The merry-go-around of celebrity news moves on at incredible speed, producing sensational stories that range in quality and content. Since the industry has never had aspirations to tremendous intellectual depth, it often banks on other qualities, especially the entertainment value and shock value of their output. Readers and viewers who keep track of celebrity antics are usually interested in having a good laugh or peeking backstage where they can see more of the glossy world of the famous, the rich and the fortunate. In this environment, it is no surprise that quite a large proportion of celebrity scandals are rather silly, if you take a closer look. They prove even more so once some time goes by and no one seems to remember what the outrage was all about. But probably, the silliest stories are those that produce a massive reaction from the public, grow so big that they dominate the headlines for a couple of days and then disappear without a trace, as it nothing had happened.
There is some inherently comic quality in the fact that the public indignation that surrounds them dies out so fast despite the proportions it first acquires.One good illustration of this sort of event is what happened to Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson when her breast was revealed, accidentally or with cunning premeditation, no one really knows, in what became the most famous wardrobe malfunction in history. As a combination of a few factors coincided, mainly the fact that the event was being broadcast during the Super Bowl final, the interracial undertones and the explicit sexual power of the incident, the scandal sent shivers of moral discomfort down the spines of millions of Americans. Its more long-term impact was rather modest and beyond stricter regulations that ban any hint of sexual content from the Super Bowl evening, little has changed. This disproportion between the immediate splash the Nipplegate produced and its fading into insignificance in the following months is indeed comic.Celebrity gossip websites were still in their infancy when the news broke that somebody released Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee’s sex tapes on the Internet.
Anyone who appreciated the well-endowed lifeguard from the Baywatch could have a section of her intimacy with her newly-wed rock star husband. This has been long overshadowed by the more explicit sexual content that can be easily accessed on the Internet, including webcam antics by wannabe celebrities, but at that time the public reaction was intense. It was a topic of hushed conversations from high schools to workplaces, but it died out as abruptly as it was unleashed on the general public. From today’s perspective it does look rather silly.No one could see it coming that Britney Spears would go through a major meltdown, but she did, in front of the whole world. It was confusing, embarrassing and silly at the same time to watch the beautiful pop singer enter the path of self-destruction. These constant images and stories of what she did and what she did not do pumped her to such an extent that she transformed into an unreal figure mixing comedy with tragic.