Sure, Pony Ma, the Chinese tech entrepreneur on the TIME 100, is important. If you’re completely detached from reality. To find out who really matters, I held a lunch where today’s real powerbrokers—Xzibit, rapper and host of MTV’s Pimp My Ride; Bridget Marquardt, 1/3 of Hugh Hefner’s girlfriend and star of E!’s Girls Next Door; Eddie Sanchez, UFC fighter; Tommy the Clown, krump dancer; Dr. Boogie, hairstylist and contestant on Bravo’s Shear Genius; Jimmy Jimmy Coco, spray tanner; Glenda Borden, party planner—compiled a list of 100 people who actually influence society. Herewith, the Alt TIME 100:
1. Al Gore, environmentalist
Gore was everyone’s first choice. He is, they felt, the only politician who matters at all. “He got an Oscar,” explained Xzibit. “That counts for something. At least he’s talking about something that matters.” To the panels knowledge, no other politician has ever been important enough to win an Oscar.
2. Anderson Cooper, CNN anchor
After Al Gore, the Alt TIME 100 believes that Anderson Cooper is the most important person in the world.
3. Russell Simmons, owner Phat Farm
Simmons appeared on a surprising number of the panelists’ lists. It turns out that’s because most of them knew him. “He’s a really nice guy,” said Bridget Marquardt. I had a chance to work and live with him,” said Dr. Boogie. Russell Simmons, despite all the meditation, is not a quiet homebody type.
4. Heather Mills, dancer
The panel just loves Dancing With the Stars. And they’re impressed that “her leg doesn’t just fly off.” As you’ll see throughout, the panel has only a vague understanding of medicine.
5. Anna Nicole Smith, model
“She had presidential levels of press coverage,” explained Glenda Borden. There was some talk about putting her daughter Danielyn, on the list, but they decided that would be too much.
6. Martin Scorcese, director
The Oscars are very important to the Alt TIME 100.
7. Will Smith, actor
No good reason other than people love Will Smith.
8. Tom Anderson, founder of MySpace
There was a spirited discussion about whether parents should let kids on MySpace. Xzibit doesn’t let his son on the internet unless they do it together. Glenda says letting her daughter on MySpace gives her more info about her daughter’s life than she would ever have without it. The Alt TIME 100 hopes to air this debate on All Things Considered. Tommy the Clown, by the way, has over 160,000 friends.
9. Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, creators of YouTube
The panel thought YouTube might even be more important than the MySpace. “More shit breaks there than on CNN,” said Xzibit
10. Hugh Hefner, editor
Everyone thought Hef should make the list. Then I explained that Bridget was one-third going out with him which made the panel very excited. If Bridget was two-thirds going out with Hef, I don’t think the panel could have taken it.
11. Nancy Davis, MS fundraiser
She throws big parties and gets Paris Hilton, Nicole Ritchie and Tara Reid to come. “Everyone participates,” Glenda said.
12. Paris Hilton, celebutant
The panel wanted to create a side list called “Trainwrecks” which would include Paris Hilton (or, as Xzibit called her, “Paris Hitler”), Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Nicole Ritchie, Anna Nicole Smith and the Bush twins. But 100 is an awful lot of people, so I listed them separately. I left off the Bush twins because I’m not sure the panel really meant it. We were drinking quite a bit by the time their names came up. It just didn’t seem fair.
13. Lindsay Lohan, celebutant
14. Britney Spears, celebutant
15. Nicole Ritchie, celebutant
16. Angelina Jolie, actress
Adopting babies, the panel thought, was a good trend to start.
17. Lance Armstrong, cyclist
Two years later, still loving a sport they’ve never watched.
18. Tyra Banks, TV host
The panel felt that if they had to choose between Tyra and Oprah — a rule they invented themselves — they’d pick Tyra. In fact, they called her the new Oprah.
19. Oprah Winfrey, TV host
Still, they love old Oprah too.
20. Sanjaya’s hair, American Idol contestant
As Xzibit pointed out, “It’s working, and that’s the disturbing thing.”
21. Simon Cowell, American Idol judge
More people vote on American Idol than the Presidential elections, Xzibit pointed out. And almost as much is written about it.
