What is it about the Greater Boston area that seems to produce lots of stars/comics?
Is it a "classic" place to come of age, a la Long Island? Conan O'Brien, Jay Leno, Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Chris Evans, Eliza Dushku, Mark Wahlberg to name a few all hail from Boston's burbs.
Just look at 'Mr. Boston' Lee Marks from 'I Love New York', the 'Flavor of Love' spin off, for your answer. Though nothing was better than the episode where 'Sumthin' took a shit on the grand staircase.
They're all driven to succeed so they won't have to live there anymore.
I am trying so hard to get out of the NE before winter truly arrives.
You can pick almost any major metropolitan area and point out the celebrities that came from the area, so this really isn't saying much. I think the reason why so many talk about being from Boston is because of the perceptions that people everywhere else have of Boston, as well as the reality of living there. They have quite the superiority complex. I lived in Boston for a dozen years, and by the end I hated it so much I couldn't leave fast enough or get far away enough.
Before moving there, I though people there must be so smart (based on all the schools and things I'd heard about Cambridge and the surrounding areas), but the truth is that the majority of the people who live in Massachusetts are as dumb as a box of rocks. And they're mean; right to the core mean. And racists. And really, really bad drivers. I've never been so terrified as driving on the 'pike and it starting to rain. My god, you'd think none of them had ever seen water before.
I think it comes from the weather being so awful for 11 months out of the year. It would rain for days on end. It's so fucking cold for months, then the humidity returns just in time for it to be hotter than hell for months. It seemed that everybody in the entire region lived for the month of October when the weather was pleasant. But it's far enough north that the days are really short in the winter, like getting dark at 3 in the afternoon, so even when it wasn't cloudy, raining or snowing, you still suffered from seasonal affective disorder (if you actually held a job...).
The mob is strong in Boston. The politicians are corrupt. There's a reason why Romney moved to Boston, ran his criminally-financed LBO firm, and ran for governor there. The police are all on the take, the FBI is in bed with the mob, and god help you if you run afoul of the law and don't have any connections.
But, they have the Red Sox, the ocean, and wonderful history. The Cape is a playground for the wealthy. Lots and lots of cute boys, especially if you're into the Italian guido look. It's a great place to visit. And if you notice, most of the people OP listed don't live in Boston anymore, except for the ones that couldn't make it anywhere else. And yeah, I'm looking at Wahlberg, who if he lived anywhere else, would be in prison.
They're wicked smaht.
OP you forgot the late, great Donna Summer and also Bobby Brown.
R4 is exaggerating with everything he says. He sounds like a pansy whiner who is not tough enough for Boston. Unfortunately there are a lot of stupid people, racist people, and mean people everywhere in not just Boston but also the rest of the country and world. Obviously there are plenty of smart, nice and non-racist people in Boston as well.
The weather is not awful for 11 months, unless you're a fucking whiner who wants San Diego weather all year round. Welcome to the northeast, bitch.
Every big city has corruption and Boston is certainly not the worst.
The drivers are pretty bad, but no worse than NYC, NJ, Philly etc.
R4 you're just a whiny wimp.
The proper spelling is "fuckin' winah".
Boston's suburbs are among the nation's loveliest. Gorgeous architecture, charming town centers, liberal politics, and a bustling sense of optimism.
I work with a guy from Boston. He's very ambitious and hard-working, but also competitive. He has told me in the past that Bostonians hate losing, so I guess a lot of the actors and comedians from that area are the types who refuse to fail.
If eye-gouging innocent people of Asian descent helps you make it out of Greater Boston, small wonder that Mark Wahlberg qualifies.
[quote]He sounds like a pansy whiner who is not tough enough for Boston.
I can't believe a grown adult just typed that with a straight face.
So I'm guessing R6 didn't read the superiority complex thing literally. What a surprise.
R4 where did your precious self move to? You sound quite pathetic.
R4 is probably one of biggest morons who has ever posted on this site. Obviously, he wasn't treated well in Boston (in his mind) and he's spewing just as much venom as he allegedly received.
