Perhaps Andy Warhol Was Wrong, For a Fascinating Variety of Reasons
[Updated with new wrongness!]
famously predicted that in the future, everyone would be
famous for fifteen minutes. Now that the future is already here, there
are those who beg to differ with Andy, and for a fascinating variety of
In his novel Rant
(2007), Chuck Palahniuk
suggests that "Andy Warhol was wrong. In the
future, people won't be famous for fifteen minutes. No, in the future,
everyone will sit next to someone famous for at least fifteen minutes."
critic Frank Schneck posits that the word should be film
, not fame
: "Andy Warhol
was wrong. It's not just that
everyone is going to have 15 minutes of fame. In the not-so-distant
future, every person on the planet is going to have a film made about
him or her" (Hollywood Reporter
2000). Others seem to agree, in a roundabout way:
was wrong. Today it seems that
anyone can parlay their 15
minutes of fame into 15 cable episodes, with an option for a second
—"It's Unreal How Easily Reality Shows Pop Up," Rocky
Mountain Daily News
, July 20, 2002
was wrong. Everyone's not going to be famous for 15
minutes; instead, we will all have our own talk shows."
Ex-First Son Tries a New Career: Talk Show Host," Buffalo News
Then there are those who argue that the 15 minutes are recurring:
"The couple who wrote and performed the
theme to the 1970s TV series "Happy Days" are on a media blitz in
Colorado Springs this weekend, proving that Andy Warhol was wrong. Not
only will everyone in the world get 15 minutes of fame, they'll get
another 15 minutes when the nostalgia factor kicks in a couple of
—"These Days Are Happy for Couple," The Gazette, March 6, 1997
"Andy Warhol was wrong ... People don't want
15 minutes of fame in their lifetime. They want it every night."
Josh Harris," BusinessWeek,
Jan. 26, 2000
"Andy Warhol was wrong. With the release of the
film, Factory Girl, he and his 'superstars' are about to get another 15
minutes of fame."
—"Straight to the Point," Daily Mail, Sept. 27, 2006
"As it turns out,
Andy Warhol was wrong: not everybody will be famous for 15 minutes. But
with bad prospects and a good agent, those who once were can now extend
the clock thanks to unprecedented TV demands for the vaguely familiar."
—Vinay Menon, "More Dancing with Quasi-Celebs," Toronto Star, March 19, 2007
fame, but Hitler:
was wrong. In the future, everyone will be Hitler for 15 minutes."
is the First Casualty of War," Austin
American-Statesman, April 1, 1999
"Andy Warhol got it
wrong. It's not fame everyone will have in the future; It's a chance to
scream at someone else on TV."
—"Clinton Vs. Dole About Ratings, Not
Discourse," Witicha Eagle,
March 11, 2003
Not fame, but privacy:
"Andy Warhol was wrong. The wild-eyed artist
boldly proclaimed that in the future everyone would have 15 minutes of
fame. Warhol's fortune-telling skills were nowhere as visionary as his
art. Warhol should have predicted with the explosion of reality
television that in the future everyone will have 15 minutes of privacy."
—"One Day, We'll Beg for Privacy," Fresno Bee, Aug. 3, 2000
Not fame, but
Warhol was wrong. It turned out we were all from Colorado."
Fagin, "Montel Williams and Me," Independence
Institute, Nov. 1, 2000
Fame, yes, but in the past,
not in the future:
was wrong. Everybody already has been famous––some time last week. It
just depends on who’s telling it and who’s listening."
Remembering Game," Depot Town Rag,
Fame, yes, but not 15 minutes exactly:
"The culture-shock doctor explained that
science had discovered that Andy Warhol was wrong about fame; He had the
right idea, but his figures were off."
—"The Sting of Cable
Backlash," Miami Herald, Oct.
"'Andy Warhol was wrong,' Neal Gabler said. 'He was right
when he said everyone will be famous, but wrong about the 15 minutes.'"
—Marjorie Kaufman, "Seeking the Roots of a Celebrity Society," New York Times, Dec. 11, 1994
Warhol got it wrong by 12 minutes. People have three minutes of fame;
long enough to walk down a catwalk and back."
—Guardian, July 7,
"Warhol was wrong ... cos he was 10 minutes off; it's really
five minutes now."
—"Meat Loaf Criticises Academic 'Laziness,'"
TVNZ, March 9, 2010
Fame, yes, but for more like 15
"Andy Warhol was wrong.
