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Fan mail may be in the form of letters, cards, artworks, gifts, and so on; depending on the recipient, it may also be possible to send fan mail via E-mail. People send fan mail to athletes, actors, artists, writers, singers, bands, and coaches of teams. Responses can take a great deal of time to come, or never come at all.
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Since a major celebrity may receive thousands of pieces of fan mail every day, it is usually impossible for him/her to reply to or read them all; his/her managers often have the duty of canvassing the incoming mail. Normally fan mail should be sent to the office of the celebrity's management. Some celebrities may also charge a small fee for a signed photo.
Many celebrities, such as David Letterman, have incorporated answering such mail as part of their routine. This gimmick has also been used with fictional characters; special episodes of Beavis and Butt-head featured mail sent to the two, and the Homestar Runner website regularly features E-mails sent to and answered by the cartoon's main antagonist, Strong Bad. Public reading and answering of fan mail was a common recurring element of the cult television program Mystery Science Theater 3000. TLC's third studio album was named FanMail, and was a tribute to fans, with the names of many fans that had sent them fan mail over the years included in the album's insert.