UCBTLA performers on USA Today: Pop Candy's 100 People of 2009 List
USA Today December 14-18, 2009
Pop Candy's Top 100 People of 2009
by Whitney Matheson
Who were your favorite pop-culture people this year?
Something tells me those Jon and Kate characters don't make the cut, nor do most of the faces who dominated glossy magazine covers.
Personally, I've always been the most compelled by folks who spend their time making high-quality work and/or shaking up a scene. Each year I round up 100 figures who enriched my year with their writing, acting, music and other contributions to popular culture.
98. Paul Scheer. When the comedian displayed a kooky painting of Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse and a polar bear at Comic-Con's Lost panel, many attendees thought he may have downed some bad Dharma Kool-Aid. The bit turned out to be part of one of the show's most intriguing and creative side projects -- and, along with FX's The League, I'm glad it wasn't the only one up Scheer's sleeve.
42. Charlyne Yi. The filmmaker/comedian/musician/on and on delivered Paper Heart, a "scripted documentary" about love. As a special bonus, it also featured Michael Cera, songs, ... and puppets! (Everything is better with puppets.)
35. Patton Oswalt. The comedian kept moving with a comedy special (My Weakness Is Strong) and TV roles on virtually every network (United States of Tara, Dollhouse, Bored to Death), but his breakthrough performance came with the indie drama Big Fan. I'm not very sporty, but no matter: The movie made my stomach so tense that afterward I felt like I'd spent three weeks at the gym.
14. Amy Poehler. Parks and Recreation has to be one of the year's most impressive turn-arounds, and that's in large part to Poehler's portrayal of Leslie Knope, a small-town feminist with larger-than-life aspirations. This year she also devoted time to her Nickelodeon series (The Mighty B!) and dropped by the Weekend Update desk for old times' sake. Though she's sorely missed on SNL, we love where she went.