Donnie Wahlberg recently announced that he and his brother Mark are going to star in a new reality series for A&E. The show, Wahlburgers, will follow the day-to-day operation of their Boston-based hamburger joint of the same name and their attempts to get a second restaurant in Toronto off the ground. The brothers will be joined by their mother, Alma, Wahlburgers executive chef and third Wahlberg brother Paul, and an assortment of the friends and family — many of whom inspired characters on Entourage. Although we’re excited to see more of the Wahlberg family and watch their trials and triumphs when it comes to establishing Wahlburgers as a major franchise, we’re mostly just interested in seeing more Donnie on our televisions.
When it comes to the Wahlberg brothers, Donnie always comes out on top. He’s funnier, more easy going, more charming, and will generally make for a better reality television star than Mark. Plus, he probably won’t get offended when clips of the show inevitably end up on an episode of The Soup. But since we know that our decision is likely a controversial one, we’ve had Donnie and Mark face off against each other in six categories to show you why we think that Donnie is the better Wahlberg.
While nobody can deny that “Good Vibrations” is one of the catchiest songs in existence, Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch don’t hold a candle to New Kids on the Block. Not only did New Kids sell more records and have more hits than the Funky Bunch, they also managed to reunite in 2008 to a great deal of success, and when they formed a supergroup with fellow boy band the Backstreet Boys, they found even more success and essentially kicked off the the boy band renaissance we’re currently experiencing. Plus, they’re set to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame sometime this year.
Although Mark is better known for his film career, he does have one major television credit to his name: Entourage, which he created and produced based on his own life. The show has been a massive success, running for eight seasons and spawning a developing spin-off film. However, Mark has only ever appeared on it briefly, for a quick cameo here and there. Donnie, meanwhile, has not had any of his shows become monster hits like Entourage, but he did star in the critically-acclaimed mini series Band of Brothers as Second Lieutenant C. Carwood Lipton, which earned him a role on another critical favorite, Boomtown. He currently stars on the cult hit Blue Bloods, and is the executive producer of Boston’s Finest, a show about the Boston police force that has recently been renewed for a second season. Since Donnie’s shows are of a higher quality than his brother’s, and since he’s actually starring in them, we’re going to have to give this point to the elder Wahlberg.
This is the category in which Mark has the distinct advantage, having earned an Oscar nomination for his work in The Departed, a Golden Globe nomination for his role in The Fighter and starred in major hits like Boogie Nights and Ted. However, despite becoming a bonafide movie star, Mark has made some notable mis-steps – including M. Night Shymalan’s The Happening and the upcoming Transformers sequel. Donnie, meanwhile, has had roles in several Saw films, The Sixth Sense and Righteous Kill, alongside Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, but his movie career has been, on the whole, less well-received than Mark’s.
Sense of Humor:
Despite starring in Ted, one of the most successful comedies of recent years, Mark doesn’t seem to have much of a sense of humor when it comes to himself. A prime example of this is the way he threatened to beat up Andy Samberg for making fun of him in the “Mark Whalberg Talks to Animals” sketches. Sure, he apologized and later appeared on Saturday Night Live in order to poke fun at himself, but something tells us that Donnie would’ve just taken the whole thing in stride. Besides, he’s got to have a good sense of humor to have endured all of the boy band jokes that have come his way over the course of his career.
Donnie is well-known for being a hardcore fan of the Boston Celtics, and has even narrated a documentary for ESPN about the team. Like Spike Lee for the Knicks or Jack Nicholson for the Lakers, Donnie is the Celtics’ most famous fan, and other Celtics fans love him for it. Mark, meanwhile, actually owns a portion of a sports team — the Barbados Tridents, a cricket franchise. Although, as New Yorkers, it pains us to say this, the Celtics are a much better-known, more relevant team in the United States, and therefore, we’re going to have to give this point to Donnie as well. It might be a controversial move, but in our opinion, basketball beat cricket any day.
In general, Donnie gives off the impression of being much more laid-back and fun to be around than his younger brother, who is prone to profanity-laden rants and violence. Mark seems like the kind of guy it would be fun to have a drink with every so often, but you’d probably always be worried that he would get you into some sort of altercation. Donnie, however, seems like better long-term-friend material; the kind of guy who will back you up in a fight, but who’s probably more interested in the basketball game than starting any trouble.
So, there you have it: with five points to one, Donnie is by far the better Wahlberg brother. Let’s hope his appearances on Wahlburgers only serve to make us like him more.