Everyone can be famous these days, all right, but the renown lasts more
like 15 seconds, not minutes."
—"Smile! You're Part of a Video
Society," Greensboro News and Record,
May 20, 1990
"Andy Warhol was wrong when he said that everyone
would have 15 minutes of fame; extras can look forward to having only
seconds of movie glory."
—"12 Hours' Extra Work for a Brief Moment
of Glory," Derby Evening Telegraph,
Nov. 9, 2006
"[A cuckoo clock bird speaking:] Andy Warhol was
wrong; I only get 15 seconds of fame."
—Mike Peters, "Mother Goose
and Grimm," July 27, 2005
"Andy Warhol was wrong. In my case, at
least, fame clocked in at only 6:42 minutes, and that was before the
—Wilborn Hampton Lead, "Confessions of a Soap Opera
Extra," New York Times, Dec.
"Andy Warhol was wrong when he said that everyone will
enjoy their fifteen minutes of fame. The time frame he referred to might
one day be measured in seconds."
—Warren Adler, "The Dividing Line,"
Aug. 10, 2009
Fame, yes, but for more than 15 minutes:
"Andy Warhol was wrong. You can be famous
for a lot longer than 15 minutes, if you're clever enough."
Brand of Revitalisation," Marketing
, April 7, 2005
"'We were sure that Andy Warhol was
wrong, that it would last more than 15 minutes,' says Hilary Jay.'"
Art and Its Rise from the Ashes," Philadelphia
, July 25, 1993
"When it comes to the Super Bowl,
Andy Warhol was wrong. Its cast of characters has been famous for 25
years, and will be 25 years from now."
—"Simply the Best," Denver Post
, Jan. 27, 1991
Warhol was wrong. Long after the buzzer sounded on Mark Fuhrman's 15
minutes of fame, he just won't go away."
—"Fuhrman Overstaying His
Welcome," June 10, 2001
"Andy Warhol was wrong: sometimes you do
get more than 15 minutes of fame, even if you're not Greg Louganis."
, Dec. 10, 2004
Warhol was wrong. Not everyone gets 15 minutes of fame. Many people get
more than that. Like Dr. Bernie Dahl."
—The Nashua Telegraph
, Dec. 3, 2000
was wrong. In the Ultimate universe we’ve got more than 15 minutes."
Meets Hacker," Aspen Magazine
"Andy Warhol was wrong … you can have 45 minutes
of fame, not just 15!"
—"Invitation to Present at the OTM SIG
Conference in June 2009," Dec. 22, 2008
"Andy Warhol was wrong in
my case; my fifteen minutes of fame have been more like three hours."
Eichele, My Best Day in Golf:
Celebrity Stories of the Game They Love
was wrong; I was a hero for at least fifteen hours."
"Tomato Madness," Dec. 17, 2006
"Andy Warhol was wrong. People
aren't famous for fifteen minutes; they're famous forever."
Black, Black & White and Read All
Fame, yes, but "in" 15 minutes, not "for"
"Andy Warhol was
wrong, when he predicted that in the future, people would become famous
for 15 minutes. This is the future. Now people become famous in 15
minutes. Take Duran Duran."
—Ethlie Ann Vare, "New Echoes of Duran
Duran," New York Times, Nov.
Fame, yes, but without measure:
"Andy Warhol was wrong. In the future,
everyone will not be famous for 15 minutes. Everyone will just be
—"Cooking Up Celebrity Storm," Boston Globe, Jan. 21, 2000
"Andy Warhol was
wrong. No one Is famous for just 15 minutes. These days you get to be
famous whenever you feel like it. Just like everyone else."
Everyone is Famous! Who Knew?" Associated
Press, July 16, 1999
"'Andy Warhol was wrong,' says
Newman, who completed his trek in 1987. 'If I wanted to be boring, I
could live on this for the rest of my life."
Sometime-Dubious Firsts," Dallas
Morning News, July 31, 1988
"Andy Warhol was wrong about
one thing: His own 'fifteen minutes of fame' have never ended."
& Noble, review of Andy Warhol
"In the internet age, bad headlines no
longer go away and Andy Warhol was wrong about his fifteen minutes of
fame. If you are infamous now, you are infamous forever."
