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Fame doesn't last forever. One decade you're riding high on Learjets and call girls, the next you're hawking autographs and hand jobs behind the Porta Johns at the county fair.

Of course, not all celebrities leave the limelight kicking and screaming. Some merely flip fame the bird and pursue new, absolutely random forms of employment.

7
Jeff Cohen a.k.a. Chunk from The Goonies

He was Chunk. You know who we mean. For our culturally illiterate readers who grew up on Big Love-style polygamist compounds, we'll just say that in 1985, Richard Donner (of Lethal Weapon fame) directed the greatest adventure movie starring an obese child in the history of cinema. That film was The Goonies and that obese child was Chunk, whose epically humiliating Truffle Shuffle gave an entire generation of husky children a reason to swim with their t-shirts on.

After the Spotlight:

He grew up to be a big-shot Hollywood attorney.

Many child stars ride out their one shtick until they're septum-deep in a bucket of Bolivian Marching Powder, but Cohen avoided child star purgatory. He dropped the acting (and the weight) and attended UC Berkeley, where he rode out his one shtick to campus fame: Cohen ran for Student Body President on the platform "Vote for Chunk" and performed the Truffle Shuffle at Cal football games.

After obtaining his undergrad, Cohen attended UCLA Law and later founded his own media law firm, which is sadly not named Chunk, Sloth & Associates.

In 2008, Cohen was named one of The Hollywood Reporter's Top 35 Executives under 35. We assume Cohen entered law to defend the less fortunate of the world (or at least greater Los Angeles). After all, the Truffle Shuffle basically set fat kids' civil rights back 20 years.

6
James Brian Hellwig a.k.a. The Ultimate Warrior

The 1980s were more or less about four things:

A.) Cocaine;
B.) The best comedy movies ever;
C.) Dressing like a transvestite prostitute;
D.) The culmination of all of the above, a.k.a. the glory days of pro wrestling.

James Brian Hellwig jumped aboard the 'rasling train after being a professional body builder and quickly became one of the WWE's biggest superstars. "The Ultimate Warrior" was touted as the next Hulk Hogan and even pinned the Hulkster for the WWE Championship in a passing-of-the-torch match.

After a series contract disputes with WWE head honcho Vince McMahon, Hellwig left wrestling. The Ultimate Warrior lost the spotlight, and the world lost the finest dramatic monologist since Spalding Gray:

After the Spotlight:

He became a right-wing pundit.

Hellwig returned to wrestling after his WWE dispute but never reached his prior, higher echelons of man-hugging. When Hellwig finally hung up his multi-colored tights, he legally changed his name to "Warrior" and became a conservative motivational speaker. This was a curious career move given that Hellwig's previous gig wasn't public speaking, but incoherent rambling.

During this time, Warrior made national headlines for his eloquent views on homosexuality. And by "eloquent," we mean "rock stupid." In a speech at the University of Connecticut, Warrior stated that "queering doesn't make the world work." He later tried to clarify this remark by explaining that no babies would be born if dudes only goosed other dudes.

No offense Mr. Warrior, but when you've released a comic book that depicts you molesting Santa Claus, we're pretty sure you've lost any right whatsoever to make fun of homosexuals.

In the end, that little comment got Warrior fired from his position as a speaker for the Young Republicans of America. Nowadays, his madness is confined to his blog, The Warrior's Machete, where you can buy his totally-worth-it $2,950 Ultimate Warrior oil paintings.

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5
Peter Weller a.k.a. RoboCop

Just as the Ultimate Warrior gave the children of the 1980s hope that they could somehow turn a lifetime of simmering mental illness into a wrestling career, Peter Weller's RoboCop inspired 80s kids to pursue careers in law enforcement. Of course, this particular vision of "law enforcement" was based on dying, being resurrected as a cyborg and beating the crap out of Red from That 70's Show.

After the Spotlight:

He's a fine arts scholar.

Some readers might have seen Weller hosting the History Channel's Engineering an Empire. It turns out that while Weller's showbiz star was fading, his academic one was rising.

In 2004, Weller received a Master's in Roman and Renaissance Art from Syracuse University. That's right: Friggin' RoboCop went back to school to get his M.A. in ancient aesthetics.


"Did you know the Stanze di Raffaello was actually commissioned by Pope Julius II to be his apartment?"
"N... no?"
"Wrong answer, scumbag."

62-year-old Weller is presently working on his Ph.D. in Italian Renaissance art at UCLA. At this point in the article, we'd be inclined to rib Weller for pursuing the "least RoboCop degree in the world" or some shit, but we can't help but applaud the guy after seeing the Ultimate Warrior's forays into fine art.

4
Mason Betha a.k.a. The Rapper Ma$e

In 1997, the rap roster of Bad Boy Records was spitting hotness onto America's airwaves. You had The Notorious B.I.G., Puff Daddy, Lil' Kim, Cracked house favorites The LOX ("Money, power, respect!") and then Puffy's protege Ma$e.


The $ is so you won't confuse it with Mace, which also spits hotness in your face.

Ma$e's day job was to cameo on Bad Boy singles, wear whatever insane jumpsuit Puffy was sporting that week and live up to the expectations of being hip-hop's next big thing.

After the Spotlight:

He became a preacher.

