Posts Tagged: Fame

"Illmatic" At 20, Nas At 40

The problem for living legends is that they have to live with their legends. This is especially so when their legend was a product of their youth and its mindset, which they outgrow, becoming legendary, but which you still see in them, knowing their legend much more than you know them. Imagine Achilles enfeebled. Imagine his pain and confusion if, having grown out of his strength, he looked still like a breaker of men.

Like this is Nas, who became famous with his second album, in 1996, but who made his name with his first album, "Illmatic," twenty years ago, and likes to rap about how he still [...]


Shall I Compare Thee to a Tournament Rose Dipped in Whipped Cream?

• "She holds out her right arm to show me her tattoo of Marilyn Monroe. All that remains of Marilyn is a few drops of black against skin that is the color the moon possesses in the thin air of northern winters."—Stephen Marche on Megan Fox, Esquire, February 2013.

• "Her skin is lined and slightly worn and depends on light from other sources—from her eyes, from her smile, even from the hounding incandescence of television."—Tom Junod on Hillary Clinton, Esquire, February 2008.

• "I can't help but notice her skin. It's the smoothest skin I've seen outside of a Clinique ad."—A.J. Jaocbs on Rosario Dawson, Esquire, [...]


The "Louie" Bubble: Making Louis C.K. Human-Sized Again

First in a series of two essays today on Louis C.K. Next: Super-Stud in Divorceland.

Let me start with a couple of stipulations:

(1) Identifying bubbles in real-time is notoriously difficult, and;

(2) I really, truly love Louis C.K. I’ve tried (and failed) on multiple occasions to see him live; I’ve watched all of his specials, including some of his weird, almost unrecognizable early appearances in Boston clubs; I’ve even, despite knowing full-well that one should never, ever do this, recounted his routines, through snorts of my own laughter, to my politely smiling friends.

Nonetheless: I’m ready to declare that we are, right now, in [...]


Arnold Schwarzenegger So Far

Spawned by a stern former Nazi Sturmabteilunger who disliked him and believed that he was someone else's son, Arnold Schwarzenegger spent years torturing his body into an exaggerated caricature. This expression of dysmorphia led him on a path to riches in America's film industry, much as dysmorphic expressions of emaciation do for women. After accumulating tens of millions of dollars, it seemed a convenient parlay of attention and cash into running the whole state in which the film industry resided, and he announced his campaign for governor of California on the "Tonight Show with Jay Leno."

To this day, no one knows how tall he is.


The Highly-Authentic Ghost of Townes Van Zandt

The twelfth highest-grossing film in America this past week was Country Strong. In it, Goop plays Kelly Canter, a boozed-out, decrepit country star just looking for another chance. Tim McGraw tackles the role of James Canter, the long-suffering cardigan that also happens to be her husband, manager and occasional tormentor. Leighton Meester is Chiles Stanton, a sweet young thing making the leap from pageants to the music biz. Garrett Hedlund is Beau Hutton, a dreamy rehab janitor who lives to play the honky-tonks. It's the second film from Shana Feste—not a stage name—and Tobey Maguire snagged a production credit.

I saw it recently, on the smallest, dingiest screen at [...]


Celebrities Behind Bars! A Comprehensive Study of Bad Behavior and Forgiveness

As reliable as March Madness or a fall fashion issue, every year the American public is rocked in its mores by several extremely high-profile displays of bad behavior on the part of our own faithfully erected idols. When one of these events occurs-say, the dramatic exposure of Janet Jackson's nipple during the most watched television event of the year, or the release of blood-curdling phone conversations with Mel Gibson-there are always two competing impulses: outrage and tolerance. Over time, as both the celebrity and the public go on about their lives (and the publicists go on about their damage control) and the full nature and context of the mishap settles [...]


R&B Crooner Of Yore Tries 21st-Century Fame On For Size

If Al B. Sure, also known as the man who gave our ears the New Jack Swing pinnacle "Nite And Day" has to go on TV to find love, is there hope for any of us in this crazy world? Probably not, right? I haven't even mentioned that he's doing so on a show that presents as its "prize" the Trump-groomed reality-villain prototype Omarosa! [Via]


Who Wants To Be Luke Skywalker?

In the few weeks before the auditions there was a bubbling sense of excitement which reminded me of the beginning of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. A huge film enterprise, thus far closed to mere mortals, was to let two chosen people not only appear in the film but also perhaps take on lead roles.

I was working at my receptionist job at a local community center in Edinburgh the morning it was announced that Disney and Lucasfilm were holding open auditions for a ‘Major Hollywood Movie.’

"I’m too old, dammit," said Victoria, of the cafe volunteers, "and also they want beautiful, so that [...]


The Poetry Of Ally Sheedy: A Look Back

February marked the twenty-first anniversary of the publication of a book of poems by the gifted actor Ally Sheedy. It was called Yesterday I Saw the Sun, and she was famously excoriated for it. Sheedy was then 28 years old and coming off a very bad patch, including a stint at Hazelden; she had picked up an addiction to Halcion during an ill-fated fling with Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora, and her friend Demi Moore is said to have scooped up the remains of Sheedy and posted them to rehab by way of an intervention. Terrible business, but the braying press went after her anyway. "Ally Sheedy from bad to [...]


