The 7 Most Random Celebrity Duos Who Hung Out Before Fame
Fame makes for a lot of strange bedfellows. Some would prefer you to remember their connections, like Peter Scolari with Tom Hanks. Others would rather you didn't bring it up, like Tom Hanks with Peter Scolari. And there are still others who started out together that you would've never even thought of. Like ...
George Romero and Fred "Mister" Rogers
If you've never seen George A. Romero's 1968 film Night of The Living Dead, first of all, here it is. It's public domain, so feel free to watch it as many times as you want without paying anyone a dime.
Really, it belongs to us all.
But before Romero was filming people shambling around his neighborhood in death metal makeup, he tried making a living working on commercials and short films. One of his earliest jobs was shooting a television segment for a Presbyterian minister named Fred Rogers. You probably know him only as "Mister" Rogers.
We're not sure about Fred, but at the very least, the king wants to eat your brains.
That's right -- Romero, one of the godfathers of splatterhouse cinema, got his start filming bits for Mister Rogers' Neighborhood on PBS. In fact, it was a segment that featured Mister Rogers getting a tonsillectomy that reportedly inspired Romero to go into the horror movie business, though he probably found it hard to top showing a graphic surgical procedure on a show targeted to toddlers.
Rogers was incredibly supportive of Romero, but that support did stop short of letting him use Betty Aberlin (who played Lady Aberlin on Mister Rogers Neighborhood). Romero wanted her to play the role of Judy in Night of The Living Dead, a character whose primary purpose was to explode and be eaten. Mister Rogers said no.
"No, you're right Fred. The zombie thing is probably a passing fad."
Not that Mister Rogers had a problem with Romero's zombie movies. He went to screenings of both Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead, and after viewing the latter, he told Romero, "It's a lot of fun, George." Which is fitting, because if Mister Rogers' Neighborhood and Night of the Living Dead have taught us anything, it's that it's what's on the inside that counts.
As seen above.
Tommy Lee Jones and Al Gore
Academy Award winner Tommy Lee Jones began his Harvard education in 1965 on a scholarship, and as the custom for freshmen goes, he was tossed into campus housing with a randomly selected roommate. As any of us who have been to college knows, if you're lucky, you get somebody you can at least tolerate for nine months.
"Tolerate" is a word that here means "draw penises on."
Tommy Lee Jones was fortunate enough to get along so well with his freshman roommate that they requested to room together for the next three years. His roommate? None other than the inventor of the Internet himself, Al fucking Gore.
Al fucking Gore.
The two did just about everything together, from playing pool and shooting tin cans to traipsing through the Tennessee wilderness hunting, canoeing, and chasing cows and raccoons in the woods at night to wrapping a turkey in tin foil and cooking it in their dorm room. Presumably their friendship was one of the primary influences behind The Dukes of Hazzard.
Also, they watched Star Trek. This is not a joke. This actually happened.
As if they could sense their exploits would eventually become both ironic and hilarious, they toured bars as country music singers trying to pick up women. The opening act featured Gore performing stand-up comedy, which given Gore's public speaking style was probably every bit as witty and topical as a Hungry Man dinner.
The two remain close friends to this day, presumably having many heated debates over whether an Academy Award or a Nobel Prize will get you laid more.
We hear the bars in Oslo are filled with Nobel Sluts.
Jon Stewart and Congressman Anthony Weiner
With New York City's dense population, you'd expect there to be some overlap as people are getting their start, sharing surprisingly nice apartments on their meager incomes.
Sort of like when Friends shared their apartment with Paul Rudd.
One of those people was Jon Stewart, who got an apartment with a woman who was the girlfriend of the unfortunately named future congressman Anthony Weiner. Weiner then was just a middle-class kid from the Bronx living off his girlfriend and mom while waiting for his bachelor of arts degree to pay off. Stewart likely endured him eating all the Raisin Bran and leaving his shit all over the apartment.
Basically, he was being a Weiner.
While there are admittedly few publicly known anecdotes about their past together, it is interesting to note how both Weiner and Stewart wound up in the political sphere. Keep in mind, these two didn't meet in the "aspiring political figure" club in college. Stewart was an actor/comedian who would go on to have a brief stint on MTV followed by years of character roles in various movies.
It was during this time that he was stabbed in the eye with a pen in The Faculty.
He took over as host of The Daily Show in 1999 -- a show that at the time had absolutely nothing to do with politics -- which is the same year Weiner began representing New York's 9th District in Congress. Since then, Stewart has arguably become one of the most influential political commentators, and Weiner's popularity has grown enough to get him elected to six consecutive terms.
That is one red, veiny Weiner.
And, yes, the Congressman has even been a guest on The Daily Show. So stop for a moment and look over at your stoned, hipster roommate playing Mario Kart behind you. Thirty years from now, you might be president and he might be pope.
Lee Corso and Burt Reynolds
Lee Corso, the former football coach who dons mascot heads every Saturday for ESPN's College GameDay, wasn't always the goofy bastard doing color commentary. Back in college, he was a goofy bastard playing football for Florida State University with his roommate Burt Reynolds.
Based on true events.
