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October 12, 2016
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This year's finalists include Woody Allen, Barbara Bush, and Terry Gross.

Einstein, Gates, Curie. The nerd pantheon has seen some giants, but even among those legendary greats, few compare to greatness of Ken Bone, a man who dared to be a nerd even when his name easily could have relegated him to the life of a porn star.

Today, we commemorate the Red Sweatered One by announcing the inaugural Ken Bone Medal Winners for Nerds Who Overcame Porn Star Names.


Woody Allen

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With seemingly no other choice but to take the easy path of a life playing randy plumbers and libidinous repairmen, Mr. Allen dared to be nebbishy and neurotic. Apparently he never got the memo that a film associated with someone named “Woody Allen” must have terrible dialogue.


Jack Speer

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A video called “National Pubic Radio” was probably the closest to NPR most people thought someone named Jack Speer could get. He proved them all wrong. Now, the only D he relies on to get the job done is the one in The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.


Barbara Bush

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Don’t jump to any conclusions about a woman named Barbara Bush. And don’t call her a MILF either, unless you mean the Matriarch in a Literacy Foundation.


Dick Button

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No one should be surprised Dick Button has had an on-screen career spanning dozens of years or that he invented a maneuver called the flying camel spin. It is also no shock that he specializes in both solo and pair performances. It’s the fact that he did all this as a clothed man obsessed with figure skating that earned him this honor.


Terry Gross

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Faced with a life that easily could have been defined by starring in titles littered with various slang for body fluids, it is likely no coincidence Terry Gross instead immortalized herself on a program called Fresh Air. Believe it or not, she is at her best taking on only one person at a time. Among institutions, NPR leads this year’s Ken Bone short list.


Bill Woodcock

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“Hey, Woodcock, move to the Valley. I’m sure a guy like you can find plenty of work up there.” Well, you should have been more specific, perv, because Bill Woodcock set up shop in San Francisco and became a leading expert in global network development.


Maggie Butt

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No, Dr. Maggie Butt won’t treat the condition in anyone’s crotch. Unless the cure is a creative writing class. This British poet has not let her name stop her from living the dream.

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