It is rumored that Albert Einstein was so eccentric that he would occasionally do things that were out of the ordinary; such as dress in women’s sandals and sometimes leave the house without pants. It is hard to determine if he did that just to be different, or if he was simply too busy thinking about “more important things,” that clothing was the last thing on his mind. Sometimes people will make comments before realizing what they have said, and it doesn’t really matter how smart they really are.
A lot of the people in this list are involved in politics, and it makes one wonder if being in the public eye either makes people crazy, or perhaps they just don’t care. Or maybe they just don’t realize how silly they sound when they are making comments that make absolutely no sense whatsoever.
Even though the majority of the quotations listed have been proven, the word, “allegedly” appears in every single one. This is for the comments that may or may not have been said, and cannot be proven. We are all entitled to our occasional “brain fart,” but these people have been recorded in history and their comments will be remembered for years to come. That is the price to pay for being famous; anything you say can and most likely will be held against you.
10. Thomas Edison – Inventor
Incredibly dumb thing (allegedly) said: “I have determined that there is no market for talking pictures.”
He was a man who lived to be over 80 years old during a time that most people barely lived to see adulthood, was highly intelligent, and had over 1000 patents by the time he died. Thomas Edison was credited with multiple inventions; including the light bulb, the telegraph, the phonograph, and the telephone (just to name a few). Even though Mr. Edison was referred to as the “Father of Motion Pictures” for inventing ways to view movies, he had many rivals in the field, and did not put too much thought into generating movie theaters or films. He eventually quit trying to create movies in 1918, and according to the quote, he obviously had no idea as to what the future was going to bring (in regards to the big screen).
9. Dick Cavett – Writer, Former Talk Show Host
Incredibly dumb thing (allegedly) said: “If your parents never had children, chances are, you won’t either.”
Dick Cavett had his own talk show on television in the late 1960s and 1970s, and had interviewed many famous people throughout his years. He is a highly educated individual, even graduated from Yale, so saying something so incredibly stupid doesn’t seem to be something that would be an issue for the television star. During many shows, Mr. Cavett had talked with his guests on a variety of topics; mostly participating with them on exceedingly intellectual conversations. There are a lot of links on the internet pertaining to the quote that was apparently said by Mr. Cavett, yet it does not state exactly why he said it, or who he was talking to at the time, but seeing that he is still alive and there is nothing about a lawsuit, one can only assume that he said this in reference to another stupid comment made by someone famous.
8. Brooke Shields – Actress, Model
Incredibly dumb thing (allegedly) said: “Smoking kills. If you’re killed, you’ve lost a very important part of your life.”
If you remember Brooke Shields from the 1980s, you may think of her as the young actress and model who had started her career by creating controversy as a child. She was seen in super tight jeans in Calvin Klein advertisements, being naked in The Blue Lagoon and playing a call girl in the movie Pretty Baby, at only twelve years old. Later in life, she moved to television shows and commercials, and you wouldn’t think that Ms. Shields had much of an education since she had started her career so young. With that being the case, it makes sense that she would say something that is completely absurd. However; Brooke Shields graduated from Princeton University, a very prestigious College, in 1987. She must have been having an “off” day when she made that comment.
7. V.S. Naipaul – Award-Winning Writer
Incredibly dumb thing (allegedly) said: “I read a piece of writing and within a paragraph or two I know whether it is by a woman or not. I think [it is] unequal to me.”
British Author, V.S. Naipaul has written multiple novels, bibliographies and articles involving travel; so much so that he won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2001. The prize does not award writers for the amount of work they have done, it is granted each year to only one person based on the quality of work and how it affects the people who read it. Winning a Nobel Prize certainly qualifies one as being reasonably smart, even if they may say something dumb, on occasion.
In an interview with The Guardian in 2011, Naipaul was asked about women writers (mainly Jane Austen), and his comments were highly offensive to many female authors. He doesn’t think that women can write as well as men, or at least that’s how his annotations were perceived. Naipaul had mentioned that no woman can be his “equal” in regards to writing, and had even gone as far as to say that what women write is “feminine tosh.” Many people were offended by his explanations, so the British newspaper came out with a test for others to find out if they could determine if an excerpt from a book was written by a man or a woman. The Nobel Laureate was born in 1932, so maybe his belligerent remarks were simply caused by his upbringing in a time where women really were considered inferior.
6. Bill Gates – Microsoft Co-Founder
Incredibly dumb thing (allegedly) said: “Two years from now, spam will be solved.”
When the internet (as we know today) was first invented, we were so swept up with the convenience (and fun) of being able to send emails to our friends and family, nobody thought about all of the junk mail that would be sent to us through the years. In the early stages of email, the worldwide web was incredibly slow, and there were no filters (oh the horror), and businesses would just flood our inboxes with every little piece of information that they could possibly send. It seemed like there was no end to this barrage of advertisements that were trying to send us subliminal (or not so subliminal) messages as to why we should buy their useless products. In 2004, Bill Gates had made the promise while at a World Economic Forum, that our problems would be eradicated. Although now we can transfer those annoying emails to our Junkmail folder, and there are a lot more filters and ways to automate where our email is directed, the unwanted email is still there. According to Kaspersky Labs, 70 percent of all email is spam; which indicates that the problem is not solved quite yet.
