Why is the Fonz Crying? The Star Magazine has the Answer…

My family spent what often felt like decades doing food shopping. We would inch down every aisle, looking for deals while scratching stuff off a list that was supposed to last all month. After a while you needed to start filling the time, so I would grab a bunch of magazines and read them while I pushed the cart along. Naturally, since this was supermarket, some of those magazines were tabloids and being a young dumb kid, I didn’t know what to make of them.

They talked about stuff I really enjoyed like aliens and bigfoot, which would make me happy, but then they would go and give me background on celebrities that I didn’t care to know. I wanted to maintain the illusion, but then once I started reading them I could not stop. So at an early age the darker side of celebrity took hold in my mind and before I knew I was spending my mornings reading the National Enquirer over my bowl of cereal and gossiping with my Grandmother about why Elizabeth Taylor just can’t seem to get her stuff together.

I am happy to report that this little habit came to a screeching halt when a celebrity who I had really liked as a kid, namely Walt Disney, was featured in one of these magazine and their depiction was not flattering. I realized then that their tearing down of people whose work I enjoyed was not adding to that enjoyment, but instead taking it away. To this day, I rarely glance at the tabloid rack and when I do it is mostly because I catch the words “bigfoot”, “Elvis” or “UFO”.

Here is an ad for The Star Magazine from the 1970s, that captures what these magazines were putting out well into the 1980s.

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Garry Vander Voort

Editor/Podcaster at Retroist
The Retroist is like a BBQ on a bun without the bones. You're only human daddy. Chomp!
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