22. Paula Abdul, American Idol judge
Randy Jackson, it seems, is utterly expendable.
23. LeBron James, basketball player
He’s really good.
24. Debbie Allen, choreographer
She does a lot of stuff with kids. The panel loves kids! You mention “kids” and you get on this list.
25. Osama Bin Laden, head of Al Qeda
The panel pointed out that he’s likely to outlast Bush as head of an organization.
26. Dr. Dre, producer
Dre was so widely agreed upon as important, that people who work for Dre almost made the list too.
27. Mike Lazrdis, Blackberry founder
Tommy The Clown called him “a real life saver.” You can’t afford to be out of touch for a moment when you’re a krump dancer. That stuff breaks out anywhere, anytime.
When I made it clear that only living people could make the list, the panel — in loud unison — pointed out that he’s very much alive. There was no talking Jesus off this list.
29. The Troops
30. Tony Hawk, skateboarder
Still very important.
31. Dana White, CEO of the UFC
The UFC is much bigger than boxing. So are lots of things, but I didn’t want to say that with Eddie Sanchez sitting right near me.
32. Donald Trump, real estate mogul
“He’s doing seminars and teaching people how to make money. A lot of people keep those secrets to themselves,” explained Dr. Boogie. According to the Alt TIME 100, Donald Trump is a giver.
33. Martha Stewart, doyenne
The group got into a discussion of whether to put Martha Stewart or Hillary Clinton on the list. When I asked why it had to be one or the other, Dr. Boogie said, “If there are two powerful women, you might as well pick Martha.” I fear discussions about Supreme Court justices were made that way.
34. The Maloofs, owners Sacramento Kings and Palms Casino
The owners of the Palms casino in L.A were a huge favorite to make the list. The Palms is very, very important.
35. Mr. Cartoon, tattoo artist
Not only did he do Xzibit’s tats, but Ron Howard is making a film about him.
36. Toyota Prius, car
The panel did not care that, technically, the Prius is not a person.
37. Bob Burnquist, skateboarder
In addition to the one-footed smith grind, he also cares about the environment. Good marketing move.
38. Mike Metzger, dirtbike rider
Dirtbike riding is huge, Eddie Sanchez assured me. I have no idea
39. Julie Arko, Dove Real Beauty model
The panel though she provided an important positive body image for women. Arko was chosen because she was the hottest one.
40. Stephen Brandman, hotelier
60 Thompson and the Roosevelt are very important.
41. Steve Aoki, DJ
Son of Behinihana owner Rocky Aoki + brother of model Devon Aoki + hanging out with Lindsay Lohan all the time + desire of rich kid to call himself DJ Kid Millionaire = very important
42. Lash Fary, Distinctive Assets
You want a decent gift lounge at your awards show or other event, you have to call Lash Fary. Which is his real name.
43. Jack Bauer, TV character
Tommy the Clown watches a lot of 24. He thinks Kiefer Sutherland is pretty cool. But can he krump? That would freak the terrorists out.
44. Gail Sumpter, Malibu city permits manager
You want to throw any kind of party in Malibu, you have to go through Sumpter. Any kind of party.
45. Bono, singer
All that Africa stuff.
46. Mark Frazier, body painter
“The girls look like they’re wearing lingerie, but they’re completely naked,” says Bridget about the trailblazer who invented a somewhat socially acceptable way to allow women to attend parties nude. He got his start at Playboy, but “now he does lots of parties.”
47. Borat, made-up character
The panel is not at all sick of Borat.
48. Rhonda Byrne, author, The Secret
The real TIME 100 will probably be nice to Ms. Byrne. But the Alt TIME 100 panel was much more honest. Which was striking for a bunch of L.A. celebrities. “People have to watch this to figure that stuff out?” asked Xzibit? Still, he wanted her on the list for pulling one over on people so well.
49. Essence Carson, captain of the Rutgers women’s basketball team
If her speech wasn’t so impressive, the panel thinks Don Imus would still have his job. “That was the tipping point for that dude,” said Xzibit. Malcom Gladwell has infiltrated everywhere.
50. Dan Charron, VP, Miralus Healthcare
That “Apply directly to the forehead” commercial really cracks Xzibit up.
