"Party like a rock star" is a thing for a reason. When you're famous, the illicit substances flow into your body as freely as airborne disease does for the rest of us suckers, so it's bound to result in some weird times. Like when ...
Jack Nicholson Bonded With a Pork Chop and Followed a Cattle Herd on Acid with Dennis Hopper
It was impossible to escape the '60s as a completely sober movie star, and Jack Nicholson wasn't even a little. He's almost equally well known for his penchant for drugs as for emoting with his eyebrows, but have his escapades been recounted in his own delightful words, as in a 1972 Playboy interview where he recalled dropping acid with Dennis Hopper during the filming of Easy Rider and then driving up to D.H. Lawrence's tomb just as it took effect. "So we were up there rapping about D.H. Lawrence and how beautiful it was," he remembered. "Dennis and I get very sentimental about each other at these moments; we love to cry about old times and talk about how it's gonna be." That's real masculinity right there: Crying with the homies on a motorcycle break.
Except it wasn't a break, as far as they were concerned. "We decided we were going to sit on the tomb with D.H. and that was it. From then on, this was where we were going to make our stand in life, and if they wanted us to go on with the movie, they'd have to come up here and get us." Most such proclamations dissolve once its issuers get hungry and realize no one is entertaining their bullshit, but they actually did have a rather important movie to make, so soon enough, "the guys in the van came back to get us," implying that that had, indeed, always been the plan. Once they got back to the motel, things got weirder and, um, more problematic. Hopper "went off with a lady," as Hoppers are wont to do, so Nicholson spent some time guarding their room from hypothetical "Indian attacks" before being entranced by the sunrise and convinced that he needed to get closer to it. That's how he ended up at the top of a 10-foot tree. "I was very happy up there."
As he contentedly greeted the dawn from his dangerous perch, he noticed a "big white rock" in a meadow and declared it "one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen," and that was before it turned into a horse. Specifically, "he went up on his hind legs once, came down stiff-legged, and his tail went around in a circle, exactly like a propeller, as if he were going to take off." As Nicholson calmly noted that he had "never seen this in a horse before" and reconsidered his previous assumption that his trip had already peaked, "all the other darker rocks became horses and went racing around." Filled with "fantastic emotion," he "climbed down the tree, walked out into the meadow, and actually followed a cattle herd" for a while. Once he'd decided he'd had enough of that scene, he turned to head home, but not before stumbling upon a squeaky inflatable pork chop dog toy. "It was so incongruous. You can imagine what that did to me," he completely failed to explain. "I carried that pork chop in my suit pocket through most of the shooting of Easy Rider." Just something to keep in mind on your next classic movie marathon: Jack Nicholson is probably holding an emotionally significant cut of pork.
Tim Allen Went to Prison for Trafficking Coke
If you only know Tim Allen for grunting a lot and complaining about political correctness, you might be surprised that he's capable of doing anything as cool as selling cocaine, but his 1978 arrest has gone on to internet infamy. FYI, he's 25 here. Never gonna complain about the adult actors they get to play teenagers on TV again, are ya?
What actually happened, though? According to the only real source of details about the incident, an unauthorized biography titled Tim Allen (Overcoming Adversity), it was actually Allen's idea to meet a guy claiming to want to buy $42,000 worth of cocaine at their local airport in Michigan because pre-9/11 America was a very different place. (He'd apparently seen people do it on TV, so he knew at one point what looked cool on it.) Obviously, the guy turned out to be an undercover cop, which was really bad luck for Allen because Michigan had just passed a law requiring a mandatory life sentence for selling more than 1.4 lbs. of cocaine or heroin. How much did Allen have? 1.5 lbs.
Staring down an entire life free of power tools and Pamela Anderson, he immediately ratted out everyone he'd ever met in exchange for being prosecuted federally instead and receiving a sentence of three to seven years (he served just over two) in a Minnesota facility where he'd be less likely to run into one of the many enemies he just made. The judge who sentenced him actually noted his "remarkable talent," instructing Allen: "Be a man. Do your time. Then come out and do what you do best. I expect you to become a very successful comedian." Hey, now we know who to blame!
Alex Trebek and Seth Rogen Had Bad Edible Experiences
It's every stoner's worst nightmare: You have a light snack of some weed gummies or weed brownies or weed chips or something, and you feel fine, but as soon as you start to do something important, it hits hard. Seth Rogen doesn't love them exactly because of this wild card quality, noting that "what's scary about edibles is you don't even know what they are doing to you," and he would know: There's a whole strain of weed named after one of his movies -- because he named it.
His company won't be making edibles anytime soon, though, partly because of bad experiences like the time he spent the Golden Globes sucking on a weed lollipop. Pro tip: If you're sucking a lollipop at a formal event and think you've convinced people you're not on drugs, you're wrong. Rogen was extremely wrong, thinking he was looking and acting "totally normal," but once he got to the after-party, "I saw Bryan Cranston, who I don't know that well. But I saw him, and the first thing he said to me was, 'Are you okay?' which is an alarming question to be asked when you think you are okay." It turned out he was too stoned to even respond, so he just turned around and left, reasoning that "If I was alarming to Walter White, I must have been f**ked."
Everyone's favorite pedant, Alex Trebek, had a similar experience, though he didn't have Rogen's decades of delinquency to inform him. During his youthful "wild time" of trying weed and coke exactly once each, he actually ingested the former on accident, having been betrayed by a plate of brownies at a house party. "I ate about four or five hash brownies," he recalled, and promptly passed out for the next three days. It seems like there might have been something else going on there, but who are we to question the keeper of the answers?
Matthew McConaughey's Naked Bongos Were Even Weirder Than It Sounds
It's as much a part of the McConaughey lore as "Alright, alright, alright," and that weird chest-thumping he does in Wolf of Wall Street: In 1999, he was arrested on drug charges after being found playing the bongos naked. Back then, that's pretty much all that was reported, and McConaughey only recently elaborated on the incident. First of all: Why was he naked? Well, he was really, really high. He'd been awake all weekend, drinking and smoking and generally celebrating a recent sports win. Hey, it was Texas. By the early hours of Monday morning, he'd decided it was time to "wind down," which in Matthew McConaughey's house means taking off your clothes and vibing with some tunes. Don't sit there judging him like you don't just pass out in front of The Good Place again.
He was also in his own home, and like, sometimes people be naked in their homes. According to McConaughey, it was actually a pretty serious incident of injustice: After responding to an admittedly probably justified complaint of someone playing bongos at 2:30 in the morning, police "barge into my house unannounced, wrestle me to the ground with nightsticks, handcuff me, and pin me to the floor." Once he learned he was being arrested for disturbing the peace, possession of marijuana, and resisting arrest, one of the nicer cops tried to offer him a blanket to cover himself. But McConaughey claims he insisted, "My naked ass is proof I was mindin' my own business!" and refused multiple attempts to clothe him as he was marched from his home to the waiting police car and then to the police station. He only relented once another inmate suggested he would probably want pants for his night in jail. "When a 6-foot, 6-inch jailbird built like a brick shithouse tells you, 'You do wanna put on some pants before you go in the clink,' it's probably best to listen."
Before that, though, he also got it into his head that he was going to escape police custody through the power of parkour. Naked, stoned parkour. "My thinking was that in mid-flight, while upside down in the air, I would assume a pike position and then slide my cuffed wrists under my butt and up and over my legs, and then stick the landing ... with my fettered hands in front of me," he explained. He got about three steps into it before he was slammed to the ground, still -- it cannot be said enough -- very naked.
Harrison Ford Was '60s Hollywood's Favorite Weed Dealer
Before he was known as Han Solo and then Indiana Jones, and then Jack Ryan, etc., Harrison Ford was known to a lot of people as "my weed guy." He hung around Hollywood for more than a decade before his big break, carpenting and auditioning and picking up bit parts here and there, and you know what they say: If you can't join them, maybe try getting them high and see if they'll give you their agent's phone number.
By all accounts, he had some pretty high-profile clients: When she saw Star Wars for the first time, Michelle Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas did a double-take before shouting, "That's my pot dealer!"
She later explained that she "didn't even know Harrison was an actor," so he was either really shitty at networking or an exceptionally ethical drug dealer.
He was also said to have supplied the Doors, making Harrison Ford responsible for possibly as much of the decade's best music as acoustic guitars and draft-dodging. He also definitely gave it to Carrie Fisher in more ways than one. During their now-infamous three-month affair on the set of Star Wars, the pair met up every week to smoke and bone, and Fisher actually credited Ford's intense supply with making her "forget most of 1976" and turning her off weed permanently. Marking the first and only time Harrison Ford turned a woman off.
Top image: Lucasfilm, Georges Biard/Wikimedia Commons