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The 10 Most Improbable Celebrity Fistfights

Jim Rome vs. Jim Everett

The Backstory:
While a talk-show brawl usually has all the veracity of professional wrestling, it's not unheard of for legitimate hostilities to break out, even when celebrities are involved (For example, see the scrap between civil-rights activists Al Sharpton and Roy Innis on the set of The Morton Downey Jr. Show).

But, the incident between sports-radio host Jim Rome and NFL quarterback Jim Everett wasn't sparked by a heated political debate or the incitements of a hooting and hollering crowd. It stemmed from Rome' habit of nicknaming his guest "Chris"- as in female tennis player Chris Evert-due to his habit of avoiding contact.

The Beatdown:
After two years of this, Everett was clearly ready to snap when he appeared on Rome' ESPN2 talk show Talk2 in 1994 and was immediately introduced as "Chris" Everett. "If you call me Chris Evert to my face one more time, you'd better take a station break," Everett warned. "I think that you probably won't say it again." "I bet I do," Rome said. "Chris."

In the jungle, zoologists refer to this type of behavior as "Jumping into the lion's den wearing steak pants," and it is generally regarded as an unwise decision. Everett, not surprisingly, flipped over the table separating him from his host and threw Rome to the floor, whereupon a cameraman rushed in to break up the melee before Everett punched him in the grill.

The Winner:
Everett. You have to give Rome credit for standing by his smack-talking, but at a certain point impugning the masculinity of a guy twice your size goes from "ballsy" to "a strategically questionable move." Also, Rome must have momentarily forgotten he was working for the athlete-coddling ESPN. His TV show was canceled soon afterward, and he failed to get the hosting gig for ESPN Radio's new call-in show.

A penitent Rome spent months worrying that "The Incident" had ended his career until his syndicated radio show got off the ground. Even now, however, Rome forbids callers from substituting female names for male ones to impugn athletes's masculinity and probably trembles and breaks into a cold sweat if he ever has to speak the names of NBA power forward Andrea Bargnani or NFL wide receiver Ashley Lelie.

Chrissie Hynde vs. Carly Simon

The Backstory:
Chrissie Hynde infamously once joked about blowing up a McDonald' to further her vegetarian agenda, but she apologized for this after a fan actually firebombed one in her honor. And, she once drunkenly groped bassist Kim Deal, but only because she thought she was a man. As for Carly Simon, when she gets very, very angry, she sits down and vents her fury by penning a lyrically biting song. Warren Beatty' ears are still burning over "You're So Vain".

Neither of these songbirds seems that violent, so where's the beef? Oddly, their tussle was sparked by their shared love of Joni Mitchell.

The Beatdown:
Mitchell celebrated her 52nd birthday in November 1995 by playing a show at a small New York club. Halfway through, a drunken Hynde began disrupting the show and distracting the nearby Simon by loudly clapping and yelling, "I love you!" Simon says she asked Hynde to be a little quieter, Hynde hugged her and playfully choked her "in a loving way" and told Simon that she was great, too, and should join Mitchell onstage. Simon decided to just change seats.

However, witnesses report that Simon threatened, "Shut up or I'll beat the shit out of you," was promptly leapt upon, choked and punched by Hynde, most likely in a considerably less loving way, and thereafter opted to leave the club.

Computer simulation

The Winner:
Hynde, who was just lucky Simon didn't rear up and dash her brains out with her hooves.

Bill Cosby vs. Tom Smothers

The Backstory:
Mom always liked Dick Smothers best. So did Bill Cosby. Following the cancellation of the Smothers Brothers's comedy-variety show in 1969 over their merciless ridicule of racism, the government and the Vietnam War, an unrepentant Tom Smothers frequently criticized Cosby in public for his failure to take a stand on civil rights.

The unamused Cosby finally threatened to knock the strident Smothers brother upside his head during a gig guest-hosting The Tonight Show. "Yeah, go ahead and try," Smothers responded, setting up the battle of Tom vs. Uncle Tom.

The Beatdown:
During a party at the Playboy Mansion in October 1976, Smothers congratulated Cosby on his latest TV series, which, unbeknownst to Smothers, had been canceled the day before. Cosby gave him a look of disgust, so Smothers said, "Well, fuck you," and walked off. According to Smothers, Cosby then sneaked up on him, using Hugh Hefner as a screen, and sucker-punched him in the back of the head, knocking him down. Smothers lay stunned as Cosby stood over him screaming that he was going to kick his ass.

