It should come as no surprise that celebrities are celebrated with awards. But they don’t always win Emmys, Oscars, Grammys, or People’s Teen Choice Awards; sometimes, they win awards we don’t hear about or even knew existed for the most ridiculous reasons.
These awards go under the radar for things celebrities have done outside of their showbiz careers. They just have to utter a few words, smoke a joint, whine about something, or get mock awards after winning real ones.
Below we’ve compiled a list of 10 celebrities that have won awards or received special recognition for some very strange, unheard of, and entertaining reasons.
10. Halle Berry – Razzie Award
In 2004, Academy award winning actress Halle Berry accepted her Golden Raspberry Award for the Worst Actress of that year. She playfully thanked Warner Brothers and her manager for her role in Catwoman.
In her other hand, she held her Academy Award for Best Female Actor in a leading role for her performance in Monster’s Ball. She ended her triumphant acceptance speech by praying to God that she would never see the Razzie people again.
9. Stephen Colbert – Species Named After Himself
It’s not exactly an award but it’s most definitely an honor to have a species named after you and that’s exactly what Stephen Colbert got in 2008. He voiced his outrage when Neil Young had a spider named after him on his show The Colbert Report. He demanded on the air that it should be renamed “Colbert”.
The host called out biologist Jason Bond on air several times to have a spider named after him; his prayers were eventually answered. Aptostichus stephencolberti is a species of trapdoor spider named after the American satirist. The spider was discovered on the Californian coastline in 2007.
Colbert’s awards don’t end there. He’s won an array of awards for The Colbert Report as well as a few Peabodies, an award reflecting excellence in quality rather than popularity. The cherry on top of Colbert’s awards cake is the honorary award he received from Princeton University: The Understandable Vanity Award. The award consisted of a drawing of Colbert giving a thumbs-up. At the same ceremony, he was also made an honorary member of the Class of 2008.
8. President Barack Obama – Nobel Peace Prize & Grammy Award
Mere days after President Barack Obama entered the White House for his first term as the President of the United States of America in 2009, he was greeted with a pleasant surprise. The Norwegian Nobel Committee gave Obama the Nobel Peace Prize for that year. He got the award because the committee said he made extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between people.
Obama also has won two Grammy Awards for Best Spoken Word Album: one in 2006 for his audio book Dreams from My Father and another for his book The Audacity of Hope in 2008.
Outside of the political realm, he’s shown that a president is also a human by appearing and killing it on shows like The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, and Between Two Ferns.
7. Snoop Dogg – Stoner Of The Year
Snoop Dogg is one of the most famous stoners in the world. Sure, there are plenty of celebrities who’ve openly admitted they take a hit from Mary Jane on occasion, but they haven’t won awards for it like Snoop Dogg.
In 2002, High Times presented Snoop Dogg with the most prestigious award for smoking pot — there was a ceremony and everything. According to High times, the rapper came to the Stony Awards ceremony obviously dressed to impress.
He wore a Persian lamb-lined black suede overcoat with a matching hat while he carried a silver-encrusted chalice and a weed-stuffed cane. He was nominated and won Stoner of the Year. In 2001, he appeared in four films in which he smoked at least one blunt in each.
6. Tony Blair – Lifetime Menace Award
Tony Blair became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom by a landslide in 1997 with his party having the most seats. He went on to be the Prime Minister for 10 years after that. He is said to be a great businessman and performs a fair amount of charitable work, but he’s been rewarded for something else.
Blair won the Lifetime Menace Award in 2003. Privacy International gave out the award to the former Prime Minister for his involvement in crushing Britain’s civil liberties when he insisted that phone and Internet providers had to keep records of users’ data.
The Lifetime Menace Award is a fiercely contested category, but Privacy International said it was suiting for Blair to receive the award since it was a prolonged vicious attack on Britain citizens’ privacy. Blair claimed the records from the providers were needed to fight the war on terrorism and crime.