How to Work with Famous People's Kids

It happens all the time in New York City. You're churning away in your new cubicle, and then, with one fervent IM from a buddy, you discover that you work with a child of the rich, famous or rich and famous. It could be almost anyone! For instance, if you toil at the AOLington HuffPost, perhaps you are sitting near some dude named Theo, who is the son of Steven Spielberg. This exchange, which did not happen, is definitely how you should handle that situation best.

SavingPrivateIMs: yo man

Theo88: Hi. Who is this?

SavingPrivateIMs: its Eddie. from the other side of the office. whats up man? how you [...]


My Two Days as a Russian Tabloid Sensation

Had I bothered to put “walk through Moscow in a tuxedo” on my list of things to do in this life, I could now safely check it off. The sidestreet in front of the theater was a static maze of Benzes and Bentleys, with no place to pull up. Arriving as I was in a regular taxi, the jam gave me a face-saving chance to get off around the corner and hoof it to the red carpet from there.

The Russian GQ had rented out the theater, a hideous 1990s edifice glowing at the sidestreet’s end, to hold its Man of the Year awards: “the unofficial start,” in the breathless [...]


Don't Ever Say "Courtney Love" Three Times While Looking in a Mirror

This weekend's walk-about with Courtney Love in the Times was both excellent and at the same time fundamentally indistinguishable from any other long-form profile of Love written in the last twenty or so years. There is a simple and straightforward reason for this. Courtney is the Dorian Gray of the American celebrity-industrial complex. Her public face shows us exactly what we want to see, while her private face is revolting (and even aging) and seeing the two in close proximity unsettles the viewer on an almost biological level. There's no denying that Love can be personally unpleasant; a former co-worker who went on to be Courtney's assistant [...]


Fame and Fortune! Tokyo Girl Group Star Exchanges Schoolgirl Outfit for Nudity

AKB48, the 48-girl pop group named after Tokyo's legendary nerd quarter, Akihabara, is big in Japan. Like, ridiculously huge, Justin Bieber in a Miley-Cyrus-Taylor Momsen sandwich big.

Naturally, they're looking to expand globally.


Tina Fey Wants It

The "Tina Fey backlash" sparked by Tiger Beatdown's Sady Doyle in a recent essay about which you all had a lot to say is apparently over. Or at least that's the verdict of New York, which cites an essay in Salon for the cessation of hostilities. (Follow all that?) I think the entire discussion was a rather interesting one, bringing up as it did the uncertainty that still surrounds elements of feminism and our as yet unresolved idea of a woman's role in this modern world. That said, my own issue with Tiny Fey is of a different variety: I have a problem with the [...]


Stars Doomed

"The results are interesting of themselves as they suggest an inherent hazard of a public career and that all that glitters is not necessarily gold." —Psychologist Honey Langcaster-James, on a study conducted by researchers at the University of Queensland and the University of New South Wales that shows that professional performers—actors, singers, musicians, athletes—tend to die younger than people in other fields of work. Everyone has know this for a long time, of course. Especially Bad Company and Bon Jovi. (And Led Zeppelin and Neil Young.)


"Louie" in Divorceland, Where a Fun Schlub is a Super-Stud

Second in a pair of essays today on Louis C.K. Previously: The Louie Bubble.

Winter is the season of television discontent. Months remain before the third season of "Louie" and the second season isn’t on DVD yet. I was late to "Louie," but once I started, I couldn’t stop. I spent a summer weekend in a sweaty fugue state in my hotbox of a 6th-floor Brooklyn apartment, unable to move, obsessively watching the entire first season. I got to an episode where his daughters are off with their mother for a week and he goes on a bender of pizza, ice cream and pot, and then I [...]


Early Drafts Of The First Part Of The Line "I've Had Sex Four Times This Week I'll Explain/Having A Hard Time Adjusting To Fame…" From Drake's New Song

1) I've had ice-cream four times this week 2) I've had diarrhea four times this week 3) I saw Something Borrowed in the theater twice


Since You Asked: What Is A "Rebecca Black"?

On Fridays, we take requests. A reader writes: "It's sad that I rely on your blog so much in order to have relevant things to say in conversations about recent viral videos. And I understand—one day is pretty quick to come up with something to say about this amazing tome of teen angst that picked up seven million views yesterday. But come on."

Well, that email was from 30 hours ago, and now it has 16 million views on YouTube. So here is what we know. 13-year-old amateur Rebecca Black's song "Friday," which was a song purchased and recorded for two grand from a vanity label, is about [...]


11 Famous People We Just Realized We Don't Really Know Who They Are

Hoda Kotb

Sheldon Adelson

Taylor Swift

Larry Burstein


Notes on 'Camp MTV'

Monday marks the unofficial beginning of summer. For Here Comes Summer, we asked folks to explain its magic. And is there anything more magical than appearing on TV?

"God gives each of us only what we can handle" was advice a lesbian bike messenger and Brussels Griffon owner gave me when I expressed guilt about our relative suffering. She had just shared with me a harrowing story about growing up poor in the South with a father who sexually abused her, following my own disclosure that I had a terrible time at sleep-away camp when I was ten.