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, April 7, 2009

One-time movie icon Paul Reubens

Paul Reubens, born Paul Reubenfeld, has made his celebrity mark in ways both good and not so good. His more positive celebrity came by way of his hit movie Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985), in which he played the title role.

Reubens worked up his Pee-wee persona in the 1970s while doing improv with the comedy troupe The Groundlings. He appeared in The Blues Brothers (1980), had a couple more small parts in films,and in 1981 appeared in LA's club Roxy. But his big break was the Big Aventure movie in 1985. Other small roles have followed since that time.

The Pee-wee Herman character was small, slight, dweebish, shy and naive in an elfin way. Children identified with him; many adults found him slightly creepy.

Reubens' ability to charm the small fry earned him his own Saturday morning TV show in 1986: Pee-wee's Playhouse.

It was following the close of that show that, while visiting his parents in Sarasota, Florida, Reubens attended an X-rated triple feature at an adult theater. Undercover cops there arrested him and he was charged with indecent exposure for playing with himself during one of the shows. Reubens issued denials bu pled no contest and paid a small fine.

In 2002, he again was arrested, this time on child pornography charges. Police searched his home and found a collection of erotica that Reubens said he considered art. He was allowed to plead to a lesser obscenity charge.

Some people still find him creepy, but Hollywood is a very forgiving place.

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