We love to mock dumb celebrities, because jealousy is a bitter wine. But even if they lucked into fame by playing garbage-like fools in crapsack movies or saying enough drunken, stupid, and/or racist things in front of a camera, most famous folks have heard enough stories about M.C. Hammer to know they'd better learn how to hang onto their money before they end up being forcibly evicted from their space mansions.
That's why, incredibly enough ...
6Paris Hilton Turned Partying Into A Serious Career
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Before Kim Kardashian was so much as a burst blood vessel in Kris Humphries' eye, Paris Hilton was the person everyone hated for being rich and famous for absolutely no reason. Well, those days are over: Paris Hilton's family money is gone. Her asshole grandfather went and gave it all away to charity, leaving Paris with only $5 million, which isn't even enough to buy Jean-Claude Van Damme's house. This is usually the setup for a whimsical romantic comedy in which the formerly stuck-up heroine learns that money can't buy everything, but you'll be happy to know that Paris doesn't need to learn that particular lesson, and probably never will. While we were all asking, "Why is she even famous?" oblivious to the irony of the fact that we were answering our own question, Paris was outfoxing all of us.
What appeared to us to be a simple case of spoiled rich kids doing what spoiled rich kids do was actually a carefully crafted marketing campaign. The only reason we didn't recognize it was because Paris wasn't selling anything we recognized as a product -- she was selling herself. Every time she showed up on the red carpet, got photographed at parties, or opened her stupid, stupid mouth, she was, quite simply, creating a brand, the same way Coca-Cola or, say, Hilton Hotels does.
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"Buy my me! Buy my me! Buy my me!"
And now, that brand is worth billions. All she has to do is put her name on a product, and the next morning she finds a shiny new beachfront property under her pillow. Her perfume alone has done over $1.8 billion in sales, and she owns 60 retail stores that sell only her products. To hear her talk about it these days, she sounds more Warren Buffett than Jessica Simpson: "I always wake early to deal with transatlantic business calls, then there are meet-and-greets. Sometimes there are face-to-face business meetings where I'll discuss the progress of certain products. Sometimes there are photoshoots or interviews. If I'm DJing, I'll do soundchecks before a gig. It's a rigorous schedule, but I'm a hard worker. My social channels also take work; they're very considered."
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It's worth it to hear the crowd go crazy after she unleashes her patented "Volume Up" maneuver.
And yeah, that DJing stuff? She can make a million dollars a night just to show up at a party and put on some tunes. You can make fun of Paris Hilton as much as you like, but she's the one who spent the 2000s building up an image that club owners today will pay seven figures to have show up and put an iPod on shuffle.
5Carrot Top Is A Multi-Millionaire
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In polite circles, Carrot Top is mostly known for being shorthand for terrible comedy and the dangers of creatine. Between Chairman Of The Board and an unflattering cameo in The Hangover's end credits, Carrot Top has enjoyed the kind of career that, best-case scenario, ends in a casino buffet. So it should come as no surprise that he's spent the last decade headlining the Luxor in Las Vegas, where he no doubt has eaten at least a few plates of complimentary breakfast. However, what is surprising is the fact that Carrot Top has made $75 million doing it.
That's right -- Carrot Top is a goddamned Vegas sensation, with tickets to his shows going for $50 a pop, and those are just the cheap seats. As it turns out, while people like us were busy making fun of him, Carrot Top was working his ass off -- he has performed for 3 million people since 1987, which means, on average, 100,000 people have gone to see Carrot Top every year for the past three decades. For comparison, Madonna has performed for a little less than 10 million people over just about the same time period.
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To further compare, both also have muscles that make absolutely no goddamn sense.
With a draw like that, it's no surprise that the Luxor renewed his contract for another six years back in 2009. He's turned what is usually a humiliating defeat into an unquestioned reign over a mountain of money, and he couldn't be happier about it: "I love Vegas," he told Las Vegas Weekly. "I have a house here. My mom lives here now. My girlfriend is out here now. I get to go onstage every night and do a show and then go home. On the road, there's none of that luxury."
By the way, that girlfriend he's referring to is a professional chef:
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Who also looks like a model.
So, to recap, Carrot Top is a multi-millionaire who performs a hit show every single night in a giant glass pyramid in the middle of the desert and goes home to a home-cooked meal prepared by a professional chef in his mansion. If you ever felt bad for making fun of Chairman Of The Board, stop feeling bad immediately.