It’s the most wonderful time of the year!! Not Christmas, you fools. IT’S MOST HANDSOME YOUNG MAN TIME. Niall Horan has had a reign of terror as our Most Handsome Young Man of 2017, so it’s time for him to retire for some brandy with our past winners, Joel McHale, Adam Scott, Tom Mison, John Cho, Harry Styles, and Lin-Manuel Miranda in the Handsome Man Hall of Fame. Thank you for your service, Niall. It was very very very handsome.
So now we turn to the new nominees. As is tradition, Sage and I have spent the year scoping the pop culture landscape for the Handsome Men who are having their moment, whose time has come to vie for the greatest title on the internet. We’re proud of this year’s crop of nominees, and now we gladly turn the decision over to you, our readers. Get your campaigns ready! You can vote once an hour and the polls will close at 8 PM on Friday, December 21st. Think of it as an advent calendar of handsome. TO THE NOMINEES.
If this poll decided our National Treasure of the Year, Mr. Ted Danson would be a shoe-in.
Good Place spoiler warning!
He’s been entertaining us for decades and created one of television comedy’s indelible characters in Sam Malone. And over the past few seasons, he’s rightfully been appreciated anew for his performance as The Good Place‘s Michael, the architect of four flawed humans’ eternal torture who then becomes their ally and friend. What makes Ted so damn good in this part isn’t just his experience and comedy royalty status – it’s that he also comes to play and to learn. Silver fox men who don’t assume they already know everything? That’s handsome.
If you listen to The Good Place: The Podcast, you know that almost every episode features one or more guests swooning over Ted and how generous, professional, and humble he is. Meanwhile, everyone agrees that he would have had every right to waltz in, say “I was in Cheers,” and not take a single note from anybody. But that’s just not his way, and it makes him even more of a legend. When he’s been a guest on the podcast, he’s spent more time praising the works of others and asking specific questions about how crew folks like editors do their jobs than he does talking about himself.
AND! He’s still fine. Ted Danson has been handsome for his entire lifetime, and he’s just really got it down at this point. From Michael’s bow ties and natty suits to his red carpet wear, the guy has the suave older man thing down. And who WOULDN’T look even hotter with Mary Steenburgen on his arm? (Every time he talks about her in an interview, it’s always “my wife, Mary,” never just “my wife.” Aren’t you furious that you know that??)
Ted Danson is an icon, a legend, and a damn good sport. Could he also be your next Most Handsome Young Man? That’s up for you to decide. — Sage
We like to choose our nominees in part based on the year that they’ve had. And that puts Donald Glover – actor, writer, musician, artist – right in the sweet spot.
Solo didn’t blow anyone away, but the bright light in the unnecessary origin story was Donald’s young Lando Calrissian, every bit the rogue we’d expected him to be. And what inspired casting. Troy is enthusiastic and silly; Earn is put-upon and mostly even-keeled. Playing Lando allowed Donald to turn it the fuck on, and turn it on he did. His take on the classic character is arrogant and playful – worthy of the gambler’s closet full of caps. And if you didn’t walk out of that movie wondering about what happened between him and Han behind closed doors, I don’t know how well we’d get along.
This year also brought the return of Atlanta, still one of the most boldly creative and out-of-the-box shows on television. Season 2 saw some harrowing bottle-ish episodes, including Donald’s disappearance into Teddy Perkins, the Michael Jackson-esque recluse Darius tries to buy a piano from. Another of his 2018 achievements might have been the trolling of the Emmys with a Teddy Perkins in the audience, though that story has never been fully told. But it seems like a Donald kind of thing to do – to get everyone talking about a stunt that he doesn’t feel the need to explain.
And then there’s Childish. During his SNL hosting stint, Donald premiered two new tracks, “Saturday” and “This is America,” the latter of which was just nominated for four Grammys. The relentless, heavily political, and reference-rich video for the song dropped that night as well, and it was just about all anyone could talk about for weeks. If you were uselessly worried that his lyrical focus on gun violence and racism might be too heavy for the youths, check out this video of Donald surprising an assembly of high school kids in Chicago with a live performance of the song.