51. Frank Miller, comic book artist
Sin City and 300? Enough said.
52. Jesse Billauer, quadriplegic surfer
He’s big on MySpace.
53. Tyler Perry, actor
He makes those movies all by himself, basically.
54. Monique, comedian
More good body image stuff. While not at all fat, the panel loves fat people. Though not enough to date them.
55. Dr. Boogie, hairstylist
Although he only appeared on one panelist’s list, he made an impassioned case. “I go out and preach and tell people how not to be depressed. I preach to a lot of people,” said Dr. Boogie. He did not mean this as a joke. I checked.
56. George Clooney, actor
The panel felt strongly about Darfur. The panel also felt strongly that the most important player in the Darfur crisis is George Clooney. The panel does not equate feeling strongly about something with reading about that something.
57. Sammie, Jimmy’s cat
Sammie, who ate some of that poisoned pet food, is a survivor.
58. Steven Hirsch, CEO Vivid pictures
A friend of Glenda’s, his video company buys up most of the celebrity sex tapes. And, more importantly, didn’t buy the Screech one. Xzibit was initially excited about this idea since he owns a lot of Vivid videos, but didn’t think Hirsch was quite important enough for the list. But again, I needed 100.
59. Bill Clinton, former President
They love Bill Clinton. More than anyone except Al Gore. The panel loves the 90s.
60. Magic Johnson, businessman
Xzibit thought that Magic has some secret cure for AIDS he wasn’t sharing and should be left off the list until he divulges his secret. Xzibit has strange thoughts about both medicine and the power of this list.
61. Michael Jordan, retired basketball player
I was surprised that Jordan, who has been retired for four years, made the list. Then I found out that many of the panelists had been at parties or hotels that Jordan was at. “He buys the bar out!” Xzibit said of Jordan’s generosity. “You’ve never been out with Jordan?”
62. Randy Couture, UFC fighter
Eddie says he’s going to be the breakout star of ultimate fighting. More than Tito Ortiz. And Tito Ortiz has the advantage of dating Jenna Jameson.
63. Elvira, TV host
Bridget loves Elvira. Bridget’s dream is to host a show where she visits haunted houses. No one else cared about Elvira, but, really, 100 is a lot of people. And I don’t want to squash Bridget’s dreams.
64. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran
“Not because of his mental disabilities, but because he always has a tight blazer on,” explaned Xzibit.
65. Flavor Flav, rapper
They like that he made a comeback. Even if it was a comeback only a little more dignified than Phil Spector’s.
66. Kim Jong Il, Supreme Commander of North Korea
“Not because of the nuclear capabilities, but because he is wearing stunner shades!” Xzibit said.
67. Christian Joy, stylist
Glenda says she’s really good. Who knows?
68. Wendall Green, manager, Bar Marmont
He runs the bar at the Chateau Marmont. So he can get you into the bar. And maybe get you drinks.
69. Josh Richman, party promoter
Any party promotion company that calls itself Alliance Partners is impressive enough for me. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s also a hedge fund called “Throw Your Hands in The Air.”
70. Zac Posen, designer
If you want a Zac Posen outfit, you can’t get one if Zac Posen isn’t involved. I should have got a quote about him. I don’t know anything about fashion.
71. Nate Berkus, interior designer
He can design an interior really well
72. Ellen Degeneres, host
People love Ellen. And the panel likes how she handles her gayness.
73. Virginia Tech victims’ parents
The group suddenly turned into a group of TIME editors. “How do we handle the shooting on the list?” the asked out of nowhere. There was no way they were putting the shooter, even though that seemed the most intellectually honest. At first the victims were considered. Then the grief counselors. Then someone suggested the parents, and everyone was quite pleased. It was exactly like being at a 10 a.m. meeting at TIME.
74. Karl Lagerfeld, designer
I though he was old and unimportant, but I was wrong.
75. Steven Miesel, photographer
He’s also still important in the fashion world. I was hoping the Alt TIME 100 panel would be a little more cutting edge and not pick people even I had heard of.
76. Scott Barnes, inventor of Body Bling makeup
Dr. Boogie and Jimmy got in a tiny tiff about body makeup versus spray tanning. They agreed to disagree.
