Awards season is upon us, that time of year when we stave off the winter blues by watching befrocked Best Actress winners weep and neglect to thank their husbands.Since the line between movies and real life has become so blurry—as D-listers everywhere vie to keep up with the Kardashians, and cable channels and tabloid magazines swim with celebrity spawn—it’s high time we recognize the famous and flawed moms who make us mortals feel better about our own parenting.




Most Egregious Bestower of Silly Names


Winner: Gwyneth Paltrow


Her daughter’s name is Apple.Apple!Not only is the word itself ugly, and suggestive of a shape women do not generally aspire to, but its connotations are either 1) a monopolistic corporation or 2) the fruit Eve gnawed on to damn all mankind.But wait, there’s more!Apple’s father, remember, is Coldplay frontman Chris Martin; they share a surname.What that means is Apple Martin is one “i” away from being a happy hour special.Moses is lucky she didn’t name him Remy.


Runners-up: Gwen Stefani, Jenna Elfman





Most Egregious Lack of Common Sense


Winner: Denise Richards


Thought Charlie Sheen was good husband material; married him.Thought Charlie Sheen was good father material; had kids with him.Despite public pleas for privacy, parlayed inevitable divorce and single motherhood into a reality show starring said kids, resulting in an improbable wave of sympathy for said coke-addled whore enthusiast.Subsequent romance with Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx demonstrates questionable taste in both men and music.


Runners-up: whoever’s changing Hugh Hefner’s diaper this month





Most Egregious Attempt to Avoid the Press While Simultaneously Courting the Press


Winner: Angelina Jolie


Giving birth in Namibia, where the hospital was guarded by AK-flashing soldiers who were encouraged to shoot and kill paparazzi without reprisal, may never be topped. All that was missing was a throng of worshipful Namibians hoisting her on a chair and parading her like C3PO around Windhoek.No one works the press like Jon Voight’s little girl.


Runners-up: Katie Holmes, Madonna





Most Egregiously Dull Reality Star Who Is Nevertheless Captivating For Reasons Beyond Rational Explanation


Winner: Kendra Baskett


Sure, she’s easy on the eyes—and, unlike the aforementioned Jolie, pretty in a way that women find non-threatening (read: my wife likes her)—but that’s about it.No real drama, no conflicts of consequence anywhere close to dire, no flashes of humor or creativity.My theory is we’re all trying to figure out what she’s doing with a third-string wide receiver who low-talks and isn’t even that cute.


Runners-up: Kourtney Kardashian, Tori Spelling





Most Egregious Misuse of Celebrity Status to Trumpet a Bullshit Cause


Winner: Jenny McCarthy


Do you know what diphtheria is?It’s like having strep, except that a membrane grows over your tonsils and blocks your air passage, increasing the likelihood that you’ll suffocate.Diphtheria was a huge health problem in the 19th and early 20th century, claiming the lives of some 15,000 people a year, mostly children.Cities were prone to diphtheria epidemics—New York in particular was a hotbed—and like AIDS, it did not discriminate; one of Queen Victoria’s daughters died of diphtheria.Nowadays, the disease is almost eradicated in the United States, thanks to vaccines…but because she read, and believed, a bullshit “study” linking autism to inoculations, Jenny McCarthy has embraced the No Vaccines movement (and is its most credentialed spokesperson, which tells you all you need to know).


Runners-up: Scientologist moms





Most Egregious Non-Mom


Winner: Jennifer Aniston


On her payroll is one of those baseball sabermetrics geeks who collects data about her US Weekly coverage.As soon as she goes a certain number of months with no tabloid covers, the former star will adopt a baby from whatever continent Jolie has not yet adopted a baby from.Mark my words.


Runners-up: Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian





Most Egregious Nervous Breakdown


Winner: Britney Spears


Despite the best efforts of Lindsay Lohan and Mel Gibson — and now Christina Aguilera and Sheen — the photograph of the bald-headed Brit flailing her folded umbrella at a phantom paparazzo remains the gold standard of Celebrity Gone Mad.


Runners-up: None.This is the equivalent of Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game; no one will ever come close.


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GREG OLEAR is the Los Angeles Times bestselling author of the novels Totally Killer and Fathermucker and founding editor of The Weeklings.

