Open Phones: Your U.S. Cultural Ambassador Picks

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Amanda Dobbins, writer for New York Magazine's Vulture blog, helps callers answer the question: Which American would you select as cultural ambassador, where would you send them and why? Call 212-433-9692 or post your nomination below.


Amanda Dobbins

Comments [41]

neila from nyc

NDT - Nuff Said!
(Neil deGrasse Tyson)

Nov. 29 2012 11:36 PM
Byron from Princeton, NJ

I agree with the caller who suggested the basketball star Grant Hill. Mr. Hill has been active in many civic services (including being a member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition); Mr. Hill earned the 2001 Richard and Helen DeVos Community Enrichment Award through his “positive attitude, strong work ethic, and moral code.”, and this year he won the Mannie Jackson Basketball Human Spirit Award. (more information available at the NBA website as well as the granthill website.

Nov. 29 2012 07:49 PM
Donald Sepanek from Bayonne, NJ

I second the nomination of Tom Waits.

Nov. 29 2012 05:42 PM
Spears from nyc

so weird, as Sales was describing the character the next ambassador should possess I was privately thinking Louis C.K. and then @#$BAM!$& she mentioned someone had nominated him - that is crazy!

It's also a hit and miss nomination, b/c his material can be so blue (so much of life is). That stuff wouldn't fly too far in the spots America needs to be making "inroads."
But yeah - C.K. has my personal vote. Bring him on the show sometime.

Nov. 29 2012 01:43 PM
fuva from harlemworld

Segment suggestion: I'd be interested in an historical review of US cultural/ goodwill ambassadors. To observe trends, etc.

Nov. 29 2012 12:32 PM

Queen Latifah

Nov. 29 2012 12:04 PM
Tony from Canarsie

Why just send people overseas? Why should the rest of the world be deprived of seeing some of our most significant historical landmarks, such as the Flatiron Building, the Statue of Liberty, and the Chrysler Building?

Nov. 29 2012 12:03 PM

Also love the Stevie Wonder idea!

(& I am surprised that the worldly and foreign-born listeners of this show are under the impression that the US -- including its celebrities -- do not carry weight around the world in a positive way.

For reasons real and imagined, the US remains a unique and wonderful idea in billions of lovely minds everywhere. Many of them spend time in the US or become American and often their presence is what helps keep America great, and reminds natives what we love about the country too. It is right to often dwell on the flaws of America, and lord knows there are plenty -- but we must celebrate the positives as well. Lest we become cranky! ;-)

Nov. 29 2012 12:03 PM

Ron Howard

Nov. 29 2012 12:01 PM

I am really enjoying Amanda Dobbins as guest host so I will nominate her!

Nov. 29 2012 12:00 PM
Daniel from Brooklyn

Herbie Hancock represents the cultural and social changes in this country, and has somehow managed to stay relevant through those changes.

Nov. 29 2012 11:59 AM
Conrad from Larchmont

Stevie Wonder - no question!

Nov. 29 2012 11:59 AM
Robert from NYC

Dolly Parton by far superior to all these suggestions. No baloney Dolly. Sincere and All American Gal.

Nov. 29 2012 11:57 AM
foodaggro from Brooklyn

No musicians or actors or politicians. I think a relatively young, accomplished writer would be best. Michael Chabon or someone like that. Or even a comedian.

Nov. 29 2012 11:57 AM
Robert from NYC

They do pay attention to our celebrities as she said and they laugh at us most of the time because of them.

Nov. 29 2012 11:55 AM
John A

''Lindsey McLuhan'', but I'm joking. Tom Hanks has my vote.

Nov. 29 2012 11:55 AM
Jordan from Greenpoint

Louis C.K. immediately comes to mind. He articulates a broad and unflinchingly honest perspective about America and Americans, and he sometimes sneaks a joke in there.

Nov. 29 2012 11:55 AM

Anybody from the Walton family - a perfect representative for Walmart nation.

Nov. 29 2012 11:54 AM
Jim from Brooklyn

The Roots -- hip hop is huge around the world AND they're an amazing live band.

Also Louis CK and Chris Rock duo.

Nov. 29 2012 11:54 AM
art525 from Park Slope

Mz Robbins and New York Magazine are trying way too hard to be droll and hipster these days. Operative word- trying.

Nov. 29 2012 11:54 AM
Ryan from New York, NY

Meryl Streep!

Nov. 29 2012 11:54 AM
foodaggro from Brooklyn

Brian Lehrer. Just kidding.

Nov. 29 2012 11:53 AM
Robert from NYC

Interesting that your discussions on this are at such a lower level of what one would call "culture"! Where are the non-entertainment artists and writers and thinkers?

Nov. 29 2012 11:53 AM
Theresa from Brooklyn

What is a cultural ambassador? What do they do? What are they supposed to represent? Most of these answers are pretty thoughtless.

Nov. 29 2012 11:53 AM
Nora from Astoria

amy sedaris.

Nov. 29 2012 11:53 AM
CK from Yorktown

Oh lord: I knew someone would say taylor swift.

Robert and StevieRay: sorry you have such a low opinion of the US. Maybe you should get out and see a few things, get your nose out of the tv set.

Nov. 29 2012 11:52 AM
Meredith from Milford CT

Big Bird! Everyone loves Big Bird.

Nov. 29 2012 11:52 AM
Jay F.

Regina Spektor... all-American? She was born in Russia and came here when she was ten.

Nov. 29 2012 11:52 AM
Patti from Ramsey, NJ

David Hasselhoff. He's the Hoff!! The whole world loves him!

Nov. 29 2012 11:51 AM
Mike from Tribeca

Just a thought, but most of those artists who are being suggested by the callers already tour extensively around the world.

Nov. 29 2012 11:51 AM

Send a working class dad who supports his family and loves his life due to the opportunity and freedom in USA.

Nov. 29 2012 11:50 AM
Bob from Westchester

Why not the Boss himself? Bruce Springstein got to introduce the President at campaign rallies, and represents in his music the heart of America.

Nov. 29 2012 11:49 AM
Spears from nyc

No Joke: Britney Spears. She's has that "all American" look and people love her music. She is mass-appealing and pretty attractive. She and Beyonce are good pics!

Nov. 29 2012 11:48 AM
foodaggro from Brooklyn

KENNY G?!?! That caller MUST be joking.

Nov. 29 2012 11:48 AM
Lorin Cowell from Park Slope

Joanna Newsom would be a wonderful cultural embassador... Don't you think?!

Nov. 29 2012 11:47 AM
foodaggro from Brooklyn

I would pick Andrew WK over almost anyone!
Beyonce?! More like cultural embarrasser.

Nov. 29 2012 11:47 AM

Take your pick: Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Nikki Minaj, any Kardashian - all interchangeable media whores who totally represent what the US really is.

Nov. 29 2012 11:46 AM
George from Astoria

Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.
because of their business and philanthropic accomplishments.

and Quest Love

Nov. 29 2012 11:46 AM
Robert from NYC

I nominate Lindsey Lohan to be cultural ambassador for the United States. I think she fully represents the current culture of the US today. We've degenerated to such a low level and you want one who represents the culture, Linsey covers it.

Nov. 29 2012 11:46 AM
Eddy from Chicago, IL

The most talented:

The most deep-dish American and best speaker, culturally:
John Waters

Nov. 29 2012 11:45 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

The choice is clear: either Stephen Colbert or Howard Stern.

Nov. 29 2012 11:44 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.