When asked who the greatest magician of all time is, most people will say Harry Houdini, because Christian Bale's character in The Prestige is not a real person. Houdini's name is synonymous with magic and bizarre escape stunts inexplicably labeled "magic." However, his name should also conjure up (get it? Because he's a magician) images of batshit insanity, because it turns out he was all about that, too.
#3. He Escaped from a Sea Monster
By 1911, Houdini was one of the biggest names in the world, renowned for his "challenge escape act," which was pretty much what it sounds like -- he would accept any escape challenge his audience presented to him. Normally this wasn't a problem, because your average wage worker wasn't likely to show up to a Houdini show with any restraints more complicated than a pair of handcuffs or a pillowcase. However, a group of Boston businessmen decided to bring something totally crazy to the table and challenged Houdini to escape from a large sea creature that had recently washed up in Boston Harbor.
Celebrities get paid to write their names on things, because the world is hardly fair and rarely makes sense. However, these people discovered ways that are nothing short of brilliant to squeeze every last dime out of their signatures.
#4. Salvador Dali
Salvador Dali famously loved his goddamned money (in fact, he is only slightly more well-known for being a painter). There is a long-standing rumor that he used to doodle sketches on the backs of his personal checks to keep people from cashing them, which we desperately hope is true, because it is hilarious.
Robert Higgins, World Telegram
Dali, pictured here with an ocelot, because why the hell not?