Famous in a Small Town
by Dwight Garner
October 19, 2007
"Fame Us," photographs by Brian Howard
One of the eeriest photography books of 2007 has got to be Brian Howell’s “Fame Us: Celebrity Impersonators and the Cult(ure) of Fame,” published by Arsenal Pulp Press.
A few of Howell’s vaguely Arbus-like images of impersonators are above.
I’ve learned that the biggest misconception about impersonators is that they are somehow obsessed fans desperate to physically become the celebrity they impersonate. But I never met anyone like that. On the contrary, many impersonators got into the business because of others – those passersby on the street who stop and stare, and ask, “Has anyone ever told you you look like …?” Simply put, and not in a derogatory way, impersonators are opportunistic, taking advantage of a culture with an insatiable, uncontrolled thirst for celebrity and all that it entails.
p.s. The guy who imitates Kramer admitted to Howell that, since Michael Richard’s racist rant in a comedy club in 2006, he isn’t as popular as he used to be.
Dennis Keogh has distinquished himself as a spot on impersonator of Sean Connery.
Fans can follow Keogh as himself and as Bond on