Best People of 2023

Best People of 2023

Bobbi Althoff
Bobbi Althoff

She’s random, quiet, stubborn, awkwardly funny and innovative. She’s Bobbi Althoff. Until this summer, Althoff had always been known as a TikToker who would post mom-related content. She got her big break and the world’s attention when she created her podcast, “The Really Good Podcast.” 

It all started with Althoff posting relatable and entertaining content to mothers on her TikTok platform. During her time as a content creator, jokes about the names of Althoff’s kids started to circulate on the internet. To provide privacy to her children’s identities, Althoff would refer to her kids as Concrete and Richard, as a joke. Her sense of humor was so awkward that it was unclear whether she was joking or not, leaving the internet in a state of confusion. This was just the start of her rise in popularity. 

After seeing her audience’s reactions on TikTok to her dry and awkward humor, Althoff gathered that she could make something out of it, which turned into “The Really Good Podcast.” From there, Althoff would drive all around Los Angeles, CA, paying influencers 300 dollars for an interview, all while paying for her transportation and places to record. Althoff’s interview with comedian Ricky Glassman ultimately cost her 1,000 dollars. 

Althoff’s dedication to her podcast is still standing strong. Listeners tune in for every episode that comes out, resulting in several positive reviews and feedback on her videos. After scoring an interview with the famous American rapper, Drake, Althoff’s career exploded. From that moment on, Althoff would have one of the most popular podcasts that came out in 2023. It looks like “The Really Good Podcast” is really good. 

Photo Courtesy of Justin Higuchi via Wikimedia Commons
Sabrina Carpenter

Sabrina Carpenter, the once Disney Channel star, has had a renaissance in her reputation and image this year, transforming into a respectable pop star. Carpenter rose to fame from her roles on the Disney Channel, such as “Girl Meets World,” and “Adventures in Babysitting.” Though she’s an incredible actress, her talents truly shine through in her singing and songwriting. 

During and after her Disney Channel career, she released numerous albums that were severely underrated and overlooked mostly due to her Disney kid reputation. It was only with the 2022 release of “emails i can’t send” that Carpenter finally received the credit she deserved for her immense talent. 

Once Carpenter’s name started to be spread, she received more traction for her “emails i can’t send” tour, where people finally saw her remarkable stage presence and performing ability. Throughout 2023, videos from her tour went viral on social media platforms like “TikTok,” where audience members shared Carpenter’s on-the-spot endings to her popular song “Nonsense.” Each of these endings was tailored to the city she was performing in, and incredibly witty, showing her creativity. The popularity from her outros secured her a spot in 2023’s Lollapalooza music festival, which allowed her to gain popularity for her performance of yet another hit, “Feather.”

People everywhere finally started to recognize Carpenter as a pop star, and an extremely talented one at that. On Aug. 24 of this year, Carpenter made her debut as an opener for Taylor Swift’s “Eras Tour.” Her performances as the opening act were, and continue to be amazing. As a long-time fan myself, it’s exciting to see Carpenter be recognized more and more by the public, and I’m ecstatic to see what comes next for her in 2024. She really woke up and decided to write a pop hit.

Photo Courtesy of Justin Higuchi via Wikimedia Commons
Photo Courtesy of Manfred Werner via Wikimedia Commons
Jennifer Coolidge

Widely known for her unique, iconic accent, Jennifer Coolidge’s characters leave a lasting impression and can add a welcome comedic effect to almost any movie. After experiencing a major career resurgence in 2022, Coolidge acted in several award-winning TV shows, and has continued her comedy blitz throughout this year. The overwhelmingly positive audience response to Coolidge’s new roles shows how viewers of all ages are eager to catch a glimpse of her beloved characters. 

 Following her well-received performances in Netflix’s “The Watcher” and HBO’s “The White Lotus,” Coolidge starred in the Amazon prime-exclusive action movie “Shotgun Wedding.” After performing in “The White Lotus,” HBO’s Emmy-winning drama, in 2022, Coolidge was recognized this January with a Golden Globe award for Best Supporting Actress in a limited series. The oldest theatrical organization in the US, Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals,  also gave her its Woman of the Year award.