5. Russell Brand – Foot In Mouth
Russell Brand was one of the most entertaining comedians when he began his career, starring in movies like Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him to the Greek and Despicable Me 2. Famous for his stand-up comedy routines, Brand is also known for his political-activism efforts.
Last year, despite his efforts, contributions, and thought-provoking speeches, he was the recipient of the “Foot In Mouth” Award, given to the public figure who made the dumbest comment that year.
The Plain English Campaign site said of Brand winning the award: “your message was entertainingly garbled and may well be meaningful – we just have no idea what you’re talking about and we’re not sure you do.”
The campaign gave a few examples, but here’s just one that you can sit with and try to understand:
“This attitude of churlish indifference seems like nerdish deference contrasted with the belligerent antipathy of the indigenous farm folk, who regard the hippie-dippie interlopers, the denizens of the shimmering tit temples, as one fey step away from transvestites.”
The quote is from his book, Revolution, which was published in 2014.
4. Rob Reiner – Celebrity Dumb Ass Award
Rob Reiner came to fame with his role as Meathead on All in the Family in the 1970s. It landed him two Emmy Awards and he went on to win our hearts with movies like Stand by Me, When Harry Met Sally…, and A Few Good Man. He’s also known for being a liberal activist, but last year he became something even more when he was nominated for “The Celebrity Dumb Ass Award” at the Media Research Center’s DisHonors Awards.
Chris Plante, a DC-based talk radio star, happily prepared a speech before presenting the nominees to the audience. Plante explained that all nominees were really deserving of the awards but only one could win. The award is given out every year for the most moronic statement made by a celebrity.
Reiner was voted by the audience for his statement on Bill Maher‘s show: “Obama right now, where Obama is, is right around where Reagan was, right around where Nixon was. He’s no more left than those Republicans.”
3. Pope John II – Harlem Globetrotters Honorary Member
Besides being a holy figure for billions of people across the world, Pope John II is also known in the pop culture and, apparently, in the sports world.
In 2000, the pontiff was made an honorary member of The Harlem Globetrotters. He met with the owner and chairman Mannie Jackson as well as five players in the Vatican City on November, 29, 2000, to accept his membership.
The pontiff received an autographed basketball and his own numbered jersey. Along with John Paul, only eight other people have been made honorary members of the basketball team: Kareem Adbul-Jabbar (an actual high-leveled basketball player), Whoopi Goldberg, Bob Hope, Jesse Jackson, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Nelson Mandela and most recently, Pope Francis.
2. Richard Gere – Foot In Mouth
The once “Sexiest Man Alive” according to People’s magazine was seen in a new light in 2002 when he uttered three confusing sentences. These three sentences got him an award that definitely wasn’t given by the Academy.
In 2002, while Chicago was warming our hearts, Richard Gere said, “I know who I am. No one else knows who I am. If I was a giraffe and somebody said I was a snake, I’d think ‘No, actually I am a giraffe”, winning him the “Foot In Mouth” Award.
Gere won the award (which is given for the dumbest comment made by a public figure) when he told this to a UK reporter during an interview where the reporter asked about his sexual orientation.
It’s not all embarrassing for the actor: ten years later, Gere was given the Medal of Gratitude by the Albanian President for his outspoken efforts for Tibetan rights.
1. Miss Piggy – Feminism Award
The Muppets’ most famous babe, Miss Piggy, received a feminism award from the Brooklyn Museum’s Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art.
The Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art is an exhibition and education environment dedicated to feminist art. According to the Center’s website, the awards are given out to women who are extraordinary and are first in their fields.
And that’s exactly why Miss Piggy received the award—she’s great, even if she’s not an actual human. Miss Piggy first wowed us in 1974, and she’s been hogging our hearts ever since.
According to the Center, Miss Piggy won this award for more than forty years of dazzling entertainment filled with determination and humor all while being the most sensational feminist puppet. She’s also being recognized for her groundbreaking role for inspiring generations worldwide.
Plus, there is no one else but this ham that can emote on any screen with a certain frog while keeping it classy.