I’m not talking about people you don’t think have any talent. I’m not looking for the Britney Spearses or Carrot-Tops. However sucky they may be, you know what they did or do to be in the celebrity realm.
Throughout your life, though, you have seen the people I am talking about. On game shows, mostly. Or just hanging out at Hollywood events, looking and acting like a star. But you have nary a guess as to how they got there.
Let’s start with the gimmes, from the old game shows “To Tell the Truth” and “Match Game”
(The nearly equally useless Charles Nelson Reilly, I remember, had some roles on some Saturday morning kids’ shows, and did some cartoon voices, if not other things.)
That scary guy with the long mop of blond hair and glasses in the tie-dyed shirts on the new Hollywood Squares.
Well, that last guy is Bruce Villanche (sp?). While he isn’t exactly a household name (or face, thank GOD) he’s pretty huge in Hollywood as one of the top writers I believe. Especially well known for writing Oscars’ banter I think.
The one I’d toss out there is Whoopie Goldberg. Yeah, now I know she’s an actress, but its almost as if people started casting her because she was well known…not well known because of her acting. God knows she’s talentless, but in the 80’s before she was in anything everyone knew her already.
How about Bob Uecker, I mean what did he do to get in that first Miller commercial? Uecker = baseball, but why?
Jimmy Kimmel. Went from being pretty much unknown and suddenly he’s everywhere … on “Win Ben Stein’s Money”, “The Man Show”, did some pre-game on some NFL shows last year. Where the hell did he come from to be so popular so quick?
A number of years ago Jimmy Kimmel was on the morning radio show on a rock station here in L.A.
The story goes that he met Adam Carolla when Adam waited outside the studios all day and begged to let him coach Jimmy in an upcoming boxing match which would be held against someone else (I forget who). The radio staion was gonna give the spot as his coach as a 17th caller whealie-dealie but Jimmy convinced them to let Adam do it because Adam had many years of training as a boxer. They liked Adam so much, they put him on the morning show and then later on Loveline which got so popular because of Adam’s “wit” that it went national on MTV as a TV show. By then Jimmy had the job on Win Ben Stein’s Money. The two have been close friends through the whole thing and pitched The Man Show. The rest is an alcohol induced history.
Why they’re famous? Who knows. But they didn’t just pop out of nowhere.
I’m sure Liv Tyler got into the biz on her daddy’s name, but she’s built up a decent body (heh heh) of work throughout her life. I’m pretty sure she was on the New Mickey Mouse Club, possibly a couple of childrens’ shows, and of course her daddy’s videos.
I don’t have a cite, but I’m pretty sure Regis Philbin has been in broadcasting in one form or another since the 60’s, if not the 50’s. Probably a local newscast here and there, some national sportscasting hither and yon, and he worked his way up to the WWTBAM gig.
I thought maybe you started this thread after reading the Vanity Fair article on the Gabors (ZsaZsa, Eva, and Magda). Vanity Fair noted just that: they were famous for being famous.
Brett Somers, IIRC, was somebody’s wife. She filled in at the last minute when her husband was a Match Game guest, and while he was a dud on the show, she really clicked. So they kept her without asking him back. Fer the life of me, I can’t remember whose wife she is, though.
Whoopi first attracted notice as a comic. She had her own HBO special and her humor was pretty insightful. She played four characters–a little girl, a crippled woman, a drug addict, and someone else. It was from there that she started getting movie roles.
How about Rula Lenska?
This thread depresses me when I realize my kid will one day be throwing names out there in a similar discussion, that mean a lot to me right now.