Barbara Walters deems 10 people the year’s most fascinating

As 2008 comes to a close, it’s time for the avalanche of year-end reviews and lists. I’m freaking out over the shrinking number of shopping days until Christmas, and Barbara Walters has already determined who the most fascinating people of the year are.

2008 was pretty un-fascinating, overall. The list is more of an indicator of popular culture than genuine fascinating people.

Some names on the list are obvious, like Olympic record-setter Michael Phelps, failed vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, Sarah Palin impersonator and Emmy-winner Tina Fey, and tween queen Miley Cyrus.

Two of the names are questionable. Rush Limbaugh was one of the many blowhards commenting on the election, even encouraging people to vote for Hillary Clinton in the primaries in order to beat Barack Obama, but was he the most fascinating? It’s certainly indicative of what a circus the election was when Limbaugh is more of a draw than one of the few legitimate commentators left.

Frank Langella is a name I recognized as an actor, but I had to search IMDB to figure out why he’s on Barbara’s list. I’m still not sure. He’s an Oscar contender for Frost/Nixon, but that film doesn‘t even open until December 5, the day after the show airs.

Two of the names are just plain WTF. Will Smith and Tom Cruise must have the best publicists in the world, to make the list ahead of actors that actually had break-out years, like Robert Downey Jr., Daniel Craig, or Christian Bale. Will Smith’s Hancock is one of the high-grossing films of the year, but was overshadowed by other films. Tom Cruise had a part in Tropic Thunder, but Valkyrie is getting more talk for its delays than the quality of the film itself. In fact, Suri Cruise should have made the list instead of Tom.

The last two names on the list have yet to be released. I’ll go out on a limb and predict Barack and Michelle Obama.

Barbara Walters 10 Most Fascinating People of 2008 will air Thursday, December 4 on ABC.

If I’ve missed any reasons why these people should be considered one of the top 10 fascinating people in the world, please let me know.

Last year’s list included Victoria and David Beckham, Justin Timberlake, the founders of MySpace, Bill Clinton, J.K. Rowling, Katherine Heigl, Jennifer Hudson, Hugo Chavez and Don Imus.

If I may make some suggestions to Barbara: Viggo Mortensen, Jensen Ackles, Gael Garcia Bernal, and the creators of icanhascheezburger.

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19 Responses to “Barbara Walters deems 10 people the year’s most fascinating”

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  1. mojoman says:

    Honestly, who would listen to Babwa anymore? watching The View with her in it is like having full- body papercuts..slow torture.

  2. geronimo says:

    How lame. Michael Phelps and Tina Fey I can understand, the rest no. Is this the Frank Langella that Whoopi lived with? Not that that qualifies him for anything but just wondered.

  3. Kate says:

    Gael Garcia Bernal….droool

  4. cee says:

    Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

  5. ri23 says:

    It’s time to drag Barbara’s old ass to the retirement home. She has lost touch with the world.

  6. Mairead says:

    I totally support the Gael Garcia Bernal and icanhascheezburger suggestions :mrgreen:

  7. Kaiser says:

    I can’t wait to see Frost/Nixon. It looks amazing.

    My suggestions: David Axelrod, Bristol Palin, Bob Gates and Mittens Romney.

    Because, honestly, I want to know more about them.

  8. Syko says:

    OMG tell me that isn’t Frank Langella! Oh noooooooooooo!

    I only remember him for one role. Dracula. 1979. The sexiest man ever on this entire earth in that movie. I think I went to see it about 10 times, dragging my kids, who sat with their hands over their eyes while Mama drooled next to them.

  9. maxi says:

    frank langella was whoopie’s significant other for a few years

  10. Antony says:

    This is more like Barbara Walters on the same dumbass people she calls “friends”.

  11. Baholicious says:

    Babs, there’s a seat at a Mah Jong game in Miami with your name on it. It’s time to go.

  12. khia213 says:


    I left my bedroom window open for weeks after seeing Langella in Dracula. All that ever came through it were mosquitos.

  13. devilgirl says:

    Frank Langella and Michael Phelps? I guess they are fascinating because it is a mystery to me why they are on her list. We know Phelps is a gifted athelete, but fascinating? I don’t see it. And until this thread, I didn’t know Frank L. had done anything other than 1979’s Dracula. Go figure. I hate lists anyway, and does anyone care about Babs Walters thoughts these days?

  14. drm says:

    @ri23 @Syko BAHAHAHAHA! I’m still laughing. I couldn’t agree more Ms Ri can someone PULEEZE pull BaBa off the TV and put us all out of our collective misery. The View airs here in NZ and thank GOD I’m usually at work. If I happen to be home I will sometimes watch it just to vent any residual frustration in my life at Ms Hassle-my-Crack.

    Syko I was 13 when Dracula came out and Langella fueled alot of adolescent hormones 🙂

  15. KateNonymous says:

    Barbara Walters and I obviously have different definitions of “fascinating.”

  16. Genna says:

    Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin? Ugh. I wouldn’t call them fascinating as this adjective has more positive connotations. Bizarre is far more appropriate for these two. Kind of like the media frenzy that erupted when Paris Hilton was released from jail.

  17. Genna says:

    By the way, Palin has, thus far, refused any interviews with Walters. Must be afraid of those intelligent, no nonsense questions. Oops — I forgot. They’re media “gotcha” questions. Uh huh.

  18. Blackadder says:

    I can’t believe I’m defending Babs, but I know that the list really depends on who will actually show up for an interview. When I used to listen to Stern on the radio, he said one of her people contacted him to see if he wanted to be on the list. He said no, and they went with someone who would go on.
    Besides anyone who is clamoring to get on the list is just looking for free promotion for whatever project they are currently working on.
    Bab’s such a hack anyway. I have no idea how people watch her.

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