BY: 01.13.11 • 44 COMMENTS
If there is one thing that gives me sour grapes, it’s to see some nincompoop get something just because of his or her famous dad. A little nepotism here and there is fine, but it should mostly be reserved for getting internships for the summer and leniency in misdemeanor drug charges. It shouldn’t be your ticket to fame.
Granted there are some people who can’t help but be affected by their father’s name. Frank Sinatra Jr., JFK Jr., Martin Luther King Jr. Jr. and the likes don’t deserve our judgments. Left to their own druthers they would have probably gone off on their own paths. But having to tote around a famous dad’s name is like literally carrying your dad on your shoulders all the time. It’s as if you were playing chicken in the pool, but just on land and all the time… and with may more disapproving looks when you get drunk. God bless you poor souls.
But there are a few of them out there that really get my goat. Those kids who got to be someone they had no right being, all due to daddy’s fame. Here are a few of the more notable:
Our forefathers founded this country solely on the principle that any kid could conceivably grow up to be the President (except for slaves, of course, who could only hope to grow up and be 2/3s of a President). And to some degree that has been true. Jimmy Carter was a peanut farmer, Ronald Reagan was a soft-core porn actor, and Theodore Roosevelt had actually been an NFL football player until he was paralyzed in a tragic blitzing incident.
Then along came President George W. Bush. Whatever your political stance, you have to admit that had George H. W. Bush not been president in the first place, it would have never occurred to W. to run for president. He would have been happy as the president of a fantasy football league. In fact, most of his life he seemed to conduct himself in a way specifically tailored to avoid being President. Binge drinking, snorting coke, killing retarded people in Texas, all traditionally seen as disqualifying factors for Presidenthood. What made the difference? Having the exact same name as the penultimate president never hurts. I mean the exact same name! Imagine if there was a William Jefferson Clinton Junior. Do you have any idea how much that kid would be getting laid?
George Bush may or may not have been a good president. I don’t really care. It’s not like anything that happened during his 8 years in the Oval Office really made that big of an impact or anything, but I think it is clear he was a definite beneficiary of the ol’ nepotistic step stool. Much to the chagrin of Saddam Hussein, who, at this moment, is totally rethinking his decision to try and kill the first George Bush. Hindsight is 20/20.
Do you remember the year 1998? I do. I was a Freshman at college and the song “We Were Only Freshman” was popular so it seemed like everything was working out just the way it should. It was the first year I heard the term “indie music”, the first time I ever successfully ran away from a cop who was chasing me, and it was the first time I saw what true mediocrity looks like. It looks like Tom Hanks, just goofier.
Colin Hanks, son of the Gump, first graced the silver screen in the potentially hilarious Orange County, co-starring with Jack Black, who at the time had not completely worn out his now tired schtick, and written by Mike White, who tends to bring home the chuckles (School of Rock, Year of the Dog). The film seemed like it was going to be, at the very least, pretty durned funny. No one really knew who the actor playing the protagonist was, but who cared?
Then we (as a nation) watched it. It wasn’t that Colin Hanks was a bad actor, which would have at least been interesting. He had the personality equivalent of fat free mayonnaise. It filled a role in the movie sandwich, but it brought zero enjoyment, zero development and made all the rest of the performances (John Lithgow, Lilly Tomlin, some chick named Schuyler Fisk which is supposed to be pronounced Sky-ler, which makes me want to go find her Mom, Sissy Spacek and punch her in the bread basket before starting a second feature about horribly named people with famous moms) somehow seem less appetizing.
Colin has since gone on to ruin several movies and television shows, most recently The Good Guys, where he co-starred with formerly sure-thing Bradley Whitford. His dull on screen presence couldn’t even be helped by what has to be one of the most ambitious mustaches since Burt Reynolds. Congrats Forrest.
“Now just wait a minute”, you may be saying. “Chelsea Clinton may have had a famous dad, but she certainly hasn’t achieved anything that puts her on this list. I mean, maybe she went to Stanford and started out in Chemistry but ended up with a degree in History and graduated with Highest Honors before going on to Oxford where she received a Master’s in International Relations all the while receiving personal style lessons from close family friend, Donatella Versace. But that doesn’t make her SPECIAL.”