77. Coco Brother, host of Spirit of Hip-Hop
Corey Condry hosts a radio show where he bridges hip-hop with the gospel. And it’s sweeping the nation! Maybe not, but Tommy the Clown thinks it’s important.
78. Owners of Golden Bird
Tommy the Clown insists that the fried chicken at this restaurant in the Inglewood section of Los Angeles is exemplary, or as he put it “They do chicken right.” Bridget is also a fan of battered chicken, ordering the Chicken Milanese for lunch without even knowing what it was. When the waiter explained how it was prepared, she exclaimed “Chicken fingers! Why didn’t you just say that?” Bridget has a point.
79. Howie Mandel, TV host
Without him, you’d just be looking at models holding suitcases. You need the Howie visuals to make you long for the suitcase models. It’s the yin-yang concept.
80. Chris Hansen, TV host
Some people (Xzibit) didn’t think To Catch a Predator is all that important, but Jimmy Jimmy Coco felt that catching pedophiles was way important. That’s a pretty sweet trump card Jimmy has.
81. Eva Longoria, actress
There was a late push to put a Desperate Housewife on the list, but Eva basically one because she gets spray tanned by Jimmy all the time. Though he tried to make it sound socially important by saying she should make the list “for taking the fear out of spray tanning.” Eva Longoria 1, terrorists 0.
82. Kirstie Alley, weight loss advocate
The panel was proud of Kirstie for being fat, which is weird because she spent the year losing massive amounts of weight. “God bless her for going on Oprah in a bikini,” Jimmy said.
83. Dr. Bryant Bruce, doctor
She’s Jimmy’s doctor and “she’s bringing the house call back.” Jimmy is lazy.
84. Dr. Holly Lucille, doctor
She taught Jimmy the dangers of putting pesticides in makeup. Jimmy talked about this for a long time. Everyone was fascinated.
85. Natalia Bruschi, makeup artist
Without her, good-looking people wouldn’t look quite as good-looking.
86. Elton John, singer
A lot of people put him on the list, but no one had a good reason why. I think this explains much of Elton John’s career.
87. Brett Ratner, director
I think he’s just one of Glenda’s clients. But he does throw a good party. And is BFF with Robert Evans.
88. Jennifer Lopez, actress
She was on Bridget’s list. “She made having a big butt acceptable,” she said. When I asked Bridget if she thought she had a big butt, Bridget said, “I do have a big butt.” She then described herself as the “fat one” among Hef’s girlfriends. I wanted to give her a hug, but I think that might have been mostly to feel her up. Either intention, though, I figured was good for her body image.
89. Scarlett Johansson, actress
Bridget thought she was good for “body issues.” I had no idea Scarlett Johansson was fat.
90. Barack Obama, senator
A huge hit with the panel. Bridget particularly liked his proposals on health care.
91. Tiger Woods, golfer
Apparently very good. And black. Kind of.
92. Brooke Burke, TV host
Bridget wants to host television programs, and hopes to be a cross between Elvira, Brooke Burke, Rachel Ray and Samantha Brown. Bridget, it seems, isn’t afraid to smile until her face breaks.
93. Hillary Clinton, senator
Alternative people are not Republican people.
94. Michael J Fox, actor
The panel loves stem cell research. And they believe Fox is the top stem cell researcher in the world.
95. Ron Fair, music producer of Pussycat Dolls
Xzibit thinks Fair is the most powerful music producer right now. The guy did make us listen to a song by women who aren’t even real strippers. Plus Ashlee Simpson.
96. John Galliano, designer
Very good at designing things.
97. Beyonce, singer
Bridget thinks Beyonce is good for women’s body image. Bridget said she knows a lot of people with bulima. Bridget was starting to bring me down.
98. Nancy Grace, TV host
Jimmy Coco and Dr. Boogie felt like she “sticks up for the underdog” and is “hardcore.” The rest of us thought she was “gross” and “full of crap.”
99. Ashley Tisdale, actress
She was in High School: The Musical. Many years ago. Whatever.
100. Dog the Bounty Hunter, bounty hunter
Xzibit likes that show. I’m just mad because he was out of town and couldn’t make the lunch.
Source: The ALT Time 100