Barbara Walters Names Her Most Fascinating Friends

With all of the compelling characters that 79-year-old Barbara Walters encounters on a daily basis, it must be difficult for her to compile a definitive list of her favorites. But being the consummate professional that she is, the View’s resident peace keeper (and chief flame-fanner) has issued the list of personalities she’ll be profiling when Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2008.

The top-ten special airs Thursday night at 10 p.m. on ABC.

Among those who made the cut are former SNL funny-lady Tina Fey, who tells Walters that her Sarah Palin impersonation wasn’t particularly “mean,” and right-wing radio personality Rush Limbaugh, who would probably disagree.

The list—which omits the Most Fascinating Person of the Year, who will be revealed during the broadcast—is as follows:

10. Will Smith
9. Tom Cruise
8. Tina Fey
7. Rush Limbaugh
6. Miley Cyrus
5. Michael Phelps
4. Sarah Palin
3. Frank Langella
2. Thomas Beatie (a/k/a, the Pregnant Man)

The choice for the top slot (last year it was Harry Potter authoress J.K. Rowling) is anybody’s guess. But when you consider that, like the above personalities, it should be someone at the top of their field who isn’t bound by society’s conventions, the choice becomes pretty clear.