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.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Iconic TV role: Jaleel White

From 1990 to 1998,African-American child actor Jaleel White, playing the part of Steve Urkel on the sitcom "Family Matters," was known as "America's favorite nerd."

Wearing mismatched outfits that included saddle oxfords, suspenders, and "high-water pants," White rapidly became the unquestioned star of that show. His versatility was such that he also played other recurring roles on that sitcom, most notably the smooth and worldly Stefan Urquelle, anti-nerd.

An older White acted in another sitcom, "Grown-Ups," during 1999 and 2000, but his claim to public memory remains as Steve Urkel.

White was able to show his talent prior to "Family Matters" in TV commercials and in small parts in "The Jeffersons," and another show or two.

Viewers who remembered White might have recognized him in a 2007 bit part on the wonderful comedy series "Boston Legal."

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