With so many products and brands out there in today's marketplace, it's easy to get confused. Really, the only way to make wise buying decisions is to see which product features the likeness of your favorite rapper, or wrestler. They would never lead you astray, would they?
Celebrity Offender: Old Dirty Bastard AKA Dirt McGirt
If you're wondering who in the blue hell "Dirt McGirt" is, he's the Old Dirty Bastard (ODB) from the highly-regarded and innovative rap super group the Wu-Tang Clan. ODB was his own man. ODB would do things like take a limo to the welfare office to pick up his check while his album was still on the Top 10 charts, all while being filmed by MTV. So either ODB had the biggest set of balls you've ever seen, or he was just batshit crazy. OK, he was just batshit crazy.
The Bastardly one had an arrest record longer than your arm, consisting of assault and battery, failure to pay child support, possession of crack, home-invasion robbery, attempted murder and several other crimes they hadn't invented laws for yet. Naturally, this made ODB the perfect candidate for his very own posthumously released potato chip, displaying the inspirational message "Think Responsibly." Because if anyone is a spokesperson for thinking responsibly, it's a lifetime criminal who died of a drug overdose.
Celebrity Offender: Jeff Foxworthy
If you ever see this jerky on the shelf while walking around your local Wal-Mart or truck stop, don't get too excited. They didn't ACTUALLY kill Jeff Foxworthy and turn his flesh into a tasty dehydrated treat, he just decided to put his name and mustachioed face on a product sure to delight ages 5 to 60, and IQ scores 70 to 75.
Foxworthy is the southern comedian that made a name for himself by making fun of rednecks, much to the delight of, well, rednecks for some reason. Even the packaging lets you know that "If you eat this, you might be a redneck." So basically, you're paying Jeff Foxworthy to insult you (again), placing his product right alongside "Have Another Donut, Fatass" brand donuts.
Celebrity Offender: Scottie Pippen
Slam City is, quite simply, one of the worst basketball games ever made. The point of the game is to beat a bunch of early '90s "urban" caricatures at one-on-one b-ball until you got the chance to face the man himself: Scottie Pippen. This is about as great an honor as playing Super Mario Bros. all the way through, only to find out that the main boss is a regular goombah.
This came out for the doomed Sega CD system back in the day, and like most games for the system used FMV (Full Motion Video) to make a game that both looked great and was utterly unplayable. You would have video footage of real people doing things (playing basketball, in this case), and pushing buttons on your controller would have some vague influence over what they did on the screen.
According to Wikipedia, the biggest claim to fame for this atrocity is the fact that Pippen himself recorded the game's theme song:
We know that a lot of you folks don't watch videos we embed in our articles, but do yourself a favor and watch this one. There's so much awful stuff going on here, it's easy to miss the unintentional hilarity of...
A) Pippen's truly awful rap.
B) The bizarre performance turned in by "Fingers," whose questionable street-baller name is compounded by his decision to look into the camera at the one minute mark and whisper "Fingersssss" like a pedophile channeling Cobra Commander.
C) The fact that Sega expected you to watch this every time you played the game.
D) Pippen's electrifying personality at the end of the clip, which answers any question you might have had about why he didn't become the celebrity pitch man Michael Jordan did.
Celebrity Offender: Hulk Hogan
It was Hulk Hogan's very own canned pasta, brother! Available in two different varieties, namely Hulk-U's and Hulkaroo's, Pastamania claimed to be the answer to the immortal question "Whatcha gonna do when hunger runs wild on you?" Realistically, though, since Pastamania products were exactly like SpaghettiO's, the real question at hand would be "Whatcha gonna eat to flush everything out of your colon?"
The Hulkster also opened a short-lived restaurant by the same name inside Minnesota's Mall of America to push the products, but it has since become an Orange Julius. The Hulk Hogan merchandising machine was hardly deterred by this failure, as you'll see...
Celebrity Offender: Hulk Hogan. Again.
That's right, folks. This is Hulk Motherfucking Hogan's own energy drink. Now, while it's not officially made with the Hulkster's blood (that would make it far, FAR too powerful), it is made with such popular energy drink ingredients such as Taurine, tons of B Vitamins, and Horny Goat Weed. No, we're not making that last ingredient up, and yes, it's for exactly what you think.
It basically exists because, in the Mighty One's own words: "My family and I have an incredibly active lifestyle. Between helping launch Brooke's music career and Nick's racing career, plus the demands of being involved in a hit series, if anyone is in need of their own energy drink it's me." That's right, if you take the Hulkster's word for it, and WE ALWAYS DO, we can blame this energy drink for allowing Brooke Hogan's "music" career to continue, giving the Hogan family the energy to keep producing yet another terrible celebrity reality show, and bringing in more money for Hogan's douchebag son Nick Bollea to spend wrecking expensive cars, the likes of which we'll never be allowed to touch.
