FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
THE WEIRDEST CELEBRITIES OF 2005
Ben Kallen, author of The Year in Weird: A Comical Look at the
Shocking, Strange and Just Plain Silly Events of 2005 (Booksurge Publishing) offers
his list of the 10 weirdest celebrities of 2005.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: There was plenty of weirdness in the entertainment world
this year, says Ben Kallen, author of The Year in Weird: A Comical Look at the
Shocking, Strange and Just Plain Silly Events of 2005 (Booksurge Publishing).
The following is his list of the 10 weirdest celebrities of 2005:
10. Nicolas Cage. He and his wife named their newborn son Kal-el, the name
Superman was given when he was born on the planet Krypton. As the boy is sure to
find out on the schoolyard in eight years or so, that's weird.
9. Sylvester Stallone. At nearly 60, Stallone began positioning himself
as the action hero for the Centrum Silver set. He announced that he's preparing
to star in new sequels to his Rocky and Rambo movie franchises; appeared
on the cover of Sly, a fitness magazine intended to help guys "stay in the
game past 40"; and marketed his own line of high-protein pudding.
8. George Clooney. Through no fault of his own, the star suffered what can
only be called a weird injury: After gaining weight for his role in the film Syriana,
then falling backward in a chair during the filming of a violent scene, he suffered
a tear to the dura, which is sort of a wrapper around the spinal cord. Clooney's
friends reportedly said that doctors only diagnosed the painful problem after spinal
fluid began dripping out of his nose.
7. Ashlee Simpson. A few months after Jessica's faux-punk little sister
caused a lip-syncing scandal when the wrong vocal tracks played behind her during
an appearance on Saturday Night Live, she performed at the Orange Bowl and
was soundly booed. Later in the year she returned to the scene of the crime, performing
on SNL again in an attempt to prove once and for all that she can sing without
the help of electronic vocals. As it turned out, she can... just not very well.
6. Fergie. It was strange enough when the attractive Black Eyed Peas singer
was photographed during a San Diego concert with an unexplained wet spot on a particular
area of her pants. Then Scotland's Daily Record had this to say about a recent
show in Australia: "The singer wet herself on stage -- and was forced to drench
herself in champagne to disguise the evidence." If you combine Fergie's troubles
with Ashlee's, the idea of becoming a rock star is starting to seem less like a
dream and more like the stuff of everyone's weird nightmares.
5. Christian Slater. Early in the year, the Jack Nicholson sound-alike actor
was accused of sexual harassment on Manhattan's Upper East Side when a woman claimed
he grabbed her behind. Later on, a gossip column reported that Slater had been kicked
out of a London strip club because he wouldn't take off his Richard Nixon mask.
And later still, he reportedly fell off a roof while attending a party given by
Paris Hilton in West Hollywood, California. That's a little weirdness everywhere.
4. Martha Stewart. By far the most elegant celebrity to be released from
prison this year, Stewart told David Letterman that her euphemism for jail was "Yale."
But perhaps the weirdest thing in Martha's year was the fact that she had to get
the Canadian government to speed up a permit required for people with criminal records
to enter the country, all so that she could participate in a charity race in which
contestants paddle giant hollowed-out pumpkins across a lake. And if a British newspaper's
report that the "domestic diva" is buying rights to some of late grunge-rocker
Kurt Cobain's songs turns out to be true, that's just icing on the weirdness cake.
3. Russell Crowe. The combustible actor always seems weird in the same way:
"Fightin' around the world," as a song on South Park once put it.
This year, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault charges following an incident
when -- after the staff at New York's Mercer Hotel failed to help him get a phone
connection to his wife -- he threw a telephone that hit a hotel concierge in the
face. He later made fun of the charges during an appearance at the Australian Film
Industry Awards, where he held up an old-fashioned phone threateningly and said,
Scarface-style, "[Say] hello to my little friend."
2. Michael Jackson. To most people, poor Michael is nothing but weird now,
a creepy figure whose appearance, lifestyle and legal battles have completely overshadowed
the fact that he once created some of the world's greatest pop songs. This year
alone, Jackson faced child-molestation charges in one of the oddest (and most celebrity-studded)
trials of all time; moved to Bahrain as the guest of the king's son; reportedly
caused a scene in a Dubai shopping mall by entering a women's restroom; and was
embarrassed by old voice recordings of what some called bigoted remarks about a
former advisor. Yet, even with all that, he announced plans to release "music
plus video" singles of his old songs, knowing people will still buy them because
the music is just that good.
1. Tom Cruise. Still one of the most bankable leading men in Hollywood,
Cruise puts so much intensity and charisma into his weirdness that he makes being
strange seem almost cool. Still, let's recap: He started dating 16-years-younger
Katie Holmes, only to face rumors that the relationship had been arranged for publicity
value (disclaimer: no such suggestion is being made here); famously jumped up and
down on Oprah Winfrey's couch in a display of love-induced mania; criticized former
costar Brooke Shields for having taken medication to deal with postpartum depression;
harangued Matt Lauer for being "glib" on the same topic during an interview
on The Today Show; and, after he and Holmes announced her pregnancy, revealed
that he had purchased his own sonogram machine to monitor the child's development.
So will all of this behavior have a negative effect on his career? Only if Mission:
Impossible 3 stinks, and it probably won't. The lesson: Star power and big box
office trump weirdness any time.
About the Author
Ben Kallen is a journalist, humorist and magazine writer whose work has appeared
in Entertainment Weekly, TV Guide, Movieline, Men's Fitness, Shape, Natural Health,
Playboy, L.A. Style and the Los Angeles Times. He keeps a constant eye out for
weirdness from his home base in Santa Monica, California.
For more information, please Contact
or visit www.theyearinweird.com.
The Year in Weird: A Comical Look at the Shocking, Strange and Just Plain Silly
Events of 2005 is available for purchase from Amazon.com,
Here are some of the newsmakers you'll find in mentioned "The
Year in WEIRD": Martha Stewart, Michael Jackson,
Ashlee Simpson, Jessica Simpson, Nick Lachey, Pamela Anderson, George Clooney, Russell
Crowe, Mel Gibson, Nicole Kidman, Britney Spears, Homer Simpson, Elisha Cuthbert,
Madonna, William Shatner, Willy Wonka, Barbie, Elmo, Darth Vader, Vladimir Lenin,
Tiger Woods, the Smurfs, Brad and Angelina, Superman, Oprah Winfrey, Renee Zellweger,
Dave Chappelle, Woody Allen, Borat, O.J., Robert Blake, Celine Dion, Prince, Wesley
Snipes, Bruce Willis, President Bush, Dick Cheney, Dave Matthews, John Lennon, Arnold
Schwarzenegger, Mary Kay Letourneau, Cheech & Chong, Reese Witherspoon, Heidi
Fleiss, Shaquille O'Neal, Prince Charles, Galileo, Stewie from "Family Guy,"
and those two pro cheerleaders... you know the ones.
Weird-news fans: If you like "News of the Weird," "Oddly
Enough," "The Onion," "Wireless Flash," "The Darwin
Awards" or Fark.com, you'll want to buy The Year in Weird!