Will Ferrell’s Web short “The Landlord” has been online for less than a week (PopWatch linked to it on Monday), but it’s already made a breakout star out of two-year-old Pearl McKay. And no wonder: not only does she have a distinguished Hollywood pedigree (her uncle is Jeremy Piven, and her dad is Adam McKay, Ferrell’s writing/directing partner on such movies as Anchorman and Talladega Nights and the writer/director/costar of “Landlord”), but she’s also clearly talented and photogenic. During her weeklong crawl from the playpen to worldwide notoriety, Pearl has been the subject of several profiles in major newspapers and has even been interviewed (sorta) by People magazine.
Unfortunately, wee Pearl has also become the most controversial celebrity offspring since Jane Fonda. Lots of folks, including many of you who commented on Monday’s post, have accused the elder McKay of bad parenting, suggesting that by teaching Pearl some risqué lines of dialogue, he’s setting her up for years of psychotherapy and deprogramming. (C’mon, it’s not as if she were Suri Cruise.) But it’s not Pearl I’m worried about; rather, it’s the rest of us. The precocious Pearl is getting a head start that will leave her underachieving contemporaries — Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, Apple and Moses Paltrow-Martin, and Cheeto and Poptart Spears-Federline — in the dust. By the time she’s as old as, say, Elle Fanning, she’ll have won an Oscar; by the time she’s Dakota’s age, she’ll be running her own studio. Soon she’ll own us all. She’ll be our landlord for real, and it’ll be our door she knocks on when she wants to get her drink on.