The 5 Heaviest Pop Culture Job Titles of All Time

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by Howie Decker @HowardTheDeck

in Lists

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

Current position holder – A comedic super-team consisting of Steve HarveyD.L. HughleyCedric the Entertainer, and Bernie Mac.

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

While The Rock is one of the few professional wrestlers to effectively drop his character name and find success using his given name, there has always been much of “The Rock” in Dwayne Johnson.

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

Current position holder – Voltron

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”)



{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Dex (@Dex1138) July 6, 2012 at 6:23 am

Flash (A-aaahhhhh!) Gordon, Savior of the Universe (also King of the Impossible). It’s one thing to be the Defender of the Universe, but Savior? That’s like a whole nother level. And he was also a member of the Defenders of the Earth. Triple whammy!


Howie Decker July 6, 2012 at 10:31 am

Boom. Flash Gordon is definitely meant for this list, possibly at the top spot!


shezcrafti July 6, 2012 at 9:31 am

Did anybody check in with Abe Froman, Sausage King of Chicago?


Howie Decker July 6, 2012 at 10:32 am

Talk about heavy titles! And you just know that every year a bunch of upstart sausage rookies try to usurp Abe’s position in the Chicago sausage hierarchy. Must be a tough spot to hold on to.


Jason G July 6, 2012 at 10:40 am

Hello!!!! “The King of Pop” Michael Jackson…check his sales numbers lately? Yep, 100% on that title.

Another honorable mention, Bret Hart aka “The Best There Is, The Best There Was, and The Best There Ever Will Be” … guess he has been the champion at certain points in his career, but his success rate is probably around 16%.


Howie Decker July 6, 2012 at 2:41 pm

King of Pop = inarguable. Great call.

Bret Hart = while he is certainly ONE of the best, and that is one of the best catchphrases of all time, at the time he said he was the “best there was”, he wasn’t better than Ric Flair. At the time he claimed to be the “best there is”, he wasn’t better than Shawn Michaels, and he proved not to be the “best there ever will be” as I’d probably rank 3-4 guys that came since him as better. Don’t get me wrong, love Bret Hart, just not the best ever.


Jason G July 6, 2012 at 7:05 pm

Agreed on the Bret Hart assessment…


MzKayotic (@MzKayotic) July 6, 2012 at 11:20 am

This list I totally agree with. Which begs me to actually give you a huge debt of gratitude for not Honorable Mentioning John Cena. IDK how or why he manages to stay relevant. This guy comes the ring day in and day out with the same five moves. I watch him and I feel like I’m playing SD vs Raw on PS3! Ridiculous!

Now some might question the G.O.A.T should go to someone else but I think that’s a reasonable assessment of LL. Nice job. This was a well thought out post and I enjoyed it immensely!


Howie Decker July 6, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Thanks! Yeah the G.O.A.T. title has been claimed by quite a few since, but to my knowledge LL was the first to use it, or if he wasn’t the first, he was the first to effectively market it as his own.

Thanks for the comment as always!


Classick Material July 8, 2012 at 11:29 am

Awesome article!

I’ll give The Original Kings of Comedy (or “The Kangs” as Steve Harvey once jokingly put it) credit for spawning a slew of racial, gender or other ethnic spin-offs on the title (Queens of Comedy, The Original Latin Kings of Comedy, Blue Collar Comedy Tour, The Godfathers of Comedy), however only Bernie Mac stands tall as a king from that original cast, may he rest in peace.

While he was in WCW, former guest of your USF podcast Diamond Dallas Page also held the moniker of “The People’s Champ” and probably lived up to it better than most, coming to and leaving the ring through the crowd of fans instead of the customary walk down the entrance ramp. But The Rock remains THE standard for The People’s Champ as well as The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment (ugh, it’s WRESTLING, damn it!) Today!

And yes, Dean Malenko will forever be known as the “Master of 1,000 Holds”…


Howie Decker July 9, 2012 at 10:23 am

Ah yes Dean Malenko. I forgot DDP went by the “People’s Champ”! I do remember the come-through-the-crowd ring entrances, though. Great point! Thanks for the comment, Classick.


Corey Chapman July 10, 2012 at 12:11 pm

How about Howard Stern, THE KING OF ALL MEDIA?

Number one radio show, 2 New York Times Best-selling books, Private Parts opened number one, the same week the soundtrack opened number one, put satellite radio on the map, and now is conquering network television on America’s Got Talent!

That is all.


James January 10, 2013 at 10:21 am

The Rock will always be the people’s champ, and the kings of comedy own that title as well. I wish someone besides Dallas could be America’s Team, I remember it seemed like there was a small movement behind transferring that name to the Packers a while back, but I have to admit Dallas has taken it and really owned it over the last 40 years.


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