Skip to comments.Is It Over for Lady Gaga?
Posted on 12/03/2011 5:09:35 AM PST by Kaslin
A few months ago in this space, I wrote a column about the cultural phenom Lady Gaga that ended with my politely telling her to save her money. That's because the treacherous world of popular culture is not usually a long-term proposition. Entertainment idols often pass through the fame obstacle course very quickly.
In show biz, "jumping the shark" is a term used to describe a project in decline. It is derived from the hit sitcom "Happy Days," which, sorely lacking for material after years on the air, featured a show whereby The Fonz went waterskiing in a leather jacket and encountered a shark. You guessed it: The Fonz jumped over the shark on his skis. After that, the days were not so happy on that program.
Now we have Lady Gaga, the ultimate edgy, anti-establishment pop star, swimming in dubious waters. Recently, she fronted a Thanksgiving special. The New York Times described it this way: "Lady Gaga performs before family and friends and offers a glimpse of her personal life in an interview with Katie Couric... She also whips up a feast of deep-fried turkey and waffles with the chef Art Smith."
Somewhere Janis Joplin is weeping. By the way, Gaga's special was trounced in the ratings by the 237th airing of "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving."
And that's not all. The Associated Press reports that "Gaga's Workshop" is now open at the Barneys clothing store in Manhattan. Apparently, Gaga designed a special holiday shop featuring "a gigantic cartoon statue of the superstar herself in a pinup pose surrounded by jagged mirrors and sitting atop thousands of back plastic discs."
Forget the Rockefeller Center tree, the Gaga shop represents the true holiday spirit, does it not?
Some of you may think I am making this up, but it's all true. What I can't figure out is why Gaga's (Stefani Germanotta) management team seems to know nothing about history. Elvis Presley, the biggest pop icon ever, sabotaged his own career by starring in a series of movies like "Kissin' Cousins" and "Clambake." I mean, there was the once culturally dangerous Elvis doing a dance called the "Clam" on a beach wearing black shoes and white pants. It took the King years to get back on track after those dopey flicks.
Last year, Gaga made $90 million from her songs and shows. Does she really need the Thanksgiving special? Or the Barneys exposure? Really?
The answer, of course, is no. Gaga has now gone middle-class mainstream and, at this rate, will be co-hosting with Kelly Ripa any day now. The lady may be trying not to be a tramp, but she certainly has met the shark -- and jumped it.
I actually think he is better at this sort of tabloid trash than politics. Remember him saying just a few short weeks ago the Newt didn't stand a chance?
We never watched that show on a regular basis. thanks.
That's not the complete story. Robertson did quit for a solo career, but the rest reformed and toured from 1983 to 1983 in smaller venues. Richard Manuel committed suicide that final year, and the group later played at various special concerts.
Christina Aguilera is a similar case. Hell of a voice, but it was the skank image that made her the big money.
I do not follow pop culture much at all. I have wondered if Miss Germanotta has found a way to be anonymous should she choose to be so. Her star persona is SO over the top, that should she venture out as herself, she might be able to do so without anyone bothering her. Or, she could mature into her normal self, as you suggest she should.
One of the most annoying things about the term "jumping the shark" is hearing the story of its genesis over and over again. For every four times you hear the term on a standalone basis, you get one time where it's accompanied by the stupid Fonzie story.
You beat me to it. "Jumped the shark" really is one of the most annoying phrases to come along in decades.
Correct - it's classic Capitalism; mold a product that people will give you money for and keep the marketing strong.
i believe robbie robertson said they had been “on the road” for twenty years and that was enough. i can understand that.
The Stones have been a joke since the 80s. The Beatles broke up at the right time.
I miss the days when Charlie Brown was sponsored by “Dolly Madison” cakes. Now that they advertise crap like “Glee” and the polar bear coke can etc, I own the dvd.
We’re all going gaga over Lady “Caca”.
At some awards show a few years ago, she did a version of Etta James' "At Last," and nailed it. I was impressed, and also a little saddened that all that talent was sitting idle while she recorded forgettable pap, but catering to my tastes is not the path to riches.
The flip side of that is Britney Spears, a pure creation of media hype. At her best, she was a better dancer than singer, and these days she's not much of either.
When Susan Boyle became an overnight sensation, I was amused by how many people were amazed. Why is it a surprise that a frumpy-looking older woman has a powerful voice? Because we've been conditioned in the last few decades to expect female pop singers to be young hotties.
Heh. I knew one of my “flash in the pan” examples would come under fire, just not which.
I can think of no person better than Bill O'Reilly to explain the phrase, "jumped the shark."
Lady Gaga? I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest her act is
superfluous during Obamanomics, plus the time need to recover
from the damage and devastation.
Granted, I'm upwards of two generations removed from the latest pop
culture, but her bread and circus act just doesn't fit in this current era.
Funny. A guy that jumped the shark years ago wrote about someone else doing it.
Billy is a snob and a bore.
Coolio definitely did *not* laugh at this:
[Best Weird Al video -ever-, IMO]