Case in point: Oliver Reed.
I ran across this Youtube clip of Oliver Reed drunk on talk shows, and there's something in it that's just glorious. Reed is astoundingly skunked (even more so than this guy), and he's not immune to horrifying moments -- a bit where he attempts to sing rock'n'roll must be seen to be believed. But the candor, the cheerfulness, and the moments of surprising tenderness (watch, particularly, his answer to the question "Why do you drink?"), give him a panache that modern celebrity inebriants just don't have.
The past got this; we have Paula Abdul. It ain't fair.