Let' just take a second to reflect on how crazy that all is and, alternately, how everything and everyone involved makes for a kick-ass addition to the game of "Celebrity Clue" we're in the process developing for Parker Brothers. (I guess "Mr. Huxtable, with the Hugh Hefner, in the Playboy Mansion").

Computer simulation

The Winner:
Smothers, believe it or not. Cosby might have indeed knocked him upside his head, but it was a cheap shot. Smothers, on the other hand, clearly got inside Cosby' head. Now Cosby, far from remaining silent, can't keep his mouth shut about racial issues. "He's criticizing, and that's good because nobody else is. His commentaries are, I think, correct," Smothers says. Not that he' ruled out a rematch. "When we're 75 years old, he'll turn around and I'll give him a blindside. It probably won't hurt by the time we'll be hobbling around in our walkers."

Paris Hilton vs. Shanna Moakler

The Backstory:
Despite a brief stint playing hockey in finishing school, and some well publicized run-ins with various starlets and their boyfriends' erect penises, as late as 2004, Paris Hilton had never been in a fistfight. "I've never touched anyone," says Hilton in a Rolling Stone interview. "I'm too scared. I don't want someone scratching my face or my eyes." Model/actress Shanna Moakler assuaged Hilton's fears of eye and face scratching by simply punching Hilton in the face after Hilton was spotted making out in a New York club with Moakler' estranged husband, Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker.

The Beatdown:
Hilton claims she was chatting with ex-boyfriend Stavros Niarchos at L.A.'s Hyde Lounge when Moakler stormed over, punched her in the jaw and shouted at her. Moakler says Niarchos then pushed her down a flight of stairs, bent her wrist back and poured a drink over her head. Moakler dried off with some napkins, left the club and then returned with the police 10 minutes later; however, no action was taken. Presumably because the police couldn't believe a model was fighting Paris Hilton over Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker.

Computer simulation

The Winner:
Unclear. Ever since this incident, Hilton's wandered around looking like she has a detached retina, but photographic evidence suggests she looked like that long before the fight. Moakler technically wins, as she landed the only hit, even though she took most of the damage. We can definitively call the loser of this altercation Stavros Niarchos, who instead of just sitting back and enjoying a good catfight, beat up a woman for about the worst reason we can think of: defending Paris Hilton's honor.

Jon Lovitz vs. Andy Dick

The Backstory:
Exposing himself in public, shouting racial epithets, fondling unwilling males and females and crashing cars under the influence of drugs and alcohol-it' a regular Tuesday afternoon for Andy Dick. But his greatest sin? He killed Phil Hartman. In Jon Lovitz's mind, anyway.

He has long blamed Dick for Hartman's death at the hands of his wife Brynn; Dick reintroduced Brynn to cocaine after 10 years of sobriety at a 1997 Christmas party, thus launching her on the downward spiral that led to the Hartmans' murder-suicide five months later. When Lovitz took over for his deceased pal on NewsRadio, he told Dick point-blank, "I wouldn't be here if you hadn't given Brynn that cocaine."

In 2006, Dick approached Lovitz at a club, downed his guests' drinks, and said, "I put the 'Phil Hartman hex' on you. You're the next one to die." Lovitz was furious.

The Beatdown:
In June 2007, the two ran into each other again at L.A.' Laugh Factory. Lovitz demanded an apology for Dick' "Phil Hartman-hex" comment. Dick first claimed not to remember saying it, then told Lovitz, "You know why I said it? Because you said I killed Phil Hartman." Then he asked Lovitz to appear in his new movie. Lovitz then flipped out, which is actually a natural reaction when anyone with even a shred of self respect is asked to be in an Andy Dick movie. Accounts differ as to what happened. Dick says Lovitz grabbed him by the lapel and threw him against a wall. Lovitz says he threw Dick into a table. Laugh Factory owner Jamie Masada says Lovitz picked Dick up by the head and smashed him into the bar four or five times until blood poured out of his nose.

Computer simulation

The Winner:
Lovitz. "All the comedians are glad I did it because this guy is an asshole," says Lovitz. We're glad too, and frankly, we choose to believe Masada' bloody version of events, because Dick had it coming to him. He didn't just kill Hartman. He killed Lionel Hutz and Troy McClure. And, he killed Bill McNeal, without whom-with all due respect to Lovitz-the last season of NewsRadio sucked.

And while Lovitz has made some regrettable choices over the last decade or so, (Rat Race, The Benchwarmers, those God awful Subway commercials), slamming Dick' head into a bar and shitting down his throat, (Hey, if no one can agree on what actually happened, there' no reason we can't throw our theory into the ring) has been, without a doubt, the best work of his career.

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