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Happy 50th birthday, Joss Whedon!

Joss Whedon hugging Alyson Hannigan
Joss Whedon hugging Alyson HanniganPhoto by Mike Windle

Monday, June 23, 2014 is the 50th birthday of writer, director and pop culture icon Joss Whedon. Best known for being the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, he is also the director of the mega-hit Avengers films. The internet is celebrating Whedon's birthday with tons of articles, lists and well wishes.

Digital Spy has posted a list of their 15 favorite Whedonverse characters. Coming in at number one is Buffy Summers, played by Sarah Michelle Gellar - no surprise there! Their second choice is Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, played by Alexis Denisof on Buffy and Angel. Other characters that made the cut include Dr. Horrible from the titular short musical and Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly. There are no characters listed from Dollhouse or Whedon's latest show, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

There is a large list of the 50 best Whedon quotes from MTV. "If I find out I have to write today and nothing else, that’s a perfect day" is one of many quotes relating to the craft of writing and making pop culture. Another poignant quote is, "All worthy work is open to interpretations the author did not intend. Art isn’t your pet — it’s your kid. It grows up and talks back to you."

UpRoxx has very interesting Whedon trivia that many people may not know. They listed eight films that he was involved in that people generally don't know about. These include his work on dialogue in Speed and script work for Waterworld.

One of the coolest things posted in honor of Whedon's birthday is from Zap2it. There is a video of his first writing credit on Roseanne, a season 2 episode called "The Little Sister." It's clear that he wrote the episode when you hear lines like, "You sit up there on your pedestal, act like some big, high and mighty, self-righteous ... pedestal-type person." Whedon is known for his witty, silly dialogue.

Finally, there's another list from Digital Spy - it's a sad one for Whedon fans. They are five projects that never got to happen. It includes his Wonder Woman film, the Rupert Giles-centric series Ripper and another BtVS spinoff featuring Faith Lehane, played by Eliza Dushku.

It's wonderful to see the internet celebrating the amazing work of Joss Whedon, geek extraordinaire.