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"Fake Celebrity" Brett Cohen Conducts Social Experiment in NYC [VIDEO]

What makes a celebrity in the 21st century? A New Yorker hires an entourage for the day to find out.
By: Kari Pickering
Published: August 24th, 2012 in Culture » Society » News
Brett Cohen and his

We’ve all had dreams of becoming the next Brad Pitt or Meryl Streep, but what if you could attain that notoriety without actually...doing anything?

Brett Cohen, a twenty-one year old New Yorker, has figured out how to do exactly that. Think about it. What makes someone famous? Talent would seem to be the obvious answer, but let’s face it: in this day and age, “talent,” isn’t what it used to be.

Born socialites, The Kardashians, and the Jersey Shore cast are considered to be celebrities, running around making millions of dollars, while the rest of us sit on our couches and think, “Well, I could do that.”

Cohen executes a brilliant social experiment in the YouTube video “Fake Celebrity Pranks New York City.” He ventures out into Times Square and becomes a celebrity by, well, just pretending to be one. Cohen surrounds himself with a full entourage, including assistants, bodyguards, and a camera crew. By just attracting attention to himself, he begins to build up a frenzy in the crowd, as more and more people stop to take pictures with him.

Soon, different parties claim they loved him in Spiderman, showing just how much impact word-of-mouth has on today’s society. A fake journalist interviews the fans, asking some about Cohen’s movies and others about his music career. The people being interviewed jump on whatever the fake journalist is saying, again showing how easy it is to start a bandwagon if you have even just a few willing participants to jump on.

Within hours, Cohen becomes the new Justin Bieber, as teenage girls scream and swarm all over him. They get googly-eyed and proclaim their love to him on camera, all the while not actually knowing who he is. It’s amazing to see the transition from Cohen walking around the city, just one in the crowd, to Cohen the “celebrity” not being able to get across the street without enthusiastic fans running out to touch him.

And what did Cohen do to deserve this? Nothing. So what’s the different between fame and talent? An actor and a celebrity? Apparently, nothing. After all the craziness, Cohen walks to a subway entrance, without his posse, and no one gives him a second glance.

So what makes someone famous? Other people thinking they’re famous? Other people telling you they’re famous? Just thinking you’re famous? Is this what makes a celebrity nowadays? Have talent and work ethic gone out the window? Time will tell, but it looks as though Brett Cohen has picked up on an incredibly shocking characteristic of our society today.

At publication, the video (uploaded only 3 days ago) has gotten over 950,000 views. Perhaps Cohen will become an international sensation simply by pretending to be one for an evening.

Related articles: Brett Cohen, New York, Celebrity, Prank, Fake Celebrity, NYC, Jersey Shore, Kardashian, Social experiment, Spiderman
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"Fake Celebrity" Brett Cohen Conducts Social Experiment in NYC [VIDEO]

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