Enjoy this blog because what you read is of legendary status.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Well, there it is. The very same picture I used to start today's barrage of posts that stretched over eight hours. I think that was a great way to remember the year that was. I feel very good about each list and I hope you enjoyed reading them. I think it's worth noting that this will be the 144th post of December 2014, easily a record for posts in a single month this year. It didn't quite reach last year's crazy 170 for December, but that's no matter. There's something cool of which to take note. Last year featured 1173 posts. This year? 1174. 'Atta boy, 2014. You were a good time.

See you in 2015! Thanks for a great year.

The 2014 Survey

Yes, oh yes! It's that time of year again. Time for the big Charleston contest! Just kidding! It's time for the annual survey where a quiz I've had for many years asks me how the year went with specific, thought-provoking questions.

1. What did you do in 2013 that you've never done before?

I read forty books. Thanks to the Goodreads challenge, I was able to keep track!

2. Did you keep your New Year's Resolutions?

I did not make any because I got wise. Wink.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

A cousin of mine and my sister-in-law did!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

I remember you so very fondly, Max.

5. What countries did you visit?

The United States of America.

6. What would you like to have in 2015, that you lacked in 2014?

An Avengers movie. Oh. Wait. IT'S COMING.

7. What date from 2014 will remain etched in your memory?

There are so many, but I think either October 2 or September 17 has to got to be the one.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

NaNoWriMo was great as always. I guess getting an essay published in the Boston Herald was pretty good.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I did not become President of the United States of America. Thanks, Obama.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I had many stitches in my face.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

I liked one of the Christmas gifts I bought for someone.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Jimmy Fallon, for sure. (That was the answer from last year, too. I just kept it.)

13. Whose behavior made you depressed?

Kim Jong-un.

14. Where did most of your money go?

What are you going to ask for next? My social security number?

15. What did you get really, really excited about?

Jimmy Fallon taking over The Tonight Show, Seth Meyers taking over Late Night. B.J. Novak's book, too.

16. What song will always remind you of 2014?

I loved Take Me to Church, but I think I have to say Let It Go, no?

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

Happier or Sadder? Happier! Always happier. Always happy.
Thinner or Fatter? I have no clue. I haven't weighed myself since the war...
Richer or Poorer? Yes.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

Watching episodes of Nathan for You.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?


20. How did you spend Christmas?

Christmas Eve went ahead as it usually does, but Christmas was a quiet affair with my uncle and Die Hard and A Christmas Story.

21. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?

I guess by this point this could probably mean texting, too. Probably a friend.

22. Did you fall in love in 2013?


23. How many one-night stands in the last year?

I have not had any one-night stands in the last year.

24. What was your favorite TV program?

The Mindy Project. Wilfred was a close second.

25. Do you hate anyone now, that you didn't this time last year?

Screw you, Dean Butterworth.

26. What was the best book you read?

The Great Gatsby. Oh, my gosh, The Great Gatsby.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Hozier, no doubt. He and Grouplove are amazing.

28. What did you want and get?

Community being picked up by Yahoo and The Interview being released in theaters again.

29. What did you want and not get?

Mindy Kaling hosting SNL. Soon.

30. What were your favorite films of the year?

The Grand Budapest Hotel, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Unbroken were probably my top three.

31. What did you do on your birthday?

Nothing. (And my eyes lit up!)

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

If the Florida Gators basketball team had not lost in the Final Four.

33. How would you describe your 2014 fashion concept?

Connecticut casual.

34. What kept you sane?

Jimmy Fallon.

35. What celebrity did you like the most?

See above answer.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

Let's just appreciate 2014 for what it was.

37. Who did you miss?

Tony Stark on the big screen. Missing him, though, is something I won't have to worry about for long.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

Probably someone with the last name Cleveland.

39. Tell us a valuable lesson you learned in 2014.

Curiosity and passion are the keys to a good life.

40. Is there a quote that sums up your year?

"To be frank, I think his world had vanished long before he ever entered it -- but, I will say: he certainly sustained the illusion with a marvelous grace!" - Zero Moustafa (The Grand Budapest Hotel)

2014 in Review

It's been a crazy year so we need a blog post to sum up all the articles and lists and videos and more that tried to sum up 2014. I guess that's what I'm presenting to you now. 2014.

The Music Mashups:
We have DJ Earworm and Pop Danthology, as per usual, but in 2014 we add a new year-end mashup maker: DJ Dreamport.

We also have the glory of all the movies that came out this year put to one big montage.

