An Exercise in Profiling

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At the KWH Open House, we asked writers to profile icons of pop culture and history in the style of The New Yorker. Here are the highlights of our mock profile challenge!


bobIn a way, Bob Belcher personifies the burgers he sells: a throwback to the glory days of mom-and-pop Americana, swarthy in a vaguely mannish way, a swell of meaty paunch about the middle, and a familiar yet exotic smell of raw onions. And like his burgers, Bob’s humble foundations mask a surprising complexity and a penchant for puns — the ever-changing Burger of the Day (on my visit to his namesake establishment, Bob’s Burgers, “The Chile Relleno-You-Didn’t Burger”) embodies the proprietor’s effortless, oblivious proto-hipster appeal. We spoke over espresso, a new feature for the restaurant that no doubt did nothing for Bob’s overactive sweat glands.

— Kenna O’Rourke


Winnie_The_PoohOften cited by Gender Studies scholars as the first androgynous character in pop culture, Winifred “Pooh” Bear shattered the glass ceiling of gender expectations with his debut album in 2011 “Hunny.”

— C. Maura Breslin 



Suave, cheeky, and perfectly pink, the Pink Panther is everyone’s favorite ferocious feline. Except for Inspector Clouseau (who harbors an unfortunate bias against Mr. Pink), no one can resist his witty charm and irresistible sense of style. In fact, his iconic style has made waves in the feline fashion world, and he made a momentous impact in the campaign to prove that pink is, in fact, a stupendous color.

— Andie Davidson

napoleanThe failed invasion of Russia, a spectacle in itself, concluded Napoleon Bonaparte’s extended attempt to compensate for his size. Despite his military prowess and accelerated rise to the top, he could never quite forget his less than exemplary vertical conquests. His mother, proud of her emperor son, tried in vain to assure him that size did not matter if you ruled the world. Napoleon, known to abhor abuse, promptly exiled his frail mother. Since his failure in Russia, Napoleon has been seen rolling through the streets of Paris and one source even says he was spotted hurling platform boots into the Thames. Join us in our exploration of this once-great man.

— Claudia Detre

bellatrixThough Bellatrix Lestrange has become a household name, few people (witches, wizards, and muggles alike) are aware of her complex past. Throughout her Hogwarts years, Lestrange was actually quite torn about whether or not she should join the Dark Side. Every time she tried to write a Pro/Con list on the subject of embracing evil, young Lestrange found herself in a neutral position. (Pro: Voldemort was smokin’ hot. Con: … Azkaban.) Indeed, in a recent interview, Lestrange revealed that her final decision was primarily motivated by her fierce desire for self-expression through fashion. Black leather bodices just really seemed to jive more naturally with the Dark Side. Lestrange now credits herself for establishing the distinctive, edgy look characteristic of her fellow Death Eaters. In fact, she notes, she brews Draco Malfoy’s hair gel herself.

— Julia Rossi

dynamiteHe stomped out [of] the house, plate in hand filled with meat. His face showed indifference, but his stride showed prowess. He slumbered over to the gate, pierced the juicy steak with a fork. He exclaimed, “Tina! Tina! Have some dinner! God.”

Napoleon Dynamite, a man of our present, who somehow transcended into the nostalgic past of the ’80s. He balanced it cantankerously, from his mop of curly strawberry-blond hair to his oversized glasses that framed his pale face.

Napoleon was a man that didn’t need to abide by time or era.

— Maya Arthur

bartBart Simpson fell off his skateboard.

The spikey-haired, beshorted ten-year-old had just weaved between two semi trucks, between the legs of an exceptionally tall man, and sailed over a swing set to land gracefully on a slide.

What finally stopped the self-proclaimed “Bartman”?

A banana peel.

“I don’t have cows, man,” Bart said, shrugging. He’s an easygoing yellow guy, relentlessly positive in his mischief.

He won’t let a little trip-up trip him up.

— Alli Katz

Filament_EditorsAn Exercise in Profiling

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