As documented in our column "5 Ways We Paid The Bills In College," at one point or another, we've all been on camera doing something we'd later regret. If you hold a regular job, those moments can quickly be put behind you. But if you're a celebrity, your most desperate and dumbest ideas will be remembered forever. And there's no better way to remind ourselves that famous people are as human as us than by revisiting how ...
Vin Diesel has spent decades playing the exact characters you'd expect of a man whose stage name is "Vin Diesel." But back when he was still an aspiring actor, working under his real name of Vance Petroleum, he had to pad his resume and pay his bills just like everyone else. Which brings us to a 1980s breaking instructional video, which is dated by the music and the fashion, yes, but most of all by the fact that Diesel has hair.
While it's admirable that he deploys all the funky moves of a failed Urkel audition to teach VHS owners how to dance, anyone learning how to break this way presumably broke their front teeth out the first and last time they tried. Also, note that at one point, Diesel's partner clearly smacks him right in his NOS tanks.
Alex Hunter Productions
While it looks ridiculous today, Diesel was living through an exciting time in New York hip-hop, and got to witness its growing popularity firsthand. In fact, opportunities flowed so freely that as "MC Sinclair," he even had the chance to spit rhymes to a beat provided by the legendary Arthur Russell ... and he quickly demonstrated rap skills so impressively nonexistent that he had no choice but to turn to acting instead. Talent is a process, kids.
Shaquille O'Neal is far and away the greatest basketball player to look like he was perpetually on the verge of having a heart attack while putting up 28 points a game. This is a giant who has released four rap albums, inflicted both Kazaam and Shaq Fu on an innocent world, dabbled as a wrestler and a police officer, has shilled for everything from insurance to a Counter-Strike league to Chris Christie, and who once decreed that his new nickname would be Big Aristotle, because he was so motivated by a quote that Aristotle didn't actually say.
He is seven feet and God knows how many pounds of a man who could not possibly care less about what anyone thinks of him. And that is why there exists in this strange universe of ours a video in which a wheezy Shaq talks erratically, sometimes within the vague boundaries of what we could call rap, about inviting Kobe Bryant to eat his ass.
For those of you whose knowledge of basketball is limited to the words "Space" and "Jam," Shaq and Kobe are famous for A) being teammates who won three consecutive championships together and B) having a feud worthy of a 6,700-word Wikipedia page, an entire book by their coach, and more diva confessionals than three Real Housewives seasons. These are two men who helped each other summit mountains while also repeatedly trying to kick each other to their demise.
So that's why we have a 2008 video where Shaq repeatedly freestyles "Kobe, tell me how my ass tastes," and "You can't do without me." Oh, there are other bars too, from the baffling "That's like a homeless cat having more figures than me" to the TMI-laden "I love 'em, I don't leave 'em, I got a vasectomy, now I can't breed them" contained within the part where Shaq rap-blames Kobe for his divorce. But the crux of the performance is Shaq cordially inviting Kobe to sample a tasting menu composed entirely of his ass.
Kobe, as far as we know, declined the invitation, but an older, wiser, and somehow even zanier Shaq has since figuratively become the bigger man that he literally was all along, apologizing for his role in the feud and all the calls for anilingus contained therein. In the modern world's ultimate expression of camaraderie, the pair buried the hatchet by having Kobe do an appearance on Shaq's podcast. Meaning all that's left now is for them to jointly rap a MeUndies ad.
Bobby Flay is the television chef beloved by wine aunts and stoned college students too lazy to change the channel. But when Flay's not whipping up a spicy hamburger or marriage-ruining affair, he can be found attempting, and largely failing, to bust a move.
That's Flay at a 2012 live show using his full pantry of dad moves, which are capable of inflicting dangerous levels of embarrassment on any witness under the age of menopause. So now you know how Flay bones: with the aid of techniques he's no doubt dubbed "The Turkey Baster" and "The Spice Grinder." We can't blame him for riling up his audience, because a fan will be more in the mood to buy a cookbook if they're fantasizing about the inclusion of a secret exclusive recipe for making Hot Eggplant with Cream. But Flay has also inflicted his swag upon far less willing bystanders.
We're now in 2015, and Flay is feeling his vibe at New York City's Puerto Rican Day Parade, at the expense of everyone who had to witness him feeling his vibe at New York City's Puerto Rican Day Parade. Good for him for having the confidence to do his thing while gossip rags were stalking him, but you'd pull out your camera too if you were witnessing that thirsty trainwreck. Those are the dance moves of a recently single man who just had tequila for breakfast and isn't afraid to let the world know that he's now calling himself a free spirit. Godspeed, you beautiful khakied catastrophe. But maybe ask Vin Diesel for some lessons.
