Born Joseph-Desire Mobutu, the Congolese general seized power in 1965. Mobutu thought of himself as some sort of demigod and forced the evening news to begin with a scene of him descending from the clouds -- and forbade the newscaster to mention anybody but him by name.
Partly cloudy with a chance of narcissism.
Mobutu prohibited anybody else from wearing leopard-print hats and carried around a wooden cane that he claimed took the strength of eight men to carry.
"Just wait until I flex. You aren't even going to believe it."
Furthermore, Mobutu imprisoned people who did not have African names and changed his own name to Mobutu Sese Seko Nkuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga ("The all-powerful warrior who, because of his endurance and inflexible will to win, goes from conquest to conquest, leaving fire in his wake"). Then he paid Muhammad Ali and George Foreman $5 million each to fight in his country to give it more recognition in the world. Muhammad Ali famously said, "Some countries go to war to get their names out there, and wars cost a lot more than $10 million."
This is a nice way of saying that Mobutu spent $10 million on something that costs about 50 bucks to watch on pay per view.
We don't want to know what the hats cost him.
What happened to him?
In 1996, Mobutu ordered all Congo people of Tutsi descent to leave the country. The Tutsis responded by exploding into rebellion. Everybody in the country joined in and Mobutu fled to Togo. He died of prostate cancer in 1997, allowing the people of Congo to wear leopard-print hats once more.
Above: More crazy than should ever be in one room.
The son of a witch doctor, Nguema started with the humble position of mayor before becoming president of Equatorial Guinea in 1968. He banned the word "intellectual," shut down private schools and drove educated people out of his country because he had some sort of vendetta against book learning. Then he shut down several hospitals in favor of his witch doctor ancestry and, well, you can guess how that went.
Everyone looks sane on a stamp.
He even banned the use of lubricants in a power plant, saying that he could keep the place running with his magic powers. Unsurprisingly, the plant broke down, and the entire capital was engulfed in darkness.
He frequently indulged in bhang, a drink made from marijuana, and often dined with imaginary friends and executed imaginary enemies, two activities known in America as "playing video games."
Hallucinations and video games go together like hallucinations and governing nations.
In 1971, Nguema declared himself the Grandmaster of Education, Science and Culture and changed the national motto to "There is no other God than Macias Nguema." To top it all off, Nguema killed the governor of the public bank and hid all the money in his jungle shed.
What happened to him?
Nguema's own nephew ousted him in a long-overdue coup. He was executed by firing squad in 1979, because evidently his magical powers did not extend to the stopping of bullets.
"What a gyp."
Yes, we've written entire articles about the craziness of Kim's North Korea. We could devote the entire site to it.
Shine on, you crazy-ass diamond.
Kim Jong Il took control of North Korea in 1998 after his father's death. Aside from that fact, just about everything else he claims about himself is a ridiculous lie.
He built a town called Kijong-Dong right smack in the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea. He claims it is a 200-family collective farm serviced by myriad amenities, but in actuality there are no people in it, and the buildings are just empty shells without floors or windows. The whole thing just exists as a farce to try to trick South Koreans into defecting. Propaganda is broadcast by loudspeakers almost constantly, and a small crew works around the clock to preserve the illusion that people actually live there, sort of like Frontierland at Disney World.
Putin still wasn't impressed.
Kim referred to Coca-Cola as the "cesspool water of American capitalism" and told his people that he invented the hamburger. He even built a hamburger factory, saying "I've made up my mind to feed quality bread and french fries to university students, professors and researchers even if we are in (economic) hardship." Go back and read that sentence again.
And according to North Korean news sources, Kim is the greatest golfer in the history of existence. He routinely finishes 38 under par, and he averages four or five holes-in-ones per game. He is rumored to spend $350,000 a year on brandy. He claims to have been born in a log cabin, his birth marked by the appearance of a double rainbow.
He is said to travel with a pack of beautiful women he refers to as his "Pleasure Squad." One witness says he's a huge fan of James Bond films but thinks they are documentaries.
Presumably, he thinks British people are ageless mutants.
Seriously, we're just going to randomly stop there. It goes on and on.
What happened to him?
Kim is still in power, but he's suffered from all manner of health issues, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney failure. Along with Kim's physical condition, his grip on power is slipping. Hence, he sought to cement his legacy by installing a successor before his health deteriorated further. Kim's youngest son, Jong Un, was chosen in favor of his older brother, Jong Nam, who fell out of favor after a particularly embarrassing incident in Tokyo when he tried to go to Disneyland using a forged Dominican Republic passport with the Chinese name "Fat Bear."
Oh, and at least one expert thinks he died five years ago and that what you've seen since is just an equally crazy imposter. So there's also that.
The Yeonpyeongdo shellings ... ordered by Kim Jong Il's ghost?
Ethan Lou is a freelance writer. He blogs at ethanethan.tumblr.com and you can contact him at email@example.com.
For more activities by crazy leaders, check out 6 Brutal Leaders And Their Ridiculous Secret Hobbies. Or learn about what creatures have lived in the White House, in 7 Badass Animals Presidents Have Kept As Pets.
And stop by Linkstorm to play online poker with Kim Jong Il.
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