Dan Savage, Tim and Eric, Crispin Glover line drawing

Dan Savage, Tim and Eric, and Crispin Glover. Image by me.

Maybe it’s because I just turned thirty, but I’ve been thinking recently about the people who I’ve admired and learned from most over the years. I listed them below, with the exception of my parents (a given).

  • Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, whose collective sense of humor skewers everything inauthentic and cheesy about the world
  • Dan Savage, the unfiltered sex advice columnist/podcaster and civil rights activist
  • Stephen King, who introduced me both to writing and nightmares
  • Trey Parker and Matt Stone, for championing free speech in the guise of hilarious shows and movies
  • Penn Jillette, for calling bullshit on things that too many people accept
  • Dave Barry, for making me laugh until I cry
  • Trent Reznor, the soundtrack to my life since fifth grade and a crusader for musicians
  • Crispin Glover, who is weird enough to own a castle in Prague and release videos like this, yet mainstream enough to play George McFly in “Back to the Future”
  • Allie Brosh of Hyperbole and a Half, Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal, and Nicholas Gurewitch of Perry Bible Fellowship for the best comics and writing on the Internet
  • David Lynch, for making me think about movies the way English class made me think about books
  • Anne Rice, for introducing me to alternative universes
  • RuPaul Charles, for making creative identity expression accepted (and cool)
  • John Kricfalusi, for refusing to compromise with Nickelodeon on Ren & Stimpy and showing me at an early age that sticking to your vision matters