What do you suppose would be worse? Having a fan who is so crazily obsessed that they think they have earned the right to be a part of your life or being completely ignored by the rest of the world. Think about it before you answer because in this world of Kardashians, “Duck Dynasty” and viral videos, pretty much no one is automatically dismissed from becoming, however briefly, a celebrity. If you are undecided on the issue, why not set aside some time to check out these TV versions of fanatical fans.
Even a locally broadcast TV talk show with lower ratings than reruns of a PBS special on the marking of an elementary school production of Shakespeare’s “Timon of Athens” has the potential to stimulate crazed fandom. In the case of Dick Loudon on “Newhart” a young woman not long out of high school has developed a stalker’s crush on him and he is so taken with the attention that he allows himself to buy into the idea his show is popular among that generation. It’s not, of course, which he finds out in an awkward and embarrassingly public way.
Flight of the Conchords
“Flight of the Conchords” features a regular character who fits the plot device of a crazed stalker fan. Not that Mel veers into Annie Wilkes territory. Mel is merely the President and, apparently, only member of the Flight of the Conchords fan club. That is about as crazy as you may want from a stalker fan. Too much more craziness and things could easier start turning into a “Misery” situation.
Which is exactly where the fanatical fan of the stalker ilk eventually winds up on “The Critic.” Of course, one immediately suspects that any crazed stalker fan of movie reviewer Jay Sherman would likely tilt heavily toward the Annie Wilkes spectrum on the scale. I mean, seriously, having a fanatical devotion to Jay Sherman is as clear an indication of mental imbalance as anything.
Xena: Warrior Princess
Does Joxer really qualify here? He is most certainly on the far side of the scales from those stalker types exemplified by Annie Wilkes on the big screen or John Hinckley in real life. Joxer does has a habit of showing up wherever Xena and Gabrielle may be. He may have perfectly good reason, but after awhile you have to admit it’s a little stalkerish. And his crush on Gabby lends credence to the idea that Joxer is most definitely a member of the crazy as a loon fan club.
Fan Boy on “Freakazoid” may well be where the term “fanboy” started for all I know. Or, as these things often turn out, Fan Boy on “Freakazoid!” may be the first entry into the mainstream of a term that had long lived under cover of a subculture. Whether Fan Boy was the chicken or the egg, one thing is for sure: he is the high priest of all the fanboys and fanboys that followed in his wake. Fan Boy has an unhealthy obsession with Freakazoid and his willingness to believe his adoration endows him with unearned privileges is daily replicated by some very dangerous people among you.