Due to the stressful nature of their occupation, air traffic controllers take mandatory breaks every 2 hours. It has been said that this profession is associated with the highest burnout and suicide rates of any in the world.
That’s real life.
What about pop culture?
The following is a list of the toughest job descriptions ever maintained in the world of pop culture. Carrying these labels must be stressful, and living up to the tag has to be like carrying a mountain of burden. We examine the title, who holds it, and their track record for getting the job done.
5. The Kings of Comedy
Although Bernie Mac has passed on, no other conglomerate of comedians has come along since the summer of 2000 and usurped this group’s title. Some may argue that individually, each of these stand up comedians might be outmatched by some of the greats, but as a team they were unbeatable.
But can they maintain the position as rulers of all things funny?
What a job. Their title implies that they hold court over everything funny ever. As hilarious and inventive as they were, this task is too much to ask of any individual or small team of comedians.
Success rate: 7%. The Kings ruled for one summer, and certainly held strong for many years since, but too many others vie for their crown.
4. America’s Team
Current position holder – Dallas Cowboys
By 1978, the Dallas Cowboys had become the most visible team in the NFL. In a time before multi-million dollar TV deals and NFL Sunday Ticket, football fans had no choice in who they got to see play on a weekly basis. The Cowboys had a culture of winning and had enough nationally-recognized talent that they were often featured in a nationally televised game each week. Even when they played on the road, there seemed to be as many Cowboys jerseys in the crowd as there were representing the home team.
That being said, can one NFL team be America’s Team? Who will be left to root for the other 30+ teams?
Head coach Tom Landry disliked the name at first, but it eventually came to embody the Dallas Cowboys. Since then, football has become BIG business. Insiders and analysts spend time polling fans and studying NFL fan statistics, and what they seem to find more often than not is that the Dallas Cowboys are in fact the today’s NFL’s most hated team. Whatever the case, they are certainly one of the most polarizing teams in all of sports.
Success rate: 22%. Third in overall NFL team merchandise sales, the Cowboys are still wildly popular, but not as popular as the Packers or Steelers.
3. The People’s Champ
Current position holder – The Rock
His title, however, implies that he is the champion of all people.
Even though he hasn’t wrestled full time in nearly a decade, when he returns to the WWE for short bursts he immediately resumes the role of “People’s Champ”. The Rock is one of the few performers who never needed to be the actual WWE Champion to be relevant, as he was and will always be the champion in the fans’ hearts.
Even when The Rock tries to “turn heel” and insult the audience, we love him all the more for it.
Success rate: 100%. The Rock is and always will be The People’s Champ.
2. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes
Current position holder – The Avengers
Created in 1963 by Marvel’s Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, The Avengers carry the weight of the world in their title. Marvel’s super-team was created as a response to DC Comics’ Justice League of America, and since then has far surpassed their inspiration. But do they live up to their weighty title?
The Avengers’ title insinuates that they are the mightiest heroes that Earth has to offer. I realize Thor is from Asgard, but besides the God of Thunder, who has sworn his allegiance to Midgard (Earth), the rest of the team is in fact from Earth. More than we can say for the Justice League, whose members include a Martian, an Amazonian, and a Kryptonian. Also, Superman and friends could technically tell the rest of the free world to pound sand since they are in fact, the Justice League of America. Spare me all of your tales of how the JLA saved the universe. The Avengers are in fact Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
Success rate: 100%. Despite some close calls and collateral damage resulting from their own Civil War, The Avengers continue to prove their might and successfully protect Earth.
1. Defender of the Universe
Although the 5 Lion version of Voltron primarily defends the planet Arus, far from Earth, he is still technically charged with the daunting task of defending the universe. While he may have help from the vehicle Voltron and the gladiator Voltron, that’s still a lot of ground to cover for three robots.
Voltron may have been defeated in battles, but to this day he has never budged from his lofty position. I can only assume that we are able to sleep soundly at night and carry about our daily business due to Voltron’s diligent defense of our universe.
Success rate: 100%. On Voltron’s watch, the universe has yet to be conquered.
Honorable Mention: Guardians of the Galaxy, Team America: World Police, G.O.A.T. (LL Cool J), “The Best in the World” (CM Punk), The Masters of the Universe, Jack Dawson (The “King of the World”)