12 Celebrities Who Are Smarter Than You’d Think

Ian-Fortey by Ian-Fortey on Mar. 06, 2014

What am I doing with my life?  It’s a question that will plague everyone at one time or another.  Some of us become fry cooks, some male gigolos who edit popular video websites during our off hours..  Some of us will become infuriatingly unhelpful tech support agents.  But the path you start on doesn’t always lead to the destination you expect.  Take, for instance, these 12 celebrities who all have worked in the Hollywood spotlight (sorta) but certainly didn’t go to school for it. 

Shaq

Not only is Shaquille O’Neal Ireland’s greatest hero, he’s also the star of such films as Kazaam and Steel, as well as being the proud owner of Doctor of Education.  Yes, Shaq is a doctor.  Please keep that in mind as you enjoy this gif from Kazaam.

Peter Weller

Robocop (the real one) has a PhD in Italian Renaissance Art History from UCLA and actually taught courses at Syracuse University.  You may also remember that in the movie Naked Lunch he put his fingers in a talking cockroach’s butthole and drank a sticky, white fluid that came out of the head of something called a Mugwump.  That doesn’t relate to his education in any way at all, but aren’t you glad you know it?

Dolph Lundgren

No list on surprisingly intelligent celebrities is complete without Dolph Lundgren. In fact, if this list was just Dolph Lundgren it would be still be awesome for any number of reasons, not the least of which is that Lundgren has an IQ of 160 and that he has a Master’s Degree in chemical engineering and would have gotten his PhD had fame not got in the way.  Now take that and reconcile it with every single role you’ve ever seen him play.  He was He-Man for God’s sake.  He-Man was a chemical engineer.

Mayim Bialik

The star of Blossom took an acting sabbatical when she was a kid to go to school where she actually ended up getting a PhD in Neuroscience.  That’s some high level brain busting intellect.  And, as you might expect of an actor who has a degree in Neuroscience, she now plays a mega nerd girl on a TV show who is a Neuroscientist.  It’s like a Mobius strip of confusing layers of stuff you don’t understand and low-brow dick jokes.

Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby spent most of his life and yours being America’s level headed dad on TV dealing with the ups and downs of child-rearing, a career and the obtrusive presence of Raven Symone.  As it happens, the man did all of that while also wielding a Doctor of Education.  All those very special episode of the Cosby Show that were supposed to teach you a lesson were seriously supposed to teach you a lesson.  When Theo was being a dumbass, he was doing to help you not be a dumbass.  Thanks, Theo!

Dexter Holland

Remember The Offspring?  They’re probably most well known for that song Pretty Fly for a White Guy and slightly less well known for sounding like almost a completely different band the album before that song came out.  But also it’s worth noting that lead singer Dexter Holland gave up his potential as a PhD candidate in molecular biology to focus on music.  How the hell does one go from molecular biology to “na na why don’t you get a job?”  We don’t know.  We’re not PhD candidates.

Ken Jeong

Ken Jeong rose to fame on the back of a high-pitched voice and rampant homoerotic subtext in the movie The Hangover.  He famously jumped bare ass naked out of a car trunk and has requested, on camera, that someone suck on his little Chinese nuts.  Ken Jeong is also a doctor.

Before acting became a viable way to make a living, Jeong was a practicing, knowledgeable MD.  The man could conceivably save your life if you’d be willing to overlook the fact he once let a monkey play with his penis on camera.  It was fake, but still. 

Kane

WWE superstar Kane spent the first several years of his career wearing a mask and never speaking a word.  For years this man was not allowed to show his face or speak a single word.  He just pretended to be a burn victim and maybe supernatural in some way while he and other men in tights grappled for the amusement of people who wear hats to bed.  He also has a degree in English Literature and occasionally goes on political talk shows to discuss his worldview as a libertarian before chokeslamming any socialists.

Gallagher

If you’re under 30 you may not be as familiar with Gallagher as those of us up to our nuts in the entertainment industry here in LA are (one time Scott Baio got a flat outside our offices, it was pretty dope).  For your edification, Gallagher was/is a “comedian” whose most memorable shtick was smashing watermelons with a mallet.  No, really!  How does one prepare themselves, in a life skills sort of way, to smash melons in front of an audience? A degree in Chemical Engineering.  That’s right, he’s the prop comedy world’s Dolph Lundgren!

Weird Al

Weird Al Yankovic is a musical genius whose songs include Eat it, My Bologna, Addicted to Spuds, Girls Just Wanna Have Lunch, Lasagna and about 100 other food-themed parodies of popular music.  He also has a degree in architecture.  He could design you a structure in which to listen to Amish Paradise.  That’s amazing.

Ron Jeremy

Ron Jeremy used to teach special needs children and has a master’s degree in special education.  Then one day he was all “I should bang ladies for a living,” and so he did.

Kermit

Southampton College gave the frog a BS degree.  Don’t believe him if he asks you to bend over and cough.

9 comments
Mr_Tideman
Mr_Tideman User

You've gotta be shitting me.  Honorary Ph.D.s handed out for showing up to speak doesn't make somebody a "doctor".  Wanna know how smart Shaq is?  After returning from a vacation in Greece, a member of the media asked him, "Did you visit the Parthenon?"  Shaq answered, "I don't remember the names of the clubs I went to."

MattP725
MattP725 User

Kinda misleading since many of these people were given "honorary" degrees and didn't spend any time in a classroom (not all of them but some).

mediabanana
mediabanana User

so ...having a degree in something/anything = smarter than we'd think?

LostKeys
LostKeys User

Most of these celebrities are already perceived as smart.... a list of celebs that are smarter than you think would include people like Marilyn Manson, Russle Brand, Louis CK and that sexy redhead from mythbusters. 

T-Bone
T-Bone User

You say Cosby was "wielding a Doctor of Education." I get the mental image of him defending himself by brandishing a doctor at an attacker.


FilthyHobo
FilthyHobo User

Mayim Bialik plays a Neurobiologist not a Neuroscientist.