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‘Hey, you look like Adam Sandler.’ ‘Yeah, I know.’

Actor Adam Sandler… spotted in a pizza place in New Hampshire.

Whimsy columnist CLIVE WILLIAMS says being a celebrity usually implies a favourable public image, as opposed to someone who is merely “famous” or “notable”, or even worse – “infamous” or “notorious”. 

Celebrity actor Adam Sandler relates: “I was in New Hampshire with my family at a pizza place. The kid working there goes: ‘Hey, you look like Adam Sandler.’ I said: ‘Yeah, I know.’ He goes: “What’s your name?” I go: ‘Adam Sandler.’ And he goes: ‘Whoa, that’s a coincidence!’.”

Clive Williams.

Being a celebrity usually implies a favourable public image, as opposed to someone who is merely “famous” or “notable”, or even worse – “infamous” or “notorious”. 

A celebrity usually has a background in an area of public entertainment – such as movies, music, writing, or sports. Given the high-profile activities of the Sussexes, one might add them to the list.

Those with widespread press coverage and elite associations are termed “A-list celebrities”. Less popular persons and teen idols are referred to as “B-list celebrities”, while ones with lesser fame still are termed “C-list celebrities”. The derogatory term “Z-list celebrity” typically refers to persons who have limited fame and recognition – often associated with reality TV shows or brief moments of public attention.

Lists of celebrities vary, but one 2024 (American) list of the top 10 celebrities based on their “influence, achievements, and global recognition” is as follows: 

  • Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Lionel Messi
  • Elon Musk
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Dwayne Johnson
  • Taylor Swift
  • Selena Gomez
  • Kim Kardashian
  • Justin Bieber
  • Beyonce

Some cultures adulate celebrities. That’s particularly the case in America. Some years ago, I had American friends staying with me in Canberra and they were hugely impressed by the fact that a friend had just had lunch with Olivia Newton-John.

In the UK and Australia, it’s of course considered impolite to show that you recognise a celebrity, who might be, for example, dining in the same restaurant as you. 

There’s a tendency to attribute celebrities with capabilities outside the range of what they are best known for. It beats me for example, why anyone would pay to watch a celebrity actor or actress playing celebrity tennis. 

Clearly, despite their fame, many celebrities are not the sharpest tool in the shed, as indicated by the following comments from movie stars, singers, and the world of sport:

“Whenever I watch TV and see those poor starving kids all over the world, I can’t help but cry. I mean I’d love to be skinny like that, but not with all those flies and death and stuff.” – Mariah Carey

“Smoking kills. If you’re killed, you’ve lost a very important part of your life,” – Brooke Shields

“I don’t feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.” – John Wayne

“I think that the film Clueless was very deep. I think it was deep in the way that it was very light. I think lightness has to come from a very deep place if it’s true lightness.” – Alicia Silverstone, actress

“I get to go to lots of overseas places, like Canada.” – Britney Spears, American actress

“The band never actually split up – we just stopped speaking to each other and went our separate ways.” – Boy George

“I’ve never had major knee surgery on any other part of my body,” – Winston Bennett, University of Kentucky basketball forward

“The word ‘genius’ isn’t applicable in football. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein.” – Joe Theisman, NFL football quarterback & sports analyst

“Half this game is ninety per cent mental.” – Danny Ozark, Philadelphia Phillies manager

“They’re the second-best team in the world, and there’s no higher praise than that.” – Kevin Keagan, England soccer team coach.

“Manchester United have hit the ground running – albeit with a 3-0 defeat.” Bob Wilson, sports commentator

“We’re going to turn this team around 360 degrees.” – Jason Kidd, American basketball coach

“Sure, there have been injuries and deaths in boxing – but none of them serious.” – Alan Minter, boxer

Clive Williams is a Canberra columnist.

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Clive Williams

Clive Williams

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