158 responses to “The Fathermucker Awards For All-Time Most Egregious Celebrity Moms”

  1. “whoever’s changing Hugh Hefner’s diaper this month”

    Hilarious. Where would parenting standards be if we didn’t have moms like Angelina Jolie to tell us how she daily sets aside individual time with each of her six kids. Meanwhile, I don’t even know who Kendra Baskett is. And I once knew this kind of stuff. I need to get back to the States.

  2. Art Edwards says:

    “Angelina Jolie’s child.” Talk about living by the sword and dying by the sword. The upside must be wonderful. The downside…we can only imagine.

    Any of these women’s children.

    Thanks, Greg.

    P.S. Are you allowed to spill the beans if Fathermucker is a TNB book pick?

  3. I would like to nominate Sheen’s Goddesses of Sober Valley Lodge for most egregious non-moms. Behold their answer to this question:

    NBC’s Jeff Rossen: Do you love Charlie’s children?

    Goddess #1: (glares) Are you kidding me?! (long pause) I was just now playing with them!

    Goddess #2: (smacks) Yeah.

    Thanks for the laughs this morning! “All that was missing was a throng of worshipful Namibians hoisting her on a chair and parading her like C3PO around Windhoek.” Ha! I always love me some Star Wars humor.

    • Greg Olear says:

      I wrote this maybe two weeks ago, before the Goddesses were on the radar.

      Incidentally, Sheen’s meltdown, while detestable because the dude has so many little kids, is not, in my view, insane. I mean, living with two “Goddesses,” snorting coke, having porn parties…immature? Yes. Insane? No way.

      I would put “human” in scare quotes, but thanks. ; )

  4. Gloria says:

    Word on the street is Spears shaved her head so that she couldn’t have a hair-test done for cocaine usage.

    Speaking of which, you wouldn’t say that any picture of Courtney Love ever beats that photo?

    • Greg Olear says:

      CL is not really a celebrity. Without the association with Kurt, I mean, does anyone give a crap? Also, CL did not “break down” because she was always sort of fucked up. Brit was a Disney chick, a famous virgin, and a talented singer and dancer. Then it all went to pot (or coke, as it were, if your story is accurate).

      I exonerate Brit in my book, BTW…she’s not as crazy as she once seemed. And she appears happy now, judging on her tabloid coverage, and I’m glad for her.

      • Gloria says:

        I REALLY liked Hole back in the day. And by that standard, then wouldn’t you say that a lot of people aren’t celebrities? Like Paris Hilton?

        I’m really glad that Britney Spears has pulled herself up. I hope that for everyone who’s losing it, actually (I’m looking at you, tigerblood boy). I know it’s somehow considered sophomoric to admit that, but there you have it.

        • Greg Olear says:

          Paris Hilton isn’t talented in any way; neither are the Kardashians; but they are all legit celebs. They have TV shows and product lines and they move product.

          I think with CL, it’s more that she didn’t have far too go to hit bottom, whereas Brit took a bigger nosedive (into a pile of coke, perhaps…). And I’m with you about her pulling herself together.

    • Erika Rae says:

      Did she shave *all* of her hair? Just curious.

      • Greg Olear says:

        Yup. She went all Sinead on us. Google “Britney umbrella” and you’ll see…

      • Gloria says:

        I am not privy to such information, Erika Rae. I got my facts from someone who got his facts from Perez Hilton. So, I’m sure the data is sound.

        You bring up an interesting point, though. Can you do a drug test using *all* of one’s hair?

        • Erika Rae says:

          Exactly. Because I would think for that really to work, she’d have to shave ALL of it. Everywhere. Eyebrows. Eyelashes? Arms. Etc. And even then, all they’d have to do was wait a day or two for some stubble to grow out and pluck something. Seems like a weird explanation for her shaving her head. But then again…how can I argue with Perez?