5. George W. Bush – 43rd President of The United States
Incredibly dumb thing (allegedly) said: “There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”
Even being the president of The United States doesn’t prevent someone from saying something dumb every now and then. Being the leader of the free world must be completely exhausting, so a few mishaps here and there are to be expected. George W. Bush had more than just a few during his reign of presidency. The one listed above is from a speech in which he completely messed up the quote, “fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Being a former governor of Texas, a student at Yale and Harvard Business School, one would expect more from the president. At times, he would even make up words that assuredly sounded appropriate at the time, but just didn’t make sense. He is quoted as saying: “I think they misunderestimated me,” in 2006, and his made-up words and silly comments are now referred to as “Bushisms.” There are multiple web pages dedicated to just that (and there are many).
Apparently President Bush knew of his mishaps, and even blundered the details of why he didn’t have to clarify anything that he said. At one point, he even stated: “I’m the commander. See, I don’t need to explain. I do not need to explain why I say things. That’s the interesting thing about being president.” He must have thought that he knew “what was best,” according to this statement: “I’m the decider, and I decide what’s best.” Even though it is unclear as to what he was referring to, it is similar to the Disney film The Aristocats, when the two dogs, Napoleon and Lafayette, are getting ready to chase the evil butler on his motorcycle, and Napoleon says: “I’m the leader! I’m the one that says when we go. Here we go!”
4. Joe Biden – Vice President of The United States
Incredibly dumb thing (allegedly) said: “Stand up, Chuck, let ’em see ya.” to Sen. Chuck Graham, who is in a wheelchair.
Vice President Joe Biden is a former attorney, senator, played football in college while he attended Syracuse University, and was considered to be an above-average student. Being in politics must make a person lose brain cells, since the current vice president has been heard saying many stupid things. The dumbest, by far, is during a rally in September 2008, when he tells Senator Graham to stand up. Mr. Biden quickly realizes that the senator is in a wheelchair, and then tells the rest of the audience to stand up, instead. At least he was able to quickly fix his mistake, and probably felt incredibly foolish after saying such a thing.
3. Ken Olsen – (Former) President of Digital Equipment Corporation
Incredibly dumb thing (allegedly) said: “There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home.”
Ken Olsen was a former graduate student of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or M.I.T., which is a college very well known for having students who are exceptionally gifted in the field of science and computers. He also was the founder and CEO of DEC, which was eventually taken over by Compaq. He is also known as one of the greatest leaders in computer science, and helped develop core memory (we wouldn’t have RAM without it). Ken Olsen was by far, one of the smartest men in the world, but said something that wasn’t necessarily dumb, it was more of a really, really bad prediction. He didn’t think that computers had a place in people’s homes back in 1977, but four years later the IBM PC was introduced. It just goes to show that even the smartest people occasionally get it wrong.
2. Bill Clinton – 42nd President of The United States
Incredibly dumb thing (allegedly) said: “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”
Since we had a previous Republican president on this list, it is only fair that we add a former president that is a Democrat, as well. During Bill Clinton’s presidency, he had made a few statements that didn’t quite make sense; such as “I didn’t inhale,” when referring to his marijuana smoking in college, or how he wanted to ask out a mummy when he saw the newly discovered, Juanita at the National Geographic Museum in 1996. However; in 1995, when he was accused of having an affair with one of the White House interns, Monica Lewinsky, the dumbest thing he could have possibly said was while he was on trial, in front of a grand jury. When asked about why he denied committing adultery, he made the statement, “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.” It’s probable that he was more afraid of getting in trouble with his wife than the rest of the country, so that may have been one reason why he was untruthful about the situation in the first place.
1. Donald Trump – Entrepreneur, Television Personality, Presidential Candidate
Incredibly dumb thing (allegedly) said: Many, many things – on air and through Twitter
Donald Trump is a highly educated, clever, witty businessman who is worth four billion dollars; but he obviously speaks before thinking. There are so many things this man has said that are considered dumb, that it is nearly impossible to just pick one. So here is a short list of quotations from Mr. Trump, since mentioning them all would fill up this entire article:
A Twitter post on vaccinations: “No more massive injections. Tiny children are not horses—one vaccine at a time, over time.”
“Part of the beauty of me is that I am very rich.”
“A certificate of live birth is not the same thing by any stretch of the imagination as a birth certificate.”
“It’s freezing and snowing in New York—we need global warming!”
“By the way, I have great respect for China. I have many Chinese friends. They live in my buildings all over the place.”
“Sorry losers and haters, but my IQ is one of the highest—and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure, it’s not your fault.”
And my current favorite, because I just don’t run into enough “mean” people in the world: “People are tired of these nice people.”