Reynolds said of Corso, "Nobody was funnier, especially in the huddles." We assume this was not because Corso was telling jokes, but because his suggestions for the next play were laughably ridiculous. Even so, he left the school as the interception leader, a record that stood until it was broken by Deion freaking Sanders. And as it turns out, not only was Corso friends with the Bandit, he also totally banged all of Reynolds' cast-off football groupies.
We can only assume this is Corso's sex face.
Corso said: "One was gorgeous, the other one was ugly. He always took the beautiful girl, gave me the ugly one. But you know what I found out early? Burt Reynolds' ugly girlfriends were better than anything I could get on my own."
Because nobody captures beauty like Burt Reynolds.
Barry Levinson and Drug Kingpin George Jung
Barry Levinson is probably best known for films like Good Morning Vietnam, Rain Man, and Diner. The accomplished actor, writer, director and producer began as part of a comedy duo with Craig T. Nelson doing improv skits at local clubs, which we cannot believe never took off.
Because with Craig T. Nelson, the sky's the limit.
But before all that, when he was a student, he studied journalism. While not a huge stretch, the two fields are fairly different. So what put him down this path? His friend George Jung needed a ride to acting class.
Yes, that George Jung.
After going into the class with Jung, Levinson knew he wanted to spend his life making movies. Jung, on the other hand, dropped out to become the biggest cocaine smuggler in the history of America, a profession that is still very much related to show business.
Levinson didn't make the connection to his old friend until decades later when he saw the movie with Johnny Depp, no doubt cursing himself over the money he could've made as an executive producer had he known.
"All right gentlemen, picture this: Blow 2."
Judge Wapner and Lana Turner
Between 1981 and 1993, if you had a neighbor who owed you money, an ex who stole your furniture or a hobo whom you stabbed on a dare, you wouldn't solve these problems by going to plain old court, where somebody might laugh at you. You took that shit to The People's Court, where everyone in America could laugh at you.
Filmed in front of a Live Studio Audience of your peers.
The People's Court was the first television court show and was presided over by Judge Joseph Wapner, who didn't have a gimmick beyond just not giving a shit. A judgment in The People's Court, was legally binding and Wapner would hand you your ass in front of millions of viewers, usually in under 15 minutes.
"Listen carefully: Fuck. You."
But back in high school, Wapner was apparently pretty charming, because he managed to date Lana Turner. For our younger readers, that name might not ring a bell.
Kids, this is Lana Turner.
Turner was an actress and a sex symbol during the 1940s and 1950s who was married seven times and linked to countless other men, including the gangster Johnny Stompanato.
Winner of the 1956 Gangster's Choice Award for Most Intimidating Surname.
But during her brief six-week stint at Hollywood High School, she and Wapner dated. Some sources will lead you to believe that they were a steady couple, but Wapner admits it was just a couple of dates, presumably because he doesn't want to be sent to The People's Court for perjury.
Their first date was getting a Coke at the neighborhood drugstore, which as any experienced man will tell you is the one and only path into a woman's vagina. For reasons that cannot be explained, Wapner didn't bring his wallet with him, so Turner ended up paying. Miraculously, she agreed to a second date anyway. Wapner reminisces: "That was on a Monday; on Saturday night, we went to a dance. And that was the last time I saw her. She was gorgeous."
We presume he had this look on his face the entire time.
The interview doesn't specify, but we assume he said this while pitching a family-size tent in his judge's robes.
Supreme Court Justice Byron "Whizzer" White and John F. Kennedy
Byron "Whizzer" White was a man who puts anything you've ever done to shame. He graduated at the top of his class in high school and went to the University of Colorado on a football scholarship, making All Conference every year, getting seven athletic letters and presumably leaving a trail of coeds in his wake.
"My calculations show I've banged every woman in Colorado. Time to start on Arizona."
When he graduated from college, he had to make a major career choice that the rest of us couldn't even lie about at our drunkest: play professional football or take a Rhodes scholarship to study at Oxford. As it turns out, the Rhodes scholarship committee decided to give White a waiver so he could play football for a year before coming to Oxford. He was that badass.
Just look at him. He looks like he's about to slap the photographer.
While at Oxford, he took a vacation to the French Riviera, where he met and made friends with another charming young dude, named John F. Kennedy. We can only imagine that White taught Kennedy all the womanizing skills that would launch him into the White House.
Strangely, the two met again later, in 1942, when both were Navy ieutenants serving in the Pacific. When Kennedy's PT-109 boat was destroyed, White was sent in by the Navy to interview the crew and write the official reports, no doubt adding the footnote, "If I'd have been here, the boat wouldn't have exploded."
"But what can you expect from an underachiever like JFK?"
Nearly two decades later, that smooth-talking guy White ran into on vacation all those years ago would become president. JFK then brought White along as his stickman, making him a deputy attorney general before eventually nominating him to the Supreme Court.
White, shown here under strict presidential orders to scan the crowd for young, impressionable female interns.
Yes, kids, it freaking pays to make a good impression on people.
Philip Moon is a veteran Cracked writer. His website is PhilipRodneyMoon.com.
Davidb Marchetti has written for www.thecontemporarytheater.com, a live theater company from Rhode Island, for the past five years.
To learn more about your favorite celebrities, check out 6 Insane True Stories Behind The Stage Names of Celebrities and 7 Celebrity Careers That Launched by Accident.
And stop by Linkstorm to learn which columnist used to beat up another one in high school.
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