The 10 Most Improbable Celebrity Fistfights

Celebrities fight just like they have sex: randomly and with whichever fellow celebrity is closest at hand. At least it seems that way, based on the long history of odd and seemingly pointless brawls between famous people.


Axl Rose vs. Tommy Hilfiger

The Backstory:
Axl Rose may not have released an album of new music in nigh on 15 years, but if there's one thing at which he' nothing but prolific, it's challenging other celebrities to fights and not having the stones to follow through.

He demanded that Kurt Cobain "shut [his] bitch up" at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards, but was stymied when Cobain told Courtney Love "Shut up, bitch!" and the two laughed and walked off. He repeatedly challenged Motley Crue's Vince Neil after he beat up Izzy Stradlin for kicking Neil' wife in the stomach, but backed down when Neil proposed they settle things in a boxing match. Rose has even been known to engage in empty threats that don't involve his endorsing violence toward women, as when he singled out music critics by name and challenged them to fight in Use Your Illusion II' "Get in the Ring." Spin publisher Bob Guccione Jr., a nine-year karate student, gladly accepted, but nothing came of it, presumably because Axl became distracted by some celebrity' wife that needed a beating.

So how did he finally end up fighting 55-year-old fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, of all people?

The Beatdown:
Well, he didn't-or at least, he didn't fight back. The dispute happened at Rosario Dawson's birthday party at New York club The Plumm in May 2006 when Rose moved Hilfiger's girlfriend's drink, supposedly to keep it from spilling. Hilfiger, allegedly already steamed about having been asked to make room for Rose' entourage and enormous hairdo, smacked his arm and told him to put it back. The argument escalated into a melee, with Hilfiger punching Rose on the cheek.

Hilfiger, who Rose described as "foaming at the mouth," was eventually pulled out of the club kicking and screaming by his own bodyguard. Rose then played a scheduled set, dedicating the song "You're Crazy" to "my good friend Tommy Hilfiger."

Actual photo of event

The Winner:
Hilfiger. Sure, Plumm owner Noel Ashman credited Rose for being the bigger man: "Axl was a gentleman and had the good sense not to retaliate." But, Rose's track record indicates that he once again fucked with the wrong guy' girlfriend and chickened out when he got called on it. Seriously, who has Rose ever actually beat up besides his ex-wife Erin Everly?

Hilfiger, on the other hand, not only defended his girlfriend-and it seems improbable enough for a male fashion designer to even have one-but also beat up the biggest rock star of the 1980s in the process. If there's anything less rock 'n' roll than getting your ass kicked by a fashion designer, we certainly can't imagine what it is. With all due respect to Buddy Holly's plane crash, Axl Rose having his ass handed to him by Tommy Hilfiger is most certainly the day that music died for anyone raised on Appetite for Destruction.

Sinéad O'Connor vs. Prince

The Backstory:
"I'd kick her ass if she were a guy," Frank Sinatra famously declared after Sinéad O'Connor tore up a photo of the pope during her notorious Saturday Night Live appearance. But, gender lines were no barrier for Prince, a small but scrappy nymph whose previous bouts include a fistfight with Morris Day on the set of Purple Rain.

O'Connor may be a girl, but she's Irish, she's crazy, and going to the tale of the tape, she actually has 2 or 3 inches on the diminutive Prince. In 1990, O'Connor scored a hit with an unauthorized cover of Prince' "Nothing Compares 2 You." This upset the Purple One, who'd planned on giving it to one of his female proteges. Their meeting to discuss this did not go well.

The Beatdown:
"He invited me to his house in Los Angeles and started to give out to me for swearing in interviews. When I told him to go fuck himself, he got very upset and became quite threatening, physically. I ended up having to escape," says O'Connor. "He can pack a punch. A few blows were exchanged. All I could do was spit. I spat on him quite a bit." It's unclear whether Prince made her pancakes when it was all over. One thing is clear: If Prince invites you to his house, you should probably bring a video camera because nobody's ever going to believe the shit that' going on over there.

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The Winner:
Prince. Which brings up an important question: Is there another scenario in the world in which a man could invite a woman over to his house, beat her up, and rather than being horrified, you'd be sort of impressed that he won? Maybe if Prince beat up Serena or Venus Williams, but really all scenarios involve Prince.

Bill Murray vs. Chevy Chase

The Backstory:
Chevy Chase is a dick, plain and simple. Between that and the star treatment he got as the breakout member of the Saturday Night Live cast, anyone who worked with him could be excused for taking a shot at him. But here' the thing: Bill Murray never actually worked with him. Murray replaced Chase after he left SNL for a film career. Murray also got a lot of hate mail telling him he was a shitty replacement, so there's that.