Her most recent movie, “We Have a Ghost,” is a horror comedy focused on a teenager named Kevin, portrayed by Jahi Di’Allo Winston, who discovers his house is haunted by a ghost named Ernest, portrayed by Stranger Things’ David Harbour. Coolidge plays Judy Romano in this movie, a psychic medium with exaggerated 80s hair to match her explosive personality. As audiences continue to have the privilege of watching Coolidge take on new and exciting roles, more awards are likely in store.

 While accepting another award this year for her hilarious performances, the MTV Comedic Genius award, Coolidge made sure to acknowledge this year’s WGA writer strike by noting that comedic performances are the result of great writers. As an iconic actress who has made a permanent mark on the comedy space, all while advocating for the causes she supports, many viewers hope to see more of Coolidge’s big personality in new movies next year.

Photo Courtesy of Manfred Werner via Wikimedia Commons
Photo Courtesy of Raph_PH via Wikimedia Commons
Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus, the pop star who got her start acting in the Disney Channel show “Hannah Montana,” has had an astounding year. On Jan. 12, Cyrus released her hit single “Flowers,” which charted at number one in the Billboard Hot 100 for 25 weeks, the longest ever for a female singer. Her achievements only continued to grow after she released the “Endless Summer Vacation” album in March. 

The album featured songs like “Jaded” and “River,” and became incredibly popular. In August, Cyrus surprised everyone once again with the release of a new single, “Used To Be Young,” which was added to “Endless Summer Vacation,” following its release. “Used To Be Young,” a beautiful, emotional song that touched the hearts of many fans and was a pivotal moment of Cyrus’ career. It brought us all back to her younger days, when she was Hannah Montana and released the “Bangerz” album, during the time at which she was often considered “wild” and “crazy.” 

After Cyrus released “Used To Be Young,” she posted a series of three videos on TikTok telling stories from her past, talking about what her life was like throughout her childhood. The videos addressed how busy her life was at such a young age and stories about her dad, bringing all of her fans through her 30 years of life. 

All in all, Cyrus deserves to be recognized as the best person of 2023 because of how hard she has worked to have her most successful year yet. Although, if “Endless Summer Vacation” is any indication, Cyrus isn’t done yet.

Photo Courtesy of Raph_PH via Wikimedia Commons
Kylie Kelce
Kylie Kelce

In the often intense nature of the NFL, where aggression and competition typically dominate, Kylie Kelce, a positive NFL wife, has been brought into the spotlight, bringing positive energy to the playing field and gathering recognition due to her warm personality and compassion for others. 

Kelce, a mom of two and wife of Jason Kelce, grew up in Narberth, Philadelphia, and stayed close to home after college. She worked eagerly throughout 2022 and 2023 to raise money for her and her husband’s shared foundation, (Be)Philly, which was created to improve children’s lives in Philadephia. Although Kelce has just recently been acknowledged for her work, she has been taking part in organizations and charities for many years. 

The 2023 Superbowl against the Kelce brothers brought the family into the spotlight. She showed off her competitive and supportive personality by attending the 2023 Superbowl with her two daughters, Elliotte Ray and Wyatt Elizabeth. She was also pregnant with their third girl, Bennett, and had to invite her two OBs to the stadium in case she went into labor. 

Recently, Kelce modeled a replica of Princess Diana’s Philadelphia Eagle’s jacket from the 90s. Because of this shoot, she raised $100,000 for charity, showing her generosity and passion for making a positive impact in other’s lives. In the NFL world, which is usually associated with competition and rivalry, Kylie Kelce stands out as a symbol of kindness and challenges the stereotypes of NFL wives. She continues to contribute to her community and has brought enthusiasm and positivity to pro sports that have never been seen before.