  5. Reno Romero says:


    you fucker!THIS was great to read. i saw your mug on TNB and said: “shit, olear is at it again.”

    oh, my god, i love your words and your stance (s), greg. always have, always will. i don’t pay much attention to hollywood and its players, but i was pleased that i knew of most of these folk you mentioned. the kendra broad stumped me for a bit until you mentioned her talentless husband. she’s one of those playboy hussies. good for her. daddy must be proud. i’ve never seen her nude, but i may have to hunt to hunt down some material. you know – for research.

    personally, i could give a rat’s ass about these people. but the one that i simply can’t stand is that fish faced jolie prick. i find her nasty, repulsive, tacky, and boneheaded. she’s right up there in the vile realms of pam anderson who is nothing short of foul. why do men fawn over her? what’s the deal? her lips? her stupid eyes? WHAT!

    forget it. i don’t even want to know.

    what i DO want is for you to make the same sort of list but with men. do it, olear. consider it your duty. okay, until then thanks for the morning laugh. i dig on your observations, greg. i’m posting this on my FB. you’re welcome, homie…

    • Greg Olear says:

      Ha! Thanks, Reno. Appreciate the read and the kid words.

      It’s always amusing, BTW, to read the coverage in US Weekly when a big sporting event happens. The Saints are framed as “the team Kim Kardashian’s BF Reggie Bush plays for,” ditto the Cowboys and Simpson/Romo, and the Colts were literally Hank Baskett’s Colts. It was a riot.

      A list for fathers? Great idea, man. Why didn’t I think of that? Consider it done!

      Oh, and — I like Angelina. For all her faults, she seems to give a crap about her kids.

      • Ashley Menchaca (N.O. Lady) says:

        “The Saints are framed as “the team Kim Kardashian’s BF Reggie Bush plays for,” ditto the Cowboys and Simpson/Romo, and the Colts were literally Hank Baskett’s Colts.”

        See, that’s why I can’t read that garbage!

  6. Reno Romero says:


    oh, yeah, i’ve read those football headlines. bizarre. kim. jessica. who and the HELL are these chicks? i mean, really? for fuck’s sake!

    you may be right about fish face. i hope she digs on her kids. she better. after all she’s their damn mother. but she lost me years ago. but i’ll take your word for it. you’re in the know. i’m just some jerk-off who’s already sickened by these people (i come from LA and simply DO NOT understand folks’ fascination with hollywood and its shenanigans).

    anyhow, sir, you have a great weekend and thanks again.

  7. Joe Daly says:

    Bravo, Gregorio-

    This is a delightful list. Although I do take issue with your condemnation of Ms. Richards’ choice to give Nikki Sixx a shot at the title. I mean, what’s not to love? He’s a best-selling author, creatively gifted, and strong enough to survive a fatal heroin overdose. A sound decision in my book, almost bordering on tediously conservative.

    • Greg Olear says:

      Thanks, man.

      The Sports Guy did this with NBA players — guys with names who sound like they should be swimsuit models: Brook and Robin Lopez, Alexis Aljinca, etc. We should do the same thing here. Nikki Sixx is a female porn star name. Charlie should be dating “Nikki Sixx” not Denise.

  8. Matt says:

    Funny list, Greg, but I find that I can’t laugh so much at McCarthy’s inclusion. Last year we had a wave of infant deaths due to whooping caugh here in San Diego, and in each case the mothers had refused vaccinations due to McCarthy’s trumped-up autism fears. Her bone-headed fear-mongering cost these kids their lives. There are countries where, rightly or wrongly, she’d be held criminally liable for this behavior.

    • Greg Olear says:

      Oh, make no mistake, she’s not on here for laughs. I have a child on the spectrum, and her attitude toward it is wrong for so many reasons it makes me want to scream. The vaccine stuff really pisses me off — it’s for parents who can’t accept the diagnosis, who want to blame autism on someone or something external. That’s why I snuck in the diphtheria description in the piece.

  9. Quenby Moone says:

    Ah, Greg. Our shared love of all things, including tabloids, comes out to haunt me. I’m waiting to discover when we won’t share the love of something. I mean, we both love your wife, we both love keeping up with the Kardashian’s (for reasons which aren’t completely clear to me) and we love pointing out that their lives are pretty messed up.

    I don’t like cigars. Everything else is thumbs up!

    And the Jenny McCarthy thing enrages me for so many reasons, not the least of which: IT HAS BEEN PROVEN THAT THEY DO NOT CAUSE ASPERGER’S. Freakin’ idiot. The other reason I hate Jenny is that just about the time I was getting brave enough to start submitting my Hi-larious essays about parenting to real publications for real consumption, she published a Hi-Larious book about parenting.

    I hate her. Even if it’s petty, I still hate her.