I will agree with him, however, that Boston people tend to be very aggressive and often act just plain mean. This aggression makes them lousy drivers.
True, it's cold in the winter, but April through September are often absolutely beautiful. He needs to take the finger out of his ass.
Finally, what the hell is a guido look? Do you mean Italian American? When I lived there, that look was not uncommon, but by no means was it the norm. I heard this statement once before from a Jewish guy. R4, are you Jewish?
R14 = dumped by a jewish person
shocking that so many people from boston are successful cause they also seem retarded to me
Well it appears I touched a nerve.
Let me back up. When I said that the majority of people who live in Massachusetts were as dumb as a box of rocks, I meant to say native massholes were as dumb as a box of rocks, because I met a lot of wonderful people there, including my 20+ year partner. In fact, in my circle of friends there, we all chuckled about the natives after figuring out that 1) we were mostly from other places; 2) the few that were from there wanted to leave. So when OP rattled off his list of celebs, it was amusing because it appears that most of them left and reside elsewhere, like in NY and LA.
And over the course of years since moving to SoCal (thanks for asking, R13), almost all of my friends from Boston have likewise left. It's worked out quite nicely, as several of us have stayed very close, and get together in LA and SF, NY, Vancouver B.C., Chicago, and Dallas. We did scatter, which has been kind of nice, because now when we compare our experiences, we have a wide variety of situations to contrast. Not one of us would move back to Boston. Several won't even go back on vacation, although I've been back passing through to go to a friend's wedding in Maine.
So, yeah, my husband and I moved to a part of the country where the weather is brilliant. I can't imagine what kept us in Boston for so long. When the SJC ruled marriage legal in MA, we thought about going back to get hitched, but decided it would be better to wait until we had equality in CA since it wouldn't mean anything here regardless of where we got hitched until the repeal of DOMA, which nicely coincided with the constitutional ruling on prop 8, which we celebrated in the natural beauty of the West coast among friends and family. And imagine, we didn't think about the possibility of it raining, or being so humid that your clothes stuck to your body, or conversely, it being ruined by some asshole who thought it was his prerogative to tell us that it was against his religion or whatever.
Which I mention, because of the liberal reputation accorded Massachusetts, which is a myth. Massachusetts to is libertarian at best; really, quite parochial and uptight. We had so many bad experiences with anti gay discrimination, it was yet another reason why we couldn't get out fast enough. One time at a small locally owned restaurant, we were waiting on line for a table when a straight couple came in just as the hostess was going to seat us. They actually had the balls to say out loud that they couldn't believe they would seat a fag couple when "normal" people were there waiting. I suggested they join their compatriots at Bickfords, and *they* were so insulted, they left. Ha!
Of course, my husband said that I had to let the masshholes and their attitudes go. After adjusting to drive there, it took a while for me to get back to driving less aggressively. When someone says that they drive just as poorly elsewhere, you always know that's a native because, plainly put, they don't. A friend who travels the world and visited me in Boston compared driving there to driving in Turkey, only in Turkey they don't run you off the road for driving too slow, or making a legal left turn, or even showing common courtesy. But don't take my word for it; look up automobile insurance rates, and you'll see that Massachusetts has the highest in the country. I'm sure that will fry a few rocks, but, again, plainly put, it's the truth.
I look back fondly at my time in Boston overall, and after responding to those butthurt posters, I don't want to conclude without pointing out that there were many nice people in the northeast, some spectacular scenery (thinking of leaf peeping at this time of year), the historical sites were awesome, and at the end of the day, I was happy to have the experience of living there. And both my career and my husband's were pushed to a much higher level due to the competitive nature of the 128 corridor. We just both felt that it was time to get off the Boston treadmill and settle someplace where we could be happier. And we are, without regret.
I love it when people from California talk about how other people have a "superiority complex." If there's one group of people proud of themselves for actually getting on a plane and moving themselves across country, it's people from Cali.
The natives are a lot nicer, like most places.
California knows how to party.
The answer is that it doesn't OP. You just notice them more than people from other places because of the funny accent.
