Brad Paisley poked fun at reality-TV stars in his hit “Celebrity” and used “Online” to make fun of a guy who posed as a studly, all-American guy, masking the nerd that he really was.
In 2010, the themes of those two songs collided weirdly in the latest Internet phenomenon: the Twitter fake star. Plenty of people assumed deliberately phony names — Not Kenny Chesney, Drunk Swifty, Rascal Fats, Bobblehead Brad — and used their online mask as a shield while they poked fun at the stars and the music business in general.
One of those fakes put down Jimmy Wayne’s cross-country charity walk from Phoenix to Nashville, and Jimmy got hopping mad about it. Then Jimmy started looking at the faux versions of the stars a little more closely and changed his tune a bit.
“I started following Drunken Martina for a while, and then this fake person started sayin’ other things about other people and I found myself freakin’ rollin’ over laughin’,” he admits. “I would even text people and say ‘You should see this.’”
Some of the stuff is just plain mean. The phonies use their anonymity to tell fat jokes, gay jokes or call names. Some of it isn’t really comedic, as much as the writers might try. But every once in a while, an entry or two — particularly from Drunken Martina or Not Kenny Rogers — is laugh-out-loud funny.
The phony Martina typically writes short jokes or suggests she’s drunk and throwing her celebrity around in a way that’s simply not in line with what we know about the real Martina.
“My show with the Nashville Symphony tonight might start a bit later than planned,” Drunken Martina wrote earlier this month. “I just fell into the tuba.”
“I think it’s hilarious,” the real Martina McBride said during a CMA Music Festival press conference, admitting she follows Drunken Martina. Then she took a long pause before adding, “That’s all I’m gonna say.”
Some of the fakes apparently ran out of material quickly and drifted away. There’s a Drunken Jimmy that’s supposed to be a weird version of Jimmy Wayne, but he — or she — hasn’t Tweeted since June. Not Conway Twitty hasn’t posted since April. A Drunken Hank and Drunken Jamey seem to no longer be around, though they’ve been replaced by Hank’s Ghost and Jamey’s Johnson. Then there’s Drunken Miranda, Drunken Lady A, Blakes Balls, Fake Blake Shelton, Drunken Willie, Drunken Trace, Drunken Ronnie D, Drunken Reba M, Drunk Narvel and even a Fake Irving Azoff, parading as not-really-the-manager-of-the-Eagles.
One of the first phonies was Not Jake Owen, who certainly got the attention of his real namesake.
“I’m amused,” the actual Jake Owen admits. “I don’t know who it is — it’s not me.”
Some of the Not Jake material is simply wordplay. “Knock knock,” he/she wrote recently. “Who’s there? James Otto. James Otto who? James, you Otto get a haircut.”
But a lot of the Not Jake entries are mean or crude.
“Some of it’s funny,” the real Jake says. “Some of it’s absolutely on the line.”
And it puts him in a strange place. Everybody knows it’s not the real Jake writing it, and yet the other artists see, or hear about, the put-downs. And it’s weird for him to see his name attached to the comments, even if there’s a “not” in front of it.
“A lot of these people,” Jake grimaces, “are my friends.”
Some are probably not laughing. And usually there’s a “not” — as in a Not Kenny Rogers — who really is laughing. And still Tweeting away. Anonymously.
Are any of you following these fakers on Twitter? Funny or not?