And I would say to you, stop talking so much during my article. Yes it is true that Chelsea hasn’t dropped the hammer yet and become world famous for something on her own. But we all KNOW her. She is the closest thing we have to an American Princess Di (the Bush daughters are more like a pair of Fergies). She is an international spokesperson for America. Quite a lofty achievement for someone who, let’s admit, was pretty friggin homely.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of the unattractive girl who had to develop a personality in order to be accepted into some kind of social clique. I love the movie Circle of Friends. If the world was only full of cheer-leading captains and strippers, not only would there be no female stand-up comedians, but writers like myself would almost never get laid.
I just don’t think it is fair that this nerdy little bookworm has been elevated to the level of super star just because we kept her Dad waist deep in interns for 8 years.
This entry is in the incubator though. I am sure she will achieve something great with her life, and I will be there, waiting in the peanut gallery to mock her.
Disclaimer here. I didn’t see the Karate Kid. I didn’t see it, not because I thought it was going to be bad, or that Jaden Smith couldn’t carry the role. As far as I know he did FINE. But how unfair is it that this kid gets to train with Mr. Miagi just because his dad was the Fresh Prince. It makes me feel much like DJ Jazzy Jeff must feel every day of his life.
If you would permit me, I’d like to address The Karate Kid directly for a moment.
Hey, Jadan, son of Jada. What’s up buddy? How are you liking your sweet life? Seems pretty great, doesn’t it? Just so you know, when we were kids, the rest of us had to PRETEND to be The Karate Kid. We all totally wanted to be Danielson, but the best we could do was tie an old bathrobe belt around our heads. We didn’t have a dad who could just make that fantasy a reality. We would sometimes get together on vacant lots and pretend to be The Karate Kid and do our crane kicks until someone actually made contact and had to go to the hospital. But that’s as close as we got. That’s America!
I was going to bag on Willow, son of Will a little, but her single only got up to #11 on the charts, so she isn’t really “on the radar”. Sorry Willow. Whip that around.
Kim Jong Un
Dudes have weird relationships with their dads. I don’t think women ever really experience anything quite as complicated in their lives, and that includes childbirth and their relationships with their gynecologist. Most of the feelings that go on between fathers and sons don’t even have names, because if we named them we would have to talk about them and that just makes our collective butt make a fist. As complicated as Father/Son relationships can be, it just makes it that much worse when your dad is a famous psychopathic dictator.
In this case I am not so upset with Kim Jung Un as I am worried for him. What if he tries his best to be psychopathic but no one believes him. What if he makes a decree that all people with outie belly-buttons should be skewered on giant bamboo sticks in his front yard and everyone will just giggles.
What if people start to refer to him as “reasonable” despite all of his efforts to look off his rocker. Imagine the disappointment he will see when he looks down into his father’s aviators. Heart breaking. Just let the kid go to art school for Mao’s sake.
No one likes being told what to do by the boss’ son. Especially if the dude keeps saying that there is no way for you to experience eternal bliss unless you accept him into your heart. Hey. Back off, man.
I mean lets face it, we were apparently all there when Jesus got the whole save everyone’s soul and get worshipped for eternity gig. And we were like, oh of course he gets to be the magic guy! He is so the most beloved of our father’s children! What a dick.
And he never let up about it the whole time! Every time you turned around he was talking about being the “only begotten” and trying to drive his point home with confusing anecdotes about spilling seed on rocks. His whole gimmick finally failed him when he was talking to Pontius Pilate and he kept saying he was about his Father’s work. Sometimes even name-dropping Yahweh can’t save you. Bad for Jesus, good for Barabas.
Sure , Jesus had some pretty sweet moves. No one is contesting the usefulness of the water into wine, raising the dead, unlimited fish thing he had going on, but do we really have to hear the whole my dad could beat up your dad because he created him routine for the rest of recorded history? We get it already! Chill out Jeez-o.