From Yonatan to Franzen: Ranking Pop Culture’s Jonathans Throughout the Ages

According to Alexander Nazaryan at The New Republic, Jonathan Lethem’s Dissident Gardens is the best novel of 2013. Lethem is already one of America’s most successful literary authors, and whether or not other reviewers will agree with Nazaryan remains to be seen; but the thing is, none of this is important as the fact that he is a Jonathan. This was reaffirmed in a recent interview Lethem gave to Salon, in which he was asked, “I feel as if people describe you in one breath with Jonathan Franzen, and I’m wondering if you ever wish your name was Bob. Not that there’s anything wrong with him, but you guys aren’t necessarily twins.”

Of course he never wished his name was Bob! Jonathan Lethem is a Jonathan of the House Jonathan! He’s proud of his name because Jonathan is more than just a name; it’s a state of mind and cultural birthright that one must embrace from the day he is born, as each of these top 16 famous Jonathans has done.


16. Jonathan Taylor Thomas

Columbia graduate, voice of Simba, vegetarian: J.T.T. seems like a pretty good guy; but the Tim Allen association knocks him down to the bottom of the list.