I've been talking throughout this article as if no one has ever taken celebrity advice seriously, but to be perfectly fair, that isn't true. No, you're probably not going to find many people in the Cracked family circle of readers giving up their medicine and refusing blood transfusions because Prince told them to. But in the outside world, there are many, many people who jump on whatever bandwagon their particular favorite celebrity is pulling. It's kind of easy to do, actually, and there's a simple psychological reason behind it:
We see them so much, we feel like we can trust them. For all I know, Hugh Laurie could be the biggest dumbass to ever walk this planet. But I've seen him play a genius for so long that if he walked up to me on the street and said, "I think there may be something wrong with your asshole," I'd be at the doctor within the hour, asking him to shine a light in my crack.
"And I mean all the way in."
And that's the problem. We forget that, since these people are just as human as we are, it means that within their circle of celebrity peers, there are exactly as many dipshits and assholes as what you'll find down here in Regular People World. And because of the Hugh Laurie/House effect, which I'm coining right now, it's such a shock to us when places like Discover show us, "Heather Mills, the animal rights activist and former wife to Paul McCartney, claimed that when you eat meat '[it] sits in your colon for 40 years and putrefies, and eventually gives you the illness you die of. And that is a fact.'" Or pointing out in the same article that Roger Moore thinks that foie gras causes Alzheimer's disease.
You hear that, science? Roger Moore has solved it. Just tell people to stop eating duck and goose liver, and we'll all be just fine. It's not just that celebrities are dumbasses. It's that people in general are dumbasses found in exactly the same frequency, celebrities nonexempt.
To add to the clusterfuck, we can't imagine a world where our entire lives are on camera. Every party, every dinner with friends, every trip to the grocery store. What that means to a celebrity is that they have to constantly be in character in order to maintain their marketable persona. Snooki and Lindsay Lohan have to constantly be in party mode because they're the dumb, wild party chicks. Dolly Parton has never left the house without her wig, makeup, nails and high heels. Conan O'Brien can't stop himself from performing, even if it's in front of one person asking for an autograph on the street (seriously, watch that -- they have it on Netflix).
The point is that taking advice from a celebrity is as good as taking advice from a fictional character because that's the mode they're in when they're on camera. And when you boil it all down, they are nothing more than strangers. They don't know you or your situation. They don't know what your life demands of you. All they can tell you is exactly what I can tell you, "This is what worked for me. Do with that information what you will." The difference in their case is that their lives are almost certainly going to have little to no bearing on your own.
"Here are some simple tips on how to keep your Ferris wheel like new!"
Unfortunately, no matter how stupid their advice is, they will go to their grave thinking they're correct, because ...
OK, so let's say that you've been hired as the personal assistant to some completely normal celebrity.
You're making pretty good money, basically doing all of their chores and going places for them so they don't have to deal with getting mobbed. The thing is, your entire job banks on them trusting and liking you. Remember, this isn't a normal nine-to-five job where you punch a time card and have someone cover for you because the dildo-shaped bruises on your back have rendered you incapable of walking upright. You can be fired at any time for any reason, and you are around your boss for the bulk of your waking life. If he doesn't like you, you're gone. No questions, no notice. Just "Get the fuck out of my house. We're done here." Your entire life becomes a fight to stay on their good side, no matter what they say or do. No matter how fucked up it gets.
It's the reason Charlie Sheen's longtime personal assistant had no problem bringing him multiple crack pipes throughout the day, or hand-delivering the morning after pill to the porn stars that Charlie fucked, unprotected, the night before. Whatever Charlie says or does is OK in his book because disagreement means losing his job. And a bad word from his boss in this industry means he'll never work as an assistant to anyone else ever again.
"That's right, you take your box of dildos and tapeworms, and get the fuck out!"
But then you have their employers -- people who have paid millions of dollars to get them to perform in their movie or TV show or concert because their name puts asses in seats. If that star gets pissed and walks off the set, the whole show and the people investing shitloads of money into it are completely fucked. So again, whatever the star says is correct. Whatever it takes to keep them happy and confident. No matter how goddamn crazy they get.
Remember Jewel? Back in the '90s, when she first started getting ridiculously popular, she wrote a really bad book of poetry. And because she was Jewel, it got published. During an interview, Kurt Loder from MTV made fun of her for using a word incorrectly. Watch her reaction when he tells her that word doesn't mean what she thinks it means. Look at her body language. The subtle rage that's building, just under the surface. She is so pissed off, and the only thing holding her back from laying into him are the cameras. Why? She had long since entered into that "everything you say and do is perfect" line of company, and he called her on it.
"This next song is from my new album entitled Fuck Kurt Loder. It's called 'Kurt Loder Is an Asshole and I Hate Him.'"
You cannot be your own filter. If you're always told that you're right, you will eventually believe it, and that is dangerous to not only yourself, but to everyone you talk to. We all need editors. If you don't believe me, go sit through all three prequels. You know the ones I'm talking about. I don't even have to say the name.
For more Cheese, check out 7 Impractical Rock Star Fashions We Wish Had Caught On and The 5 Most Implausible Old School Rap Songs.