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Famous in a Small Town

by Dwight Garner 
October 19, 2007

Fame UsFrom "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.

Howell writes:

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 Facebook!

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