This week, People will coronate a new Sexiest Man Alive, and whoever takes the title from Matthew McConaughey shouldn’t take it lightly. Nick Nolte, 1992’s winner, reminisced, “I got a letter from People magazine that said, ‘We hope you respect this title and don’t do anything to demean it in any fashion.’ I don’t know what they thought I’d do—get arrested or something?” People managing editor Larry Hackett confirms that the Sexiest Man Alive is notified in writing—though the exact wording escapes him—that “you are being bestowed with this high honor and to wear the crown proudly.” What might disqualify a sexy candidate? “Anything that might sully their sexiness—a long-standing drug problem or boorishness toward small pets.” After the selection is made, People staffers are on eggshells: “There is always a possibility that the Sexy Man could do something unsexy as you approach the closing day. We all sit with our fingers crossed.” But once the Man has passed to Sexy Man Emeritus status, he’s no longer People’s problem. “While [Nolte] served, he did the title proud, though I don’t think he’s going to be reclaiming it anytime soon.”
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