6 Dorky Hobbies That Shatter Your Image Of Famous People
None of us really "know" celebrities -- we only know the one thing that made them famous. We all know Katy Perry because of her singing and O.J. Simpson because of his beloved role in the Naked Gun trilogy. That's why it's always interesting to find out that the things they're passionate about behind closed doors tend to be way different than you'd expect.
Robin Williams Was A Gamer And An Anime Fan
A whole generation of Cracked readers grew up with Robin Williams. We were delighted by the genie, inspired by Mr. Keating, and collectively gave him a pass on Jack. The Internet fell into such a deep mourning when Williams passed away that it almost seems cruel to give you more reasons to love him. So it's with some trepidation that we tell you Robin Williams liked everything you like.
The man didn't just have one geeky hobby -- he was basically a walking comic book store. He loved anime like Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell, and Neon Genesis Evangelion, the last of which even anime fans who own body pillows think is for losers. He was also a big fan of Isaac Asimov's Foundation series.
The most challenging role of his life: not breaking character to school that kid in all things Evangelion.
Oh, and he was a serious gamer. He played Dungeons & Dragons when he was younger, and D&D fans are so far down (up?) the nerd hierarchy they make Trekkies look like varsity football players. He played Call of Duty, which makes us picture the genie calling someone a Mexican Jew Lizard, and he loved to make Portal references, making him exactly like that one friend of yours. You know who we mean.
Loved ones baked him cake at their own risk.
Williams' favorite series was The Legend of Zelda. He was especially fond of Ocarina of Time, to the point where he filmed a commercial advertising its re-release with the premise of "I like this game, and I am awesome because I am Robin Williams. Buy it to also be awesome."
And yes, he named his daughter Zelda. She's a gamer too, and is presumably very thankful that her Dad wasn't a fan of Final Fantasy and stuck her with the name Rinoa Heartilly. It's kind of sweet, really, to know that Williams' endearing nerdiness lives on.
Stephen Colbert Is A Tolkien Fanatic
Stephen Colbert has more in common with his caricature of a conservative political pundit than you might think, at least in the sense that they're both massive fans of The Lord Of The Rings.
And he's come closer to killing Frodo than Sauron ever did.
If you watch Colbert's work, you've probably heard him gush about Lord Of The Rings at some point. It's not an act. Colbert knows so much about Rings, it's impressive that he has time to stay informed about literally anything else. Tolkien wasn't known for his brevity -- there are guys who've been watching the movies on a constant loop for the last decade who still couldn't tell you who the fuck Feanor is. But not Colbert. He remembers every last extraneous detail. Watch this video of Colbert schooling fellow Tolkien fan James Franco, and try to resist the urge to beat him up.
"So what?" you might be thinking. "Embarrassing Franco is a celebrity rite of passage." Fair enough, but how many people do it twice?
Now what if we told you that Colbert's prize possession is Aragorn's sword, which he received from actor Viggo Mortensen? How about the fact that director Peter Jackson has gone on record to say that Colbert is the biggest Tolkien geek he's ever met? Colbert even defeated the resident Tolkien expert on the Rings set -- someone who is paid to know Tolkien -- in a quiz. That's like strolling into the White House and beating the president in a civics test.
Colbert even scored a cameo in The Desolation of Smaug, although it's possible Jackson only gave him the part because he kept catching Colbert breaking onto the set to steal memorabilia and figured he might as well put him to work.
He re-read The Hobbit thrice, with the eye-patch, to nail his character's knock.
Two Of The NBA's Greatest Players Are Among Its Biggest Nerds
Every athlete has a role model that inspired him or her to fight the odds and reach the lofty peaks of professional superstardom. A parent, a teacher, a mythical wizard ... whoever it is, what matters is that -- wait, what was that last one?
For readers who aren't big fans of the baskets ball, all you need to know about Tim Duncan is that he's considered among the best all-time (five championships, two MVP awards, an astounding 15 All-Star appearances), and that he has an obsession with Merlin that makes Robin Williams naming his daughter after a fictional character seem downright quaint.
This isn't a promotional photo -- Duncan always sits like that.
Upon entering the NBA, the quiet, unassuming Duncan asked his teammates to call him Merlin, presumably after addressing Gregg Popovich as King Arthur. To the surprise of absolutely no one except Tim, the nickname didn't catch on. Undeterred by his teammates' unwillingness to LARP, Duncan went ahead and got a large tattoo of his favorite wizard right on his chest for all the world to see and stare in blank confusion at.
And ask why he hasn't insisted on a trade to the Wizards.
Duncan's inexplicable and mysteriously unexplained fascination with Arthurian lore is just the icing on his nerd cred cake. Duncan's a D&D, video game, and Renaissance Faire fan, as well as a sword collector. And yet, his geek cred pales in comparison to one of his predecessors.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is widely considered to be one of the greatest players ever with one of the greatest names ever. On the court, he had a reputation for being liberal with trash talk and elbows, while off the court he was known for being standoffish with the media and co-piloting airplanes. So while you could predict a number of post-career paths for him, "intellectual humanitarian" probably isn't the first one that skyhooks to mind.
Nice hat, nerd.
For starters, he's got seven books to his name, and they're not the fluff-filled, self-serving autobiographies you'd expect from Kobe Bryant. We're talking about titles like A Season on the Reservation: My Soujourn With the White Mountain Apaches; Brothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, WWII's Forgotten Heroes and On the Shoulders of Giants: My Journey Through the Harlem Renaissance, which presumably contain little-to-no analysis of the Lakers' '85 playoff run. He's also contributed cultural commentary to Time and Jacobin, which is a magazine for people who think The New Yorker is too low-brow. It's different to look at a picture of him driving to the basket when you realize he's got World War II's racial barrier at the forefront of his mind.
