If you want a scary list of fading celebrities, try Kmart (NASDAQ:KMRT) on for size. The company's eclectic collection of endorsers includes Kathy Ireland, Jaclyn Smith, and Martha Stewart. Who can forget when Rosie O'Donnell and Penny Marshall pitched the company?

These stars haven't had a whole lot of paparazzi-fueled success since hooking up with the killer K. Even behind the camera, the same Marshall that directed gems Big and A League of Their Own has had a dry run. Stewart and O'Donnell spent most of the past year in court.

Smith and Ireland will argue that they are much more successful now than during their Charlie's Angels and Sports Illustrated pin-up days, respectively. Still, one has to wonder how much better off they would be had they latched their names to an edgier chain like Target (NYSE:TGT).

We certainly can't pin Martha's flap with ImClone (NASDAQ:IMCL) on Kmart, but maybe the Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (NYSE:MSO) leader would have been better off going after the sensible high-volume crowd of Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT).

If you're wondering whether Kmart is trolling reruns of Celebrity Mole for its next wave of pimping, not so fast! Have you noticed the company's makeover? The market has.

In fact, the shares have more than doubled over the past year. Yes, Kmart is closing stores and its same-store sales fell by 13.5% during the critical holiday shopping season; however, the company also trimmed inventory and produced roughly $200 million (or $2.23 a share) in net profits over those two months. We won't get a look at full-year results for another two weeks, but with $1.8 billion in cash and just $470 million in long-term debt, this is not the Kmart that folded under pressure.

So, Kmart isn't the kiss of death anymore. CEO Julian Day should bring good tidings to investors later this month, and a leaner, smarter Kmart sounds like a recipe for success. And if Day wants a pair of brothers to promote a new line of designer jester hats, I'm sure we can work something out.

Are you a thrifty shopper? What are your preferences among Wal-Mart, Kmart, and Target? Care to share any penny-pinching tips? All this and more -- in the Living Below Your Means discussion board. Only on Fool.com.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz will miss the closing of his nearest Kmart but understands that it's for the greater good. He does not own shares in any companies mentioned in this story.