During the show' second season, Chase returned as the guest host and Murray, channeling the resentment of the rest of the cast, decided it was go time. "I got into a fight with Chevy the night he came back to host. That was because I was the new guy, and it was sort of like it was my job to do that," Murray says. "It would have been too petty for someone else to do that. It' almost like I was goaded into that."

The Beatdown:
Tension simmered between the two all week and finally boiled over in a pull-apart brawl only moments before the show went on the air. Witnesses say Murray started it by pointing out how everybody hated Chase, while Chase responded by comparing Murray' acne-pocked skin to the surface of the moon. "I don't know if Chevy provoked it or not," says cast member Laraine Newman. "But it culminated with Billy saying to Chevy, 'Why don't you fuck your wife once in a while? She needs it.' And I don't even remember who threw the first punch, Billy or Chevy. But it was ugly."

Recalls Blues Brothers director John Landis: "I didn't know Bill Murray, but he's screaming, you know, foaming at the mouth, 'Fucking Chevy,' and in anger he says, 'Medium talent!' And I thought, 'Oh boy, that's funny. In anger he says "medium talent."' That really impressed me. I went, 'So, Bill Murray - wow, who is that guy?'"

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The Winner:
Murray. Chase gets credit for going out and doing the monologue only moments later. It' true-you just can't reasonably call him a no-talent. And, he claims to have buried the hatchet with Murray when the two appeared together in 1980s Caddyshack. But look where the two of them are now. Murray' a critically acclaimed comedic and dramatic actor with triumphs such as Rushmore and Lost in Translation. Chase is barely working and was scarcely able to scrounge up any old friends to lambaste him at his Friar' Club Roast. Since this is more or less a battle of words, Murray wins for his scathingly precise diagnosis of Chase' talent years before Chase would prove him right.

Mick Jagger vs. Charlie Watts

The Backstory:
It' hardly extraordinary for members of a rock band to come to blows (For example, Bret Michaels and C.C. Deville of Poison infamously brawled onstage at the MTV Video Awards in 1991.). And, it' inevitable that one of the Rolling Stones would eventually take a swing at the oft-insufferable Mick Jagger.

What' surprising, though, is that it wasn't Keith Richards, considering their decades-long love-hate relationship. It was quiet, unassuming Charlie Watts, the country gentleman who sits behind the drum kit and looks comatose most of the time.

The Beatdown:
The final straw was Jagger's unscheduled wake-up call to Watts during a band meeting in Amsterdam in October 1984. Richards and Jagger had gone out boozing, returning to Richard's room at five in the morning. Watts was fast asleep. Nevertheless, Jagger dialed his room, bawling "Is that my drummer? Why don't you get your arse down here?"

Watts reportedly got up, shaved, got dressed in a custom-made Savile Row suit, put on a crisply knotted tie and freshly shined shoes, came downstairs, and-in Richards' words-"dished him out a great fucking right hook." Jagger was knocked into a plate of smoked salmon, and Richards had to grab his leg to prevent him from sliding along the table, out the open window and into a canal 20 stories below. "Don't ever call me 'your drummer' again," Watts told Jagger. "You're my fucking singer."

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The Winner:
Watts. Getting dressed to the nines in the middle of the night specifically to, in a punch of Mortal Kombat proportions, almost knock some asshole out a window for waking you up? Charlie Watts may have more balls than anyone else on the planet.

Jimmy Stewart vs. Henry Fonda

The Backstory:
Not only do they enjoy reputations as Hollywood' most saintly leading men, but Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda were also lifelong best friends. They met at age 20 while doing summer stock theatre. They also were roommates in New York and in Hollywood and even whiled away many quiet hours later in life painting model airplanes together. So, what could cause these heterosexual life partners to come to blows? Politics. Stewart was a staunch Republican, while Fonda was a flaming liberal Democrat.

The Beatdown:
After a heavy night of drinking during the spring of 1947, Stewart and Fonda had a bitter argument over Sen. Joseph McCarthy's investigations of Communism involvement in the film industry that escalated into a fistfight.

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The Winner:
Fonda. Afterward, they were both so appalled at themselves that they agreed never to talk about politics again. They kept this vow and remained best friends for the rest of their lives.

But not only did Hammerin's Hank reportedly get the best of Stewart in their dust-up, Fonda also went on to sire an even more radical daughter, dubbed "Hanoi Jane" for her sympathy for the Communist foe during the Vietnam War. Better yet, she then married broadcasting mogul Ted Turner, who so upset Stewart by colorizing his classic It' a Wonderful Life that Stewart appeared before Congress begging them to end this practice. In the long term, Stewart got owned.