Photo Courtesy of David Eulitt via Getty Images
Travis Kelce

Travis Kelce has truly had a bejeweled season so far in 2023.

With being the best tight end in the NFL for seven seasons straight with over 1,000 receiving yards, the Kansas City Chief player Travis Kelce has been living the dream. With his highest receiving score at a whooping 23 yards in just one game, we’re sure to see him impress fans more and more.

Kelce’s scores and rank this season weren’t surprising for football fans at all, but what was surprising, was the quickly budding romance between himself and the one and only Taylor Swift. Who knew Kelce could be such a creative romantic with his accessorizing approach to giving her his phone number?

Another wonderful thing to note about Kelce is his very family-oriented lifestyle. In Nov. 2022, he and his brother, Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce, started their top weekly sports podcast “New Heights” where they talk about anything and everything football with a mix of a certain singer. 

More recently, Kelce and his brother decided to dive into yet another industry: music. This witty and sarcastic song “Fairytale of Philadelphia” starring the Kelce brothers was posted on Nov. 15 and already has over a million views. 

As we approach the end of this NFL season, there is no doubt that Travis Kelce will keep impressing his fans. He deserves more than anything to be the best person of 2023. After all, he is that guy on the Chiefs.

Photo Courtesy of David Eulitt via Getty Images
Photo Courtesy of fuji.tim via Wikimedia Commons
Lando Norris

With the 2023 Formula 1 season recently concluding, Max Verstappen sealed his historic season complete with 19 wins. Many of the other drivers on the grid didn’t get the same spotlight as the three-time champion. Yet, certain drivers deserve this attention, perhaps none more than McLaren’s Lando Norris. With an astounding year, he placed sixth in the Driver’s Championship, with the assistance of rookie teammate Oscar Piastri, who helped reestablish McLaren as one of the frontrunners on the Formula 1 grid.

Throughout the 2023 season, Norris went through many ups and downs. At the first race of the season in Bahrain, his car lacked pace, resulting in a disappointing 17th-place finish. This lack of pace would carry over to the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, where Norris finished 17th yet again. Things looked grim for the team as they continued to experience lackluster finishes, amassing a total of 12 points over the first eight races.

Then, at the Red Bull Ring for the Austrian Grand Prix, Norris managed to place fourth; a huge step in the right direction for the team. From here, he would score back to back second place finishes in Great Britain and Hungary. McLaren would keep this fantastic pace up throughout the rest of the season, enabling Norris to pick up five more podium finishes and 123 more points. He scored points in every single race after the Austrian Grand Prix, except for Las Vegas where he crashed out.

While a race win has alluded Norris for his entire career up to this point, the progress is very prevalent, and now that McLaren has proven that they’re capable of taking the fight to top teams like Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari, the perseverance of Norris to stick with the team through the good time and the bad time has become very clear. It shows how his positive outlook on life and ability to work towards success has finally started to benefit him. For Norris, it seems like his career just continues to get better and better as he races toward the ultimate goal of being a world champion: the pinnacle of success in Formula 1.

Photo Courtesy of fuji.tim via Wikimedia Commons
Photo Courtesy of Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons
Pedro Pascal

After almost two decades of filling small roles in film and television, Pedro Pascal got his big break playing Oberyn Martell during the fourth season of  “Game of Thrones.” His newfound fame began to rise as he portrayed Javier Peña in the Netflix crime series “Narcos.” But 2023 is arguably Pascal’s most recognizable year yet. He continued to star as the main character in season three of the “Star Wars” series “The Mandalorian,” and also starred as Joel in HBO’s television series “The Last of Us.”

Pascal’s acting in season three of  “The Mandalorian” is like no other. It was the first season to not feature Pascal’s face, forcing him to adapt to a voice-only role. While some may see this as a challenge, Pascal continued to thrive in the series and in portraying his character.

