In tragic yet not wholly unexpected news, celebrity—the name given to those who entertained millions as the stars of beloved movies and TV shows, who performed on Broadway stages and recorded numerous hit albums, and who inevitably appeared on some depressing reality show—died this week at its longtime Hollywood/Manhattan home, according to a general sense that it was simply its time. The cause of death was a prolonged lack of interest that ultimately proved fatal, with celebrity suffocating under the voluminous fluff of the entertainment news cycle, while also succumbing to the rapid spread of viral stars—the deadly combination of which left no breathing room for the kind of attention required to properly sustain it. The concept of “celebrity” died at the age of this year minus whatever year Oscar Wilde started going to parties, its death rattle the one millionth “who cares” reply to a Facebook post about Kanye West.
Beginning as a fresh-faced ingénue who overcame their small-town upbringing/used their family’s industry connections to achieve their big break, Jennifer Aniston, Nicki Minaj, Robert Downey Jr., Harry Styles, Amy Schumer, Anna Kendrick, Chris Hemsworth, Jonah Hill, Jennifer Garner, Chris Pratt, Liza Minelli, Snoop Dogg, Justin Long, Kevin Costner, Selena Gomez, Megan Fox, Dwayne Johnson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Emma Stone, and Macklemore became overnight sensations when they starred in a certain film or sitcom or released a hit song that briefly captured the zeitgeist, until everyone decided they didn’t like it anymore or those people got older. But at some point within the temporal space of recently recorded history, people all around the world could be heard declaring, “I sure do like that person”—the proud motto of fans of Madonna, Drake, Daniel Radcliffe, Ryan Gosling, Susan Sarandon, Rob Lowe, Amy Poehler, Adele, Lizzy Caplan, Michael C. Hall, Connie Britton, Louis CK, Rosario Dawson, Zendaya, Peter Capaldi, Alicia Keys, Bruce Willis, Ryan Seacrest, Rachael Ray, Salma Hayek, Mandy Moore, Matt Damon, Lucy Liu, and Jude Law—until such a point in time when they no longer felt that way, forgot about them, then wondered where those people were now.
At the peak of their fame, Brad Pitt, Victoria Beckham, Vince Vaughn, Naomi Watts, Taylor Lautner, Shania Twain, Mila Kunis, Owen Wilson, Kylie Jenner, Jessica Biel, Michael Keaton, Chris Martin, Charlize Theron, Tom Hanks, Uma Thurman, Patrick Dempsey, Josh Duhamel, January Jones, John Mayer, Winona Ryder, Keanu Reeves, Cate Blanchett, and Colin Farrell captivated the nation with their personal lives, as their every career move, relationship, marriage, divorce, child, real estate purchase, haircut, new outfit, weight loss, weight gain, drinking problem, rehabilitation, felony, misdemeanor, political endorsement, Beyoncé endorsement, and Twitter feud proved endless fodder for news stories, as well as blog articles that attempted to frame those news stories with a satirical commentary that many people widely misinterpreted as totally made-up due to how inane its source material was. Memorably, they also appeared on James Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke.”
Here are just some of celebrity’s most notable moments:
Still, their charmed lives weren’t entirely free of controversy. Miley Cyrus, George Clooney, Jennifer Lawrence, Orlando Bloom, Tina Fey, Flea, Will Smith, Claire Danes, Prince Harry, Queen Latifah, Carmen Electra, Paula Abdul, Neil Patrick Harris, Lena Dunham, Christian Bale, Taylor Swift, Olivia Wilde, Natalie Portman, Demi Moore, Paris Hilton, Billy Joel, Jessica Alba, James Franco, Sarah Jessica Parker, Shia LaBeouf, and Bono notoriously came under fire for something, probably, at some point, from someone or another, either because of something they did or something they said or something they posted on Instagram, or some association with some controversial thing that, more than likely, no one will remember even five years from now, and which will inevitably be swept from the Earth as it’s slowly eroded by time or obliterated by natural or man-made disaster.
Meanwhile, Chris Brown, Bill Cosby, Charlie Sheen, Dr. Luke, and quite possibly Johnny Depp proved to be real pieces of shit. Although, to be fair, there were many who believed that “haters gonna hate” and were “so over it” that they didn’t even want to hear about it. They, too, will be ground into the dust, along with Bill Cosby and the rest of us.
Ultimately, Kim Kardashian, Jimmy Fallon, Whoopi Goldberg, Leonardo DiCaprio, Helen Mirren, Zac Efron, Chris Evans, Angelina Jolie, Justin Bieber, Larry David, Jessica Lange, Kate Winslet, Rebecca Romijn, Mario Lopez, Ellen Pompeo, Mark Wahlberg, Lady Gaga, Lindsay Lohan, Ice Cube, Mary-Kate Olsen, Jake Gyllenhaal, Hugh Jackman, Rihanna, Chris Evans, Emma Watson, Bill Murray, John Travolta, Katy Perry, Ozzy Osbourne, Peter Dinklage, Steve Harvey, Anne Hathaway, Forest Whitaker, Michelle Williams, Liv Tyler, Blake Shelton, Viola Davis, Drew Carey, Celine Dion, Jennifer Lopez, Robert Pattinson, Jenny McCarthy, Joe Jonas, Nicole Kidman, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake, Emilia Clarke, Penélope Cruz, Adam Sandler, Julianne Hough, Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jon Hamm, Cindy Crawford, Ben Affleck, Anthony Anderson, Jared Leto, Bethenny Frankel, Tim McGraw, Mandy Patinkin, Tori Spelling, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Usher, Rooney Mara, Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Lea Michele, Matthew McConaughey, Lauren Conrad, Adam Levine, Pharrell, Andy Samberg, Halle Berry, Ashton Kutcher, Steven Tyler, Gisele Bundchen, Amy Adams, Beck, Anna Paquin, Channing Tatum, Katie Holmes, Katherine Heigl, Denzel Washington, Drew Barrymore, Zoe Saldana, Jesse Eisenberg, Fergie, Emma Roberts, Vanilla Ice, Ellen DeGeneres, Demi Moore, Pippa Middleton, Grumpy Cat, Cameron Diaz, Reese Witherspoon, Liam Hemsworth, John Krasinski, Meryl Streep, Bull from Night Court, and Tom Cruise will be remembered for the many hours of entertainment they provided, both in their professional and personal lives, as well as for some dumb thing they said or did once.
If they are remembered at all, that is—the odds of which are, let’s be real, pretty slim. Time is long and memories are short, and there’s a lot of good shit on TV and on the internet. In fact, we saw a really great Tumblr the other day that was all about “dank memes” with pictures of SpongeBob SquarePants doing molly and quoting Kendrick Lamar lyrics … or something. To be honest, we didn’t fully understand it, but it seemed pretty clear from the number of likes it got that this was the future of entertainment, and that everyone else should probably just fuck off because they’re old media and boring. They probably should have used fewer words and been danker and meme-ier.
Anyway, the death of celebrity leaves only one known survivor: Bruno Mars. And frankly, we at StarWipe would rather kill ourselves. It’s time for us to go, too.