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The 6 Strangest Tales of Celebrity Body Part Insurance

Since as far back as the silent film era, Lloyd's of London has been dishing out insurance policies on celebrity body parts, to any and every performer vain enough to believe their career would come to a crashing halt if they got a scar on the finger they play the banjo with.

Granted, in some cases it's money well spent. Bruce Springsteen's voice should be insured dammit. But other times, it's shit like this ...

David Lee Roth's Sperm: $1,000,000

During his '80s heyday, David Lee Roth proved himself to be possibly the most forward-thinking rocker of all time by taking out a $1,000,000 policy on his sperm. But unlike the other insurance seeking celebs, who feared that their various appendages and orifices would fail at some point, Dave was concerned about just the opposite. His policy would pay him $1,000,000 if one of his swimmers had the nerve to take hold in the baby making parts of some random groupie, thus resulting in a bank account-draining paternity suit.

No way was Diamond Dave parting with his cash in such an unseemly manner. Should he be unfortunate enough to be strapped with the title of baby daddy, Lloyd's of London would dish out a hefty $1,000,000 to make it all better. Presumably, the money was to be spent half on paying off the chick and half on mountains of coke to ease the guilt that comes with scattering fatherless kids all around the globe.

Was It Worth It?
Of course! Just as a rock and roll frontman adept at rocking flamboyantly-colored spandex outfits and high-flying martial arts maneuvers with equal precision should, Dave floated through the '80s on an ocean of anonymous poontang. Having to come out of pocket with a wad of loot every time the bag broke could've left the man destitute. Dave cut this nasty predicament off at the pass by taking the term "protected sex" to awesome new heights. The man was a goddamned visionary.

What he should have gotten:
It's a pretty safe bet that, as a rocker fully expecting to hit the road and partake in the waves of in-the-sack action that comes with the territory, Dave stood no chance of landing any kind of health insurance policy. Dave should have probably considered adding a clause to the Lloyd's of London policy that protected him from the nasty little side effects that can result from anonymous, drug-fueled sex romps, should he wake up some morning and find his penis oozing a substance that eats a hole in his floor like the blood from the creatures in Alien.

Mary Hart's Legs: $1,000,000

Some people have it too damn easy. With the possible exception of Vanna White, nobody has spent the last 25 years getting paid more to do less than Mary Hart. As the co-host of Entertainment Tonight, her responsibilities range from interviewing celebrities to ... yeah, that's about it. With a cush job like that, you certainly wouldn't blame her for wanting to make sure the thing that allows her to do that job is protected. But, in what had to be either a fit of outright confusion on her part, or wildly powerful salesmanship on the part of some scrappy insurance salesman, Mary Hart had her legs insured for $1,000,000.

Was It Worth It?

Well, if you believe the always-trustworthy Wikipedia, Mary Hart "is perhaps best known for her shapely legs." And there's a rumor that ET had a glass anchor desk installed to show off Mary's legs.


A desk designed for people who masturbate to Entertainment Tonight.

But for fucks sake, a million dollars? We're talking about a woman who spends the majority of her working hours being filmed from the waist up while promising to tell you all about the shocking backstage details you didn't see on the American Idol finale. Aren't the killer legs sort of a nice-to-have?

Mary Hart's legs may be absolutely phenomenal, but it's not like getting her stems mangled in a freak farming accident would prevent her from talking about K-Fed. Even if she lost both of her legs, you could still prop her up on a dessert cart and roll her out in front of the camera for a few minutes a night. Who wouldn't want to watch that?

What she should have gotten:
If The New England Journal of Medicine is to be believed, and it usually is, Mary Hart may want to look into some liability insurance. In 1991, a woman claimed that she got epileptic seizures after hearing Mary Hart's voice on an episode of Entertainment Tonight. That's the kind of thing men have joked about at the expense of countless women for centuries, but this time it actually happened.

When doctors later conducted laboratory tests, they confirmed that the sound of Mary Hart's voice set off abnormal electrical discharges in the woman's brain which led to the seizures. When she stopped watching Entertainment Tonight, the seizures never returned. Luckily for Mary Hart, the woman never filed suit, opting instead to live a life devoid of up-to-the-minute news about entertainment's biggest stars. But if someone else comes down with the Hart Shakes, Mary may not be so lucky next time. Time to consider an "I send people into convulsions" addendum to that stupid legs policy.

