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Delusions of Local Grandeur

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Stay on a News Broadcast long enough in a given market, and you'll probably pick up this idea that you're a celebrity.

This phenomenon leads to newsreaders believing that...

  1. their opinions have value;
  2. the public is really interested in them and wants to hear them talk;
  3. they are Community Leaders.

In the best case, this may result only in increased chatter between newsreaders during the News. However, this can also lead to newsreaders gaining local talk shows, movie critique shows, or opinion segments. These last as long as it takes the station to discover how bad an idea that was. At its greatest extreme, this can lead to forays into local politics, which are beyond the scope of this Wiki.

Sub-Trope of Small Name, Big Ego, a character who thinks they're better than they really are. It often goes hand in hand with Smarmy Host, a vain slimeball of a show's host. Compare Wicked Pretentious, a villain trying too hard (and failing) at being classy.


Fan Works

  • Triptych Continuum: Subverted in "0G Network Coverage". Trixie. from whom you'd normally expect this reaction, mutters "Thank Celestia for small favors..." in response to finding out a salespony has no idea who she is. The story takes place after the events of "Magic Duel", which means the Continuum's Trixie is at the start of her transition into becoming The Atoner.

Films — Live-Action

  • Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy: Ron is the anchorman of the top news program in San Diego. As a result, he is supposed to be a big deal; people know him.
  • Die Hard: Richard "Dick" Thornburg is established as conceited of his probably nonexistent fame in his very first line. Just because he's interviewed an actual celebrity, Wolfgang, he thinks he's ingratiated himself with him.
    Dick: (into phone)—of course I can get us a table, Wolfgang and me, we're like that. I interviewed him...hold on, babe...
  • Dirty Dancing: This movie was filmed on-location at Mountain Lake in Giles County, Virginia. A fact that WSLS, a Roanoke, VA-based NBC station, will make DAMN sure you don't forget if you watch it. Also Lake Lure, North Carolina. Every Girl Scout at Camp Occoneechee knew it too.
  • Groundhog Day: Phil Connors is an arrogant and smarmy weatherman for a local TV news station in Pittsburgh before he matures.
    Phil: Somebody asked me today, "Phil, if you could be anywhere in the world, where would you like to be?" And I said to him, "Prob'ly right here-Elko, Nevada, our nation's high at 79 today." Out in California, they're gonna have some warm weather tomorrow, gang wars, and some *very* overpriced real estate. Up in the Pacific Northwest, as you can see, they're gonna have some very, very tall trees.
    Rita: ...there are no little stories, Phil. Only little reporters with big egos who think they're too good for the job they have to do.

Films — Animation

  • Monsters vs. Aliens: When federal agents are attempting to tranquilize Ginormica, they manhandle local weatherman Derek Dietl, who snarls, "Don't you know who I am?"


  • The Pickwick Papers: Mr. Pott is quick to assure Mr. Pickwick that London and the nation may rest easy knowing that the Eatanswill Gazette is on the watch.

Live-Action TV

  • Frasier: Frasier Crane actually is something of local celebrity for his popular radio show, but that's it; he takes it as much more than that and Hilarity Ensues, except when an aesop comes along to teach him humility.
  • Parks and Recreation:
    • Perd Hapley is generally one of the more pleasant media personalities in town... and then managed to get a judge show.
    • Joan Calamezzo even moreso—she's the host of the local talk show Pawnee Today, and acts like she's Oprah.
  • Shameless (UK): Frank appoints himself the spokesperson on behalf of Chatsworth's people despite him just being an alcoholic drug addict.

Puppet Shows

Radio & Podcasts

  • This Sounds Serious: Everyone, not only the newscasters, treats the position of local weatherman as a highly prestigious, influential, and celebrity-esque position.

Video Games


  • Schlock Mercenary: Frank Hannibal from the Credomar space habitat is the anchor chief of the station's news network, and as such has an overinflated ego, naturally expects to need no introduction and thinks himself the voice of the people. Mostly he just goes out of his way to insult and then demonize the Toughs in the news after they don't give him the respect he thinks he's due, making their job to distribute food and other necessities more difficult than it already was. LOTA is quick to put him in his place after LOTA takes over as King of Credomar.
    LOTA: Now please stop pretending that you are the voice of the people. You just happen to be loud, and wearing a microphone.

Web Video

  • Family: Jim is rather hyped on his fame. Gemma had no idea who he was.

Western Animation

  • Dan Vs.: In "Dan vs. Traffic", Dan butts heads with an obnoxious traffic reporter, Helicopter Hal, who takes offense at being called just a minor celebrity.
    Elise: Dan, land the helicopter and let the minor celebrity go.
    Hal: Minor celebrity?!
    Dan: You really didn't know, did you?
  • Darkwing Duck: In "Clash Reunion", Darkwing believes that he was cool when he was in high school instead of being Drake the Dweeb.
  • Family Guy: Tom Tucker is incredibly pompous with an over-inflated ego from his job as the anchor on the local nightly news.
  • Futurama: Subverted because Morbo's superiority complex doesn't come from being one anchor of "Entertainment and Earth Invasion Tonite" but from the fact that he's a Fantastic Racist alien who sees humans as puny, inferior, and deserving of annihilation.
  • The Replacements: Ace Palmero, the city's news reporter, is a Smarmy Host who thinks too big of himself, treating everyone else in a condescending way.
  • The Simpsons: Kent Brockman is a strawman Republican who got the idea to foray into politics due to the long decades he's spent as a newsreader and anchorman of Springfield's TV News channel.

Real Life

  • The usual real-life example on a national scale is all the shows on Sunday mornings on American networks which consist of journalists trying to demonstrate how smart and knowledgeable they are. Unfortunately many have lasted decades, possibly because it being Sunday morning it's not as if there's a lot of competition in the timeslots.
    • These shows run for three reasons: to give politicians a national audience to pontificate to so they can prove to their constituents that they actually matter; to satisfy stations' license requirements for a certain amount of "public service" broadcasting every week; and because they're so ridiculously cheap to produce that they're invariably profitable. Their viewers also skew towards the "very, very rich and very, very connected" demographic - so much so that some networks charge more per minute to advertise on these shows than for the Saturday morning cartoons, which have ten times the viewers. They get it, too.
    • This is not limited to "hard news"; ESPN's long-running "The Sports Reporters" is the Ur-Example of sports' answer to those news shows.
  • On British TV, when ITV was regionalised, the local stations' news anchors genuinely were big local stars. This was not so marked in the BBC regions: these were staffed by ambitious newbies trying to get noticed and break into the big time in London, usually paired with cynical elders who had worked out that the BBC only recruited its national stars in the South-East, and the further away you were from London, the more you could forget it. But ITV's local stars, like Bob Greaves in Manchester and Richard Whiteley in Leeds, were big names.note  Their day is now over since ITV de-regionalised.