For years television specials and entertainment magazines have rolled out the “Where Are They Now?” feature for celebrities who dominated the zeitgeist for a brief interval before sinking back into the routine anonymity most of us inhabit. Those specials were alternately funny, depressing and inspiring, depending on who ended up where.
But with the advent of the Internet, some ex-celebrities getting the “Where Are They Now?” treatment were never even really considered celebrities. Their brief flirtation with a modicum of fame was barely a flicker, but here we are, reading about them as if we shared some stake in their future.
Take, for example, the “Dude, You’re Getting a Dell” guy. Remember him? No, not the blond-haired cellphone guy who’s always picking on the nerds. And not the other, nerdy “Can you hear me now?” guy. Those guys are still about 11 minutes deep into their 15 minutes of fame. I’m talking about this guy.
You may remember Steven the Dell dude as the spokesman for the computer company, until getting caught buying pot and Dell dropped him. I think the Dell dude looks pretty good! He’s got a rockin’ Mohawk, likes his job, and is trying to make it big with his band. It seems like he’s got a positive outlook on things.
Most importantly, he’s not suffering under the delusion that he’s destined for immortality in the dramatic arts after delivering a corporate catchphrase on six or seven commercials. It’s tempting to try to derive some significance from the rise and fall of Steven the Dell Dude. But perhaps it’s wiser just to wish him the best, refrain from the snarky barbs so abundant on showbiz blogs, and hope he manages to retain a sense of perspective about celebrity or the lack thereof.
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