The 100 Greatest Entertainers (1950-2000)
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo () - July 28, 2003 - 12:00am
Several issues ago, Funfare put out The 100 Greatest (Hollywood) Movies Of All Time as compiled by the US magazine Entertainment Weekly. A reader "denounced" the list as "unreliable" and promptly e-mailed to Funfare what she described as "the authentic and truly realible/credible" list drawn up by the American Film Institute (AFI). I also published that AFI list, saying that every group has its own criteria for coming up with a list of "greatest" this or that.

Another friend (bless her!) sent two hard-bound special editions of, yes, Entertainment Weekly, one devoted to The 100 Greatest Entertainers (1950-2000) and the other to The 100 Greatest TV Shows of the past century (more on that in a future issue).

For all it’s worth, Funfare is putting out a list of The 100 Greatest Entertainers (of the second half of the 20th century) which Funfare readers will, I’m sure, find interesting.

Why only from 1950 to 2000?

The editors of Entertainment Weekly explained:

"We chose to focus on the century’s second half, not because we have anything against D.W. Griffith, but because the modern pop-cult era truly got started after World War II, with the arrival of television, rock & roll, and an itchy, omnivorous youth audience. That mix has created figures who’ve changed the way we see the world –Elvis and Madonna, Kubrick and Spielberg, Mary Tyler Moore and the cast of Saturday Night Live.

"But also making their mark have been behind-the-scenes creators like Norman Lear, ahead-of-their-time groundbreakers like James Brown, unstinting artists like Joni Mitchell, and those who’ve just entertained so well that they’ve put their stamp on an era (everyone from Jackie Gleason to Julia Roberts).

"You’ll also find a section on key influences from around the world. As for ranking our 100 Greatest –sure, it may ultimately be silly to compare, say, the Beatles with Meryl Streep. But there is a certain calculus of pop impact, artistic legacy, entertainment value, and (okay) sheer gut instinct behind our chutzpah.

"In short, these are the people we feel our great-grandchildren will still recognize in 2099, in the same way we know the names Sarah Bernhardt, Mark Twain, and Enrico Caruso."

Okay... Ready for the list? Here it is:

1. The Beatles

2. Elvis Presley

3. Marilyn Monroe

4. Steven Spielberg

5. Madonna

6. Frank Sinatra

7. Saturday Night Fever

8. Michael Jackson

9. Lucille Ball

10. The Simpsons

11. Bob Dylan

12. Marlon Brando

13. Barbra Streisand

14. Alfred Hitchcock

15. The Rolling Stones

16. Audrey Hepburn

17. John Wayne

18. Elizabeth Taylor

19. Aretha Franklin

20. Robert De Niro

21. Stephen King

22. Mary Tyler Moore

23. Jack Nicholson

24. Bill Cosby

25. Robert Redford

26. Woody Allen

27. Clint Eastwood

28. Tom Wolfe

29. Stevie Wonder

30. Martin Scorsese

31. Oprah Winfrey

32. Paul Newman

33. Star Trek

34. Richard Pryor

35. Bruce Springsteen

36. James Brown

37. Harrison Ford

38. Meryl Streep

39. Miles Davis

40. Norman Lear

41. James Dean

42. Francis Ford Coppola

43. Tom Hanks

44. Bob Marley

45. Johnny Carson

46. James L. Brooks

47. Jackie Gleason

48. Jane Fonda

49. Julia Roberts

50. Chuck Berry

51. Jimi Hendrix

52. Tom Cruise

53. Dustin Hoffman

54. David Bowie

55. The Beach Boys

56. Jerry Seinfeld

57. Stanley Kubrick

58. Cher

59. Prince

60. Willie Nelson

61. Jim Henson

62. Warren Beatty

63. Jodie Foster

64. Joni Mitchell

65. David Letterman

66. Jim Carrey

67. Aaron Spelling

68. Ed Sullivan

69. The Sex Pistols

70. Paul Simon

71. Steve Martrin

72. Kurt Cobain

73. Neil Young

74. Michael Crichton

75. The X-Files

76. Run DMC

77. Monty Python

78. Bob Newhart

79, Diana Ross

80. Michael Jordan

81. Agnes Nixon

82. Eric Clapton

83. John Grisham

84. Sean Connery

85. Carol Burnett

86. Mel Brooks

87. Steven Bochco

88. Loretta Lynn

89. Janis Joplin

90. The Grateful Dead

91. Robin Williams

92. Oliver Stone

93. Bob Fosse

94. Elvis Costello

95. James Cameron

96. Diane Keaton

97. James Garner

98. Garth Brooks

99. Spike Lee

100. Chrissie Hynde

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