Scott Jones and Alex Thomas made Internet and ink-and-paper headlines exactly one week ago when the famous photo of them kissing among the chaos and violence of a Vancouver hockey riot went viral. Dragging out the suspense a little, the couple took a full 24-hour news cycle to be identified, and then turned out to be a fairly charming young pair who were in love and also attractive. That got them booked on the Today show, and the clock started ticking on their 15 minutes of fame. This couple should be the definition of coincidental fame, of the flash-in-the-pan exposure that can get you famous one minute and forgotten the next, right? Their agent doesn't think so. Admittedly, that's what he's supposed to think, but he's got an interesting argument to back him up.
The pair have booked big-time Australian talent agent Max Markson, who said on the phone from Australia they have every chance of becoming lasting celebrities, especially Jones, for whom Markson is trying to launch a comedy career. Markson said he hadn't spoken in depth with Thomas, but will help her do "whatever she wants."
"Definitely in this country, people can’t wait for them to come here. Also in Canada, they’re getting enormous exposure. They've only done one interview there [with the CBC last week]," Markson said. He had just sent off an e-mail to the Tonight Show, where he hoped Jones could perform his act. "I half-warned them I don't know how funny he is."
The pair has made a little money when a television station paid them for an interview. Markson stressed that it was a non-U.S. station, and he wouldn't say how much they made--"Not much, just some pocket money"--But so far the whole deal hasn't realized much of a payday. Markson is trying to book the pair as spokespeople for Chicago-based jeweler Michael Hill. "I think they’re the world’s most romantic couple and I figure the world’s most romantic couple should have a jewelry company behind them."
The pair is on vacation in California until mid-July, Markson said ("of course the most romantic couple in the world would go on holiday first"). Still, he has been "inundated" with interview requests. "Media all over the world want to talk to them. A few TV stations in America, in Canada, New Zealand, in Australia. If they’re still interested in mid-july in Australia, we’ll pick up the slack."
That leaves the question of why anybody might care what these two random folks, who just happened to do something kind of sweet in front of a lens, have to say about anything weeks after the fact.
"The image of the photograph is what’s going to stand them in good sted, unlike most newsflash stories. Do we remember the name of the flight attendant who stormed off the plane? Who remembers the winner of American Idol from year three? We have reality TV that makes stars and they get their 15 minutes of fame and they disappear. This couple, all you have to say is 'Vancouver riot kiss' and the image will come up in their mind. People think in pictures. That’ll be their calling card. It’ll be there forever."
Of course, Jones is going to have to keep the momentum going himself. "If he’s funny, he’ll make it as a comedian. As all comedians do, he’ll stand on his own two feet," Markson said. He admitted that he hadn't seen Jones's one Youtube video. Here it is. Think he's got a future?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.