, according to this dude. (Here’s another ridiculous fact, courtesy of yours truly: if all the sites on the internet were a strawberry, the non-pornographic sites on the internet would only comprise about the stem and maybe a couple of those leaf thingies.)

And Japanese researchers have taken a giant robotic step toward our inevitable future subjugation by… robots, of course. Asimo, the world’s most advanced robot, has been vastly improved.