And here are some links to great year-end lists:

Entertainment Weekly's Ten Worst Movie Posters of the Year
Entertainment Weekly's Twenty-Five Best Movie Posters of the Year
Buzzfeed's Thirty-Three Times Mindy Kaling Proved She Was the Queen of 2014
Entertainment Weekly's Twelve Breakout Stars of 2014
The AV Club's Best Television Shows of 2014
SportsPickle's Funniest Athlete Tweets of 2014
Grantland's Year in Review
Time's Top Ten Television Shows of 2014
Entertainment Weekly's Twenty-Five Best Pop Culture Moments of the Year
Grantland's Bracket to See Who Won 2014

This year's Time Person of the Year was the Ebola Fighters.
This year's Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year was Madison Bumgarner.
 This year's Entertainment Weekly Entertainer of the Year was Jimmy Fallon.
This year's People Magazine Sexiest Man Alive was Chris Hemsworth.

2014 was rewound by YouTube to give us a look at what the Internet experienced this year:

Sadly, we lost many wonderful people in 2014. TCM remembered them best:

JibJab always has a humorously musical medley to remember 2014:

Leave it to Google, however, to bring the most awe-inspiring year-in-review video to the table:

You were a good one, 2014.

My Fifteen Favorite Days of 2014

This was truly a great year, wasn't it? Just going back and finding the exact dates of these wonderful milestones made me realize how lovely it was. Here they are, in no particular order.

1. January 6 - The Best of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon special aired and gave me so much energy that I stayed up all night and watched Drinking Buddies.

2. March 2 - The day I saw every close friend I've had since sixth grade and made a movie with all of them. Kind of surreal now that I think about it.

3. May 2 - The day I got rid of all inhibition and lip synced Let It Go with a friend for my school's variety show.

4. July 3 - This was the day on which my niece, Isabel, was born. It was sweltering, but a good day anyway!

5. July 18 - Despite callouses on my feet, I walked the length of Long Sands Beach in York, Maine with amazing music in my ears.

6. August 7 - I went to Six Flags with two family members, a friend, and one acquaintance. Lumpy McShirt watched over us and ensured a great day.

7. November 8 - I believe this was the day I saw Jimmy Fallon and other comedians live at the Garden for Comics Come Home 2014!

8. October 30 - This was when I was inducted into National Honor Society; it was a whirlwind day, but still one of my favorites that just makes me smile when I think of it.

9. September 17 - I went to a little show called Late Night with Seth Meyers and saw Seth, Tina Fey, Adam Pally, and Grouplove live in person! Still amazing.

10. June 30 - The day Community was saved. My heart still soars as high as it did that day.

11. February 19 - On the nineteenth of February, I went to New York City on Tonight Show premiere week to see a monologue rehearsal from Seth Meyers and explore New York in general. Awesome day.

12. February 17 - This was the day that featured the surreal night of the premiere of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. I'm telling ya, there was something magical about that night.

13. October 2 - The day I met B.J. Novak is one that I am always going to treasure and hold very near and very dear to my heart.

14. December 24 - The perennial December 24; it's on the list every year! Christmas Eve is the best day of the entire year!

15. December 19 - The day I watched all three classic Charlie Brown specials (Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Halloween) with a friend. God, I love Charlie Brown!

Awesome year.

My Five Favorite Moments of 2014

This is going to be a short post because it's really hard to describe some splendid moments in time. They just...are.

5. When I actually saw Seth Meyers taking notes at a monologue rehearsal for Late Night. That was unbelievable. I waved at him and he flashed a smile. Maybe the smile was for me, maybe it wasn't. But that as so surreal. It'll never sink in, just like when I saw Tina Fey and gave a standing ovation.

4. When Community was picked up by Yahoo. I played Ants Marching by Dave Matthews Band over and over again when I saw Twitter go ablaze. There's nothing like it.

3. When I saw The Interview was going to be released in theaters again. It was the day before Christmas Eve so I think it's fairly accurate to say my happiness reached a peak the likes of which I had never before experienced.

2. When the theme music for Elf began playing during the opening credits. I put dates in my phone's calendar on which I allowed myself to listen to the Elf theme music so the season could arrive quicker. When I heard it during the actual movie, I swelled with joy.

1. When B.J. Novak thanked me. At a book reading and signing, he saw I had taken notes on One More Thing, thanked me, and told me it meant a lot to him. The twenty-minute walk home in the October chill was nothing because of my immense happiness.

Ranking the Books I Read This Year

Since I titled this post books, I kept the top ten as strictly books. That's why Macbeth is right there at number eleven. It's a play. Nevertheless, shoutout to Goodreads for keeping track of everything I read.

40. I'm Only Here for the Wi-Fi by Chelsea Fagan - Eh. This was just too pretentious for me.

39. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli - I wasn't a big fan of The Prince and that's probably because I could never get into it.

38. What Happened to Cass McBride? by Gail Giles - It was alright for what it was, but I just found that it was somewhat poorly written.

37. Life Is Too Short by Mickey Rooney - Following Rooney's death, I began this reading book, but it was too tongue-in-cheek to his own consciousness for me to appreciate.

36. The Awakening by Kate Chopin - I could understand this book and appreciate it for what it was, but I didn't really enjoy reading it.

35. Antigone by Sophocles - A pretty good story, but it didn't hold up as well when I compared it to the next play we read in English class.

34. Medea by Euripides - I don't think I'll ever be quite sure why, but for some reason I just preferred the story of Medea to that of Antigone.

33. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote - I loved Serial, but I couldn't really get into the dry true crime story that unfolded over these pages.

32. In Praise of Reading and Fiction by Mario Vargas Llosa - A very short book that is taken directly from Llosa's speech, but it splendidly captures love for reading.

31. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne - It was a good book; there's no denying that. But the intelligent language couldn't quite make up for the lax story.

30. Long Day's Journey Into Night by Eugene O'Neill - A play that is about addiction through and through, but the twist is unexpected.

29. The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams - A very abbreviated, if you will, play that delves so far into the characters that I have to love it.

28. The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien - I'm not really that into war literature so you know this book was a quality one. Great use of language.

27. Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris - This was such a wonderful book, but the novella-aspect of it makes me wish for more Sedaris. That's not a hard problem to solve, though.

26. The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak - The best new children's book I read all year! B.J. is such a genius.

25. Sitcom: A History in 24 Episodes from I Love Lucy to Community by Saul Austerlitz - It was really great to read about so many shows I love and analyze them on a deeper level, but the writing became a bit pretentious at times.

24. Mother. Wife. Sister. Human. Warrior. Falcon. Yardstick. Turban. Cabbage. by Rob Delaney - A really hilarious book that exemplifies why Delaney is such a gifted comedian.

23. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury - Dear Lord, this man really was an intellectual mastermind, wasn't he?

22. A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel - I really wasn't sure if I was going to like Haven Kimmel's memoir, but I had nothing to fear. I loved it!

21. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom - It was sappy and sentimental, but it was always going to be that way. The overall message of the book loomed larger.

20. Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose - I knew that as soon as I saw her last name, I was going to enjoy this novel. It was a wonderful commentary on the beauty of art in literature.

19. I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron - The last collection of essays ever published by Ephron was made so poignant by that fact.

18. Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut - Vonnegut was such a great writer and this one might just be the best example of his underrated work and his satirical insanity.

17. This Is a Book by Demetri Martin - Wryly and dryly laugh-out-loud funny, just like Demetri himself.

16. The Best American Essays 2013 by Cheryl Strayed - Some of these obviously resonated more than others, but each one increased my knowledge of life and made me think.

15. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams - Thanks for all the fish, Mr. Adams.

14. The World as a Stage by Bill Bryson - What's better than a biography of William Shakespeare?

13. I Am America (And So Can You!) by Stephen Colbert - Dear God, the pages of Colbert's book drip with biting satire at each turn.

12. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling - I want to put this memoir even higher, but I read it in between 2013 and 2014 so it must stay here. I loved it, though!

11. Macbeth by William Shakespeare - To date, this is my favorite Shakespearean play that I've read.

10. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut - I liked this book. I finished this book. So it goes.

9. Live from New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live by Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller - The seven hundred page behemoth that perfectly encapsulated the history of Saturday Night Live in oral form.

8. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand - My Goodreads challenge for 2014 was to read forty books. This was the fortieth. It was one of those books where I consciously felt bad about putting it down because I never wanted to stop reading it.

7. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath - A delightfully insane book that featured my favorite opening line of a novel ever written: "It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn't know what I was doing in New York."

6. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson - A microcosm of modern adventure in America that probably seemed anything but micro to Bryson.

5. I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron - Ephron, a wonderful talent in expository writing passed away in 2012, but I was still able to get a glimpse into her mind.

4. The Princess Bride by William Goldman - The timeless tale of everything that was Goldman's favorite book in the world, even though he hadn't read it.

3. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris - I've now read four essay collections by Sedaris, but I feel as if I will always return to this one as my favorite.

2. One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak - A collection of short stories I was looking forward to for months did not disappoint.

1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - It is absolutely possible to be in love with a novel.

2014's Fifteen Best Television Shows

I am a huge fan of television so I take this list very seriously. (And yes, I know there are multiple comedies on here.) N'yuk, n'yuk, n'yuk.

15. Inside Amy Schumer - This geniusly innovative program showcases Schumer as a fearless comedic pioneer.

14. Portlandia - The brainchild of Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein is the best sketch show on cable television.

13. The Colbert Report - Quite possibly the greatest satirical comedy show in the history of the television. Also, quite sad that it's now over.

12. Mad Men - I hope and hope for a suitable ending to the world of Don Draper. I guess we'll see where it places on the 2015 list.

11. Late Night with Seth Meyers - It has really been an amazing start for Seth Meyers on his new talk show. It's surprisingly consistently funny for a daily talk show.

10. Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey - This is the type of reality television more people should be watching. Neil deGrasse Tyson over Kim Kardashian any day.

9. Community - I hate putting it in the ninth slot because it makes it seem low, but it was such a good year for television (and Community) that I consider this high praise.

8. Saturday Night Live - My bias may become exceptionally apparent here, but two flawless episodes led by former cast members Andy Samberg and Bill Hader were enough to catapult SNL into the top ten.

7. Parks and Recreation - Why must this great, innovative, and consistently fresh show come to an end in February?

6. Brooklyn Nine-Nine - This show started fast and has remained one of the best comedies on television about a third of the way through its second season.

5. BoJack Horseman - The animated original from Netflix that started slow and ended all too fast. The jokes can be raunchy at times, but the characters are just...so broken and so amazing. I came for Will Arnett and Aaron Paul and I stayed for the emotions.

4. Nathan for You - I cannot get over how amazing (and how dry) this underrated gem from Comedy Central is.

3. The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon - Jimmy Fallon has not only revitalized the late night landscape, he's reinvented television and made a cultural institution all his own.

2. Wilfred - The bizarre cult comedy about a man who can talk to his dog ended in August of 2014. Along the way, it went from a show with consistent laughter to dark mysteries, but both were compelling.

1. The Mindy Project - Mindy Kaling can do no wrong.

Ranking the Movies I Saw This Year

Unfortunately, I still need to see The Interview and Birdman, so this list is not finalized, but it's as good as can be! (I don't think the number one spot will change, though.)

16. Tammy - Nope.

15. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - I actually saw this movie back in 2007. It was called Spider-Man 3. NEXT!

14. Let's Be Cops - Better than I thought it was going to be, but then again I did think it was going to be a really really bad movie. I'll stick to Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. on New Girl!

13. Obvious Child - An interesting turn in the career of former SNL cast member Jenny Slate that has many thinking she'll be attending the Academy Awards.

12. Neighbors - Seth Rogen definitely helped make this movie work, which is rare for frat house movies.

11. Muppets Most Wanted - Definitely inferior to the 2011 predecessor, but a worthy companion movie. I think it worked as a sequel and oh, yeah. Tina Fey!

10. Captain America: The Winter Soldier - A great example of a movie that far exceeded its predecessor.

9. Listen Up Philip - Don't let your opinion of Jason Schwartzman be swayed by the terrible person that is Philip.

8. 22 Jump Street - I preferred the first one, but the endearing performance of Jonah Hill was enough to overcome the cliches in the self-deprecating sequel.

7. They Came Together - A splendidly satirical commentary on the romantic comedy genre with an all-star cast that includes Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Ed Helms, Max Greenfield, and Jack MacBrayer.

6. The Skeleton Twins - Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig play twins who re-enter each other's lives after serendipitously failed suicide attempts on the same day. Enough said.

5. Fury - A stellar war - yet, not war - movie that actually sees Brad Pitt get overshadowed by a young, up-and-coming talent in Logan Lerman.

4. This Is Where I Leave You - The family comedy starring Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, and Adam Driver has me eager to read the original version in book form.

3. Unbroken - Some of my favorite parts of the book were left out, but that could not take away from the beauty of this well-done film.

2. Guardians of the Galaxy - This reinvention of the superhero movie genre turned Chris Pratt into a movie star, had Bradley Cooper voice a talking raccoon, and force "Hooked on a Feeling" back into people's consciences.

1. The Grand Budapest Hotel - The crown jewel of Wes Anderson films, this movie is a magical masterpiece about a world long since forgotten - except by the movie's protagonist, brilliantly portrayed by Ralph Fiennes.

The Thirteen Best Tweets of 2014

There have been millions of tweets sent this year. But these ten thirteen (couldn't narrow it)...these thirteen are the best of the whole lot.

13. It's not a great show, but the tweet before it premiered from John Mulaney was a perfect microcosm of anticipation.

12. Dan Harmon's teasing tweet for the rescue of Community.

11. The first great tweet of the year.

10. Meta tweet about Twitter from B.J.'s sister.

9. Lena Dunham gets accurate about the news.

8. Ike Barinholtz made all the Patriots fans feel better.

7. Yup. Classic.

6. This is a tweet for the new world order.

5. Amen, B.J. Novak.

4. Rob Delaney is always the funniest man on Twitter.

3. We can always count on Jason Ritter for witty tweets.

2. The best tweet that came out of the Peter Pan Live hurricane.

1. Never not funny. How could anything else be the best tweet of the year?

The Ten Best Movie Posters of 2014

10. The Expendables 3 - Oh. Yeah.

9. Muppets Most Wanted - Nothing better than Ricky Gervais and Tina Fey hanging out with some Muppets!

8. Unbroken - The climax of the movie is perfectly illustrated here.

7. They Came Together - I love this poster for both the Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd combination and for the tagline.
6. Jersey Boys - Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons is represented here. And it's outrageously amazing.

5. St. Vincent - It's Bill Murray sleeping in a lawn chair, bitches.

4. Guardians of the Galaxy - This poster gives off the feel of an old-school action romp which is great because this movie was definitely a great blend of old and new school.

3. The Grand Budapest Hotel - Look! It's Wes Anderson's cronies!

2. Wish I Was Here - I like many, many things about this poster for Zach Braff's movie.

1. I actually might believe this is the best movie poster ever made. Each detail is fantastic and the tagline is perfect.

2014's Five Best Trailers

Notice how I kept it vague enough that it didn't have to only be movie trailers. Wink.

5. Birdman - I really cannot wait to see this movie, but for now, the trailer will have to satiate me.

4. Community - The trailer for the sixth season on Yahoo was amazing. The gas leak year is knocked in favor of some great "We have the technology" moments. Goosebumps forever.

3. The Skeleton Twins - There is nothing better than Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader lip syncing to Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now by Starship.

2. One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories - The trailer for B.J. Novak's book delightfully went from an homage to film noir to B.J. and Mindy doing a bit.

1. Avengers: Age of Ultron - This is one of the most highly anticipated movies ever made. And the trailer was nearly-equally anticipated. It broke the Internet more than Kim Kardashian could have ever hoped to. Also: HULKBUSTER!

2014's Ten Best Videos

We've talked about commercials and we will talk about trailers. This is just straight-up videos!

10. The Hobbit Safety Video - Because what's better than being told how to fly safely from Elijah Wood?

9. When Will the Bass Drop? - When Andy Samberg returned to host SNL, we just knew The Lonely Island would come back, too, with a digital short.

8. Let It Go with Classroom Instruments - One of the best bits from The Tonight Show tackled one of 2014's biggest songs.

7. Too Many Cooks - The viral sensation that wasn't or was or I don't really know. It's just too glorious to ignore on this day of year-end recappery.

6. The Group Hopper - When Bill Hader hosted SNL, one of the best digital shorts was produced from the year. It had such great satire and so many classic one-liners.

5. MTV Movie Awards Opening - When Conan O'Brien hosted this award show, he brought a lot of his friends with him. A lot.

4. Lip Sync Battle with Emma Stone - Emma Stone lip syncing Hook by Blues Traveler is quite possibly the greatest one ever done. Ever.

3. Church - My favorite Saturday Night Live digital short of the year came in just under the wire. The second-to-last episode of the year featured it! "Whoa! It's just a little table in there!"

2. Billy at the Emmys - When Billy on the Street took over the Emmys with Billy Eichner and Seth Meyers, we just knew The Big Bang Theory would be dissed and Mindy Kaling would be defended. As it should be.

1. Daniel Radcliffe Raps Alphabet Aerobics - As soon as this happened, there was never a chance of anything else being number one ever.

2014's Ten Best Commercials

There is no gray area when it comes to commercials. They're either awesome and lovable or annoying and tiresome. These are ten of the best that were neither annoying nor tiresome.

10. Heineken | The Payphone - This interesting experiment led by Fred Armisen makes for a very interesting and envious advertisement.

9. Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee | Seinfeld - The Seinfeld reunion that everyone expected and everyone loved.

8. AT&T | Office - The introduction of the beloved Charlie. He's the best representation AT&T has ever had. "Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?"

7. Budweiser | Puppy Love - This might be the last ad we saw for Budweiser with Clydesdales and if it was, what a fitting ending.

6. Little Caesar's | Lunch Combo - Maybe it's the cheesy nature of this commercial, the pure happiness, or the kind of passable mariachi band, but this one is just a good ad.

5. 46 LTE | Names - Everything Ricky Gervais does is amazing. So it's to be expected that his advertisement would be amazing, too. He does what he does best.

4. Apple | Your Verse - This commercial (although frequent) was already great when it first aired. But when Robin Williams passed away, it transcended advertising.

3. Honda | Hug Fest - Everything about this advertisement is perfect.

2. Muppets Most Wanted | Outrage - I have never laughed so hard at a commercial before. I died upon seeing this for the first time.

1. AT&T | Selfie - I've said it before and I'll say it again. Charlie is the man and this commercial is so wryly phenomenal.

The Best Episodes of Television in 2014

Keep in mind that I'm a comedy guy and that's why the majority of the following episodes will be from comedy shows. But that's how television goes for me. There are very few exceptions. Enough about that, though. Here are the best episodes of the year!

18. Andy Samberg; St. Vincent (Saturday Night Live) - When Andy returned to Saturday Night Live to host the finale of season thirty-nine, everyone knew that there were going to be cameos aplenty. And with the Vogelchecks and the monologue, we got 'em. Armisen, Wiig, Hader, Meyers, Rudolph, Rudd; everyone was there! We got in the cage with Nic Cage and we found out when the bass dropped. Quality episode.

17. Answers (Wilfred) - The most mind-bending episode of Wilfred that there ever was was also one of the best from the fourth and final season. Perhaps it was also one of the best ever done. So many different answers for why Ryan sees Wilfred are explored with epic Easter eggery. Plus, Jason Gann without the costume? Jarring.

16. The Bet (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) - There's a lot going on this episode what with Charles' injury and Terry trying to go back into the field, but the real greatness comes when Jake plans a terrible date for Amy. They get called to a stakeout during it and when offered dismissal, Jake decides to stay. Glorious episode with the glorious Captain Holt stealing scenes.

15. Geothermal Escapism (Community) - I couldn't decide between Geothermal Escapism, Cooperative Polygraphy, and Repilot for so long, but I eventually had to choose the first. This was the episode where Troy left. Such a great episode with some actual intense drama for a game of hot lava. But that use of Come Sail Away sealed the deal.

14. Tina Fey, Adam Pally, and Grouplove (Late Night with Seth Meyers) - Well, this episode was an obvious inclusion. It's the one I saw live! But even if I hadn't seen it live, I still would have included it probably because it was such a great episode. The interviews were hilarious, the song was good, and Seth was funny as always.

13. Unafraid of the Dark (Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey) - This episode ended the run of Cosmos, but it was in such a beautiful and magnificent way. Cosmic rays, dark matter, and dark energy were all explored by Neil deGrasse Tyson and that would make for a quality episode on its own, but then the whole thing ended with a monologue from Carl Sagan that was lyrical and astounding and it made the whole thing just so unprecedentedly breathtaking for television.

12. The Desert (The Mindy Project) - Following a whole big ordeal with Cliff and Casey, it seems like Mindy has to choose between her current boyfriend and her ex-boyfriend. But then, serendipitously, it's Danny who marches to the back of the airplane and kisses Mindy. And we had to wait over two months for the next episode!

11. Grimmy (The Colbert Report) - Oh dear lord, the last episode of The Colbert Report was a breathtaking one. It began with Jon Stewart asking if Stephen was ready for the big night and Stephen acting as if he didn't know what he was talking about. Then there was a standard Report segment that made it seem like an average episode. But the rest of the installment blew it out of the water. Colbert did one last edition of The Word, killed the Grim Reaper, became immortal, sang We'll Meet Again with every celebrity, and then sailed into the moonlight with Santa Claus, Abraham Lincoln, and Alex Trebek. And then Jon Stewart thanked him for the report and all the goosebumps happened.

10. Will Smith and U2 (The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon) - I remember laying on my couch waiting for this episode to happen at 11:35 and when it did, it did not disappoint. Every second was amazing from the monologue to the second monologue to all the bits to the rooftop performance. There was something truly magical in the air that night.

9. G.I. Jeff (Community) - Looking back, there were so many great episodes from the fifth season of Community, but this one, I believe, is my favorite. Some said it was gimmicky, but I felt like it was classic Community and I think that's how the majority of people felt. The animation and G.I. Joe homages were flawless and it was peppered in with Community humor, meta-weirdness, and Jeff Winger struggling with his age.

8. Background Check (New Girl) - Quite possibly the best-written episode of New Girl in the history of the show. At its core, this episode was a bottle episode, but my goodness what a marvelous bottle episode it was! The laughs never really stopped in this one as the characters flowed together nicely and there was just...an abundance of humor. I think back on this episode of New Girl and I remember it as something special. A treasure.

7. Moving Up (Parks and Recreation) - One of the best episodes in the history of Parks and Recreation. It seemed like they made it as a backup plan for a series finale in case they were cancelled, but Mike Schur knew the show was coming back before the episode was created. But that's the true beauty and intelligence of the episode. They knew it wasn't the end and they still kept it a big display. It's an innovative show and this was an innovative episode with an astounding Unity concert, awesome career twist for Leslie, and an even crazier plot twist to end the episode and the season.

6. Bill Hader; Hozier (Saturday Night Live) - This was absolutely the best episode of SNL this season. No question. Not one sketch fell flat. Even the musical performances were great! After watching it for the first time, I thought about it again and smiled to myself. Take Me to Church, Like Real People Do, The Cat in the Hat, Stefon Returns, Herb Welch, Army Puppet. There were just so many memorable sketches. What an awesome episode!

5. The Equestranauts (Bob's Burgers) - This was a widely-acclaimed episode of the animated comedy and for good reason. The concept of the whole half-hour is so absurd, but the show itself is so absurd that it's able to keep up and follow through without ever fully committing to it. A great satire with great comedy makes for a great episode.

4. Downer Ending (BoJack Horseman) - BoJack is another great show in the lore of Netflix. It started off slightly slowly, but then picked up instantly and ended fantastically. But just before the finale was this gem. This wonderful episode that had everything it needed to have. Comedy as it should have had and then (as the episode title suggests) a profound and nearly-depressing ending. It's just...so re-watchable and heartbreaking. I'm not sure if that's a good combination, but it must be because it's the fourth best episode of the year.

3. Souvenir Shop / E.L.A.I.F.F. (Nathan for You) - I don't want to say too much about this episode because the best way to understand why it's up so high is to simply watch it. It's wonderfully indicative of why the show is one of the most brilliant on television right now. After watching it, I didn't even feel like watching anything else for the rest of the day because it was just so good.

2. Optimal Tip-to-Tip Efficiency (Silicon Valley) - I have seen this on so many lists of the best episodes in television from this year and it makes me so happy. As I watched it for the first time, I could tell it was special. It had the most high-brow penis joke in the history of humor and one of the things that made it so great was that it dealt with actual, high-cost scenarios. There was a lot to lose, but it worked out for the Pied Piper crew. I'm really not sure how much more influential an episode can be on life.

1. Happiness (Wilfred) - "Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." - Leo Tolstoy. The series finale of Wilfred was everything I could have ever wanted it to be. The episode preceding it was also amazing and I think I'd probably group them together since they aired that way. A wonderful ending with a striking song and so much closure. Literally every question raised over the course of four years was answered in true Wilfred fashion. And yes, I've watched it over five times since it aired.

Entertainment Weekly's Ten Best Covers of 2014

10. Unbroken - A good book, a good movie, a good cover.

9. The Reunions Issue - Oh, my gosh! A Ghostbusters reunion? That's awesome. Easily top ten-worthy. And then a Mean Girls reunion happened just below and it got even better.

8. 2015 Preview - A bit of a change up for the Entertainment Weekly year-end cover, but I like it. You can't go wrong with Mindy Kaling, Amy Poehler, and Bill Hader represented by their animated characters, Chris Pratt in Jurassic World, Tina Fey, Tony Stark, Peggy from Mad Men and Annie from Community.

7. Isn't It Bromantic? - It wasn't enough to have television's fifty best scenes, but then you just throw Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill in there together.

6. Winter TV Preview - The cover just released yesterday was hard to find, but easy to place. Nothing better than the cast of Parks and Recreation and the placement of Jerry's face is perfect.