Thanks, Hulk Energy!
Celebrity Offender: Steven Seagal
Yes, Steven Seagal has also jumped into the lucrative energy drink market. Each can has a picture of Seagal, presumably to make you thirsty... FOR BLOOD, and a list of exotic ingredients, such as ginseng, guarana, and Tibetan goji berry, whatever the fuck that is. You know what you won't find on the ingredient list? Shame.
Joe Perry of Aerosmith
We're not sure quite when it happened, but apparently it's now cool to have your face on the label of some condiment. Joe Perry of Aerosmith and Dexter Holland of the Offspring have their own hot sauces. What either of these rockers have to do with hot sauce is anyone's guess, but if buying their condiments are like buying tickets to see them, you should expect to pay a scalper at least $250 a bottle, or $275 through Ticketmaster.
Sure, we expect this from athletes, what with their Wheaties and canned beef stew. But shouldn't there be some law that requires rock stars to at least pretend not to be corporate shills until after they retire?
Celebrity Offender: Michael Jackson
Before becoming undoubtedly the creepiest motherfucker on the planet, Michael Jackson used to be famous for making some pretty damn good music and sold approximately 3 gozillion records. During this time period, Michael Jackson could have put his name on nickel-plated poop and sold it for a pretty penny. This was probably the reasoning behind the Michael Jackson premium chocolate bar.
There's an obvious joke in this about how M.J. created the candy bar to lure in children for dubious activities, but we'll take the high road and ignore that elephant in the room. What we WILL say is that the packaging of this candy bar is the definition of creepy. Go ahead, take a look at the giant Michael head coming from behind the highly symbolic rainbow, peering into our very souls with those surgically-altered, accusing eyes.
Also, he's grabbing his crotch right there on the wrapper. We personally refuse to buy food that features crotch grabbing right on the label, and you should too.
NOTE: We'd also like to mention that Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets has his own candy bar, too...
...but he was named after a candy bar in the first place, so it would be stranger if he didn't have his own. If Coolranchdoritos Wilson makes a professional sports team, the dude has a right to cash in.
Celebrity Offender: Shaquille O'Neal
We know what you're thinking: "Another basketball game? There are plenty of bad basketball games out there. Move this article along, you basement-dwelling spastics." But you are wrong. See, Shaq Fu is not a basketball game. In this game, you play as basketball superstar Shaquille O'Neal, who's on his way to a charity basketball game in Japan. Unfortunately for Shaq, along the way he "stumbles into another dimension" (come on, tell us this never happened to you), and has to save a young boy from an evil mummy named Nezu.
The only way to save this boy, apparently, is for Shaq to take part in a one-on-one fighting tournament, in which he discovers that he has super kung fu fighting abilities, along with the supernatural ability to throw fireballs.
This game also has the distinction of being cited as the worst game of all time according to many reviewers, as well as being listed in the "Top 10 Worst Licensed Game Ideas (ever)" by Game Informer, thanks to horrible plot, voice acting, gameplay and every other goddamn part of the game.
Celebrity Offender: Billy Carter (brother of President Jimmy Carter)
Billy Carter was the brother of President Jimmy Carter. More accurately, though, Billy was Jimmy Carter's fuck-up brother and the shame of the entire Carter family. He was a college drop out, ran a failed candidacy for mayor of a small city you've never heard of, and was accused in 1979 of "peddling influence" as a lobbyist for Libya. So obviously, the next step in such a promising career was to release his very own beer.
According to Wikipedia, at least 2 billion cans were produced in the late '70s, but sales were very poor. So we're not sure what they did with it. The brand will forever be famous for maybe the saddest ad campaign of all time, and a slogan that's laced with the bitter taste of personal tragedy:
Celebrity Offender: Socks (the cat) Clinton
For those of you too young to remember, Socks the Cat was President Bill Clinton's cat, which means two things: 1) He is quite possibly the most famous cat in American history due to the ridiculous amount of attention he got, and 2) He has probably walked in on more sex acts than any other animal, living or dead.
For presumably both of these reasons, the video game company Kaneko decided it would be a good idea to make a video game starring the famous feline, wherein Socks takes on enemies like George Bush (Sr. only, sorry) and Richard Nixon for some reason. We have never played the game but we can only assume the cat would win such a fight by tearing out these elderly men's necks in a blur of feline rage. Unfortunately, the company went out of business before Socks' game was ever released.