It started out as Stephen Colbert’s amusing attempt to raise money for the Puerto Rican victims of Hurricane Maria — but got awkward real quick.
The host of “The Late Show” announced that he would donate $1,000 for each celebrity who posted a photo “at a very awkward, pubescent age,” with the hashtag #PuberMe and #PuertoRicoRelief. The puberty aspect was a tie-in with Nick Kroll’s new comedy series on Netflix, which riffs on just how weird adolescence can be.
What followed after Colbert’s announcement was a star-studded race to the bottom that calls into question anyone’s decision to put these celebrities near a red carpet or in anything made by Oscar de la Renta.
Here are the best, or possibly the worst, ranked:
No. 9, “Weird Al” Yankovic: Purists could argue that Alfred Yankovic shouldn’t even be on this list. All of his childhood photos should be a bit odd, if only to justify the adjective in his name.
But a young Al sipping on some old-school coconut water while wearing horn-rimmed glasses and a mock turtleneck has to be worth something.
And now we know Al didn’t decide to pick up the weird shtick and an accordion in his 30s to try to cash in on the ripening song parody market. He’s been like this his whole life.
No. 8, Jimmy Kimmel: Kimmel made it this high so we wouldn’t have to spend too much time glancing at his pale, pale legs. It’s so much easier to stare at the career-foreshadowing license plate.
No. 7, Conan O’Brien: This must be exactly what Conan O’Brien looks like when he washes off his makeup after a show.
And adolescent Conan would be a shoo-in for the real-life adaptation of the Lucky Charms movie.
No. 6, Clark Gregg: Agent Phil Coulson gets high marks for being the only one on this list who’s actually trying to look cool. Failing, but still trying.
Notice the hand casually tucked into the pocket of the jacket he got when he won the Masters and his other hand’s refusal to be upstaged. Try to ignore the bow tie.
No. 5, Lena Dunham: Dunham gets points for her use of awkward props. The first is the skinless cat swaddled in her arms, just because. The second is the pimple in the middle of her forehead big enough to distract you from the hairless cat at stage left.
No. 4, Lin-Manuel Miranda: Refusing to be upstaged, Miranda submitted a video brimming with awkwardness. Making a cameo appearance is teenage angst, delivered as a show tune. And he gets bonus points for the shout-out to the island at the heart of Colbert’s campaign.
Oh, and for some reason, there’s a guy stuffing what we can only assume is a dead body into the back of a station wagon.
No. 3, Chelsea Peretti: This comedian’s submission could have easily come in at number onesie.
No. 2, Stephen Colbert: It’s impossible for Colbert to win his own contest, but he sure comes close, with a tie knot the size of the lower half of his face and braces that make it impossible for him to completely close his mouth.
No. 1, Alison Brie: Headgear + red eyes + swoonface = victory.