It may go without saying, but that’s not what we’re about: Donald is also extremely good-looking, stylish, and charming. And as Community stans, it’s our duty to shout out his growth and success. He’s driving culture in a manner that few other artists could aspire to, and I have a feeling we haven’t seen anything yet. –Sage
Excuse me, where the fuck did Henry Golding come from?
A quick search of Henry’s wikipedia tells us that starring as Crazy Rich Asians’ suave almost-too-good-to-be-true leading man Nick Young is Henry’s first real acting gig, which is, quite frankly, nothing short of appalling. I mean, REALLY, Hollywood? You’ve been sleeping on this face and relegating him to being a presenter for sports and travel shows for ALL THIS TIME? How dare you?
Although to be fair, I may care about football if someone as pretty as Henry was telling me about it. Not to mention that I would absolutely travel to where ever he would tell me to go. But that’s still no excuse from keeping this man off the silver screen where he belongs.
Look at him with kittens (and stripes and a fantastic jacket)! How could we resist him?
But starring in the biggest non-comic book, non-action franchise movie of the summer (and, as of press time, the 14th highest grossing movie of the year) wasn’t enough for Henry. Not when he knew he had catapulted on to our Handsome radar. Henry followed up Crazy Rich Asians with a turn in probably the most batshit insane movie of the year (and a total throwback to the glory days of the mid 90s thriller) A Simple Favor, where he played Blake Lively’s way-too-perfect-so-he-has-to-be-shady husband. (Am I sensing a theme here?) For someone with very little “acting” experience, not only did Henry draw us in this year, he kept our attention with his charisma, his generous and natural acting style, and yes, his handsomeness. May this ONLY be the beginning for him. — Kim
It’s not a Handsome Young Man post without one of the Chrises. Chris Hemsworth, it’s your year…COME ON DOWN.
Your memory is not deceiving you if you’re like “Wait a minute! Chris Hemsworth was crowned Sexiest Man Alive for that OTHER magazine in 2014. You guys have been sleeping on him for four years!”
(Um, we wish.)
No, dear reader, Chris Hemsworth simply wasn’t READY for the Handsome Young Man post four years ago. Like a fine wine, this man has only gotten better with age. We all agree Hemsworth has always been hot. But add in some good defined eye crinkles, a better haircut with less bleached out highlights, AND a fuller beard and you’ve got one tailor-made Head Over Feels Dream Boyfriend. And then there’s the body…
What kind of witchcraft is this wet suit???? This picture should be hung in the Louvre, honestly.
Lest you think we only love Chris Hemsworth for shallow reasons, I can also say that we held out for so long in terms of putting him on this poll because we knew it wasn’t his time yet. While 2 Thor movies and the first Avengers movie happened before he won the title for People, in our humble opinion, the true magic of Hemsworth as Thor didn’t start coming out until Age of Ultron (best part of that one really). Because, dear friends, Chris Hemsworth is a comic genius, and the minute the Marvel movies started figuring that out, the minute Thor got better as a character, and that’s all due to the man who is playing him. The thing about Hemsworth is that he knows he’s handsome, but he’s not the kind of man who relies solely on his genetics in lieu of a good personality. One look at his brilliant performance as the bimbo secretary in Ghostbusters will tell you that. But it’s the double whammy of Thor: Ragnarok (the Marvel Buddy Comedy we all didn’t know we deserved) and Avengers: Infinity War (Pirate Angel!) that really solidified Hemsworth’s place on this year’s list. He provided much needed levity in Infinity War when we needed it (give me my spin-off where Thor has adventures with Rocket and Groot, thanks) but also punched us right in the feels. If Endgame truly is Chris Hemsworth’s last turn in the Marvel Universe, he may be the one I miss most of all. And I’m a Steve Rogers Stan. — Kim
We’re both Directioners for life and of course have touted the talents of Liam James Payne long before this. But something happened in the second half of this year that demanded Liam be nominated for the 2018 title. And I’m not just talking about all his Thirstagrams, but still, keep ’em coming.
Of all of the One Direction boys, Liam seemed to be the most non-committal as a solo artist. I don’t mean that he didn’t try – he has a work ethic like none other. But he didn’t seem to know what sound he was going for, or what he wanted to SAY on his own. He’s said in recent interviews that he felt like he listened too much to what other people told him that he should be. And instead of releasing his first LP this fall, he took a step back, scrapped it, dropped a four-track EP to tide us over, and went back to the drawing board. I have nothing but respect for the fact that he looked at what he’d produced, thought, “This isn’t me,” and went back to the beginning. That shows a great deal of integrity and the perfectionism that helped make 1D the biggest boy band ever.
