Monday, March 19, 2012

15 College Students Who Got Their 15 Minutes of Fame

Andy Warhol famously said that in the future, everyone would be famous for 15 minutes. Well, the future is now, and Warhol was almost right. He should have said, anyone could be famous. Today, no particular skills are necessary to become an overnight celebrity; in fact, a general lack of intelligence and talent seem to be a plus, not a minus, for flashes in the pan. Do something outrageously funny, or stupid, or embarrassing, and the clock starts on your quarter of an hour. Here are 15 college students whose names were briefly on everyone’s lips.

  1. Adam Bahner

    You probably know him by another name: Tay Zonday. Yes, the man who brought us the, um, interesting racial awareness song (that is what it’s about, right?) “Chocolate Rain” was a grad student at the University of Minnesota when his video became a YouTube sensation in 2007. John Mayer covered the song, thousands of YouTube homages were made, and Zonday appeared on TV programs like “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and CNN.

  2. Andrew Meyer

    At a speech at the University of Florida in September 2007, Presidential candidate John Kerry wanted to read a few prepared comments and take a few softball questions. Communications student Andrew Meyer wanted to ask about his involvement in the Skull & Bones Society. Meyer’s subsequent scuffle with security after dropping the word “blowjob” in his remarks gave the world, “Don’t tase me, bro!” The video of the event went viral and the story was covered by Wired, Jon Stewart, Fox News, and other outlets.

  3. Griffin Kiritsy

    You won’t know the name, but you’ve looked into the baby face of this college freshman and proceeded to laugh your butt off. Better known as the kid from the “college freshman meme,” Griffin Kiritsy posed for a photo for Reader’s Digest, showing him in typical college hoodie (University of New Hampshire) and headphones. Someone found it, captioned it with “Hangs 20 beer signs in dorm. Only ever tasted Miller Lite,” and uploaded it to Quickmeme. And a star was born.

  4. Brian Collins

    We now know that his teleprompter wasn’t working, his script pages were out of order, and it was his first-ever attempt at broadcasting. But when freshman Brian Collins’ debut sportscast from Ball State’s TV station hit eBaum’s World in 2005, none of the millions of people who watched could help but laugh at his obvious stage fright and awful delivery. His now-famous line “boom goes the dynamite” has been used everywhere, from cartoons to video games to commercials.

  5. Sandra Fluke

    We’re at about the 14-minute mark for this Georgetown law student’s fame window. In mid-February 2012, Fluke testified before a House committee in support of private insurers covering contraceptives. But Rush Limbaugh made her famous by calling her a “slut” on his radio show and saying, “If we are going to pay for your contraceptives … We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.” President Obama personally called Fluke to check on her, and there was a public outcry for advertisers to drop Limbaugh’s show because of the remarks — and several did.

  6. Daniel Hernandez Jr.

    University of Arizona student Daniel Hernandez did college students proud in one of the biggest news stories of 2011. When a gunman shot Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in the head, the first-week intern ran to her, cradled her in his arms, and attempted to stop the bleeding, probably saving her life. The nation hailed him as a hero. He was interviewed on The Today Show and Piers Morgan Tonight and was an honored guest at President Obama’s 2011 State of the Union speech.

  7. Jenn Sterger

    This buxom Florida State student parlayed a brief TV cameo during coverage of an FSU football game into a healthy 15 minutes of fame. As the camera focused on her, broadcaster Brent Musberger remarked, “Fifteen hundred red-blooded Americans just decided to apply to Florida State.” Sterger went on to an inevitable appearance in Playboy and a job sideline reporting for the New York Jets, during which time she grabbed a few final headlines by claiming Brett Favre sent her pictures of his junk.

  8. William Hung

    Who could forget William Hung? Back when everyone in America was watching American Idol, this 20-year-old UC Berkeley student floored the judges with his hilariously horrible version of Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs.” He didn’t make the Idol cut, but it didn’t matter; soon he was everywhere. He bounced from interviews by David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel to appearances on The George Lopez Show and Arrested Developmentto the recording studio where he cut three (!) albums.

  9. Jennifer Ringley

    College-age kids probably wouldn’t recognize the name Jennifer Ringley, but she was an Internet star before YouTube was even an idea. In 1996 Ringley switched on the “JenniCam” and for the next seven years, photos of everything she did in her room were uploaded to the Internet. Up to an estimated 100 million viewers came to the site each week, eventually even paying for the privilege. Ringley appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman and was featured in stories by organizations like The Wall Street Journal.

  10. Wei Wei and Huang Yixin

    Also known as the “Back Dorm Boys,” Wei Wei and Huang Yixin were students at the Guangzhou Arts Institute in China when they began making videos of them lip syncing to songs like “That Way” by the Backstreet Boys. An appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show helped catapult them to fame, and millions of viewers ate up their ludicrous facial expressions and choreography while clad in Houston Rockets jerseys.

  11. Maurice Clarett

    Troubled running back Maurice Clarett enjoyed plenty of fame while he led the Ohio State Buckeyes to a national championship in his freshman season in 2002. Then he descended into infamy. Ohio State expelled him for filing a false police report, he lost a lawsuit he filed to force the NFL to accept him before the required three years from leaving college, and he carjacked some people.

  12. Carrie Prejean

    The national spotlight settled on Miss California 2009 after some took offense at an answer she gave to judges at the Miss USA pageant regarding same-sex marriage. Much was made by the controversy, including by Prejean herself. She wrote a book about her experiences, which led to a fun interview with Larry King in 2009.

  13. Nola Ochs

    Mrs. Ochs achieved some fleeting fame when she became the world’s oldest college graduate at the age of 95 in 2007. She was back in the news three years later for breaking the record for oldest master’s degree recipient when she graduated from Fort Hays State University in 2010. She may not even know it, but she also became famous with Internet memesters and the people who love them as the star of the “senior college student meme.”

  14. Alexandra Wallace

    It’s never a good sign when someone says, “Don’t take this the wrong way.” In 2011, UCLA student Alexandra Wallace decided it would be a good idea to take to YouTube with some good old-fashioned racism, complaining about “these hordes of Asian people” and their apparent lack of manners in the library. The original video got national attention and more than a million hits before being pulled, and Wallace got herself some death threats and decided to head for greener whiter pastures.

  15. Mitch Cozad

    We don’t want to give criminals undue attention, but Mitch Cozad was such an inept tool of a convict we’re going to include him. Sports fans around the country heard the story of this crybaby back-up punter for the University of Northern Colorado who was so upset he wasn’t the team’s starter, he stabbed said starter in his kicking leg in a dark alley. He had tried to stab him in the chest first but apparently lacked the coordination to even do that right.

Taken From Online Colleges

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