A friend of mine once proposed one of the better hypotheticals I’ve ever heard–it’s 1998, and “Seinfeld” has just ended its historic run on air. Would you rather be Jerry Seinfeld, or Larry David?”
I went with David, mainly because I would have wanted to #stayonthegrind, and continue being #addictedtosuccess in a way that wouldn’t inevitably be overshadowed by “Seinfeld.” No matter what else he does, Jerry Seinfeld will always be “Seinfeld.” (Not saying this is bad or wrong at all, I just would want to do other cool shit without people snidely yelling “Newman” at me all day) Larry David, for instance, was able to continue ballin’ out through “Curb.”
Point is, if you’re gonna rack up mad hitz by Sittin’ on the Toilet, chances are you’re always gonna be Sittin on the Toilet. There are definitely exceptions to this rule (another editor notes that Jon Lajoie certainly bucks this trend), but these are exceptions, definitely not the norm.
One Trick Pony Syndrome
Although it’s a well written and produced show, the “Big Bang Theory” irks me to no end, given the fact that the entire show is the same joke, somehow stretched out into billions of dollars. It may be true that every show is ultimately a one trick pony (i.e., Homeland=terrorists are people, people are terrorists, and Modern Family=Life Today, Not 20 Years Ago), but a quality show will feature a main homie pony, who breeds a vast wealth of different ponies that all primarily relate back to the main pony, but the auxilliary ponies are distinguishable enough to stand alone and boast somehwat unique tricks.* Fresh and complex subplots that relate to the overall theme, but with that theme being general enough to provide a lot of flexibility/exploration within the episodes. As a viral video star, chances are your video “made it” due to some unique or distinguishable quality, which will serve as the basis for anything else you do from then on.
*I’m pretty sure that sentence managed to attain the ever elusive 100% piss-off conversion rate, so there’s that.
You’ll be walking on the street, and people walking by will stare at you for like three seconds too long, unable to register where the fuck they know you from. Quasi-fame seems like the worst–the horrible middle ground between being the fly on the wall and the main event. Sounds brutal.
You may be asked to do a web redemption, in which you turn into some sort of mocked at running joke used to drive up ratings for a show that is nothing more than a one-man YouTube comment section. A highly entertaining and overall well-done comment section, certainly, but all we're doing by watching Tosh is giving this (again, good) one-man commenter enough “likes” to ensure that he’s always at the top of the videos, thus creating a comment monopoly, the complete of what shit like internet commenting is intended to intrinsically promote.
Not sure if I'm bashing or praising Tosh here, but web redemption seems like a giant “we're not laughing with you, we're laughing at you,” scenario.
Will anybody ever call Dom Mazzetti by his real name? Will Da’Quan always be tha Don? Even amongst a small group of peope, nicknames tend to stick for pretty much forever. Apply that to almost everybody with a computer, and you don't even have to fork over the cash for government-mandated name change fee.
It’s like going up to Schwarzenegger for all of eternity shouting “I’ll be back,” except most viral video stars lack the continued success to develop more than one catch-phrase. At least with the Arnold, you can switch it up with the occasional “It’s Not a Toomah!” or “Do It!,” or “Hasta La Vista, Baby.”
Compromisation of Your Fame Good Stuff Points
I’ve lived most of my life based on a thing called good stuff points, which to be brief, is essentially a more awesome derivative of Karma. Last year for instance, the aging Spurs decided to use up their entire stock of GSP by being amazing during the first 10 games of last year’s playoffs. By game three of the Western Conference Finals they were completely out, explaining why they promptly dropped four in a row to the Thunder.
This may initially sound strange, but if you attain viral fame, you are using up a drastic amount of your good stuff points allotted to being famous in general. Meaning, the sudden and unpredictable nature of viral fame doesn’t give a shit as to whether you’re at the peak of your game, or properly prepared to launch a quality career. Once singers go viral on YouTube, for instance, they either mega-make it (uncommon), or are deemed not good enough and end up wallowing in 50-70,000 view purgatory (with a corresponding 143-Like Facebook Page) forever. A comedian gets shamed enough online, he may lose confidence to keep at it. The viral machine is a dangerous one with a shit ton of turnover, and virality makes it quite easy for the world to forget about you by this time next week.