Lady Gaga takes a public tumble– and we watch avidly, just as we watched J. Lo fall, then fall again on YouTube, then yet again in a spoof on ELLEN. Aerosmith’s erstwhile Steven Tyler landed in the hospital, and landed more publicity than he’s had in years. What is it about stars these days, falling? Are they suddenly falling more often, onstage? Or are we/our media’s ever-present cameras just working harder to catch them– and then play them again and again?
As librettist of Tonya & Nancy: the Rock Opera, I am a figure skating fan. In our show, the actress playing scandal-skater Tonya Harding mimes an excruciating slow-motion fall onstage– mocking the TV technique so overused in the most recent Winter Olympics. I felt black and blue just watching. Are the skaters falling more often too or is it just that each fall is shown over and over, afterwards, in slow-motion?
To me, this new fixation on celebrity pratfalls is of-a-piece with the cruel cellulite close-ups of celebrity ‘beach bodies’. Even an intrepid tabloid-buyer like me is turned off by those stomach-turning supermarket-stand covers.
With even the regal Tiger Woods being dragged through mud (albeit mud of his own making) I’m wondering if any celeb. can stride onstage these days without eventually taking a public pratfall. Isn’t the public hunger for such high-school-level humiliations getting a little, well, embarrassing? (And BTW, which high-profile ‘falls’ have you most enjoyed watching?)
PS: thanks to ‘Livvy’ for pointing out this recent shameful beauty pageant incident, in which Miss USA tripped & was booed…PPS: & thanks to Jeff S. for THE 11 CRAZIEST PALIN STORIES OF THE YEAR; apparently 10 was not enough…
(photos– J.Lo:celebrity-gossip.ca; Gaga: beholdthedestroyer.com; S. Tyler: tmc.com)