Nobody likes a boaster. That’s why God (or self-conscious social media users) invented the humblebrag — a prideful statement couched in a layer of self-deprecation. (You’ll find exhibits A through infinity at Parks and Rec writer Harris Wittels’s eponymous Twitter account.)
Celebrities, particularly, are well-schooled in the art of the humblebrag. They want to seem cool and relatable and down-to-earth, but it’s impossible to keep up that appearance while simultaneously describing what their lives are actually like. After seeing Ronan Farrow’s appearance on last night’s Daily Show, though, I’m convinced that he is to humblebragging what Kanye West is to actual bragging.
Any way you slice it, Farrow’s got an impressive resume. In his 26 years of life, he’s already 1. graduated college at the age of 15, 2. graduated from Yale Law at the age of 21, 3. traveled to Darfur as a UNICEF spokesperson, 4. been a Special Adviser for Humanitarian and NGO Affairs for the Obama Administration, 5. been Director of the State Department’s Office of Global Youth Issues, and 6. snagged a Rhodes Scholarship. And, oh yeah, he’s also about to start hosting his own daily news show on MSNBC. Add in that Farrow has achieved all this despite a family life that’s been… unstable at best, and it’d be easy to forgive him a few straight-up boasts.
Ahh, but that’s not Ronan’s way! Check out the way he tries to soften the blow of Jon Stewart’s praise: