Everyone Wants To Be Pope [Or At Least Oprah]

Lets look ourselves in the mirror and admit it. We’d like to be famous. So famous that just our first name on a marquee will light up the world. Frank…Sammy…Dean…Elvis….Fonzie…Judy…Marilyn…Cher…Hillary.

Lately there’s also names like Oprah…Ellen…Katie…Jay…Dave. Wait a minute! What songs or roles do they do? Well, lets see now. None! They’re not famous for what they do, but for the famous people they interview. So does fame rub off? Well, I guess it does. Apparently being in its light is enough for today’s celebrity-hungry audiences.

A personal story to make the point.

I was the masked guest-speaker at a Bob Newhart Roast some years ago. Sitting on the dais waiting my turn, several women came by to ask for my autograph. I whispered something like, “I’m just a friend of Bob,” but they giggled insisting, “Come on, you’re someone famous!” There they were, close enough to touch me so I simply HAD to be famous.

Fame is the addiction of the anonymous. Exposing itself every time a television cameras shows up into which you can wave. And while some fame is earned by talent, some by luck, lately there is also some earned simply by being there. Where…? In a TV studio where the host works up the crowd like a pitchman in a traveling carny, where they bring up the goofiest folks there to make fools of on a closeup. Especially where some network has decided to shoot on the cheap they laughably call a “reality show.”

This, my friends, is what has brought us the likes of Snookie and The Housewives of New Jersey. Subsidized geeks for the perverse pleasures of viewers who actually think to themselves: “Now why couldn’t I be famous like them?”

The raw-bone fact of the matter is this. Each of us IS famous. To several special someones out there. Their names…? It’s not “audience.” It’s “family & friends.” Just possibly the greatest audience of them all.

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