Kim Cattrall is a talented actor with a pile of awards for her work on Sex And The City, which almost makes up for this 42-second video in which she singlehandedly sets white people back decades:
Cattrall's attempt to scat sounds like Siri having a stroke. You can sense the out-of-frame dinner party guests desperately trying to sneak out with fake yawns and glances at their watches. It's illegal to show this video to prisoners in 48 states. If you're either unable or unwilling to inflict it upon yourself, here is a transcription of her words. Study them well, for many interns died to provide this.
"I read poetry, and sonnets, and [my husband] plays the upright bass."
Cattrall opens her mouth to begin scatting, and for a brief moment you can glimpse the time and method of your death.
Sedere facebo In dog-Latin he quoth
Euge! Sophos! (with snapping fingers and wildly misplaced enthusiasm) HURRAY!"
There is a merciful yet ominous pause, such as what soldiers faced before going over the top to face German machine guns.
"Well ... he ... bit all the he-dogs
And winked at all the she-dogs
The town never knew such a hullabaloo
As that little dog raised, till the end of that day."
At this point, Cattrall reverts to the human tongue to unfurl a blatant lie.
"We just have a good rhythm together. He sort of feels me out, I feel him out, and we go for it."
That was, as you no doubt recognized, a loose "interpretation" of Rupert Brooke's 1907 poem "The Little Dog's Day." Aside from supplanting Brooke's death at 27 by mosquito-bite-induced sepsis as the greatest indignity ever foisted upon him, why did Cattrall agree to record this? Why did she claim to have rhythm? Why choose that very un-jazzy poem?
Like with all the great questions in life, we must be satisfied with the asking, because we will never have the answers. What we do know is that the man who felt out for Cattrall and was reduced to borderline catatonia by what he found, Mark Levinson, is both a professional musician and her now very ex-husband. But at least they stayed together long enough to also give the world the book Satisfaction: The Art Of The Female Orgasm. Study hard, and you'll be rewarded with the telltale sound of sexual ecstasy: "Euge! Sophos! HURRAY!"
Unless you're as blindingly white as Kim Cattrall, you're well aware that Beyonce's husband, Jay-Z, is a successful musician in his own right. But you might need a refresher on Marina Abramovic, a performance artist whose career has spanned four decades of doing things like chugging honey and wine before carving a star into her stomach with a razor blade.
In 2010, for a soon-to-be-relevant example, she did a piece called The Artist Is Present. During a MoMA retrospective of her work, Abramovic spent seven motionless hours a day allowing visitors to sit and stare at her, because that's the kind of crap you can get people to queue up for when you're famous. Eventually, hundreds of hours of being stared at caught the attention of Jay-Z, a man who wants to be stared at every moment of every day.
Jay-Z has long had an interest in art, and in 2013 he performed a six hour "docu-music video" called Picasso Baby, in reference to his track "Picasso Baby," in which he declares "I'm the modern-day Pablo Picasso, baby" -- Picasso having also famously cheated on his wife after she had his baby.
In an homage to The Artist Is Present, Picasso Baby involved Jay-Z rapping and dancing with visitors. One of those visitors was Abramovic, who'd given his performance her blessing, and their interaction was uncomfortably sensual.
Half apparent prelude to ritual sacrifice and half insight into an alternate universe where Becky with the good hair was a septuagenarian, this interaction wowed a select few people who fit into a very specific Venn diagram, angered critics who felt that this had ruined the otherwise-sterling reputation of performance art, gave performance art haters voluminous ammunition, and baffled everyone else.
Drama unfortunately followed, because of course it did. Abramovic later said that Jay-Z had "used" her in a "cruel" experience. But put those worries we're sure you have aside, because it was all a dumb misunderstanding. Jay-Z had promised a financial donation in exchange for permission to perform the piece, and the Marina Abramovic Institute had simply failed to inform the Marina Abramovic person that the money had arrived.
So every man can be an artist, if some men are willing to pay millions of dollars to copy a woman's art, and eventually we got the happy ending promised by this image.
For more, check out 6 Shockingly Out-Of-Touch Celebrities - The Spit Take:
Also, we'd love to know more about you and your interesting lives, dear readers. If you spend your days doing cool stuff, drop us a line at iDoCoolStuff at Cracked dot com, and maybe we can share your story with the entire internet.
Follow us on Facebook. Because we said so.