Ben Turpin's Crossed Eyes: $25,000 old-timey dollars

Back during the silent film era, actors had to go the extra mile to make people laugh. A simple bit of snappy dialogue wouldn't do the trick, mostly because moviegoers had to read the dialogue. If people wanted to fucking read, they would've stayed home with their stone tablets or slates or whatever those geezers were writing on back then. Since Charlie Chaplin already had the "future mustache of Hitler as comedy" bit on lock, silent film star Ben Turpin went with the alternative "future eyes of Columbo" routine. In 1907, the sight of a man with crossed eyes was all it took to send throngs of moviegoers into fits of laughter. Convinced that his crossed eyes were the key to his silent comedic success, Turpin took out an insurance policy that would pay him $25,000 in the event that his eyes somehow became uncrossed.

Was It Worth It?
Sure, if for no other reason than to help poor Ben keep his sanity intact. He was so hellbent on making sure his eyes never uncrossed that, according to friends, he would check a mirror anytime he received a blow to the head to make sure his eyes hadn't strayed in the right direction. You would think the fact that he endured blows to the head on a frequent enough basis that his friends would recall something like that would pretty much guarantee his eyes would stay crossed.

What's especially odd about this, at least these days, is that most actors would spend some of that movie cash to have their eyes uncrossed. Given that Turpin's left eye was actually normal when off camera (he intentionally crossed it to match the right one), it wouldn't have been much of a stretch to shell out some cash to get that shit fixed and just cross them both on his own when the cameras rolled.

What he should have gotten:
Can you get "potentially annoying voice" insurance? Even back in the day, they had to figure at some point movies would advance to the point that people could actually hear you talk. What would have become of old Turpin if, when that happened, people found that he had the voice of a stuck pig doing its best Fran Drescher impersonation? No amount of crossed eyes are going to make people want to sit through some shit like that, especially if it turns out he can send someone into epileptic fits just by talking.

This is the same type of problem Matthew Mcconaughey will have if some future technology allows us to smell the actors.

Merv Hughes' Mustache: $370,000

If you live in a country where people actually play cricket, you may or may not be impressed that an American website has bothered putting a renowned right arm fast bowler on this list. If you're an American, you're probably thinking "who the fuck is Merv Hughes and is he a bowler or a cricket player?" To you, fellow Americans, we say who the hell cares? Check out that mustache!

During his time spent on the Australian National Cricket team, Hughes had his walrusesque lip cozy insured for a cool $370,000, except they were Australian dollars, which, when converted, amounts to a completely different number altogether. For the sake of accuracy, we would dispatch someone to go online and figure out the exact amount if we weren't too transfixed by the majesty of Merv's 'stache to move right now. Look at that fucking thing!

Was It Worth It?
Man, hell yeah! You don't put that much loving time and effort into sculpting a nose neighbor of that magnitude just to let it leave the house unprotected. Sure, you could argue that, as a right arm fast bowler, which is just a fancy way of saying pitcher, he probably should have had his right arm insured. But one can only assume that the reason he opted to protect the beer filter is because, like Sampson before him, his majestic lip hair imparts to him the powers necessary to become one of the most feared cricket bowlers on earth.

Because none of us give two shits about cricket, we have no idea what those powers would be. But whatever they are, it's a safe bet to assume that Merv would be stripped of them should any harm fall upon his imposing mouth brow.

What he should have gotten:
None. Unless he wants to have his 'stache insured twice, which we would totally understand. Otherwise, Merv Hughes could not have possibly made a better investment.

Mariah Carey's Legs: $1,000,000,000

That's not a typo, folks. Mariah Carey recently insured her gams for one-fucking-billion dollars. The policy was taken out after Mariah was awarded Gillette's "Legs of a Goddess" award and, according to a spokesperson, "the sum reflects her popularity." To further reflect her legs' popularity, Gillette had an extremely fucking bizarre statue of her legs made to commemorate what must be the biggest award ever in the career of one of the best-selling female musicians of all time.

Was It Worth It?
Well, they are definitely nice legs, but just like Mary Hart, it's not like Mariah Carey couldn't do her job without them. When Heidi Klum recently insured her legs for $2.2 million, that made sense. It's not like dudes are going to fantasize about getting between her arms. Wait, actually that would be kind of awesome, too. But she's got those bothersome catwalks to deal with also. Her legs are vital to what she does.

