140 characters is all some people really need.
In order to be a really good TV star, actors have to create an approachable yet enviable persona that makes viewers either want to date them or drink with them. Today, they have to do it on Twitter, too. Needless to say, not everyone is good at this. But, amid their peers’ streams of endless fan retweets and boring plants by well-meaning publicists, there’s a faction of TV personalities that manage to get it just right. Comedians understandably tend to have a corner on the market, but we’ve also been pleasantly surprised by some unexpectedly witty stars and reality TV personalities. Below, a sampling of the best, brightest, and weirdest.
The cat’s been out of the bag for a long time that Saget isn’t the wholesome, clean-freak single dad we knew and loved on Full House so much as a pervy dude who won't hesitate to make sex jokes about actresses he knew when they were toddlers. Still, this fact gets no less entertaining with time, and since he mostly exists as a guest star these days, Twitter constitutes the most consistent possible source of Saget. Expect lots of joke Twitpics, references to his elderly mother, and nostalgia-inducing back-and-forths with @JohnStamos.
Some of you — and by “some” I mean “few, if any” — may remember Jesse Camp as the 1998 winner of MTV’s “wanna be a VJ” contest who could mostly be relied on to show up for VJ duty visibly stoned on a daily basis. Granted, he hasn’t been on TV since 2000 and is often assumed to be dead, but I’m willing to overlook it, because his Twitter feed is hands-down my favorite thing on the internet. A mix of gibberish, gross and explicit complaints about his love life, and the occasional startlingly on-point observation about the music industry, the total package is nothing short of mesmerizing and easily more entertaining than anything he ever did on TV, or anything that anyone else does on Twitter. Period.
Granted, Mindy Kaling is incredible in every medium she touches, but The Office writer/actress’ crowning achievement thus far still might be her Twitter feed. Embodying every girl’s ultimate friend crush, she muses on romantic comedies, the color pink, and carbs she likes and dislikes. Her Tweets are, without fail, hilariously aware of their un-selfawareness (really).
The lovably hyperactive comedian, Parks and Recreation actor, R. Kelly superfan, and sometime Ciroc spokesperson is just as manic yet on-point when he Tweets, and it’s kind of a sight to behold. A given day might offer a sampling of his (always vehement) feelings on food and hip-hop, links to YouTube videos you should probably avoid watching, and quotes from his little cousin Harris. It also comes with a hefty dose of self-promotion, but there’s something about him that makes it impossible to begrudge.
Even if you still haven’t developed a big soft spot for his show on TBS, take heart in the fact that the creepy-funny Conan we all came to know and love still exists on his Twitter feed. Although he no longer needs it to launch himself out of unemployment, O’Brien keeps it updated with a steady stream of the bizarre and hilarious observations the world has come to expect from him, and in its own strange way, it’s comforting.
Shit My Dad Says
The entire TV-watching public let out a groan when it was announced that CBS was greenlighting a sitcom based on this perfect-as-it-was Twitter feed, and even with William Shatner attached as a star, the simple stream of lewd, cranky dad quotes is still far better than its sitcom incarnation. Offensive wisdom abounds, and we’re all better for it.
This former wunderkind 30 Rock writer — he signed onto the show while still attending NYU — has so many professional balls in the air that it’s a little perturbing: he’s a cast member on Community, writes, tours doing stand-up, DJs, released an entire EP under his rap alter ego Childish Gambino, and on top of all that he’s a completely obsessive Twitterer. Not too surprisingly, his Tweets are reliably entertaining, but also admirably interactive with his growing fanbase and they provide a voyeuristic look into his nonstop pursuit of the ladies. They’re also the only way anyone can hope to keep up with his countless enterprises, since he never seems to be in the same city for more than forty-eight hours at a time.
Like all truly engrossing celebrity Twitterers, Ice-T spouts an unpredictable mix of vulgar wisdom, promotion for his own ventures, and domestic Twitpics with his wife, Coco. Points for involvement with his fans, who he refers to as "the Final Level Twitter Gang" or #FLTG and RTs often enough that it will sometimes clog up your feed. He also created a Twitter account for his bulldog puppy Spartacus, who seems to know just as much about pleasing a woman as his worldly owner. Food for thought.
As someone who doesn’t watch much House, I have to admit that for a while I thought of Olivia Wilde mostly as the so-pretty-it’s-genuinely-frightening actress I couldn’t place, and not much more. I still haven’t seen more than five minutes of her on House, but I did fall in love with her Twitter feed, which indicates that she’s almost suspiciously chill for a well-known pretty person. Consistently funny and occasionally heartwarming, the feed is a breath of fresh air among peers who so often let their publicists do the tweeting for them.
Watching Spencer Pratt on any of his endless reality shows is generally sad, upsetting, and something I promised myself I wouldn’t do anymore for the sake of my own spiritual health. But for whatever reason, 140-character doses of Pratt’s unique brand of instability are just right. His tweets typically veer between attempts at comedic one-liners and possibly violent megalomania that approaches but doesn’t quite reach Sheen levels. Fun game: see if you can guess the difference between the two! Call it schadenfreude, but at least he’s never boring.