Brian Atene (Good Day, Mr. Kubrick)
As American Idol has proven, any time you announce an open audition, you re going to get more hilariously bad performers than good ones. When Stanley Kubrick encouraged young actors to send audition tapes for Full Metal Jacket casting in 1984, Lord only knows how many William Hung s responded. We do, however, know of one: Brian Atene. The majority of his tape is made up of an overwrought monologue loosely based on The Outsiders, but Mr. Atene s finest work comes in his introduction. He tells Mr. Kubrick he s a lesser director than Michael Curtiz, which we re sure directors love to hear. But what makes Atene such a memorable character are the ridiculous personal details he spews as if they d help get him a part: I consider myself to be a young Alec Guinness, My favorite composer is Wolfgang Van Korngold, and best of all, When I was 12 years old I won a Spaniel puppy for 50 cents.
He would have just been the awesomely bad audition tape guy if not for the long, aimless video he made this year in which he poorly imitates a series of characters and tries to sell Superman dog tags. It s the biggest sophomore slump of any Time Man of the Year since Jimmy Carter won in 76.
One Bank Duo (Ethan Chandler on vocals, Jim Dubois on guitar)
Close your eyes and imagine that you re a Bank of America employee seated in a room at a corporate conference, enduring a grueling seminar. The meeting s just about to break for lunch when two dudes dive into a rendition of U2 s One with Bank of America-related lyrics. At first you think, Cool, this is kind of like that Weird Al guy I used to listen to when I was depressed. But you quickly realize the impassioned singer is not trying to lampoon anything. Instead, he croons on and on about BOA s merger with MBNA, credit customization, trust, teamwork and specific BOA employees who ve outperformed expectations. Mr. Chandler is the ideal example of a corporate type who dares to let his creative hair down, and we applaud his shamelessness.
While 05 winner Bono would be the obvious choice here, Ethan is more from the every-man mold of past honorees, for example 2002 s Whistleblowers. Like the ladies who busted big business by raising their collective voices, Ethan can t help but raise his voice and testify about how great it is to work at Bank of America.