I love Unabashedly Prep‘s picture of North Carolina–bred Lee Norwood, who heads up the men’s design team at Rugby RL. Lee is not only a sartorially skilled stylemaker–as evidenced by his progressive embrace of the white bucks–he’s also one of the nicest guys around.
Category Archives: Guess Who's Southern
If you love spontaneous scenes of delightful chaos in public places, you’ll love Improv Everywhere, the comedy group behind hilariously thoughtful and well-executed pranks like the No Pants Subway Rides, the blue shirt storm of Best Buy and my personal favorite, Ben Folds Fake. Founded in 2001 by South Carolina native Charlie Todd, a frequent fixture at the Upright Citizens Brigade, the group has executed more than 100 missions to date. Their latest gag, a reenactment of the opening scene of Ghostbusters in the New York Public Library (the big one with the lions on 42nd Street), doesn’t disappoint.
It’s pretty clear that I’m the last person to know that Bryan Batt–who plays (played?) the closeted character of Sal on Mad Men–co-owns a super-chic interior design shop called Hazelnut in New Orleans. Batt, a native of the Big Easy, and his partner Tom Cianfichi (maybe the most gorgeous shop owners EVER) named their operation after Batt’s grandmother Hazel Nuss (“Nuss” = “nut” in German). I’ve been cruising the web site all morning, and while there’s plenty to love among the store’s supply of cut glassware, furnishings and under $50 accessories (these cheeky “regal” napkin rings would be the perfect hostess gift), I’m kind of obsessed by the fabrics. The Pontchartrain Beach prints are sprightly enough, but the New Orleans Toile that I spotted on Haskell Harris’s blog makes me want to catch a flight to see more. All of which is to say, BRING SAL BACK!
If you felt as betrayed as I did upon discovering Snooki and JWoww aren’t Italian at all, then this bit of breaking news could shake your faith in reality TV for good. Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, previously believed to hail from Staten Island, is actually from Mobile, Alabama. Descending from a long line of Italian-American southerners, Michael (as he was known back then) grew up on a farm, attended UMS-Wright High School and drove a truck. GTL, his famous formula for date night preparation (Gym, Tan, Laundry), originated on a school trip to ATL and actually stands for Guns, Tractors, Labradors. It was only later that he adapted the tagline to suit his new northern constituency. How, you’re wondering, did he fool so many people? How were we all taken in? Well, for starters, he’s a really good actor. After college (he was a KA at Georgia), he moved to New York to try his hand at live theater. Turns out his looks were more suited to the small screen, and when he heard MTV was casting a new show about life on the Jersey Shore, he went Method and created the character we now know as The Situation.
I discovered this closely guarded secret while doing research on undiscovered southerners for this blog, but in hindsight, the signs were all there on the show. Think about it. The Situation loves to grill out. He’s an incredible dancer, moves he clearly perfected at countless band parties, parents cocktails and deb balls. He prides himself on being a complete gentleman (you know any of those other guys would have hit JWoww back). AND, most convincing of all, he was the resident Fifth Year Senior in the house. Who else but a southerner could be so comfortable sticking around a place–be it college or the shore–when he was so obviously past the natural age limit?!
Talk about it. Tell all your friends. In a weird way, I’m kind of proud.
And whoinnasamhill is Josh Lieb, you’re no doubt asking? Well, behind every great political satirist with his own prime time show lies an equally great southerner making sure he knows his lines. In this case, that great southerner is Josh Lieb, executive producer of The Daily Show with John Stewart. Originally from Columbia, SC, Lieb attended Heathwood Hall–for those of you who are interested (Oliver)–and graduated from Harvard. Lieb got his start writing for shows like The Simpsons and Newsradio before moving on to comedy of a more overtly political nature: fake news. Along the way, Lieb managed to write a young adult novel entitled I Am A Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to be Your Class President, which came out last fall and was promptly optioned by noneother than McG for a sum of around $1 million if everything works out as planned. Not too bad for a boy from the Midlands.
At this point, you’re probably wondering how I know so much about Josh Lieb when I’ve never even met the guy. The answer should be obvious: Columbia and Camden are pretty close to each other and their respective uber-proud mommy mafias, of which Lieb’s and my husband Will’s mothers are both card-carrying members, often overlap. Duh.