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Jim Rome vs. Jim Everett

The Backstory:
While a talk-show brawl usually has all the veracity of professional wrestling, it's not unheard of for legitimate hostilities to break out, even when celebrities are involved (For example, see the scrap between civil-rights activists Al Sharpton and Roy Innis on the set of The Morton Downey Jr. Show).

But, the incident between sports-radio host Jim Rome and NFL quarterback Jim Everett wasn't sparked by a heated political debate or the incitements of a hooting and hollering crowd. It stemmed from Rome' habit of nicknaming his guest "Chris"- as in female tennis player Chris Evert-due to his habit of avoiding contact.

The Beatdown:
After two years of this, Everett was clearly ready to snap when he appeared on Rome' ESPN2 talk show Talk2 in 1994 and was immediately introduced as "Chris" Everett. "If you call me Chris Evert to my face one more time, you'd better take a station break," Everett warned. "I think that you probably won't say it again." "I bet I do," Rome said. "Chris."

In the jungle, zoologists refer to this type of behavior as "Jumping into the lion's den wearing steak pants," and it is generally regarded as an unwise decision. Everett, not surprisingly, flipped over the table separating him from his host and threw Rome to the floor, whereupon a cameraman rushed in to break up the melee before Everett punched him in the grill.

The Winner:
Everett. You have to give Rome credit for standing by his smack-talking, but at a certain point impugning the masculinity of a guy twice your size goes from "ballsy" to "a strategically questionable move." Also, Rome must have momentarily forgotten he was working for the athlete-coddling ESPN. His TV show was canceled soon afterward, and he failed to get the hosting gig for ESPN Radio's new call-in show.

A penitent Rome spent months worrying that "The Incident" had ended his career until his syndicated radio show got off the ground. Even now, however, Rome forbids callers from substituting female names for male ones to impugn athletes's masculinity and probably trembles and breaks into a cold sweat if he ever has to speak the names of NBA power forward Andrea Bargnani or NFL wide receiver Ashley Lelie.

Chrissie Hynde vs. Carly Simon

The Backstory:
Chrissie Hynde infamously once joked about blowing up a McDonald' to further her vegetarian agenda, but she apologized for this after a fan actually firebombed one in her honor. And, she once drunkenly groped bassist Kim Deal, but only because she thought she was a man. As for Carly Simon, when she gets very, very angry, she sits down and vents her fury by penning a lyrically biting song. Warren Beatty' ears are still burning over "You're So Vain".

Neither of these songbirds seems that violent, so where's the beef? Oddly, their tussle was sparked by their shared love of Joni Mitchell.

The Beatdown:
Mitchell celebrated her 52nd birthday in November 1995 by playing a show at a small New York club. Halfway through, a drunken Hynde began disrupting the show and distracting the nearby Simon by loudly clapping and yelling, "I love you!" Simon says she asked Hynde to be a little quieter, Hynde hugged her and playfully choked her "in a loving way" and told Simon that she was great, too, and should join Mitchell onstage. Simon decided to just change seats.

However, witnesses report that Simon threatened, "Shut up or I'll beat the shit out of you," was promptly leapt upon, choked and punched by Hynde, most likely in a considerably less loving way, and thereafter opted to leave the club.

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The Winner:
Hynde, who was just lucky Simon didn't rear up and dash her brains out with her hooves.

Bill Cosby vs. Tom Smothers

The Backstory:
Mom always liked Dick Smothers best. So did Bill Cosby. Following the cancellation of the Smothers Brothers's comedy-variety show in 1969 over their merciless ridicule of racism, the government and the Vietnam War, an unrepentant Tom Smothers frequently criticized Cosby in public for his failure to take a stand on civil rights.

The unamused Cosby finally threatened to knock the strident Smothers brother upside his head during a gig guest-hosting The Tonight Show. "Yeah, go ahead and try," Smothers responded, setting up the battle of Tom vs. Uncle Tom.

The Beatdown:
During a party at the Playboy Mansion in October 1976, Smothers congratulated Cosby on his latest TV series, which, unbeknownst to Smothers, had been canceled the day before. Cosby gave him a look of disgust, so Smothers said, "Well, fuck you," and walked off. According to Smothers, Cosby then sneaked up on him, using Hugh Hefner as a screen, and sucker-punched him in the back of the head, knocking him down. Smothers lay stunned as Cosby stood over him screaming that he was going to kick his ass.

