Getting a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame is one of the biggest honors of a celebrity's career — but being awarded one is never a total surprise, no matter how many people pretend it is.
Case in point: "Weird Al" Yankovic, who tweeted:
I just found out I’m getting a star on the HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME. Unbelievable!!
— Al Yankovic (@alyankovic) June 22, 2017
Flattering? Yes. Humbling? I'm sure. But "unbelievable?" Not so much, for one simple reason: a celebrity has to submit a letter of agreement to confirm that they approve of their nomination for a star on the Walk of Fame, otherwise the nomination is rejected.
Anyone can nominate a celebrity for inclusion — including fans, the public figure's manager, agent, studio, network, or the celebrity themselves. Maybe most of they aren't that vain, but let's be honest, there are probably a bunch that are.
The only stipulation is that whoever does the nominating also agrees to be responsible for paying the $40,000 it costs to install and maintain the star, which is why it makes sense for talent (or their family) to nominate themselves — $40k is a lot of love to shell out unless you're really invested in someone.
And yet, so many famous folks act like their inclusion is earth-shattering news, even though they've been aware of the possibility for weeks, or potentially months, before the year's recipients are announced.
"We are constantly asked about the process. Nominating someone for a star is as simple as can be! All we ask for is a completed nomination application and a commitment to sponsor the star should their celebrity sign off on the nomination and attend the event if selected. Anyone can nominate their favorite celebrity, including a fan," says Ana Martinez, Producer of the Walk of Fame ceremonies, in a statement on the Walk of Fame website.
To be fair to Yankovic and other enthusiastic star-getters, agreeing to a nomination doesn't guarantee that a celeb will be approved — the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce chooses who will be awarded a star, and they say that they get around 300 applications a year, which have to be whittled down to 20-24 recipients, and there are probably a ton of humble luminaries who don't think they'll actually be selected. But Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jennifer Lawrence, Mark Hamill and Shonda Rhimes, who are among this year's recipients alongside Yankovic, probably felt at least a little qualified — more than the Rugrats and this guy, at least.
We don't blame anyone for getting excited about being chosen to be a permanent part of Hollywood history — the Walk of Fame is a big deal, no matter who pays for it.
But getting an award that you applied for isn't "unbelievable," it's just recognition of your talent — and shouldn't that be enough?