Over the last few months, Liam has been SHOWING UP. Even without a full album to support, he’s been getting his face out there, attacking live performances, gracing red carpets, and looking smoking hot. His new association with British Vogue and its EIC come along with a very welcome style transformation. These days, he’s all about well-fitting trousers, body skimming tees and jumpers, and luxe coats and jackets. WHO IS STYLING HIM, I yell at my phone, which has done nothing to me except show me this. Every day, it seems, I’m being attacked anew. Wire frame glasses here, a shirtless gym progress there, and underneath all of it, the sweet, funny, self-deprecating Lime we all know and love. Kim’s new Tumblr tag for Liam is “sage are you okay” and you know what? I’m not.
Liam has become a master of content, is what I’m saying. And we got the bonus gift of Liam being one of Louis’s guest during judges’ houses on The X-Factor, which was a balm for the soul in so many ways. Look at these two handsome brothers hugging it out.
Above all, it’s great to see Liam healthy and happy, living his best Justin Timberlake 2.0 life. I wasn’t expecting to be utterly ruined by him this year, but the pleasure was actually all mine. — Sage
That’s right, we’re putting up a literal goddamn prince (or Duke, as he is formally known now) for Most Handsome Young Man. The trophy would look beautiful right next to the Crown Jewels. You know it would.
We’ve watched Charles and Diana’s boys grow up before our very eyes; William, while also quite handsome, always came off a bit more serious and proper, probably because of that whole “I’m actually going to be the King of England some day thing.” Harry, on the other hand, being free from that burden, had a bit of an impish twinkle in his eye, his bright ginger hair always standing out from the crowd. Harry was the one you wanted to get drunk with, to party in Vegas with, to raise all sorts of hell with. He grew out of his wild phase, of course, as most do, but you could still always see that sneaky grin from every charity event he attended to whispering “Wait ’till you see her,” to his brother at his wedding. He’s always been the cute one, and he’s known it. (In a good way.)
And then Prince Harry went and fell in love with American actress Meghan Markle, and then it’s was like every single damn thing he did was specifically designed to torment us with the idea that The Prince and Me could actually be a reality. I mean, this umbrella picture is basically a rom com poster.
ME AS THIS CHILD. LOOK AT THE FONDEST NOSE SCRUNCH THIS SIDE OF HARRY STYLES WHENEVER LOUIS TOMLINSON DOES ANYTHING.
Being besties with Barrack just makes him more handsome.
In conclusion, the Brits may often refer to Harry as “The Spare” (which, could there be ruder of a nickname?), but who cares about wearing the crown when you could rule this website as Most Handsome Young Man for a year? — Kim
This nominee comes from our lovely Patreon sponsor Kortnea! (Yes, nominating a Handsome Young Man is a benefit of patronage, and you can find out more about it here.)
Lakeith Stanfield is having A Moment, and far be it from us to let that go unnoticed. After an impactful cameo in last year’s Get Out (to date, the only time I’ve seen him clean shaven), he took the lead in Sorry to Bother You, writer/director Boots Riley’s offbeat meta comedy about race and capitalism. Leave it to someone with his conviction and mastery of the absurd to tackle such a left-of-center premise and give it gravitas. And the man can wear a coat.
On the small screen, he returned to Atlanta as Darius, the philosopher of the group, continuing to do his comedy ninja thing. In that show and in everything he does, Lakeith has the quality of making everything look EASY. He seems chill and laid back, but this kind of work doesn’t happen if you just show up and say the lines. His little duck feet are kicking like crazy below the surface. And though we may not see THEM, we do see you, Lakeith. And we appreciate you.
This handsome fella has a long, strange career ahead of him. (Did you know he played a gun toting NSA agent in Girl in the Spider’s Web??) And we’re dying to see what he does next. — Sage
Who is YOUR choice for Most Handsome Young Man? VOTE NOW.
Remember you can vote once an hour and we encourage all sorts of campaigning. Polls close at 8 PM on Friday, December 21. Go forth and be Handsome!