Most Punchable Face – Top 20 of 2016

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16.) Ned Flanders

(Image courtesy 20th Century Fox Film Corp.)
Flanders

Stupid Flanders!

15.) Kate McKinnon

(Image courtesy NBC.)
McKinnon

Okay, she’s clearly not so punchable as the rapists above. And we’d genuinely hate to disparage Saturday Night Live’s first openly gay female cast member. Kate McKinnon is a firebrand and a real hoot, on occasion, sometimes. But as she’s the latest in the cast to assume the mantle of Hillary Clinton proxy—and this in what seems to be a critically pivotal election year—we’re not sure Kate’s brand of over-the-top physical comedy is suited to the task. For better or worse, the satirists indeed influence our perception of public figures. Consider Will Farrell’s affable goofball take on George W. Bush. It was funny, to be sure, but it helped make the reign of that bumbling, incompetent war criminal all too tolerable. It works the other way as well. While Amy Poehler’s Hillary was often stinging, it brought real wit along with it, leaving the three-dimensional humanity of the subject intact. Kate’s impressions of well, everything, tend to be a matter of buggy-eyed mugs and exaggerated posturing, kind of like the Three Stooges, but with far less depth of character. The incomparable Tina Fey won the Mark Twain Prize for her brilliant intertwining of comedy and politics; McKinnon won an American Comedy Award, likely just by rifling through the trash for it when no one else cared to. We’re very sorry, Kate, but a nice slog to the noggin might be the thing to get you taking your job seriously. Otherwise, consider following the footsteps of the equally one-note Victoria Jackson, the SNL pariah who now makes a living as the most embarrassing part of any Tea Party fundraiser.

14.) Cliven Bundy

(Image courtesy Getty Images.)
Bundy

While it’s heartening to hear the term “rancher” bandied about in the press—only “tugboat captain” would have been more colorful—Cliven Bundy might not be the poster boy said profession wanted. In 2014, he deliberately instigated a standoff for his supposed right to let cattle graze for free on federal land, which makes about as much sense as the “right” to house one’s pets in the Smithsonian, or to park one’s car atop Mount Rushmore. When the media swooped in to cover the event, Bundy offered a bit more of his socio-political philosophy. On African American underprivilege, he mused that “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton,” and then asked rhetorically if “they” weren’t “better off as slaves.” Just a few short weeks ago, he and son Ammon Bundy plotted a similar siege of Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, again on the pretense that the government had no right to infringe on sovereign land—a fine thing for armed white Mormons to say in a place that for centuries belonged to the native Burns Paiute tribe. During the Bundy occupation, the militia’s pitiful pleas for supplies were met with massive dildo shipments. Sadly, nobody thought to send Cliven’s men any smallpox blankets to keep them feverishly warm on those cold Oregon nights. In lieu of such just desserts, Cliven himself was arrested while en route to Burns, and remains detained on numerous charges, including conspiracy. Why include a man already imprisoned on this list of punchable faces? In the hopes that inmates housed at the Multnomah County Jail have internet access.

13.) George Lucas

(Image courtesy Steve Grantiz/WireImage.com.)
Lucas

Like McKinnon and Flanders—and very unlike Sheen, Cosby, or Bundy—George Lucas is no sex offender or idiot anarchist. That said, he seems to have spent the past few decades woefully undoing the good will he’d won in the ‘70s and ‘80s. The first three Star Wars and (arguably) Indiana Jones films were indeed classics, even if such masterwork status is more a matter of our collective nostalgia than anything else. But with older, savvier eyes we eventually watched the old master fumble. First he violated our childhood memories by painting over them to suit his whims—he’d rewritten Tatooine history by making Greedo shoot first in the special edition of A New Hope, and criminally gutted “Yub Nub” from a revised Return of the Jedi. And then came the prequels, Jar Jar Binks, the destruction of Ewan McGregor’s otherwise stellar career. And from there, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which we’ll charitably refrain from describing, except just to leave this link. While all of this has been common knowledge (as well as grist for half of Kevin Smith’s filmography) for ages, Lucas makes this list today because J.J. Abrams’ magnificent The Force Awakens might actually be the best film in the entire franchise—and Lucas, who had essentially no input, seems to be the one guy complaining about it. Indeed, he described Disney, who’d paid him $4.05 billion for the rights, as “the white slavers that take these things.” Hayden Christensen’s Anakin never sounded like such a snotty ingrate punk. For that, George, a wee love tap on your Santa Claus beard might bring back your humility, if not your talent. We should note, however, that this position on the list was closely contended; it very nearly went to all the Star Wars nerds who honestly care about such things.

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