De Niro v. Hoffman: Battle of the Best

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As my family is wont to do, this past weekend we got into a discussion about who the greater actor is, Dustin Hoffman or Robert De Niro. My parents were adamant that Hoffman is superior, while my brother and I were steadfast that you’ve gotta go with Bob, end of story. My argument essentially boiled down to two main factors: De Niro’s peak was better than Hoffman’s, and his longevity (before schlock like “Rocky and Bullwinkle”) surpassed Hoffman’s.

One of my favorite baseball writers, Jay Jaffe, developed a score system called JAWS. Very simply (perhaps inelegantly) put, JAWS looks at a baseball player’s career WAR (Wins Above Replacement), as well as his peak seven seasons. What Jaffe is interested in is the player’s total career, as well as the standout seasons that made the player great. While I’m not a statistician or well-versed in sabermetrics, I’m going to (very loosely) apply his methodology to, again, show, that De Niro surpasses Hoffman. Now, I know that some people may choose Rotten Tomatoes scores, Oscar nominations, and the like to award “points” to each actor, and deduct said “points” for box-office flops or just bad performances. This is my blog. I’m not coming up with a fancy system. I’m just coming up with proof to show I’m right, by comparing the two actors’ IMDB resumes. Without further ado, De Niro v. Hoffman Continue reading

Here it is, my moment of Zen (aka so long, Jon Stewart)

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In honor of Jon Stewart’s last “Daily Show” episode tonight, I just wanted to write a quick piece. Jon was an amazing host, and the inspiration for my college thesis, about whether entertainment, infotainment and celebrity could help inform (and potentially sway) voters. While Stewart was a gifted host, the show seemed to hinge on its incredible cast of correspondents. I wrote on my cousin’s facebook page earlier today that these were my favorite correspondents, though I am sure I have forgotten one or two others. So thank you, Jon Stewart, for helping young voters learn about important issues facing the country, and for doing so in both a humorous and topical way. But mostly, thank you for bringing notoriety to the following comedians:

Stephen Colbert. Steve Carrell. Ed Helms. Vance DeGeneres (hugely underrated, in my opinion). Samantha Bee. Jason Jones. Rob Corrdry. Aasif Mandvi. Jessica Williams. Rob Riggle. Mo Rocca. John Hodgman. Lewis Black. Larry Wilmore. Demetri Martin. Olivia Munn. Wyatt Cenac. Kristen Schaal. Josh Gad.

Now, tell me who I overlooked in the comments, or feel free to share your favorite “Daily Show” memory. For me, it will be difficult to top when they made Governor Bush debate President Bush, through the magic of video tape: