If you’re an avid user of Twitter, you probably spend a lot of time defending yourself to skeptics who still – even after it’s become the fastest way to find out what’s going on in the world – think it’s all about what your friends had for lunch.
But come on now, ‘fess up. Sure, you have your NPR or Fox News or NYTimes feeds in your timeline, but you probably also have a celebrity or two . . . or three. Many celebs use Twitter just to tout their latest movie/album/TV appearance/obscure cause. Others, though, give you a real glimpse into what they’re thinking and doing, and can be quite entertaining.
Here’s a list of 10 celebrities I think are entertaining on Twitter. For the most part, they’re not overly self-promotional; most engage with their fans; and while not all are knee-slapping funny, they’re usually pretty interesting.
• Chingo Bling – Houston rapper Chingo Bling is both funny and thoughtful, and firmly rooted in hip hop. On Twitter he’s often musing on the state of the genre, and isn’t always happy about what he sees.
• Rosanne Cash – Easily my favorite celebrity on Twitter, Johnny Cash’s daughter is smart, funny, down-to-earth and offers an insider’s glimpse at a musician’s hectic life on the road. She’s also a master of the hashtag joke. Over the weekend, she missed a connection in Atlanta and found herself cornered by a fan in the airport.
• Chamillionaire – Another Houston rapper, Chamillionaire, also waxes philosophical from time to time. And he’s apparently something of a gadget junkie. After telling his followers that he needed to replace his BlackBerry, several suggested he might want to get an iPhone instead.
• Stephen Colbert – The Comedy Central star does little more than toss off one-liners – there’s almost never any interaction with fans – but his tweets are almost always golden, delivered in his character of a blowhard cable-TV pundit.
• Neil Gaiman – Author of The Sandman graphic novel series and bestsellers such as Coraline and The Graveyard Book brings his offbeat and often-dark humor to Twitter. He also spends a lot of time interacting with his followers, including recently our own Jenny Lawson:
• Steve Martin – The comedian may be a latecomer to Twitter, but he’s taken to it instantly. As he was in his early standup routines, Martin is a surreal performance artist on Twitter. An example: He recently regaled followers two days of tweets in which he claimed to be stuck on a plane flight that would never land.
• Conan O’Brien – You know what you’re in for when you read O’Brien’s Twitter-page bio: “I had a show. Then I had a different show. Now I have a Twitter account.” He’s another one who doesn’t interact with his followers – his stream is a mix of one-liners and, lately, touts for his upcoming TBS talk show. Well, the one-liners are funny:
• Penn and Teller – The magician-comedians are both on Twitter, in separate accounts. Penn Jillette is, as you’d expect, funny, edgy and doesn’t suffer fools lightly. Teller, though he’s silent onstage, is talkative and erudite on Twitter. Both like to tweet about their work onstage.
• Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger – Yes, the Governator of California apparently does his own tweeting, as well as posting photos taken at various official events. He’s got an impish sense of humor, too, as fellow Republican Sarah Palin found out last month when he mocked her now-famous 2008 comment about being able to see Russia from her house. [Update: Tina Fey actually made the comment, impersonating Palin on Saturday Night Live, not Palin herself.]
• Sarah Silverman – Although her standup humor is an acquired taste, Silverman (nope, no relation) is a little more accessible on Twitter, though she can still get pretty raunchy. This one, though, is not raunchy:
Chances are, I left out the celebs you think are most entertaining. Set me straight by posting your choices – and links to their Twitter accounts – in the comments.