Why do we love the things that we love? Why is something popular? What is “mainstream” and who decides what that is?
I have a pessimistic attitude toward life, for the most part. I feel like people in general are either too lazy or too dumb to know what they like, so they allow the radio/television/movie conglomerates to make up their minds for them.
With that said, the latest celebrity trend I’ve noticed is the “old and crazy” type. Why do you like Betty White? Because she’s sooooo silly! What does she do? You know, she shows up and is all old and adorable.
Let’s take a look at the current crop of old and sassy celebrities and try to examine what it is we love about them.
1. Betty White – A fun stereotype that people like to talk about is the “white girl.” You know, Starbucks and sweat pants and Ugg boots and “I can’t even right now.” And they love Betty White. Why? She’s her spirit animal, whatever that means. Betty White was on a hit show 20+ years ago (that I will admit to being a fan of), but why is she so popular now?
2. George Takei – Ohhhhh myyyy, what is it about this guy? Takei has created a nice social media presence for himself over the last few years, with his Twitter bio inviting us all to call him Uncle George. Takei jumped into the spotlight a few years ago for coming out at such an advanced age. He gets points for championing homosexual rights on social media. He gets those points taken away because most of the funny stuff he posts isn’t actually funny. It’s just lame double entendres and innocent pictures that could maybe look dirty.
3. William Shatner – This guy has made a career out of making fun of his career. And it has endeared him to the mass public. What’s the opposite of funny and clever? Find that word and use it to describe his Priceline commercials. But people don’t care, because he’s 83.
4. David Hasselhoff – His legitimate career included hits in Knight Rider and Baywatch. Then he was a 50-year-old drunken mess eating a cheeseburger on the floor. Go look up the video. It’s kind of sad. How did his career recover? He stayed out of the spotlight for a while, then popped back up as a crazy 60-year-old. He danced with LMFAO, he was on a Comedy Central roast, and he made a catch phrase: “Don’t hassle the Hoff.” Get it? It’s part of his name, but it’s also a word on its own.
5. Adam West – There are probably kids out there who have no clue this guy has been anything other than the Mayor on Family Guy. He was Batman. Not the cool Christian Bale one. Or the surprisingly effective Michael Keaton one. He’s probably above George Clooney’s Batman and somewhere in the neighborhood of Val Kilmer’s Batman. What did he do afterward? Not a lot. Then he became old and people realized he had a voice for cartoons. The rest is history.
6. Arnold Schwarzenegger is working his way onto the list. After his Governor duties were over he jumped back into action movies. But, he’s pushing 70 and nobody really cared to watch him anymore. So, what did he do? Put on a ridiculous wig and starred in a Bud Light commercial as a crazy old man.
Why do we like these old people? Are they offering anything entertaining? Betty White is a caricature of an old lady. Is it funny? David Hasselhoff is profiting by becoming the butt of the joke. Is it anything we want to see? George Takei isn’t even a person anymore. He’s a profile picture on social media putting out memes.
I don’t know. Is there an answer? People like what they like, I guess. Or, they don’t know any better and like what they’re told to.