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Top ten American entertainers of all time

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  • Top ten American entertainers of all time

    My number one is David Letterman. Over two hundred shows a year, ten years on NBC, more than ten on CBS. That's a lot of entertainment for a lot of millions of people---a second generation now being entertained. But that's a personal choice---he does not make my top ten. Michael Jordan. Dominant entertainer in a dominant form of American entertainment---sports. And, he is in movies and tv commercials. Does not make the cut. Woody Allen---nightclubs, tv, movies acted in, directed----almost all actors want to be in his movies regardless of the money or promotion. Nope. Duke Ellington----fifty years shepherding some of the greatest individual talent in jazz, might have written the greatest original music of the 20th century. Not enough. I personally like Robert Redford, Linda Ronstadt, Marvin Gaye and Aretha Franklin. Natalie Wood still strikes me as the most beautiful woman in the history of film. Jack Benny---I've mentioned ten people, all giants in some way---personal favorites---which did not make this top ten.
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  • #2
    The criteria I use is how many people were entertained in how many different ways for how long. Also, I considered the impact of doing it before others. Three of the ten are still alive. In the top five, one will be disliked by ninety percent of you. One is a little bit of a joke. One I had a problem with for political reasons.One struck me as an unpleasant person, who I am not sure I would want to know. My number one surprises me every time I go over this list. But I cannot find anyone to put above him. 2 women. 8 men. Only one is black.
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    • #3
      Some people I am not that crazy about I considered, but they did not make the cut. Just now thought of one. Oprah. Noprah. Judy Garland. Movies, song, nightclubs, concerts---none of it overwhelmingly great except maybe Oz. John Wayne. Lots of people, lots of generations. One trick pony. Sammy Davis. Kind of like Judy Garland. Louis Armstrong---beloved for doing a caricature of his real greatness. Ok. Enough disclaimers.
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      • #4
        Ten. Groucho Marx. Vaudeville, movies, quiz show on TV. A lasting impact.
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        • #5
          nine. Lucille Ball. Movies, but TV. More TV. Reruns. Maybe five good years out of thirty or forty, but what a lasting legacy.
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          • #6
            Eight. Johnny Carson. He wasn't the first. He wasn't the last. Not sure he was the best. Took so many nights off, that Letterman might pass him in total hours. But for thirty years, he was dominant in a spot that is culturally important.
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            • #7
              joe,

              Are you going to make thirteen threads to get to your point?

              Com'on guy, this could be an interesting discussion point, but, please drop the dramatics.

              Thanks.
              Make America Great For Once.

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              • #8
                Seven. Bing Crosby. Radio show was big. Recording career was big. Movies. Beloved strongly by many for who he seemed to be.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by The Kev@Apr 11 2004, 08:10 AM
                  joe,

                  Are you going to make thirteen threads to get to your point?

                  Com'on guy, this could be an interesting discussion point, but, please drop the dramatics.

                  Thanks.
                  Awfully impatient on Easter Morning. As John Wayne would say..... a man's gotta do... anyway, six. Only black guy. Cosby. Nightclubs, one hit song, legendary routines. Then the tv show, and don't forget the commercials.
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                  • #10
                    Five. Bob Hope. He could sort of sing. Movies were big, no oscars. TV specials, entertaining the troops. Political thing could not really detract that much. Many would put him number one.
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                    • #11
                      Four. No one will put this one number one, but I wonder. Streisand. She was in nightclubs and Broadway. She sold a lot of recordings at a time when others her age were following the popular trends---she really went against the grain, and some of her songs were big hits. Movies. Starred in them, sang in them, directed, produced. Like Hope, some did not appreciate her politics. Doesn't matter.
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                      • #12
                        Three. Sinatra. Chairman of the board. Sang with bands. Might have been the first musical talent to make the singer more dominant than the musicians. Washed up. Won an oscar. Radio, movies, nightclubs, tv, concerts, recording icon. Style.
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                        • #13
                          Two. Elvis. He did what Sinatra did earlier, but his impact was different. The recordings. His movies weren't great, but a lot of people found them entertaining. Some TV. Las Vegas, concerts. Then his greatest career move. He died.
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                          • #14
                            Number one. They say he was a lonely figure at the end. I liked this guy. Cooler than Sinatra. Vaudeville? Straight man to a maniac---they were on top. Movies, with partner---giant success. Movies alone---giant success. Comedy and drama. So cool he could make fun of James Bond. Huge success in television. Had hit records. I cannot find anyone to top Dean Martin. Kev, you might be the only one to respond. If so, your point is well taken. Thanks.
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                            • #15
                              What the hell were we talking about?
                              I agree with Davhaf.....Kaiser March 9,2004

                              Official Lounge co-sponsor of Jason Motte.

                              Mick Jagger is in better shape than far too many NBA players. It's up in the air whether the same can be said of Keith Richards.

                              Bill Walton

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