5. The 25 Best Characters on TV - Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer as Frank Underwood? Sign me up!
4. Avengers: Age of Ultron - This gave us the first look at the sequel to The Avengers and my gosh was it worth the wait.

3. Bye-Bye, Bilbo! - To say farewell to The Hobbit, Stephen Colbert donned the costumes of three different characters and it was perfectenschlag.

2. Simpsons + Family Guy - The crossover event of the century received some pretty awesome covers.

1. Best and Worst of 2014 - There was truly no other choice. JIMMY!

My Ten Favorite Entertainment by David Covers of 2014

Just as the sports covers were, the Entertainment Weekly ones will come soon and make you feel better about artistic quality.

10. SNL at 40 - I was so excited for the Saturday Night Live anniversary cover if not just for the chance to put John Belushi on the cover of something.

9. Spider-Man - Even though the movie was underwhelming in its expectations, I like to think this cover reversal worked.

8. Interstellar - Really the only way I could do a cover for the space epic.

7. Emmys - Everything just seemed so symmetrical for the Seth Meyers-led cover.

6. Amy Poehler - I was skeptical about the font presentation, but the background actually kind of made it work.

5. Letterman Will Retire - This didn't seem like it'd be a memorable cover, but something about it (the overlay, the symmetry, I'm not sure) makes me like it.

4. #sixseasonsandamovie - This would be an extremely sad cover if it wasn't for the heroic news that came on June 30th.

3. Jimmy's Turn - It was a guarantee that the Jimmy Fallon-Tonight Show Cover would be awesome.

2. A Million Ways to Die in the West - I just really like the way I laid the words out for this cover.

1. Cosmos - The image of Neil deGrasse Tyson was just so sharp that it elevated the cover to the next level.

Sports Illustrated's Ten Best Covers of 2014

Let's take a look back at the far superior and sometimes dramatic, sometimes fun covers from Sports Illustrated this year.

10. Jeter on Jeter - Covers with Derek Jeter were not hard to find...but they were always great. 

9. Commissioner Adam Silver - Maybe it's just because I like the guy or maybe it's because he looks like he should be holding a pitchfork, but there's something about this cover that I love.

8. Jonas Gray - The title of this one is so great. "Because of Course Jonas Gray" is so true because there have been so many "breakout" Patriots running backs.

7. Blount Force Drama - Here's another Patriots running back on the cover if you didn't believe me.

6. Believe! - The underdog covers are always good, but when it's marked by aesthetically popping colors they get even better.

5. The 60th Anniversary Issue - Great use of the mosaic technique to honor the magazine institution with a recreation of the very first cover.

4. Turn Back the Clock - Just as the previous cover did, SI went into the past for this old. poignant photo of LeBron's jersey in Cleveland.

3. Your 2017 World Series Champs - The boldness of both the jerseys and the prediction make this cover one to remember.

2. The Madness Begins - Obviously a cover dedicated to the number one overall seed Florida Gators in basketball is going to make the list.

1. Boston Strong - What else could it be but the Boston Marathon revisited one year after the tragedy?

My Ten Favorite Sports by David Covers of 2014

The better Sports Illustrated covers will be coming soon, but this can also serve as a great recap of the year in sports.

10. Foxborough Rising - Using Foxborough instead of New England made it seem so much better to me. But half of my Super Bowl prediction is so wrong.

9. Super Spurs - I'm glad I chose to have the team holding the trophy because when the Spurs won, it was truly a team effort.

8. A Giant, Royal Affair - A fun World Series is best expressed through mascots, which always make for a fun cover.

7. Michael Sam - None of the three players mentioned on this cover have done much in the NFL yet, but it still seems like a worthy cover for the NFL Draft.

6. Out of the Woods - You can never go wrong with a dramatic, almost-painted shot of a golfer on his backswing.

5. Dynasty! - I feel like this one is minimalist enough to perfectly capture what San Francisco was feeling when their beloved baseball team won the title. Again.

4. The Wright Guy - I'm a sucker for puns.

3. The Curious Case of Matthew Stafford - I love when the Lions play on Thanksgiving, so naturally the cover for it had to make the list.

2. Low-Key Sochi - For the Winter Olympics, I felt that a pretty awe-inspiring shot of a flipping snowboarder would do the Sochi games justice. I feel good about the cover.

1. Farewell, Jeter - The goodbye cover to the great had to make the list. Something so poignant about that number two.