7 Celebrities Who Had Badass Careers You Didn't Know About

It's hard to believe, but not everyone knows from childhood what they want to be when they grow up. And though your ambitions might start out as pro wrestler, ballerina or some kind of sex astronaut (let us have our dreams), you'll probably wind up working at a kiosk at the mall like the rest of us.

Several people who found fame later in life started out on a much different path. And if you're not still working at the first job you ever got, thank your lucky stars that you're in the same boat. Unless you operated a boat as your first job. Then, well, yeah. Sorry.

#7. Chevy Chase Was Almost in Steely Dan

What He's Known For:

Believe it or not, there was a time when Chevy Chase was the biggest thing in comedy. That time was the 80s, and it featured a much funnier and much sexier Chase in his prime.

Men laughed, women slipped off their chairs.

The man had it all going for him: his three Vacation movies were instant classics; Fletch was the best comedy to ever become a historical artifact within a decade; he was skinny dipping with the likes of Cindy Morgan and Christie Brinkley. Hell, the man was even considered to play Han Solo.

Naturally, all good things come to end. And they did in a very big way for Chase when, in 1993, he was allowed to have a talk show so bad that society has purged it--in an order approaching Star Wars Holiday Special--from its collective consciousness.

What He Should Be Known For:

The 70s were a decade of change. And pantsuits. Mostly pantsuits.

The sexiest man alive, 1973

Vietnam was raging and months before the TET Offensive, Chase was faced with two choices: go to medical school or enter the draft. Naturally, Chase took the unmentioned third option: don't go to medical school, inform the Army of your "false... homosexual tendencies" and avoid Vietnam altogether. When choice C worked out, Chase stuck around and played drums for a band called The Leather Canary, with friends Walter Becker and Donald Fagen. You may recognize those two as the founding members of multiple-Grammy-Award-Winning Steely Dan.

Chase eventually left the group, calling them "a bad jazz band." Not long afterward, Becker and Fagen changed their name and hit the jackpot. We're not implying that Chase's departure had anything to do with their newfound fame, but then again, Chase is set to play fifth fiddle in a Not Another... flick.

Pictured: The window Chevy Chase's career flew out of.

#6. Roger Ebert Wrote Softcore Porn

What He's Known For:

Roger Ebert went from TV critic to minor American hero after he lost his voice in a fight against cancer and continued to critique the shit out of movies. Of course he's best remembered for Siskel & Ebert at the Movies and despite the fact that he would go on to recommend Win a Date with Tad Hamilton, Ebert won a Pulitzer for his work in 1975, becoming the first the film critic to do so.

If winning a Pulitzer doesn't prove your critiques are worth a damn, also consider that his reviews are syndicated in 200 papers across the globe. There are primates in the Congo who have read his stuff.

"'...best moments belong to Amy-' what the? What a dick."

What He Should Be Known For:

When Ebert was but a young film critic, just starting out, he tried his hand at writing screenplays. Here is where you'd expect that a man whose entire career has been made up analyzing every aspect of a movie would have some semblance of talent at writing something decent. Something Oscar-worthy even.

The man wrote softcore porn.


Back in the day, 20th Century Fox was looking for someone to make the sequel to Valley of the Dolls. They tapped Russ Meyer--a man known for his sexploitation films--to direct what would become Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. Ebert co-wrote the eventual travesty, later saying that it all seemed "like a movie that got made by accident when the lunatics took over the asylum."

Despite this, Ebert went on to write more movies with Meyer including the above Up! and Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens. Some people will comment that these movies hardly constitute porn but let's be honest here: When your films feature massive, topless titties, plenty of grinding and stars by the name of Candy Samples and Kitten Natividad, that's porn, man. Or as we say in Oregon, "the city park."

#5. Dr. Seuss Made War Propaganda

What He's Known For:

It's unfortunate to think that someone out there doesn't know who Dr. Seuss is. Yet, we are aware that there are some confused young souls today whose only familiarity with the storybook legend is this:


While The Cat in the Hat is arguably his most famous character, Dr. Seuss was a creative and prolific writer, having 60 children's books under his belt. He's created many lovable and nonsensical characters like the Lorax, Horton the Elephant, some colorful fish and a whole bunch of other characters whose names we can't pronounce without some sort of hallucinogen. Also, that bastard the Grinch. But fuck that guy.

His books were designed to entertain children, but over time they've become the inspiration for film directors to come up with new and interesting ways to completely destroy classic characters.

It's only a matter of time before Tim Burton does a twisted reimagining of Green Eggs and Ham and then that'll be our whole childhood, completely ruined.

What He Should Be Known For:

Before Dr. Seuss was Dr. Seuss, he was Theodor Seuss Geisel, an artist turned eventual filmmaker in the U.S. Army's propaganda department during World War II. And this guy took to this job like a moth to the flame. He hated the Axis and anyone who didn't want to blow their shit up. Seriously:

Would you kill Hitler in a box? With some socks? On the rocks? Your answer should always be "yes."

Other than Ted Williams, we're pretty sure no one had bigger patriotic balls than Seuss did at the time. He would take his propaganda career one step further when he started writing films for the Army.

At some point, though, Seuss changed his tune. Along with his wife and a producer at RKO, he took one of his propaganda shorts, Our Job in Japan, and made it into the feature-length Design for Death, a 48-minute film that details what happens when a government has too much control over its people and resources. It gave perception and insight into Japanese culture and how the country should be a staple on what not to do if we wanted to avoid another world war.

Well, couldn't hurt, right?

Bosley Crowther, a hugely important critic during his time, panned the documentary. But he's also the same man who loved Citizen Kane and hated Godzilla--so make of that what you will. Obviously the Academy wasn't listening to Crowther, since they decided to give Seuss an Oscar for his film. So to recap, he wrote and directed Academy Award-winning thought-provoking anti-war films, and what will most people remember him by?


#4. Sir Isaac Newton Invented the Doggy Door

What He's Known For:

Also known as the Father of Physics, or the Fabio of Fabios around the Cracked office.

Science never looked so good.

As we've discussed before, while an apple didn't actually conk Newton in the noggin, he did put to word the laws of gravity.

Gravity wasn't the only thing Newton was getting his swerve on with. The man also had an integral part in developing calculus. Newton also did some other sciencey-mathematical bullshit that's probably important, but whatever: The dude loved science. We get it. Give it a rest, Newton, you're a knight already.

"A body persists in a state of uniform motion or of rest unless acted upon by an external force.
In this case, such force is the can of medieval whoop-ass I'm about to open all up in here."

What He Should Be Known For:

Newton loved him some optics, so much so that he invented the first working reflecting telescope, thus making Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek possible a mere several hundred years later. He truly was a renaissance nerd.

Newton couldn't have made such an impact on the world of optics if he hadn't been experimenting like crazy. Coincidentally, this also led to him having an impact on the pet world as well. The story goes that during these experiments, Newton's cats kept bothering him--as felines are wont to do.

Congratulations, you discovered gravity. I left a present for you in my litter box.

At some point, he became fed up with their crap and just made a quick fix to his door so they could come and go as the please. Yes, the man who knew more about physics than anyone else during his time invented the cat door. He is better than you at everything.

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