Celebrity v. Stardom v. Fame

Still photo from on-set of WKRP

Still photo from on-set of WKRP

One of the assets behind American Age is just about anything “Americana” — articles, essay’s, poems, opinions, or editorials but is not limited to all things American. Therefore, when asking a person what is American or Americana, the answers range just about off the blotter!

However we believe that if we were to take a survey on what is the most Americana of America, we suggest that people would most likely say, “Hollywood” or movies, films, Beverly Hills, and of course, those actors, actresses, musicians, and just about anyone associated with show business would assuredly come to mind. So when you think of something uniquely American, what do you think of – celebrity, stardom, or something else?
Ah-ha! Although these issues dominate the magazine industry, tabloid newspapers, television, radio, and certainly the blogosphere and for those we’ve asked there remains – timidity and trepidation – with most having a difficult problem even defining the differences between these words – fame, celebrity, and stardom within the context of Americana.
I once watched Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon of The Tonight Show literally go on about this very topic for days, weeks, even years. Segue our understanding of what these identifiers are and furthermore, we ask our readers to share with us their opinions as well, especially people who find themselves in any one particular category. So off we go. . .
If one has been to this site previously then you would already know our qualifiers for celebrity status. If one hasn’t been to our site before then please see this article here, and here, and then again click here
How then do we define what a celebrity is? Here are some simple questions to think about first: Does a celebrity have to be a person or a member of the human race? Are celebrities famous? If so that would be the ‘fame’ side, therefore, we must make a distinction between being a celebrity and being a famous person. Moreover, does a celebrity or even a famous person need to possess honorable attributes?
I can clearly remember Johnny Carson and sidekick, Ed McMahon, dueling over: “…well, Mr. Ed was a celebrity, as was Seabiscuit, Arnold, Babe, Lassie, Kermit, Miss Piggy, and Burt and Ernie, and these celebrities weren’t human…some of them were puppets or even animated…like say, oh Mickey Mouse.” Carson was adamant…well let’s say that a celebrity is a ‘person of notoriety.’ Hmm, that hardly worked either – “how did the person or thing achieve notoriety,” Ed would say laughingly.
More coming tomorrow…
 
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