Rather than take up the mantle of the deceased Notorious B.I.G., Ma$e went a completely different route. In 1999, he retired to become a pastor. Yes, the man previously known as Murda Ma$e left the industry to follow God's calling.


"And the good Lord sayeth unto thee, 'Out of inner streets blaze plenty freaks; be the bad boy everybody wanna meet.'"

It's not unusual for famous people to discover the Lord, but it usually happens when they hit the rockiest of bottoms (see: MC Hammer). Ma$e quit at the top of his game - he left Bad Boy, began his own ministry and even produced his own Christian TV program, Born To Succeed. Sadly, the show's not all Eucharists filled with beluga caviar and Cristal.

Good on Ma$e for cleaning up his act, but we can't abide by the show's U2-lite soundtrack and public access production values. Hype Williams used to direct your videos for fuck's sake.

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3
Bill Berry a.k.a. the Drummer for R.E.M.

Berry, a founding member of the band, drummed with R.E.M. for 17 years. He famously penned "Man on the Moon" and "Everybody Hurts," better known as the most depressing break-up song in the history of recorded music.

After the Spotlight:

Farmer.

In 1995, Berry suffered a brain aneurysm mid-concert. Although he recovered, the drummer left R.E.M., claiming, "I feel like I'm ready for a life change. I'm still young enough that I can do something else."

And what inspired Berry to give up rock superstardom? Farming hay, natch.

Yup, Berry gave up lounging around in a bed made of money for back-breaking labor at the crack of dawn. Of course, this is no weirder than Faith No More guitarist Jim Martin's post-rock career. After 10 years of shredding it onstage with Mike Patton, Martin retired to farm pumpkin, and not just any pumpkins: giant, record-breaking pumpkins.

Martin's farming career doesn't mean he's given up heavy metal hedonism. In 2004, he opined, "Surprisingly, though, in the bizarre, dark underbelly of competitive pumpkin growing, there are groupies." So what do you call these groupies? Gourd girls?


"We actually prefer 'squash sluts.'"

2
Terry Chimes a.k.a. the Drummer from The Clash

If you're a fan of today's punk bands, you should thank The Clash. If you love "Paper Planes" by M.I.A., you should thank The Clash (she sampled their song "Straight To Hell"). In fact, just thank The Clash that you're alive because fuck you, they're the fucking Clash.

Chimes was The Clash's original drummer and toured with the band throughout the 1980s. As if being a founding member of The Clash wasn't awesome enough, Chimes toured with Black Sabbath. Sure, Ozzy Osbourne had been kicked out of Sabbath in 1979, but who on this planet can say they've played with both the most influential punk and heavy metal bands of all time?

After the Spotlight:

So what do you do after pounding the skins for both The Clash and Sabbath?


Fuck, yeah.

You become a chiropractor.


Fuck- WUH?

In 1985, Chimes's arms were aching after bowling with Black Sabbath (it's like normal bowling, but with Quaaludes). Sabbath's personal chiropractor fixed Chimes up, which impressed the drummer so much that he decided to become one himself. In 1994, Chimes hung up the spurs and opened his own firm, Chimes Chiropractic.

Chimes's story illustrates the problems with rock and roll godhood. Once you fully ascend the Mount Olympus of eight balls and strippers and tinnitus, you look down at us mere mortals and miss being boring.

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1
Jason Hervey a.k.a. Wayne from The Wonder Years

No 1980s sitcom portrayed the big brother-little brother dynamic as vividly as The Wonder Years, and Jason Hervey played loser older brother Wayne opposite Fred Savage's plucky Kevin. Although Hervey appeared in Back to the Future and Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, he will be remembered until death as the older brother all of America loved to hate.

After the Spotlight:

A corporate PR shill.

Like the other child actors from The Wonder Years, Hervey pursued a different career later in life. But whereas Paul Pfeiffer grew up to be an attorney and Winnie Cooper became the hottest math teacher outside of a shoddily written adult movie script, Wayne Arnold's fictional failures seemingly translated into real life.


Above: Not a failure.

In 2003, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission accused Richard Scrushy, the CEO of healthcare service giant HealthSouth, of falsifying earnings to the tune of $1.4 billion, an accounting error you can't blame on a stray coffee stain. Unfortunately for Scrushy--who had blown company dinero on such insane projects as a HealthSouth-sponsored girl pop trio--he had left his public image in the hands of HealthSouth's head of PR... Wayne Arnold.

With the SEC leveling 86 counts of fraud at Scrushy, it's unsurprising that Hervey sucked at his job. What is very, very surprising is that the CEO apparently hired Hervey just so he could say he hung out with the guy who once played Wayne Arnold from The Wonder Years.

HealthSouth eventually fired Hervey, who in turn sued the company for $400,000. We assume Hervey's case was settled after an intense meeting involving wedgies, charley horses and swirlies.

Be sure to check out Fitzgerald's friend Thad over at CallMeThad.

Do you have something funny to say about a random topic? You could be on the front page of Cracked.com tomorrow. Go here and find out how to create a Topic Page.

To learn about what some celebrities were like before they were famous, check out 7 Celebrity Careers That Launched by Accident and The 10 Most Unlikely Celeb Porn Stars.

And stop by our Top Picks (Updated 1.22.2010) to see what Screech has been up to lately (hint: cleaning up our bathrooms).

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