    • Greg Olear says:

      Have you ever smoked a cigar? I didn’t like them at all until quite recently, but now? Wowsers! Perhaps we do share a love for all things!

      I am not nice to Jenny McCarthy in my book. I understand the psychology of blame, but when you take it to the level of cause celebre, and people actually listen to you and their kids die because of it, as Matt points out, I lose sympathy.

      • Between vomit clean-ups with our son who did not “catch” Aspergers from a vaccine – God, I hate that Jenny McCarthy.

        They have found several different autism spectrum genes. And that ridiculous report that she and the dumbasses like her cling to, has been exposed to be flawed and fabricated. She’s a giant asshole for using her fame to continue the spread of misinformation. Plus, I know people whose kids were not vaccinated who are on the spectrum. Plus, our son is alot like my Dad. Genetic. Genetic.
        Anyway, me thinks I’m preaching to the choir. But I can’t help myself. The topic really burns me up.

        And Quenby: I don’t like cigars, either. Blech. Are you coming out east anytime soon? I demand a second viewing!

  10. I adore Brit-Brit, there’s something about that girl/woman that I have always, even in the Kevin Federline corn row years, found endearing. That girl can do crazy like nobodies business, and like you, I find her meltdown untouchable in all that media whoring celebrities hold holy.

    I don’t really get all the ire toward Angelina… I mean, call me gullible, but I agree with you that she really does seem to get joy from her kids…. I caught a blip of her recent tour of relief efforts in Afghanistan and she does come alive when she is surrounded by children… and considering the danger/uncertainty in those regions, the woman seriously does not have to travel that far to get press, all she has to do is visit Whole Foods in Los Angeles to do that.. and yes, now I realize I have spent an embarrassing amount of time and energy not only thinking about this, but writing it here in your comments as well!

    • Greg Olear says:

      You’re right, though. I mean, she has more money than God, she can do whatever the hell she wants…even if her motives for adopting those kids and doing all that UN work aren’t completely pure, so what? At least she’s making good use of her bully pulpit. If I had that kind of fame and money, I’d spend most of my time in a pricy hotel in Nice. Good for her, I say.

  11. Tawni Freeland says:

    Apple Martin. Grrrrrrrr. Because I’m a girl who grew up with a weird name, tormenting children via odd names annoys me. Having a strange name makes every class roll call in school and college awkward, as you start off your relationship with the person who controls your academic destiny by correcting them. (Want to try and fly under the radar? Not a chance, freak show. Not with a name like that.) And every introduction you make while meeting new people is a huge pain in the ass, as you repeat your unusual name ten times, trying to get them to say it right, or you just give up and let them call you Tammy, Tonya, Toni or Connie. I’ve learned to respond to pretty much anything people call me at this point. (Except “Twani.” That one fills me with rage.)

    Denise Richards is all crazy inside. Look into those dead eyes, man. Nothing there. She gives me the willies.

    I only know who Kendra is because I record The Soup every week, and sometimes her show is on right before, so I see the last minute or two. And you’re right. She is totally non-threatening and I do like her. She’s like a dumb, friendly puppy dressed in stripper clothes, and she brings out my inner big sister. I want to make her some soup and drive her to therapy appointments so she can finally move past her daddy issues.

    This was big fun, Greg. Thanks for the giggle today. (:

    • Gloria says:

      You’d be surprised how many people can’t pronounce Tolkien and don’t know how to spell it when you say it. No, I did not name my child TOKEN, person.

      I’ve cursed my child it seems.

      Tawni, though, doesn’t seem all that complicated. You’d think people wouldn’t struggle so much. You should change your name to Consuela. I’ve always wanted to.

      • Greg Olear says:

        Tolkien Harrison is a cool effin’ name. So there.

      • Tawni Freeland says:

        Token? Bwahahahaha. And DUH. What cave was that person living in where they hadn’t seen your son’s name before? I wouldn’t expect people to have trouble with Tolkien (or Indigo), but maybe I’m giving them too much credit.

        My name is a color if spelled the correct way (tawny), but my mom got extra creative with it. I have been told that it looks Hawaiian, and I have been called “tawn-eye” by people, so maybe it is the ‘i’ at the end that throws people off? I don’t know. It really doesn’t seem like it should be that hard, but I can honestly say it is a rare person who pronounces it correctly first try. For example, the nurse who called me back from the waiting area to see my doctor last week got it right the first time, and I was delighted. It happens so infrequently that I actually get excited when someone gets it right.

