Donny Osmond

On our way back from Pasadena last night, we passed a Miley Cyrus billboard. Then a Hannah Montana billboard. (And the Disney studios. And then Warner Bros., where Rope was filmed.)

Anyway, I got to thinking about Donny Osmond. Back in the ‘70s Donny and sister Marie were huge. They were huge in a way that’s almost hard to comprehend today. It’s not exactly the same, mind you: On the one hand, the PR machines today seem a lot broader in scope. There was no Donny & Marie movie, on the one hand, but there’s no Hannah Montana SatAM cartoon on the other.

Anyway, when the Donny & Marie show ended, Donny’s 15-year career came to a crashing halt. He was 21 and probably didn’t remember a time when he wasn’t constantly getting more popular.

I almost felt sorry for the guy. Being a 21 year old and washed up can’t be easy. Sort of like Britney or Lindsay or any of these modern train wrecks.

I almost felt sorry, except for two things. First, he always came off like a jerk. It was fairly well sublimated on the show (men were the butt of jokes on the male/female variety shows of the ’70s), but he made no bones about it in subsequent interviews. Only recently have I seen something like Second, at some point, shouldn’t you just be grateful you had that time in the sun? Fifteen years is pretty long in show-biz terms, and it’s not like anyone owes you attention.

At that point, you ought to have enough money to pursue whatever you want, right? You have a big family, lots of money, you have it all. Lots of guys slave away for decades and never achieve anything like a fraction of the fame you have. And–be honest–you know many of them are better musicians and performers. So why the hell not be grateful and keep working at it (if that’s what you want) . Yeah, you’ll probably never get lucky like that again (and that level of fame always depends on luck), but at least you won’t spend the next 10, 15, or 20 years hating your life.

(Of course, I’m just assuming that’s the case from the few snippets of interview. Maybe he just gets angry when he gets interviewed.)

So. Yeah.

Anyway, I hope Miley doesn’t get bitter when her current level of fame subsides.

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