Let' just take a second to reflect on how crazy that all is and, alternately, how everything and everyone involved makes for a kick-ass addition to the game of "Celebrity Clue" we're in the process developing for Parker Brothers. (I guess "Mr. Huxtable, with the Hugh Hefner, in the Playboy Mansion").

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The Winner:
Smothers, believe it or not. Cosby might have indeed knocked him upside his head, but it was a cheap shot. Smothers, on the other hand, clearly got inside Cosby' head. Now Cosby, far from remaining silent, can't keep his mouth shut about racial issues. "He's criticizing, and that's good because nobody else is. His commentaries are, I think, correct," Smothers says. Not that he' ruled out a rematch. "When we're 75 years old, he'll turn around and I'll give him a blindside. It probably won't hurt by the time we'll be hobbling around in our walkers."

Paris Hilton vs. Shanna Moakler

The Backstory:
Despite a brief stint playing hockey in finishing school, and some well publicized run-ins with various starlets and their boyfriends' erect penises, as late as 2004, Paris Hilton had never been in a fistfight. "I've never touched anyone," says Hilton in a Rolling Stone interview. "I'm too scared. I don't want someone scratching my face or my eyes." Model/actress Shanna Moakler assuaged Hilton's fears of eye and face scratching by simply punching Hilton in the face after Hilton was spotted making out in a New York club with Moakler' estranged husband, Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker.

The Beatdown:
Hilton claims she was chatting with ex-boyfriend Stavros Niarchos at L.A.'s Hyde Lounge when Moakler stormed over, punched her in the jaw and shouted at her. Moakler says Niarchos then pushed her down a flight of stairs, bent her wrist back and poured a drink over her head. Moakler dried off with some napkins, left the club and then returned with the police 10 minutes later; however, no action was taken. Presumably because the police couldn't believe a model was fighting Paris Hilton over Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker.

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The Winner:
Unclear. Ever since this incident, Hilton's wandered around looking like she has a detached retina, but photographic evidence suggests she looked like that long before the fight. Moakler technically wins, as she landed the only hit, even though she took most of the damage. We can definitively call the loser of this altercation Stavros Niarchos, who instead of just sitting back and enjoying a good catfight, beat up a woman for about the worst reason we can think of: defending Paris Hilton's honor.

Jon Lovitz vs. Andy Dick

The Backstory:
Exposing himself in public, shouting racial epithets, fondling unwilling males and females and crashing cars under the influence of drugs and alcohol-it' a regular Tuesday afternoon for Andy Dick. But his greatest sin? He killed Phil Hartman. In Jon Lovitz's mind, anyway.

He has long blamed Dick for Hartman's death at the hands of his wife Brynn; Dick reintroduced Brynn to cocaine after 10 years of sobriety at a 1997 Christmas party, thus launching her on the downward spiral that led to the Hartmans' murder-suicide five months later. When Lovitz took over for his deceased pal on NewsRadio, he told Dick point-blank, "I wouldn't be here if you hadn't given Brynn that cocaine."

In 2006, Dick approached Lovitz at a club, downed his guests' drinks, and said, "I put the 'Phil Hartman hex' on you. You're the next one to die." Lovitz was furious.

The Beatdown:
In June 2007, the two ran into each other again at L.A.' Laugh Factory. Lovitz demanded an apology for Dick' "Phil Hartman-hex" comment. Dick first claimed not to remember saying it, then told Lovitz, "You know why I said it? Because you said I killed Phil Hartman." Then he asked Lovitz to appear in his new movie. Lovitz then flipped out, which is actually a natural reaction when anyone with even a shred of self respect is asked to be in an Andy Dick movie. Accounts differ as to what happened. Dick says Lovitz grabbed him by the lapel and threw him against a wall. Lovitz says he threw Dick into a table. Laugh Factory owner Jamie Masada says Lovitz picked Dick up by the head and smashed him into the bar four or five times until blood poured out of his nose.

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The Winner:
Lovitz. "All the comedians are glad I did it because this guy is an asshole," says Lovitz. We're glad too, and frankly, we choose to believe Masada' bloody version of events, because Dick had it coming to him. He didn't just kill Hartman. He killed Lionel Hutz and Troy McClure. And, he killed Bill McNeal, without whom-with all due respect to Lovitz-the last season of NewsRadio sucked.

And while Lovitz has made some regrettable choices over the last decade or so, (Rat Race, The Benchwarmers, those God awful Subway commercials), slamming Dick' head into a bar and shitting down his throat, (Hey, if no one can agree on what actually happened, there' no reason we can't throw our theory into the ring) has been, without a doubt, the best work of his career.

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