Celebrities are known for their talents in certain areas, whether it be singing, acting or athletic. They’re typically experts in their chosen field, but when some of them tried to break into other industries it was a complete fail. It’s hard to believe they even tried some of these ideas. Maybe they wanted to be entrepreneurs or perhaps they simply wanted to follow another dream to see how it would turn out, but what made these celebs try these really weird business venture ideas is quite a mystery.
Some of them acquired real-estate while others tried to grow a business from the ground up. What we learned from watching these attempts is that you should stick with what you know. While some of these side projects made money (only one was actually really successful), it’s hard to picture these stars doing anything other than what we know them for.
It’s respectable to try to turn a hobby into a viable paying career, but when your ideas are this bad you have to know it won’t work out. In their case, they should have stuck to the jobs that made them millions in the first place. Check out the list below to see a countdown of the strangest celebrity side projects — number 1 is sure to make you say “what..?”.
11. Dwight Yoakam’s Take ‘Ems Macaroni Mouth Poppers
The only thing worse than the name is the concept. In 2009, country star Dwight Yoakam tried to break out into the industry of flash frozen comfort food. He added a flaky fried coating to the ultimate comfort food, mac and cheese. He planned to sell it in the frozen food aisle at an affordable price to make it appeal to the general public.
It’s a wonder he thought himself to be an expert on designing and mass-producing frozen food. He probably wished he could pop some fried mac into the microwave while he was on the road and was inspired to invent this treat. Needless to say, it isn’t making him much money, but that hasn’t stopped him from expanding his brand to include frozen chicken nugget rings, frozen rib sliders, frozen pizza fries and frozen burritos.
10. Hulk Hogan’s PastaMania restaurant
Another celebrity trying to break into the food industry. Hogan is a master wrestler, not an Italian pasta-whiz, but that didn’t stop him from opening PastaMania. This was his brainchild in the mid 90’s that he strategically opened in the Mall of America. With that many people it was sure to be a hit, right? Wrong.
The pasta joint was modeled after the fast food industry and served really low-grade pasta, even lower than Olive Garden. Most of the dishes were named in honor of Hogan and featured un-pasta-like names such as “Hulk-U’s” and “Hulkaroos”. The restaurant didn’t even last a year before people got tired of paying for the overpriced pasta.
However, in 1998, a Singaporean chain by the name of PastaMania opened and is making a ton of money…probably because it has absolutely nothing to do with Hulk Hogan.
9. Paris Hilton’s Hair Extensions
Paris Hilton, known for being famous for doing nothing other than being born to a rich dad, did try to make something of herself once when she started her line of hair extensions — Dreamcatchers Clipin- Go. These are claimed to be “the world’s best hair extensions” , but they were a miserable failure since even the starlet refused to wear her product since it wasn’t of high enough quality. In the commercials she filmed for the product she wore hair extensions from other companies and ended up being sued for $35,000,000 by her manufacturers.
They’re still for sale with her picture on the box (in other extensions) and come in colors all over the spectrum including, Paris Blonde, of course. They retail for $70, but if you want any size other than small you have to pay extra. Needless to say, she’s still living off daddy’s fortune instead of the money she earned from these.
8. Lindsay Lohan’s fake tanner
Sevin Nyne, a tanning lotion, was an even bigger fail than the attempt at spelling was. Launched in 2009 by Lohan as a follow-up to her leggings line, she thought the self-tanner would be a huge hit. She teamed up with Lorit Simon, a supposed tanning expert, who had been tanning her for years…except she never actually looked tan. Red heads rock that pale skin look.
Regardless, they created a spray lotion with Gogi berries, Chardonnay extract and caramel. The appeal was that DHA would be the active ingredient and there wouldn’t be any other chemicals involved. While it’s a cool concept it was poorly executed. The color the spray provides only lasts four to five days, which means you’d have to use it almost incessantly and with a price tag of $35 for 5 oz. it wasn’t really appealing to anyone.
7. Shaq Vs TV Show
Shaquille O’Neal is one of the greatest basketball players of all time and should therefore stick with what he knows. Just because he’s great at one thing, doesn’t mean he’s great at everything — which is the premise of his Shaq Vs. television show. In this glorified tv show, Shaq competes with other celebrities where he does their jobs in a competition to see who can perform the best.