Likewise, Pascal’s performance in “The Last of Us” alongside his co-star, Bella Ramsey, captivated the world. The raw emotion portrayed throughout the show’s nine episodes left audiences, myself included, in awe. Pascal’s contribution to the on-screen relationship between Joel and Ellie, who is Ramsey’s character, is remarkable. 

Pascal is one of the hottest stars in Hollywood right now and that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. The range of his acting is what makes him so unique. His versatility allows him to act as villains and heroes. Pascal puts forth a tremendous amount of effort into every project he is involved in, thus making his characters layered and believable. To me, 2023 will always be thought of as the year of Pedro Pascal.

Photo Courtesy of Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons
Photo via Universal TV adapted by Nic Cazin
Matthew Perry

The following article mentions substance abuse and addiction.

“When I die, I don’t want ‘Friends’ to be the first thing that’s mentioned,” Perry said in an interview on podcast ‘Q With Tom Power.’ “I want [helping people] to be the first thing that’s mentioned, and I’m gonna live the rest of my life proving that.”

On Oct. 28, 2023, Matthew Perry passed away in his Los Angeles home due to a variety of reasons, including coronary artery disease and drowning. The beloved actor struggled with addiction for many decades and had been extremely open about it, inspiring others to reach out, get help and heal. 

After becoming sober, Perry changed his Malibu mansion into the ‘Perry House:’ a living residence for men fighting alcoholism and drug abuse. The 2.32 acres of land not only housed those looking to become sober but also plenty of room, a beautiful view of the ocean and lots of outdoor entertainment – all used to help get people back on their feet and into their regular lives. It ran for two years before shutting down due to expenses. 

In 2015, Perry was honored by the treatment center Phoenix House for his advocacy and aid. He was also awarded the Champion of Recovery award by the Office of National Drug Control Policy. 

Before his untimely death, Perry had a foundation in the works. He wanted to start a foundation that would help identify addiction as a disease, as well as advocate for higher-quality treatment. While he never got to see this foundation launch, his family and loved ones are honoring his memory through the Matthew Perry Foundation, setting out to achieve all of those goals and more. 

As millions of people around the world mourn the loss of this incredible actor, well known for his role as Chandler Bing in 90s sitcom ‘FRIENDS,’ it’s important to look back on all that he fought for, all the change he made and continues to make. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, reach out to the SAMHSA National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357

Photo via Universal TV adapted by Nic Cazin
Lance Reddick
Lance Reddick

Lance Reddick, born on June 7, 1962, was an American actor and musician. Best known for his roles in acclaimed TV series, Reddick has garnered praise for his compelling performances. He initially pursued classical music, graduating from the Peabody Preparatory Institute but later shifted to acting, attending the Yale School of Drama. His first role was as a small part in a short-lived crime drama television series called “New York Undercover.” 

He first got his big break as one of the main characters in “The Wire” where he portrayed Cedric Daniels for all five seasons of the show. His next main role was in the TV show “Fringe” as Phillip Broyles, again in all five seasons of the show. But, I knew him from a series of video games called, “Horizon Zero Dawn” and “Horizon Forbidden West” respectively. 

In those games, he played a character named Sylens who is, at first, an ally to the player as he also has a technological device called a Focus as the player character does. However, Sylens is eventually revealed to have made a deal with a rogue AI named HADES in exchange for knowledge about the previous world before the world ended for the first time. 

Unfortunately, my reason for writing this is that Lance Reddick died of heart disease on March 17, 2023, at the age of 60. He was beloved among the acting community. May he rest in peace. 

Olivia Rodrigo
Olivia Rodrigo

Singer, songwriter, actress, Grammy Award winner, trendsetter: All these words describe musical icon Olivia Rodrigo. Although Rodrigo is currently famed for musical contributions, she started her entertainment career in acting. Many teenagers and young adults idolized her on the TV screen growing up, as Rodrigo starred in the inspiring American Girl movie “Grace Stirs Up Success” in 2015, and performed on the Disney Channel show “Bizaardvark.” In 2019, Rodrigo starred in the hit show “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, where she released some of her earliest songs, such as “All I Want.” In 2021, Rodrigo launched her debut album “Sour,” featuring a series of spunky pop ballads and rock-inspired tunes including her world-renowned song “Drivers License.” In 2023, Rodrigo has only become more eminent in the music industry.

