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The Cruise tops Forbes' "Celebrity 100"

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95742__cruise_lForbes. What is it good for? Well, this handy li’l list for one. Called the Celebrity 100, it purports to be a list of the most powerful stars in show business.

EW’s got a bit of experience in the list-making field, so I feel somewhat justified in rendering a critique. This tally is a slightly haphazard agglomeration of above-the-line talent, from actors to directors to novelists to athletes. The only criteria are wealth and wealth-making potential. Some of the list’s conclusions are questionable, e.g. “Cruise is Hollywood’s most bankable actor.” Post-M:I-3 and the fallout its so-so performance has created, can anyone really rank Cruise and his onerous pay package at No. 1? Yes, if you want to know who’s the richest star at this very moment. No, if you’re looking ahead (as the word “bankable” suggests).

There are also ironies, like the Angelina Jolie’s appearance at No. 36, just below Jennifer Aniston (No. 35). Just beneath them? The Olsen Twins.

And then there’s Formula One Racer Michael Schumacher, who outranks Tom Friggin’ Hanks. TV star Kiefer Sutherland tops Jim Carrey, the multiplex’s first $20 million man. Rachael Ray’s nearly as bankable as John Grisham – and more bankable than Dave Chappelle.

So here’s what I take away from this: I need a raise. Pronto. It’s the only way I’m going to get on one of these lists. And what’s good for me is good for EW.com. Right? Tell you what, editors: Pay me $20 million for just one year. That’ll be enough to jack up my ranking. And, as a show of good faith, I’ll stop stealing Swiss Miss from the breakroom.

Originally posted June 16 2006 — 5:16 PM EDT

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