Were there unwilling/accidental celebrities before the Internet?
July 25, 2008 1:59 PM Subscribe
Looking for examples of accidental/unwitting/unwilling celebrities, before the Internet. Help me find the Star Wars Kids, Afroninjas, and Tay Zondays of the pre-1990s.
posted by waxpancake to society & culture (45 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I'm doing a talk at ROFLThing
in late August, and I want to talk about unwilling or accidental celebrities. You'd think there would be historical examples of people who became famous for embarrassing actions before the age of the Internet, but I'm having a very hard time finding them. Were there accidental celebrities in the '60s, '70s, and '80s? How about the Victorian era?
Finding unwitting celebrities is much easier, with the entire genre of outsider art and outsider music. It's easy to make the argument that Tay Zonday and William Hung are the direct descendants of Wesley Willis and Tiny Tim, but they were very willing participants in their celebrity.
I'm more interesting in people that became famous accidentally, real or fictional, before the Internet. Bonus points for anything before 1970. Thank you!