        You can be Consuela. I want to be named something really simple, please.

        • Gloria says:

          Henceforth, you shall be known and Jen.

        • Greg Olear says:

          I think she’s more of an Anne.

        • Tawni Freeland says:

          My middle name is Leighanne, so my vote is for Anne. Thanks! (:

        • Gloria says:

          The problem with Anne, though, is people will always leave off the e at the end. Jen is pretty hard to screw up.

        • Greg Olear says:

          You’re right; Jenn is hard to screw up.

          See? ; )

        • Gloria says:


          Tawni, how about this. I’ll switch names with you. NOBODY screws up Gloria, mostly because there’s a song that spells it for you.

        • Gloria says:

          A song, by the way, about a hooker…

        • Greg Olear says:

          Is your name REALLY Gloria? Because I think I got the alias that you been livin’ under… ; )

        • Gloria says:

          It’s what all the voices in my head call me.

        • Greg Olear says:

          I actually love that song. It’s one of the few things Steph and I disagree on.

        • Gloria says:

          The Laura Branigan one or the Them one? (Perhaps you’re referring to the hymn “Gloria in excelsis Deo”? Or is it the spin of of that hymn that U2 did that you’re referring to?)

          (Hi Tawni! Nothing like 10,000 emails, huh?)

        • I love 10,000 emails when they’re from you two. 🙂

          Don’t forget to add Green Day’s song “Viva La Gloria” to that list. We know how much our Gloria loves Green Day.

        • Gloria says:

          Indigo decided that he loves “American Idiot” – the song and the album. So, I’ve been having to listen to it. And, I’m startled to admit this, but I’m beginning to come around to Green Day. Who knew?

          I experienced this same phenom when Christina Aguilera released “Stripped,” which Sierra wanted desperately. Say what you will about her as a person or whatever, but that is one really good album. Genuinely.

          Tolkien, though (whose first love was The Beatles and whose second love was Fatboy Slim) has recently been asking me to play the country station on the radio. I. Just. Can’t. I just can’t. Also, even though his current babysitter is really, really great, I blame her for this and may need to fire her.

        • Greg Olear says:

          The problem with “American Idiot” — great song, AMAZING drums — is that there are too many swears. Can’t have Dom running around yelling about “faggot American.”

          There is good country and bad country. I recommend Dwight Yoakam, who is the former, and how. Dom really likes “Friends in Low Places,” which, no matter how you feel about Garth Brooks, is a pretty well-realized country song.

        • Gloria says:

          Oh, for sure. I love music and that necessarily means that I have some country favorites – Lyle Lovett, KD Lang, Garth Brooks (I admit that he’s catchy), Willie, Johnny, Dolly… But the who the fuck is this Taylor Swift person? The noise… it literally hurts my head.

        • Greg Olear says:

          She ain’t country, that’s for sure.

        • Dana says:

          American Idiot! Love that album!

    • Greg Olear says:

      I identify with that, from a last name perspective, as everyone wants me to be Irish, give me an apostrophe, and deny my a third syllable.

      The inspiration of this piece, by the way, was seeing a photo of Denise and Nikki Sixx. Of all the people on the list, she is the one I have the least respect for. Denise, if you’re reading, lose these heavy metal bad boys! Find yourself a literary bad boy instead! Duke is single! He lives in L.A.!

      Thanks, Twani! ; )

      • Tawni Freeland says:


      • D.R. Haney says:

        I kind of like Charlie Sheen, but I don’t think I’d much cotton to playing stepdad to his kids. I don’t have enough tiger blood, and I lack the Adonis DNA to attract his ex in the first place.

        I believe Nikki Sixx was once married to Playboy centerfold Brandi Brandt, and that’s an ex I can get behind. (You will, of course, note how beautifully I’ve set you up.) And speaking of Playboy, I’m afraid I don’t get the Kendra thing. To me, she looks like a second-rate Sondra Theodore, another of Hef’s exes, who later married (and divorced) one of Jenny McCarthy’s exes (to make this comment even more relevant to your post).

