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 15, 2010

Iconic TV role: Wenceslao Moreno

You'd have to be a geezer or geezerette to remember this one, and darn few oldsters would remember this fellow's name. More, however, would recall the name of the characgter he played: Senor Wences, the Spanish comic ventriloquist who charmed America on the long-ago "Ed Sullivan Show."

His best-remembered character was Johnny, a rudimentary face drawn on Senor Wences' hand in a way that allowed Johnny to "speak" when Wences moved his thumb.

His second most popular character was Pedro, who was a head in a small box. Wences would throw his voice to simulate a voice with a foreign accent coming from inside the box. Wences would look at the box and ask, "S'awright"? He then would open the box's lid, and a grumpy voice from within would answer loudly, "S'awright."

Wences, who usually performed in a tux, would also juggle and while doing so, carry on conversations with the ever-critical Johnny. He was on Ed Sullivan's program 48 times during the 1950s and early 1960s.

Wences died in 1999 at the remarkable age of 103.

No comments:

Post a Comment