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The Fifteen Biggest Dudes of All Time7

By Rebecca Leib

The Fifteen Biggest Dudes of All Time

Throughout history, there have been men who have stood out in the crowd. These are men who have been loved by women, loved by their friends, and loved doing what they pleased. These men were Dudes. But you don’t have to make history to be an everyday dude – just check out KoldCast TV’s comedy series, DUDER. This show reminds us that there’s a dude in all of us, a little voice that in times of need suggests that we not take life too seriously. So chill out, pop on some tunes, get some snacks and check out some of the most hard-core dudes from television, film, music and pop culture.

1.Jack Palance as Curly Washburn from City Slickers

A man’s not a man without a dude to guide him. And that’s what Curly was – a dude’s dude, leading Billy Crystal and co-star Daniel Stern from their anxiety-ridden New York midlife crisis to becoming real rancheros. Without Jack Palance as the cool, take-no-prisoners frontier man, the movie definitely wouldn’t have led City Slickers into comedic film history.

2. Jerry Garcia

Jerry Garcia is a cool dude who just likes to jam. Born John “Jerry” Garcia, this jam band guru was one of the original founders of the Grateful Dead, and took the band to new, psychedelic heights with his feel-good songs. The band survived for over thirty years on Garcia good times, wild touring adventures and good old-fashioned rolling with the punches. Jamming is part and parcel to being a good dude, no? And if you can’t jam out, there’s always Hacky Sack.

3. Trey Parker and Matt Stone

South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone set the bar for dudely entertainment. They met at the University of Colorado and started doing animations together, including the infamous Jesus vs. Santa that, in 1992, became the pilot episode for South Park. From then on, Comedy Central dug their irreverence to political correctness and their humor spawned several feature films, more animated madness and even a band! Gnarly! But their original progeny, South Park, has kept them on the map as legends. It has been running for fourteen seasons – and counting!

4. Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan, a rollin’, ramblin’ dude and cultural icon, came on the music scene as Robert Allen Zimmerman and started performing in Minnesota as a folk singer. Needing an ultimately cooler name, he went with the more stylized “Bob Dylan.” Then he moved to New York and became a beat poet musician with a political mind and a cigarette in his mouth – the rest is legendary. With a timeless ear for song and poetry, Bob Dylan is here to chill, appreciate and be appreciated.

5. Hunter S. Thompson

Fueled by drugs, crazy escapades and a love for writing, Thompson is best known for his work Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and his conception of Gonzo Journalism: a crazy way of reporting on events in the world through the lens of eccentricity. Thompson is usually pictured with a crazy hat, booze, a cigarette in his mouth and a Hawaiian t-shirt. Ain’t nothin like the written word, dude!

6. James Franco as Saul Silver from Pineapple Express

If you deal drugs, have long hair and dig sweat pants, you’re halfway to dude. Just take a tip from the film Pineapple Express: use your power of being a dude for good, and not evil. This film cast James Franco as a loveable drug dealer who gets sucked into a crazy chain of events that leaves him fighting for his life, and his lifestyle.

7. Matthew McConaughey as David Wooderson from Dazed and Confused

Nothing says dude like hanging out with high schoolers while you’re out of high school – also, a lot of pot. Matthew McConaughey plays a lady-killing, deadbeat too burned out for a future, but too cool to forget his past in the stoner favorite, Dazed and Confused.

8. Jason London as Randall “Pink” Floyd from Dazed and Confused

In another vein of the film Dazed and Confused, we saw Randall “Pink” Floyd as an athlete and stoner extraordinaire! He leaves jockdom to hang out with some stoner kids, and learns that the dude life is the life for him. Jason London plays this part with a coolness saved only for the true stoner dude.

9. Mike Myers as Wayne Campbell from Wayne’s World

Who has a licorice dispenser in their car and loves rock? Wayne Campbell of Wayne’s World. When Wayne and his metal-loving sidekick Garth find success on a public access show, they set out to create “Waynestock,” a Woodstock for rockers. With a rockin’ soundtrack, Mike Myers plays a grunge dude out to rule the world and keep his hot, hot girlfriend, Cassandra. Let’s be honest: Wayne and Garth busting out to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody is a quintessential moment in film history!

10. Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden from Fight Club

Strong hatred for consumer culture? Odd clothing? A penchant for fighting other men to feel good about one’s life? That’s the infamous Fight Club alter-ego, Tyler Durden, played by Brad Pitt. A dude does what he pleases, be it making soap out of human fat or facilitating violent hi-jinx. This seminal film is filled with man-rage, punctuated by Pitt’s unforgettable character!

11. Kevin Smith

From Mallrats to Clerks, Kevin Smith has cornered the slacker, Gen-X dude market. Not only is he spot on with his dude characters, he plays one in real life! While Smith has a handle on teenage and twenty-something angst, he also creates stories of everyday dudes who triumph. Kevin Smith, dudes everywhere salute you!

12. Keanu Reeves

Forget Bill and Ted – Keanu Reeves is pure dude in everything he does. He has made a name for himself infusing surfer dude into most of the roles he plays (Speed, anyone? HELLO!). Just listen to him speak… in any movie! Reeves got his start as a goofy comedy dude, and graduated to action dude, and then…dramatic dude. It’s a transformation worth watching, bro!

13. John Belushi

John Belushi’s one of those dudes who will try to make you laugh but if he doesn’t… nah, he always makes us laugh! Belushi’s a true dude favorite. Starting out doing improvisation at the famed Second City and Improv Olympic in Chicago, Belushi embodies rebellious fun. Graduating to Saturday Night Live, Belushi cultivated memorable characters that exuded dude. Though he died young, Belushi’s comedic dudetasticness lives on in movies like Animal House and Blues Brothers.

14. Sean Penn as Jeff Spicoli from Fast Time at Ridgemont High

There were fast times at Ridgemont High… but not without Jeff Spicoli! An integral part of smoking and skirting class, Spicoli was what I grew up with and what I envision when I think of dude. Though Sean Penn has gone on to have a truly vibrant, serious career, he’ll always be Spicoli in the canon of dude. And come on, this film would be less than memorable without stoner Spicoli!

15. Jeff Bridges as The Dude from The Big Lebowski

Okay, and now the pièce de résistance. How can we leave “The Dude” himself off this list of dudes? Jeff Bridges deftly plays the Prime Minister of Dude-age in, The Big Lebowski, the Southern California offbeat comedy by the Coen Brothers. It includes bowling, cowboys, white russians, ransom and best of all a dude who experiences them all. All The Dude wants is his carpet back, and what he gets is lots of crazy hi-jinx.

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Rebecca Leib received her BFA in Fine Art and MFA in writing and hails from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is a Los Angeles based comedian and writer. Her work can be seen in the pages of many print and online publications, including Beautiful/Decay, Artillery Magazine, Blackbook, Tvgasm, Metrowize and Dailyfill. She has performed at the Second City Studio Theatre, UCB-LA, IOWest and the improv, and can often be seen brooding at sidewalk cafes.

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Must Reads 8/28/2014