It's Oscars time. Somebody wake the Grouch.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Stars on Ice! Sort of...

As anyone who's lived in America for longer than 6 months knows, America loves her dead stars. From Marilyn Monroe posters to rhapsodizing about Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin's music, to running repeats of Peanuts in over a jillion newspapers, America proves that being alive is not a prerequisite to being a celebrity.

Currently Lucille Ball is America's most beloved dead star (followed by Regulus Minor in the constellation of Cornucopia...OK, that was just a little astronomy joke.) Walt Disney would be at the top of the list, but as his head is rumoured to be cryogenically preserved in a vault somewhere in the San Gabriel Mountains (or possibly the Haunted Mansion ride...at least it looked like Walt), he is technically not eligible for the dead star roster.

Dead celebrities can still do ads as well. John Wayne can still swagger through beer commercials as though he were full of the real thing. Fred Astaire dances with a vacuum cleaner, even though he never touched one in real life, as his housemaid Conchita did all the vacuuming. There are even reports of remaking George Romero's Night of the Living Dead one more time, with real dead celebrities in the roles of the zombies. Unfortunately, they've run into real problems getting contracts signed, if you know what I mean.

In fact, dead stars are such the rage that many living celebrities are considering snuffing themselves, just for the publicity. The only reason Katie Holmes agreed to marry Tom Cruise is because he declared that he would eat a hand grenade if she didn't. He reportedly still tells people (well, the coterie of Scientologists he surrounds himself with) that he could have got on the cover of Time if he had run over himself with a Zamboni, but loves Katie so much that he settled for the cover of People and The Star. Much couch-bouncing ensues after he says this kind of thing.

So the next time you're thinking about meeting someone famous, remember...they could be a real stiff, and that's much hipper than some live egomaniac with an attitude and an entourage.

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