Shel Silverstein, Gary Larson and Albert Einstein in their First 29 Years


Normally I don't make big announcements like today is my birthday. That's because most days aren't my birthday. But since I've turned the big 2-9 today, I figured I'd quickly look up just a few of my heroes and report on what they'd accomplished with their 29 years of living. Looks like I've got a lot of catching up to do!

Gary Larson: After working in a music store and playing his banjo for years, Larson decides he hates his job and starts submitting comics to the Seattle Times under the name Nature's Way. That strip was later retitled The Far Side.

Shel Silverstein: By 29, Shel had already written a book, recorded a music album, and was regularly contributing articles to a young Chicago magazine called Playboy.

Roald Dahl: Had already served as a pilot in WWII, crashed a plane, lost his eyesight, regained his eyesight, and published a kid's book.

plenty more after the jump...

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Woody Allen: Had been writing one-liners and comedy bits for shows like Sid Caesar, Ed Sullivan and other comedy greats since age 19, and was just starting to perform his own stand-up.

Bill Watterson: Just two years into drawing Calvin and Hobbes, the elusive Mr. Watterson had already won the Reuben Award for Cartoonist of the Year (he won it around 28, and is - I think- the youngest recipient of it to date).

Oprah: Oprah isn't really a hero of mine. At least she wasn't until last night when I learned that at just 19 she was already anchoring a Nashville news show, and at 29, she had landed her first talk show. Ridiculous!

George Harrison: Had already completed a full run with The Beatles! Also, by 29, he'd had time to launch a solo career, and was busy organizing the Concert for Bangladesh benefit.

Dali: Had done some collaborations with Bunuel, had already painted The Persistance of Memory, and was working on that famed portrait of his lover Gala with two pork chops balanced on her shoulders.

Miles Davis: Had dropped out of Julliard, and already performed with every legendary jazz musician around. Seriously. From Charlie Parker to Dizzie Gillespie to Mingus to Monk. Plus, by 29, he had kicked a heroin addiction and was just starting his first legendary quintet.

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King Tut: Only became a hero after he'd inspired that Steve Martin dance. At 29, he'd been dead for about 11 years.

Of course, if I had more time, I would have looked up Jim Henson, John Hubley, Nehru, and a whole host of others. I'll just have to save them for next year.