Sir Ben Kingsley. Dame Judi Dench. When you say these names, you feel the weight of those titles and the lifetimes of achievement they represent. The honors system is a British tradition that goes back centuries, and even to this day, in the Investiture ceremony, the Queen rests a sword upon the shoulder of a kneeling recipient to bestow knighthood. It’s all so deliciously King Arthur.
In America, we have imitation accolades like the Presidential Medals of Freedom and the Kennedy Center honors, but nothing quite so transformative as knighthood, nothing that demands one be addressed by some lofty prefix for the rest of your life. (“What’s this Mr. business, you knave? You will call me ‘Sir.’ *slaps you across the cheek with a handkerchief*)
To celebrate Queen Elizabeth II‘s 60th year on the throne, we thought it would be fun to borrow a bit of Britain’s pomp and circumstance and dole out some knighthoods to our own homegrown icons. But we’re adding a nod to American-style democracy to the mix by giving you, the voters, the chance to wield the sword. Which U.S.-born celebrities deserve the title “Sir” or “Dame”? Check back next Thursday to see which celebs you knighted. We’re keeping a running list…
This week, we start with the people who have served our country in one particular fashion, by making us laugh until our ribs were sore…Read More