On the 5th episode of the Think In Your Armor Podcast Program (grim), we discussed the history of reality based television. In one of the key moments of the episode, Jonesy takes us back to the mid-90’s and the premiere of MTV’s The Real World.
Jonesy channels the great FDR as he reads through his notes, recalling not just a stand-out reality show, but one of the stand out shows of our generation. I followed up by remembering the great Pedro Zamora and the cultural impact he had following his Real World San Francisco appearance.
Often times, Real World cast members were regular people chosen from all walks of life – picked to live in a house and start getting real etc – eh, you see where im headed with this. Although they started out as normal folks, in many cases the cast members left quite a foot print on popular culture.
Without further adieu, I am pleased to present to you our top 5 most influential Real World cast members, as curated by the Think In Your Armor. In an effort to curb predictability, we’re going to exclude the consensus #1, Pedro Zamora. His is perhaps greater than could be described on this very blog.
5) Sean Duffy – Boston
On the Boston of season of the Real World, Sean Duffy played himself. Yes that’s right, he was simply Sean Duffy. He was a relatable person who was gracious to all his fellow cast-members. He always seemed to demonstrate a level of rationality in all situations. Who knew be rational could be cool as well? After the Real World, Sean went on become of the United States House of Representatives.
4) Julie Stoffer New Orleans
New Orleans is a heck of a town for a Real World season. In one the most structurally intriguing houses of the long running television, Julie Stoffer brought constant positivity and charm. It wouldn’t have been surprising if Julie was overwhelmed by a town that was the polar opposite from which she was raised (Provo, Utah). Perhaps there were times where she did display natural insecurities, but she ultimately stayed true to herself. Thank you Julie, for showing us that you can grow without abandoning your roots.
3) Judd Winnick- San Francisco
Judd Winning is a soft-spoken Long Island native who landed on highly-regarded San Francisco season of the Real World. At first glance, there wasn’t much about Judd that stood out in comparison to his cast-mates. Where Puck and Pedro may provide the meat and potatoes of the season, Judd was at first glance, more of a compliment. In many ways, he showed us how being a compliment to can also make you stand out. Judd lent his genuine friendship to cast-mates. He didn’t arrive in San Francisco with the knowledge of their plights, but you could tell his efforts were genuine in attemptingto bestow his support. Thank you Judd, for showing us what it looks like when you truly try to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.
2) Syrus Yarbrough – Boston
Syrus Yarbrough wasn’t a caricature. He was a real person. He was the type of guy that you’d love to have at your BBQ. Watching the Boston season at a young age, Syrus provided me with an example of how to get a long with a variety of people. He was accepting and loving of others, and the same time, he wasn’t afraid to add a little juice to a room with his sense of humor. Thank you Syrus for showing us what being cool really looks like.
1) Heather B – New York
Heather B. Is the Real World. The Real World is Heather B. Here at the Think In Your Armor, we promote wearing your heart on your sleeve. There’s no better example of that famous idiom than Heather B. She was dropped in to the original season of the Real World and asked to be herself. By the time the final episode of that season aired, she had won the audience over with her realistic approach to the Real World. She wasn’t about to change who she was just for the benefit of the show. Thank you Heather B. for showing us how to believe in yourself.
Let’s continue being polite, and start remembering to put our thinking Kappels on.