The Real Time Men of the Year for 2006

The Real Time Men of the Year for 2006

When our colleagues at Time magazine announced their person of the year was You, we snapped up the issue, eager to finally get credit for the night last spring we decided not to bang that blind chick, even though she'd totally mistaken us for her boyfriend. However, we soon learned that "You" didn't refer to us, but rather the small minority of the population who managed to put down the hair brush they usually lip-synch into long enough to upload video to YouTube. According to Time, the most important people in the world during the year 2006 were people who "would otherwise have drowned in obscurity (but) get backhauled into the global intellectual economy via sites like YouTube and MySpace.

But if Time didn t want these web celebs to drown in obscurity, then why name the Man of the Year something vague like You? Why not give the award to people who actually made a splash on YouTube and the internet in general? In an effort to give credit where credit is due, we name the top 10 web celebrities that Time was probably referring to when they named the 2006 Man of the Year.

The Little Dancing Indian Boy

Is he a kid? Is he an adult? Does he have some sort of Andy Milonakis/Robin Williams in Jack disorder? Who is that grown man reclining on the couch? Like 39 Man of the Year Joseph Stalin, the Little Dancing Indian Boy raises more questions than he answers. And sure, we could easily do a10-second Wikipedia search and figure out at least part of the puzzle. But like a good mystery novel, the hows and whys surrounding the Little Dancing Indian Boy are best left up to the imagination. Still, we would like to know if he s available for birthdays and weddings.

Took over as the Internet s reigning little person dancing like a big person, an archetype begun by the CG dancing baby. But since we re pretty sure the CG dancing baby never won Man of the Year honors, the most logical forbearer has to be 1936 winner Gandhi. Indian, mysterious, looks great without a shirt on: these two were cut from the same loin cloth.

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.

Guy from Ohio Caught Masturbating in Library (Mike Cooper)

God bless Mike Cooper. He s a regular dude with a regular mustache who has been videotaped masturbating at a Cleveland public library. His tormentor, Carl Monday, chose to demonize Mike in the local news investigative report on library safety. Mike, who lives with his parents, was probably just using the library as his personal dirty sock because his mom was using the Internet to look at funny pictures of cats. But Carl Monday, whose name sounds like a fake name a drunk guy would make up if put on the spot, insists on taking him to task.

The term library masturbator is a pretty hard title to shake, so chances are he won t be forgotten any time soon.

Aleksey Vayner
What kind of people are big financial firms looking to employ these days? According to Yale senior Aleksey Vayner, they want someone who can lift weights, play tennis and produce a kick-ass resume video. Before his self-aggrandizing video and paper resumes were universally mocked this fall, Aleksey was a legend in New Haven due to self-started rumors about him being employed by both the mafia and CIA, killing two dozen men in Tibetan gladiatorial contests and having his college recommendation letter written by the Dalai Lama. The best thing about this faux-overachiever: his plagiarized Holocaust book is titled
Women's Silent Tears: A Unique Gender-Focused Perspective on the Holocaust in Eastern Europe.

His nearest Time Man of the Year competitor is probably Brian Atene.

The People of Mobile, Alabama (specifically, the guy who wanna know where the gold at)

With so many shining stars in this news story about a leprechaun sighting in Mobile, it was hard to single any one person out. After literally minutes of deliberation, we chose the dude who, at the 1:36 mark, starts explaining to the reporter his plans to find the leprechaun s gold. His interview is the coup de grâce for the entire story. Not only is he certain of the leprechaun s existence, but also of the mythical pot of gold he carries around. His determination to find this gold is truly felt when he repeats his desires a few times in slightly different ways: I wanna know where the gold at. I want the gold. Give me the gold. I want the gold.

We ll go with Time s vaguely condescending awarding of Man of the Year honors to The Middle Americans in 1969, since this is quite possibly the most condescending news report we ve ever seen.

Old Man Peter from YouTube

Who would ve thought that an old British man talking about how he s going to start making videos for YouTube would end up being one of the most viewed clips of the year? Peter, whose username is geriatric1927, has since posted almost 40 videos, none of which are as popular as his first try, appropriately titled first try. But why? Why have over 2 million people clicked on his video? If you haven t yet, watch it. It s so boring, and so borderline depressing, that it makes the Brian Atene footage seem life-affirming by comparison. But maybe that s exactly it: the ideal Internet celebrity is the jackass who tapes himself doing nothing remarkable, knowing that millions of people will watch anything once it gets a little traffic. Thanks, Time, for finally giving these worthy heroes their due.

To the cool cats who told everyone that Lonelygirl15 was their girlfriend, he ll always been known as grandpa. And since he was born the year the first Man of the Year award was given out, we re going to say he most approximates inaugural Man of the Year Charles Lindbergh.

The People s Court Mustache Guy
It takes a lot of balls to make a mockery of The People s Court. Well, probably not that much balls, but this dude, who we ll call 'Stache, pulled it off with aplomb. Along with Brandon Davis, 'Stache is the only person on this list whose cyberfame can be mainly attributed to one word. His vehicle is a very short clip, which is also a testament to his onscreen poise and timing. 'Stache, we salute you, your mustache and your decision to share it with the world.

Closest forbearer is probably 1983
Time Man of the Year winner, Judge Wapner.

Brandon Davis

His main connection to fame is Paris Hilton, a person whose celebrity status many consider to be flimsy in the first place. So when Brandon s rant against Lindsay Lohan hit the web about seven months ago, the world was puzzled. Does he really hate her? Is he more famous now? Will Lindsay Lohan even give a shit what this rich chach has to say?

The answer was unfortunately yes for all three. And the amazing thing was that most of the hoopla was because he called her a firecrotch, as if it s a novel insult or that he was first person to realize that Lindsay had red pubes. The sad thing is that Brandon probably says the word firecrotch 20 times in this clip, putting him on level with the dude at your office who still says, I m Rick James, bitch . Sidenote for history buffs: Brandon is also the guy who claimed that Lindsay s clit is seven feet long, which, when you really think about it, is probably not true.

For his oratorical vigor, B reminds us most of 1940 Time Man of the Year winner Winston Churchill. Congratulations, B.
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