"Before moving there, I though people there must be so smart (based on all the schools and things I'd heard about Cambridge and the surrounding areas), but the truth is that the majority of the people who live in Massachusetts are as dumb as a box of rocks. And they're mean; right to the core mean. And racists. And really, really bad drivers."
You are just making unfounded generalizations. Yeah, a state that elected a black governor (and the first black senator to be popularly elected) is so racist. Massachusetts also is the most pro-gay state.
R4 slash R17 such a lot of verbiage. You may need to consider this is more about you and the age you were when you lived there than anything specific to Boston. You think there's no corruption in Tampa? In Denver? You think there are no mobsters in Atlanta? In Minneapolis? You think people aren't provincial in Seattle? In Philadelphia? You think people are better drivers in Oklahoma? It's true Mass. drivers used to be worse than other states because they didn't learn in high school, but since much of the country has dropped their school driving programs, I no longer think there is much to choose between the states.
Hey r17, if "Massholes" are "as dumb as a box of rocks, why do they rate 9th best in SAT scores, and do rather well on other tests? Isn't their education system one of the best in the nation?
We see what we want to see.
As a native Bostonian, the one thing I will say for R4 is yes, we have seriously aggressive and cut-throat drivers. They are, in fact, worse than in any other city where I have lived.
Other than that, it's hard for me to properly judge outsiders complaints about Boston and Massachusetts. Since I'm from there, it seems quite unremarkable. I do often prefer comedians, actors, writers and politicians from MA. It's so easy to understand what they are saying, writing, doing, etc.
I live in California now and I could give you a laundry list of all the faults and weirdness I've found out here but why bother? I like living here and it's my choice to do so. It's not home the way Boston is but that is true of everywhere else in the world.
OP, I must - with great regret - add Kate Bosworth to your list. Apparently she's from my hometown in MA which is now covered in shame.
Also, the lovely and talented Louis C.K., Penn Jillette, Mindy Kaling, John Krasinski, Jennifer Coolidge, David Morse, Steve Carell, Jane Alexander, Geena Davis, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, Kurt Russell, John Slattery, David E. Kelley, Sam Waterston, Lawrence O'Donnell, Mike Wallace, Baba Wawa, Jack Lemmon, and Edward Norton, should be added (along with many, many more).
And of course - ARLENE FRANCIS and BETTE DAVIS, bitches.
Probably because they aren't real stars and/or funny, r28.
Why Mindy Kaling has her career, I don't know.
Thus far no one has really attempted to answer the question as to why, but here is my guess. I grew up in the Greater Boston area and many of the high schools around Boston had excellent drama/acting teachers who served as mentors in local high schools. The famous people listed in this thread we know today all got their start performing in their high school plays and those with 'talent' were encouraged to take it to the next level. Many of the high school drama teachers in Mass had rather prominent positions in the arts prior to becoming lowly high school drama teachers. In my high school, the drama teacher had a professional opera career prior to becoming the drama teacher at our high school. The benefit to us students is that we got more voice/singing training then the typical high school student might receive. And keep in mind this was not any kind of special arts high school like a Fame or something. The drama teacher was also the most beloved and respected teacher in the school. Also many of these drama teachers in Mass high schools knew people higher up in the entertainment industry from previous careers in entertainment and acted as feeders of talent into the Boston based acting programs at Emerson College/BU/Harvard or if you were really a standout the Julliard school in NYC. Once one person from a particular high school makes it to the big time, they can literally open doors for future students from the same high school. I remember a couple of students from classes a few years ahead of my graduating class got jobs in Hollywood working either in set design/costume etc and they actually returned to visit us where they got their start. Those grads combined with the drama teacher's connections had the ability to open doors to future talent interesting in pursuing a career in the arts. This might explain the plethora of talent from MASS.
r30, that's a good point about the drama aspect.
I also think that living and working in Boston gives people a thick skin early that comics need to be successful.
The aggression and 'fuck you, I'm not quitting' attitude would probably be a benefit an any aspect of show business.
Here is a clip of Louis CK talking about the reflexive belligerence of Boston comics. (This is a memorial O & A show for Patrice O'Neal.)