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, April 19, 2010

Iconic TV role: Christian Clemenson

Well educated and highly talented character actor Christian Clemenson has had one iconic role: attorney Jerry Espenson on "Boston Legal," one of the cleverest, best-written comedies ever to hit television.

Clemenson is a graduate of Phillips Academy; Harvard, where he began acting; and Yale's School of Drama. Before landing his celebrity-producing role as a multi-challenged yet brilliant lawyer, he had appeared on TV in "The Paper Chase" and "Family Ties" and in a few movies, including "The Big Lebowski" and "And the Band Played On."

As Jerry, often referred to as "Hands," he brilliantly played an Asperger sufferer whose hands were usually glued to the front of his legs just above the knees. He also made curious and unpredictable popping sounds and whoops suggestive of someone with Turette's syndrome. The Jerry character was about as socially adept as a fence post but was hired by the firm Crane, Poole and Schmidt because of his matchless legal acumen and ability to research a case.

Some of Clemenson's funniest moments as "Hands" came when he whipped out a wooden cigarette, a simple prop that somehow allowed him to break free of his usual diffidence, and turn into a fast-talking, dominant courtroom shark.

Thanks to Clemenson's talent, the Jerry character deserves to be remembered as one of TV's best.

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