Things that you wouldn't think would gather a huge fan following

This thread title is awkward, I know. Allow me to explain. A while ago on the boards (this might be years ago at this point) I remember reading a post that said something about how some things garner huge fan followings. Not just that people like them but they write fanfic about it and make websites devoted to them. TV shows like Star Trek or Dr. Who come to mind. I remember that poster using the TV show Frasier as an example of something that doesn’t. I don’t think I responded to that but I actually found that interesting as I’m a pretty huge Frasier fan. Not fanfic huge, but I can quote it and absolutely love it. A good friend of mine and I are big fans and we also have kind of a running tally of people who have been on/guested on Frasier who we’ve seen on Broadway. (We unfortunately missed Kelsey Grammer in La Cage–he was off the performance we went. Damn.) My brother and I also like to quote or mention random Frasier bits to each other or any time it gets referenced on other shows.

So…basically, my point is that even though you’re not going to see any Frasier conventions any time soon, it’s somehow reached cult status among at least 3 people. Are there any other things that don’t seem like they’d be intensely popular but that you really, REALLY like?

zYour last question and your OP title don’t seem to be the same question.

But answering the title question: Boba Fett. That stumps me completely.

You can add my best friend to your Frasier cult. She rarely watches TV, and owns no DVDs except for the complete Frasier series. She just pops a Frasier into the DVD player every night before bed.

Things that have a bigger fan following than I would expect:

  • A&E’s Hoarders TV show. I enjoy watching it, but it boggles my mind that it’s become a huge cult hit and the most popular show on A&E. With so many reality shows to choose from, it’s fascinating that one about these incredibly strange, dysfunctional people would strike such a cord.

  • Modern Broadway musicals. I remember how surprised I was to learn that the relatively recent version of The Scarlet Pimpernel on Broadway had a huge devoted fan base. There are other musicals that have a similar cult following.

My personal cult is the Colbert Nation, but that’s neither a small fan base nor very surprising.

Sorry, Stoid. Maybe the thread title should be more like things that you wouldn’t think would get a rabid cult following? I mean, obviously Frasier was very popular but you don’t normally think of it as reaching cult status.

I didn’t know that about modern Broadway musicals myself. Something like Wicked, I could see, but the more obscure ones…interesting. I guess there’s probably a huge fan base for almost anything…

The whole Juggalos thing confuses me. To me, Insane Clown Posse was just some below-average Hip-Hop band I was vaguely aware of. Suddenly they had this rabid fan base of face-painting lunatics following them everywhere.

Here’s a really unattractive and clearly fan-built site for Billy Elliott - The Musical

Oh, yikes.

Now that I think about it a bit more, I can actually think of people who have gotten really into some. Do you know Spring Awakening? I know of a few people who absolutely love it. I saw it in '07 and thought it was OK but not brilliant. But I think it’s got its share of huge fans. And the main actress in it (Lea Michele) did go on to do Glee, so…not exactly obscure. To me, though, it felt like it was trying so hard to be Rent 2.0 that it was hard for me to enjoy it. If I’d seen it in high school I might have become a huge fan, though.

There is fanfic of Frasier out there in the world. I’m not responsible for any of it, but I’ve read it, and it’s great. I wish there was a Frasier fandom (or a larger fandom for sitcoms in general).

I don’t understand why anime is popular among children or adults, but I guess it is. The reason for this will forever elude me. But that’s okay. Sometimes I really, really like old B-grade horror movies and the weird magic I find there eludes a lot of people.

“Anime” is much more a format than a genre. You might as well ask why live-action films 90-120 minutes in length are popular to see in dark theaters.

I found it very weird and bemusing when the guy who couldn’t sing from the American Idol auditions had enough of a fan base to get a CD released. Was his last name Hung?

So weird. Why listen to someone who can’t sing when there are so many fabulous singers in the world, most of them without recording contracts.

They became super popular? Wow, I remember them from the mid-90’s. I worked at Meijer in metro-Detroit area and they were only popular there. I had no idea they had continued to be popular.

Anime? You mean animated movies out of Asia? That’s a pretty broad topic. You should be more specific and pick out a few movies or shows that baffle you. It can’t be all animated work from Asia, can it?

I can’t understand:

Dead celebrities: there’s still people that offer weed to Jim Morrison’s gravestone, dress up like Elvis, or light candles on the Big Bopper’s death day. Most of these people, afaik, never even heard the act live. I can understand mourning Michael Jackson for 10 years or so, but for a brand new generation born after their death to pick it up is just weird to me.

Nike shoes: I had 3 pairs in my life, and all three of them melted within 6 months. I never bought another pair again. I have purchased 2 pairs of Reeboks. One lasted for 10+ years, the other (I still have now) is reaching 10 years. Other shoes I own regularly last 1-10 years, and most of them can be repaired. Nikes, on the other hand, simply disintegrated. Usually, the soles wear out first within 3 months, then the sides split, then the sole completely falls off, then the shoelaces fray and fall apart.

I wish had a bigger following:

Old arcade games: most of them still hold up well today compared to the thumb-controlled crap that dominates the market. However, those of us who still play the older games seems to get smaller and smaller every year.

Smoking: Until smokers stand up for their own rights, people are going to keep taking them away.

I think there’s some objective reasons for this. A lot of the anime that’s popular here combines angsty melodrama, absurd/“silly” humor, and big explode-y action. These elements are like drugs for tweens, especially since anime also still has an outsider element to it. And there’s a lot of plot and character density, so if, say, you like Yu-Gi-Oh, you can REALLY get into it since there’s a huge rabbit hole to fall down.

As for the kids’ stuff, I think it’s basically a case where it’s cheap to translate and easy to market, especially since releasing stuff like Pokemon means you have tons of preexisting tie-in merch.

Really? You didn’t know that guy in highschool? The one who thought wearing a pot-leaf t-shirt to school was the height of cool, loved talking about how he couldn’t wait to be done with “stupid school,” and wore one of those tiny silver crosses to to show he was really sensitive to all the “hos” but would yell “HEY RETARD!” when the shy girl who didn’t talk much walked into the room? His name was quite possibly Jesse, maybe Travis. No? Lucky you!

I worked for a few years at the library that houses and archives the papers and other effects of Flannery O’Connor. While I knew who she was before going there and that she was still very widely read in literature courses, I was surprised to learn how many rabid fans she has today. The place was visited constantly and not just by academics and researchers but by fans from all walks of life who made the trek to a very out-of-the-way city to see the exhibits.

Tries to imagine the sort of people who would write fan-fiction about Sarah Palin, Barack Obama or Dr. Ron Paul…

Are a lot of jerks named Travis? I know a couple.

Fair enough. Now I realize why at least some people like this stuff, and I have two and-a-half reasons why I dislike it (explosions, for me, are cool about half the time). Ignorance fought.

Tomorrow we shall have to talk about plant managers and mothers-in-law . . .