Friday, December 26, 2008

Showing Off Names Of Mormon Celebrities

So you want to break the ice and start chatting up a nearby Mormon? Easy. Just start showing off your knowledge of famous people who happen to be LDS, and you're guaranteed to spark more interest than if you'd just announced you were giving away stacks of C-notes.

"Dude, that chick on Grey's Anatomy. Also, the one from the movie Enchanted."

"Really?" your new-found sounding board salivates. "That is so awesome! Who else?" they'll then breathlessly query, eager to add new names to their own collection.

With that in mind, remember that you want to wow them with newer names, not the same old standbys that everybody and their mom knows about already. Dropping Steve Young's name just isn't very impressive.

Why are Mormons like this? Theories abound. Perhaps the communion of those accepted in the mainstream helps them feel a little less peculiar. Maybe it reinforces their belief that the faith will fill the whole world. Or maybe they're just as addicted to vapid celebrity worship as all the other paparazzi-fodder out there.

Though a celebrity needn't be active in the faith to establish your credibility and forge lasting bonds with members of the Mormon community, it helps. Especially if your name has an interesting conversion story to go with it.

"Dude, Rick Shroder."


"That kid from Silver Spoons. He was on NYPD Blue."

Another caution: Be sure to gauge your audience's age and cultural literacy before name dropping. While your grandparents would be most fascinated to hear about Gladys Knight, it won't carry much weight with that kid on a skateboard. Better try Brandon Flowers from The Killers on that guy.

Perhaps the ultimate way to score points in this game is to feign confusion and, much like on a first date, get your new acquaintance to open up about their Famous Mormon trivia.

"So, like, what's the deal with Steve Martin. I mean, is he or isn't he?" Speculating about potentially Mormon celebrities is even more popular than speculating about controversial doctrines. Yes, apocryphal celebrities are just as good as one who actually are Mormon. Especially if you know about their encounters with the LDS Church early in life, which never took root.

"Dude, Roseanne. I'm totally serious."


Consider this entry a foreign language phrase book, without all the dumb ordering-in-a-restaurant stuff. With little more than these names, you could while away an entire weekend in Utah, conversing freely with the locals, and blend right in.

1 comment:

Steve said...

Classic! You left out how Steve Martin once wore a CTR ring on Saturday Night Live. True story! Also, secret Mormon, get this...

Barack Obama. Totally serious.