(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 TruTV.com, 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.
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 http://yfrog.com/occmfdyj
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 will.i.am 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) @AnnaKendrick47
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.