The idea is that since Shaq is great at basketball, he’ll put these celebrities in their place by showing them how easily he can do their jobs better than they can. He sang against Justin Bieber, cooked against Rachel Ray and told jokes against Jimmy Kimmel…and lost. He took first place in two episodes, one was a hot dog eating contest (and he’s a big boy so he had an advantage) and the other was when he golfed against Charles Barkley. So if you’re in the mood to watch Shaq lose at something, go check out the show.
6. Kardashian’s pre-paid Mastercard
Of course the Kardashian’s make this list, since they seem to dabble in everything. They love to shop and spend crazy amounts of money so what’s better for them than to create a pre-paid credit card? The card, cleverly named the KardashianKard (who would’ve seen them spelling card with a “k”), is nothing more than a plastic rectangle loaded with fees.
The initial price of the 12 month card is $99.95, which is compounded with a $9.95 purchase fee and 12 $7.95 monthly fees that holders pay even after the first year. In addition, the holder pays $1 every time they load money onto the card, $1.50 to speak with a live operator, $2 to pay their bills online and $6 if they ever decide to cancel their card. These fees are so egregious that government officials are speaking out advising people not to use the card. Those sneaky sisters are really making a living through the hidden fees.
5. Natalie Portman’s Vegan Shoes
It’s great to stand up for a cause you believe in and to try to promote it to the world is even better and turning it into a business venture is the best possible option. It just works a lot better if you pick an outlet that goes hand in hand with your cause. Vegan shoes are not the best idea since it means they’ll be made of plastic and plastic shoes cause major blisters.
In 2008 Natalie Portman launched her line of vegan shoes that cost $200 a pair. She had a variety of styles, heels to loafers, designed in tons of colors so that you rock them for every occasion. She partnered with a store called Té Casan that would sell her shoes. Except the store went under a year after she launched the shoes and took the whole line down with it. It probably wouldn’t have done well anyway. Her name is strong, but not strong enough to compel people to spend $200 on plastic that’ll cause you pain.
4. Kim Basinger buying a WHOLE TOWN in Georgia
A lot of people dream about buying their own private island, but Kim Basinger took that dream in another direction and decided to buy a town…in Georgia. In 1989 the Georgia native purchased Braselton for only $20,000,000. She planned to develop the town and to turn it into a major tourist destination, but within five years she declared bankruptcy and had to sell the town for a lot less than it was worth.
Basinger had an extremely successful Hollywood career — she’s been a fashion model, has starred in 38 movies, 5 tv movies and 9 tv series. With a resume this big, she probably figured she’d be unstoppable in anything she tried. Too bad a small town in Georgia that no one has ever heard of undid all of her success.
3. Akon’s Diamond Mine
Aliaune Damala Bouga Time Bongo Puru Nacka Lu Lu Lu Badara Akon Thiam, also known as Akon, famous for Konvict Muzik and wanting to smack that, now owns a diamond mine. Yes, a real mine filled with diamonds. He doesn’t explicitly say how he came to own it, just that he does. He ensures his mine, located in South Africa, is not involved in the blood diamond trade, because he doesn’t believe blood diamonds exist, just that it was a movie…
He later revoked that statement and acknowledged their existence, but assures the public his mine is not part of that. The bling he constantly rocks is all from his mine. He also sells diamonds from his mine and donates the proceeds to local African charities, so at least he’s doing something productive with his money.
2. 50 Cent Magic Stick Condoms
50 Cent who raps about having sex with tons of girls, would probably know a lot about condoms so who better to invent the ultimate one. He planned to team up with Durex to create a condom that was everything a guy could dream of — Magic Stick. Too bad the entire operation was cancelled before it took off. 50 Cent admitted he wanted the condom to be something that wasn’t physically possible — full of a magic chemical that would make men last a long time. Since he wasn’t getting everything he wanted he decided just to nix the job entirely.
Guys everywhere were probably excited to get a condom that would take their sex game up to 50’s level with the simple use of a condom. Perhaps it would have even encouraged men to have safe sex. That would’ve been something impressive, especially from a rapper. Maybe in the future, technology will enable him to make a condom just the way he wants and the Magic Stick can get back to business.
1. Kiss ‘Kaskets’
Kiss takes the cake for the most bizarre celebrity side project — a casket. In 2001, Gene Simmons decided fans would be a bit more excited about death if it meant they got to be buried in a casket that was covered with images of the band. Nothing sounds as unappealing as being stuck in a box covered with grown men with painted faces sticking their tongues out.
The ‘kaskets’ didn’t make as much of a splash as Simmons had hoped and were taken off the market in 2008. Demanded must have resurged because the caskets became available on the band’s website again in 2011 for over $3,000.
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