But Mariah Carey? A lack of legs won't really keep her from singing, and anyone who has ever seen the movie Murderball knows there isn't much you can't do in a wheelchair. Surely in 2008 audiences would be open to a little rolling choreography.

But one thing that's for sure, Mariah Carey's legs are capable of setting tempers ablaze, as demonstrated in an eight-page internet flame war that we stumbled upon while researching this article. What starts as a simple forum topic about the billion-dollar leg insurance policy quickly devolves into a bitter argument between two gay dudes about whether Mariah Carey is more awesome than Madonna. At least we hope they're gay. If you think you have the patience to wade through eight pages of posts littered with "bwa-haaaaa-haaaas" and, alternately, "bwa-heeee-heeees," be our guest. Otherwise, here are a couple of highlights ...

Michael McCarthy: "bwa hehehehe - Meanwhile fat Carey who can only flail her arms and stand in one spot screeching like a hoe bitch is left with a pepsi ad to promote that she's a fat slag and a Gillette ad - the best a man can get beacuse she is the true transvestite bwa hehehehehe"

CHARLIE: "being chosen by Pepsi to be the first artist to release her own personalized ringtones over that steed-kicked granny grandma-donna whom Pepsi ditched a decade ago (boy, that hag must be sooo old) for not having world-class appeal, also for being tagged by Gillette Venus as the lady with the legs of a goddess (and McDonna has none, boo-hoo, he-he)! COngrats Mariah, the supreme diva!"

What she should have gotten:
All the shapely legs in the world won't save Mariah if she wigs out again like she did after her movie Glitter bombed. After damn near stripping on TRL and leaving a rambling phone message on her website that went on for about 20 minutes about nothing much more than rainbows, Carey disappeared from the public eye for months while rumors swirled about her batshit insanity. She famously recovered after releasing the comeback album The Emancipation of Mimi in 2005. But you can only return from the depths of crazy so many times before it finally sticks. She should probably look into getting that wacky brain of hers covered against any future breakdowns before she blows her whole wad covering her legs.

Tom Jones' Chest Hair - $7,000,000

Tom Jones, still making elderly Las Vegas audiences swoon at age 67, lives in fear. Sure, he's stayed famous for like half a century, and probably sexed enough women to populate a small and very satisfied country. But Tom believes all that could come crashing down with a single accident (say, a spontaneous shirt combustion) that in any way damages his luxuriant pelt of chest hair.

So, he took out a $7,000,000 policy, which we're guessing is what it would cost to get replacement chest hair implants should the worst happen.

Was It Worth It?
Let's get one thing clear, Tom Jones is awesome. If you think otherwise, you simply have not spent enough time studying Tom Jones. So it's with a heavy heart that we have to mock the man.

But insuring his chest hair, for lack of a better term, is the stupidest damn thing we've ever heard. On the long list of things that make Tom Jones the stud that he is, his chest hair isn't even on it. He's got a ton of cash, chicks dig him, he oozes charisma, he's got enough confidence to pose spread eagle in a banana hammock...

... he writes great tunes, the list goes on and on. And on, and on.

In fact, the only thing not awesome about Tom is that he just happens to be only slightly less hairy than a grizzly bear with a massive Propecia addiction. Yet somehow, Tom has said to himself, "Yeah, I can can sing, people love me, but everyone knows the chest hair is the real star here. If I ever dared take the stage smooth-chested, the women would curse and the men would literally pelt the stage with their own feces."

It pretty much goes without saying that this self reflection took place back in the '70s in a very dark hotel room amidst mountains of cocaine and a bevy of well boned groupies at approximately 4am. And it's been bothering Tom ever since.

What he should have gotten:
How about everything but the damn chest hair? Tom Jones is a walking monument to awesomeness. He's pushing 70, and chicks still throw their panties at him when he's on stage. That's rarefied air.

Without the voice, the swagger, the awkward yet somehow totally appropriate dance moves and killer songwriting chops...Tom would still bag more trim in a day than we will in our whole collective lives. But as luck would have it, he has all those things and really can't afford to lose them. He's the perfect candidate for the more traditional voice insurance, hell, even the leg insurance. But chest hair? We think Tom would pull through without it.

Adam Brown has his own site at ScenicAnemia.com.

If you enjoy laughing at celebrities with wildly distorted self-images, check out 6 Singers Who Are Mistaken About Their Raw Sexuality. Or, read about the dumbest women to ever use feminist rhetoric in Wayne Gladstone's latest post about the Spice Girls.

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