About this Blog

"In the future everybody will be world-famous for 15 minutes." So said the bleached-out, late lamented artist Andy Warhol. Having lived and worked in New York City, Warhol came to fully grasp the hold celebrity has on us. In this very famous sentence, he meant to point out that in a culture fixated on fame, many people will suddenly flash brightly onto the public screen, then--poof--will just as quickly disappear from public view--like shooting stars. Other individuals derive their celebrity from one stellar accomplishment (one hit song, one iconic role, etc.) that they never again match.

This blog is devoted to the one part of our celebrity culture that no one has written much about: temporary/one-shot celebrities.

The pace of modern life has quickened, and now we hear people speaking of someone's 15 seconds of fame. These "celebrities with a lower-case c" who will appear in this blog sometimes come to us from the world of entertainment, sometimes from the world of news. All are fascinating.

The need of our communications media for a continual stream of new material assures that we will have no end of colorful people who go quickly, where celebrity is concerned, from zero to hero (or villain) and back to zero. Now you see 'em, now you don't. What a crazy world, eh?

Temporary celebrities coming from the world of entertainment include one-hit recording artists; TV and movie icons who, although they might have had a great many accomplishments in their career, are remembered for one big role; standouts of reality TV; sports figures remembered for one remarkable accomplishment; and people whose celebrity came from one big role in a commercial or print ad.

News-based temporary celebrities come in many forms: mass/serial killers, other murderers of special note, sex-crime offenders, disgraced figures of government/military/business/media/religion, spies/traitors, hoaxers, femmes/hommes fatale, heroes, whistle blowers, inventors/innovators, and victims.

Celebrity Blogsburg will consider each category in turn.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Advertising icons Jose Duval & Carlos Sanchez

Jose Duval and Carlos Sanchez share a commercial distinction; both played the part off fictitious coffee bean gatherer Juan Valdez of Colombia.

The trade character Juan Valdez was originated in 1959, not for a particular company, but for the National Federation of Coffee Growers.

The Valdez character wears a sombrero and an serape and is usually pictured leading his trusty burro Lana as they trudge the lush landscape picking only the finest coffee beans (and presumably dodging drug dealers).

The two men differ in that the first, Duval, was a professional actor from New York. Duval was Valdez for a decade, then was replaced with the real McCoy. The second, Sanchez actually had been a coffee farmer in Colombia.

One of the best of all the many Juan Valdez commercials was set in a coffee house rather than in the great out-of-doors. Standing at the counter are two revoltingly trendy yuppies who place an exasperatingly prissy order for two designer coffees. Then up comes a beautiful girl, who tells the guy behind the counter, "I'll have what he's having," pointing to a quiet corner where sit Juan Valdez and Lana the burro. Sic semper yuppii.

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