"I'm going to cut through you like the 761st cut through Vic-sur-Seille!"
In addition to racking up well-received scholarly nonfiction titles like endorsement checks, AJ, as we like to call him, has served as a United States cultural ambassador and received the Double Helix Medal, an award for "individuals who have positively impacted human health by raising awareness and funds for biomedical research."
The real Dr. (A)J.
This is a man who once requested to be traded from Milwaukee because the city wasn't satisfying his "cultural needs," and that wasn't a Wilt Chamberlain-esque euphemism for "not enough variety in the women." He could kick your ass up and down the basketball court, and then put your humiliating defeat into racial and cultural context with a 20-minute lecture. He truly is the Archangel of Basketball.
Victoria's Secret Model Lyndsey Scott Does Lines Of Code
Supermodels don't have the most intellectually challenging job in the world, but let's be honest -- they face a lot of unfair assumptions about their IQ being as large as the size of their clothes. So when you hear a Victoria's Secret model called a nerd, you assume she bought the latest smartphone and plays Clash of Clans in the makeup chair.
But while Lyndsey Scott's high school classmates were giggling to themselves for calculating 80085, she was learning how to program games onto her graphing calculator. With a knack for coding and her parents encouraging her to pursue it, Scott did the obvious thing and tried her hand, er, face at modeling instead. She promptly got rejected by various agencies, but scored a contract when she posted her own photos online.
No one can resist the balloon cape.
Her experiences getting rejected prepared her for the kind of treatment the Apple app store would dish out. Her first app, which helps students in Uganda plan their education and their future, was rejected by Apple multiple times, although we're going to assume there were valid technical reasons and Apple doesn't just hate Uganda.
Other apps include a professional portfolio creator and a social networking app, and Scott also writes tutorials, answers iOS questions from strangers (our iPhone has been stuck on airplane mode for a week and a half, please help) and teaches you how to code with the power of Ryan Gosling via an educational mobile game. That's right -- she's not just smart, she's one of those rare smart people who dedicate themselves to making others feel less stupid.
Unless they ever want to draw better than a third-grader.
Patrick Dempsey Is An Accomplished Juggler
Patrick Dempsey is one of those celebrities that people worry their partner is secretly thinking about in bed. You loved him to a possibly inappropriate degree in Grey's Anatomy, you had no idea why he was in a Transformers movie, and you honestly forgot he was the star of Meatballs III: Summer Job until we reminded you of its existence.
Now, any serious Dempseyite knows that he's really into auto racing. That's Patrick Dempsey 101. But only advanced acolytes are aware that he's also more serious about juggling than that clown who ruined your 8th birthday.
We're not sure why he insists on juggling in a law office, but what do we know about it?
We know what you're thinking. "God, he's dreamy. But so what? We've all had a little too much to drink at a party, grabbed the host's bowling pins, and started twirling them around like it ain't no thang."
First of all, you need to invite us to your parties. But more to the point, Dempsey credited learning how to juggle in high school with changing his life and giving him a purpose in performance. He's flat-out cocky about his skills, saying they're a "big thing" and that, while any two-bit chump can juggle three balls, bowling pins, or flaming chainsaws, handling five (as he can) is a man's game.
Three is simply how he relaxes.
Dempsey can back-up his claims -- when he was a teenager he finished second at an International Jugglers Association competition, losing only to a kid who would go on to join Cirque du Soleil. There's no word on whether IJA members call themselves juggalos, but we really hope they do. Dempsey can still fling the ol' pins even today, as evidenced by the below video and our upcoming fanfiction where he saves our childhood birthday party and then becomes our stepdad.
The Who's Roger Daltrey Is A Respected Name In Trout Farming
"I hope I die only after I become a respected name in trout farming" is the least hardcore rock lyric you could imagine, but it would have made "My Generation" a lot more accurate. Yes, the lead singer of The Who, one of the most iconic and rebellious rock bands in history, has the same passion as your grandpa.
Also, he looks like a middle-aged lesbian now.
Daltrey designed the four-lake, 26-acre Lakedown Trout Fishery over 30 years ago, although it looks like he hasn't updated its website since the early '90s. This isn't just a celebrity throwing a bunch of money at a conservation effort to look good. Daltrey considers his fishery to be the "proudest achievement of his life," because all those best-selling, critically acclaimed albums and sold-out stadiums packed full of adoring fans were just trifling, day-to-day responsibilities that kept Daltrey from his beloved life aquatic. He even won a lawsuit against a neighboring farm that killed hundreds of thousands of his fish. Where's our rock opera about that?
"That deaf, blind, and dumb fish sure was delicious."
You can visit Lakedown and enjoy its facilities, including its ample free parking and tea provided at the lodge. If you're not into fishing, go and enjoy the animals. "So much can be seen, wild deer, badgers, foxes, stoats & grey squirrels" -- we assume Daltrey typed that out himself. Stoats and grey squirrels? Count us in.
Daltrey is continuing his efforts to transform from a rock God into an old man living a tranquil, pastoral lifestyle that even Robert Frost would find a bit dull. He's planning to convert part of his 400-acre country estate, the stuffily named Holmshurst Manor, into a holiday getaway that provides "a desirable environment for those seeking a quiet rural holiday." Soon Daltrey will be offering to come over at night and tuck you into bed with a warm cup of cocoa and a lullaby in exchange for a few quid.
Creep on G.W Horowitz at G+ and follow his tweeter. Robert is a columnist for Freakin' Awesome Network and would like for you to follow him on Twitter. Soon Van used to be a national championship yo-yo judge.
For more activities famous people enjoy, check out 8 Celebrities Who Are Great at the Last Thing You'd Expect and 5 Famous People Who Secretly Had Awesome Second Careers.
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