On Sept. 28, Rodrigo released a new album entitled “GUTS.” With a mix of deep, emotional songs like “Teenage Dream,” “Vampire” and sassy rock songs like “Bad Idea Right?” It’s no wonder this album topped the charts, reaching over 60 million streams in the first day. In addition to her album, Rodrigo also released three new music videos for her songs “Vampire,” “Get Him Back!” and “Bad Idea Right?,” garnering over one million views collectively.

As if the massive success of “GUTS” wasn’t enough, Rodrigo only continued her reign of excellence on Nov. 1 when she announced she would be releasing a new song for the movie “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Song Birds and Snakes.” “Can’t Catch Me Now” was released on Nov. 3, followed by a music video that garnered over six million views in the first two weeks since its release. 

At only 20 years of age, Rodrigo has already found her place in the entertainment community, and will undoubtedly continue to grow as an artist in the coming years. With all of her achievements in 2023, I have to say, good 4 u Rodrigo.

Richard Roundtree

Very few people can say that they brought hope, joy and entertainment to people worldwide. Richard Roundtree is an exception and was loved by many people. Although he was recognized for his remarkable acting career, he was also known for using his platform to bring awareness for stroke, breast cancer in men, black rights and much more.

To be the first black action hero is already great, but to be the inspiration to many of your favorite actors such as Samuel L. Jackson, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Gabrielle Union, Carl Weathers and more is what makes you a legend. Roundtree is a legendary actor who has left a lasting impact on the film industry. He gained worldwide recognition with his smooth charisma, suave style and undeniable talent, which brought his roles to life. This led him to become a cultural icon in the 70s.

Not only was Richard Roundtree an incredible actor, but he was also a trailblazer. As he broke barriers and became a symbol of representation and diversity in Hollywood, his success opened doors for others to help reshape the industry. Roundtree’s impact goes beyond his on-screen performances. He has become an inspiration for generations of actors and a symbol of empowerment.

Richard Roundtree is amazing because of his iconic acting skills, his amazing personality, his fight to overcome cancer and for overall being a stupefying guy. He truly was a legend in the entertainment industry. May he rest in power!

Photo Courtesy of Republic Records
Taylor Swift

Three years. Three years I have been a dedicated member of The Howler. For three years, I have participated in our annual review of the best people of the year. And for three years, Taylor Swift has made my list. 

For Swift, 2023 marked the beginning of what is shaping up to be the highest-grossing tour of all time: The Eras Tour. Beginning in Glendale, Arizona –or Erazona, as the Swifties aptly renamed it for the night– the U.S. leg of the show spanned from March 17 to Aug. 9 and covered 20 cities, with over half the venues experiencing all-time high attendance records. The tour is on track to be the highest grossing tour of all time as the U.S. leg earned more than 900 million dollars itself. With 146 shows scheduled so far, Swift is currently on the international leg of her tour, where she will perform across five continents. Right now, she is in Latin America where she will perform shows until the end of 2023 before moving on to the European leg of the tour. 

Recently, Swift was named the top global artist by Spotify, raking in more than 26 billion streams since Jan. 1, and exemplifying that she is coveted as a musical powerhouse across the world. 

Additionally, 2023 brought a new slate of re-recordings, with the release of  “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” and “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version).” Both albums proved to be commercial and critical successes

Finally, Swift capped all her success with the release of the U.S. Eras Tour concert film; again, proving to be a commercial and critical success. Make sure to check out The Howler’s review of the movie!

With “new” albums and a record-breaking tour, Swift has proved to have another transformative and trend-setting year. I can’t wait to see what she has in store for 2024!

Photo Courtesy of Republic Records
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