opinion

Who is the greatest living Philadelphian? Our readers have 25 suggestions

Erica Palan, Digital Opinion Editor

Updated: Friday, August 25, 2017, 12:08 PM

Philly.com readers suggested that these people are some of the greatest living Philadelphians. Clockwise, from left: Will Smith, Tina Fey, John Chaney and Howard Eskin.

We knew readers would respond strongly when local writer Quinn O’Callaghan pitched us a piece calling It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia‘s Rob McElhenney the greatest living Philadelphian and arguing that the city should erect a monument in his honor.

After McElhenney himself responded to the story, many people weighed in with which version of Mac, the character McElhenney portrays on the show, they’d like to see memorialized.

You've appealed to my greatest quality: stunning humility. I humbly accept this honor and promise to never commit treason or whatever. https://t.co/W7muhJl8w8

One popular suggestion was to build a monument to Fat Mac, referring to a seventh season arc in which McElhenney’s character put on a lot of weight. Several Philly.com Facebook followers responded with gifs to show their support for this idea.

However, the hottest topic related to this piece was not about which version of McElhenney to celebrate, but instead, whether he is, in fact, the greatest living Philadelphian, as O’Callaghan argues. We received many suggestions for local luminaries who readers believe are more worthy of a monument. (Although, the term ‘Philadelphian’ is applied loosely to some of the entries, as is “living.” We assume readers meant “alive in our hearts and memories.”):

Former Phillies player Chase Utley Fresh Prince Actor Will Smith Comedian Kevin Hart Musician Jim Croce Actor Kevin Bacon Saturday Night Live actress Tina Fey Singers Boyz II Men Singer Chubby Checker NBA player Kobe Bryant Baseball player Roy Campanella Baseball player Reggie Jackson Former Temple University basketball coach John Chaney Basketball player and coach Dawn Staley Three Stooges actor Larry Fine Sports talk radio personality Tony Bruno Sports anchor Howard Eskin Musicians Daryl Hall and John Oates Rapper Meek Mill Musician G. Love Mascot Philly Phanatic Model and actress Amber Rose Rapper Beanie Sigel Rapper Matt Ox Basketball player Joel Embiid Actor Bob Saget

In addition to celebs, some readers also wondered if what makes Philadelphia great is not people with recognizable names, but instead the everyday citizens who populate our city. On Facebook, Kevin McKinney wrote, “We need to build a statue of a blue collar worker … that’s the true symbol of Philadelphia.”

Who do you think is the greatest living Philadelphian? Tell us in the comments below.

Erica Palan, Digital Opinion Editor

Read full story: Who is the greatest living Philadelphian? Our readers have 25 suggestions

More Coverage:

Rob McElhenney of 'Always Sunny' is the greatest living Philadelphian. Let's build a monument to him.

Philadelphia debates future of Frank Rizzo statue

Mapping Kevin Hart's Philly connections for the first-ever Kevin Hart Day