The Talking Heads (yes)
“But, but, but, but what about CBGBs and Max’s Kansas City?” Were the Beatles from Germany just because they had a residency in Hamburg? David Byrne, Chris Frantz, and Tina Weymouth are RISD grads and therefore Rhode Islanders ’til the day they die. New York was just lucky they brought what they learned here and graced them with some RI culture. The Talking Heads are as Rhode Island as coffee milk.
Paulie D (no)
He was on a show called Jersey Shore. Where he was born (cough, Providence, cough) is neither here nor there. No need to argue; you can have him New Jersey.
Viola Davis (yes)
Triple Crown of Acting? Absolutely a Rhode Islander. Her career started in Central Falls and she was educated at Rhode Island College (with Juilliard, whatever that is, merely playing second fiddle). We know her talents originated here.
The Farrelly Brothers (yes, but…)
We appreciate that almost every movie takes place in Providence, even if half are clearly shot in LA. We do love There’s Something About Mary because that is the real Hot Club. But casting Jimmy Fallon as the lead in Fever Pitch because of his wildly offensive Bostonian SNL character? That’s almost as offensive as casting Mark Wahlberg as an underdog football player from Philly. That’s not even a Rhode Island slight, but still. You’re on thin ice Farrelly Brothers.
Olivia Culpo (yes)
From Miss Rhode Island to Miss USA, and now a reality TV star? Undeniably, a Rhode Island powerhouse!
Charlie Day (yes)
Maybe it is always sunny in Philadelphia, but this man was raised in Middletown. He grew up here, went to school here. He even went to college here (well, North Andover, but that still counts). He’s ours. Philadelphia, you can have Mac. Also, most of that show was shot on set in LA, the Philly shots are just B roll. Also, Tom Brady beat you way before Nick Foles came around. And that one wasn’t even his fault! That was on Matt Patricia. Who is on the Eagles staff now. Good luck with that!
Meredith Vieira (yes)
Regis who? The enduring host of Who Wants to be a Millionaire and a Rhode Island luminary.
Tucker Carlson (no)
He went to school here one time, that’s it! He’s from San Francisco. Absolutely not a Rhode Islander. By the way, never ask him to undo the bow tie. It’s the only thing that keeps the darkness in.
Debra Messing (yes)
Born in Brooklyn but bloomed in East Greenwich, RI. Her acting career was nurtured here, with starring high school roles, like Annie. The real testament to her talent? We’re pretty sure she’s just masterfully covering a thick Rhode Island accent.
Cormac McCarthy (yes)
Very few know this, but The Road is actually based on Pawtucket.
J.K. Simmons (yes…wait a second)
Oh my god. We meant Richard Jenkins, who actually lives in Providence. Oh god, we are so sorry. J.K. Simmons is the other one. Richard, Six Feet Under is one of the greatest dramas to ever grace the airwaves. Oh, and Step Brothers! You’re a legend. We are so so sorry.