Walsh, "Curtis Warren: the Celebrity Drug Baron," Telegraph, Oct. 7, 2009
opposite of fame:
futurist David Zach says Andy Warhol was wrong: We aren't going to get
that 15 minutes of fame after all. 'It's just the opposite,' Zach says."
—Tim Nelson, "The Skinny," St.
Paul Pioneer Press, Aug. 27, 1998
"I think Andy Warhol got
it wrong: in the future, so many people are going to become famous that
one day everybody will end up being anonymous for 15 minutes."
Fairey, Swindle #8, 2006
"Andy Warhol was wrong. Most of us will
never come close to being famous—even for 15 minutes."
into the Spotlight," Wall Street
Journal, Nov. 8, 1999
Fifteen, yes, but not minutes:
"Andy Warhol was wrong: not everyone
deserves 15 minutes of fame. Some people deserve 160 words of
—"Unsung Heroes," What
Magazine, Jan. 1, 2004
"Andy Warhol was wrong: for 15
minutes, everybody gets to be a starting quarterback for The Saints."
Still Has Issues," Atlanta Journal,
Oct. 16, 1998
"Andy Warhol was wrong: in the future, everyone
won't be famous for 15 minutes, but everyone will have their own Web
—"Book Review: The Non-Designer's Web Book," Information Management Journal, July
"Andy Warhol was wrong. We've all had our 15 minutes, now
we all want a mini-series!"
—"Boy First Believed On Runaway Balloon
Found After Frantic Search," New York
Post, Oct. 16, 2009
"Andy Warhol was wrong. Everyone won't
just have 15 minutes of fame. One day—soon, I suspect—we all will have
our very own talk shows."
—Linda L.S. Schulte, "Word's Worth,"
Baltimore Sun, Jan. 31, 1996
"In the future, we'll all have 15 minutes of future."
"In the future, everyone will be offended for 15 years."
Fame, yes, but perhaps 30
"There are times in life
when you just hope that Andy Warhol was wrong and that a merciful God
will grant you a second 15 minutes of fame."
—"Confessions of an
Embarrassed Viagra Expert," University
Wire, Sept. 24, 1998
Just plain wrong:
"The endless parade of disposable rock bands,
special-effects movies, potboiler thriller novels and TV sitcoms makes
me think that Andy Warhol was wrong."
—"Longtime Newsweek Art Critic
Peter Plagens is Also a Painter," Newsweek,
April 25, 2002
"A TV producer played by Joe Mantegna muses that
Andy Warhol was wrong about everybody being famous for 15 minutes."
'Celebrity' Witty, Wicked But Shallow," Wichita Eagle, Dec. 9, 1998
"Andy Warhol was
wrong - everyone does NOT have their 15 minutes of fame and the
overwhelming majority of You're a Star hopefuls would have told him
—"The Fame Game's Just Not Worth It," The Mirror, Aug. 25, 2006
Warhol was wrong. When you’re a Vanderbilt running back, you’re not
famous for 15 minutes."
—Anthony Lane, Nashville City Paper, Nov. 5, 2004
conclusion: Andy Warhol was wrong—we won't all get 15 minutes of fame."
the Internet to Examine Patterns of Foreign Coverage," Nieman Reports, Sept. 22, 2004
"Warhol was wrong! He neglected to factor in the 15 minutes of one's own
—"Warhol was Wrong," GenderFun.com, May 29, 2009
"Warhol was wrong. The message is clear: we do not want your 15 minutes
of fame, you can shove it."
—Alix Sharkey, "Saturday Night: The Techno Ice-Cream Van is on its Way,"
The Independent, June 26, 1993
Awesome post on Warhol. I never really liked the guy and his art, but I give credit where credit is due, he was a great coordinator and inspiration for other better artists and musicians. Much like Sex Pistols, I don’t find them good but they did inspire much better bands to get together and create wonderful albums. So I agree he was wrong however he didn’t anticipate the connectivity and subcultural activity we have today which shatters his definition and value of fame. Also nowadays with youtube clips and Jersey Shores fame and infamy seem to be interchangeable. But what I liked about the article was how Warhol’s idea was refuted from different perspectives. Here’s mine: "Warhol was wrong about his theory on the 15 minutes of fame. The time frame is the maximum length of a video you can post on YouTube.” Mine is of course valid for today, just like Warhol’s and those quoted in your post are valid in their own cultural Zeitgeists.