  12. James D. Irwin says:

    I liked the bits about the celebrities I’m familiar with.

    Particularly the idea that Christ Martin’s daughter in pretty much named after a cocktail.

    I genuinely didn’t get a lot of references here, because I’ve stopped watching so many US sitcoms, the Daily Show, and reading The Onion. And I’m only vaguely aware of how insane Charlie Sheen is now.

    I wish Mel Gibson wasn’t the 21st Century face of anti-semitism. I fucking love that guy in the Lethal Weapon films… but it’s kind of uncool to like someone famous for being a bit of a racist. Hell, at least he isn’t being prosecuted like that guy from fashion or… something…

    We watch a lot of Friends in our house. Seriously, it’s on this one channel most of the day and none of us go out much. So we see a lot of Jennifer Aniston, and then you see a magazine cover or catch something on the 60 second entertainment ‘news’ updates they have on cable channels and it’s annoying how often she’s there but it’s also kind of sad. I mean it’s sad to see anyone get divorced, remain single, and fail to have children but it’s particularly sad when it’s front page news for the Western world…

  13. J.E. Fishman says:

    This is a kick, Greg. I once knew a woman who named her child Remy. I found it way too precious even without the last name Martin.

  14. Ducky Wilson says:

    I knew a girl in junior high whose last name was Caine. She was one of the popular freak girls because she wore really tight Jordache jeans. Needless to say, someone got into those pants because she got knocked up. Named her kid Co. Not fucking kidding.

    • Greg Olear says:

      First off, yay, it’s good to see you back, Ducky.

      Co Caine. I won’t even ask if she was on drugs.

      • Gloria says:

        My mom had some biker friends who named their daughter Dilaudid. They called her La-dee-da. She became a drug addict.

        You can’t make this stuff up.

        • Greg Olear says:

          In Denmark, that would be against the law.

          But then, bikers are bikers.

          An aside: Is Tolkien older than the first LOTR movie? That would have brought the name more into prominence for sure.

        • Ducky Wilson says:

          In Soviet countries, too. The government must approve your name choice.

          @Gloria – you’re right, you really can’t make this shit up.

          @Greg – Thanks for the welcome back! Good to be back. My last post will give you an inkling as to why I’ve been gone. Tough year. Anyhoo, good to be back. And yes, absolutely, she was on drugs. Queen of the Freaks.

        • Gloria says:

          I got pregnant with the boys on June 18, 2001 (the one and only protection free time in a four year relationship – two days after I got married. I remember.) The first LOR movie came out in December 2001. The boys were born on Valentine’s Day 2002. We didn’t settle onto his name until a week before he was born. Here’s a brief breakdown:

          * June 2001: I get pregnant

          * July 2001 – February 4, 2002: Jim and I can’t decide what to name our baby. We want something with “good mojo.” Jim was in class with a million other James’s growing up, so he wanted something that wasn’t so common or average. One of my favorite movies in the world is The Princess Bride, and my favorite character is Inigo Montoya. Only, I didn’t know his name is Inigo – I thought it was Indigo – because every damned person who says it in the movie has a frickin’ accent. Basically, Andre the Giant misled me. So, I really wanted Indigo. Jim was reading The Trilogy for the fifth time, brushing up in preparation for the first movie. So, one night while we were lying in bed, I pointed to the books on the nightstand and said, “We could also name him Tolkien.” (I didn’t know for sure that it was a boy because I’d not had an ultrasound, but I was pretty damned convinced.) Now we had two names to choose from, both of which we loved in equal measure.

          * February 4, 2000: I’m as big as a house. I pass out at work. My midwife says, “Well, it looks like you’re gonna have to have an ultrasound after all. Passing out isn’t okay.” So, at my ultrasound, I found out I was having twins. Which created a whole set of last minute problems, but it solved the “Which of the two names do we choose between” issue.

          * February 14, 2002, 10:46 PM: Indigo Albert is born.

          * February 14, 2002, 10:50 PM: Tolkien James is pulled out by his feet.

          That’s the long answer. 🙂

        • Gloria says:

          Sorry. That was ridiculously long.

        • Greg Olear says:

          @Gloria — That is an awesome story! Thanks for the long answer.

          Inigo Montoya rules.

          @ Ducky — Yes, have been meaning to read…

        • dwoz says:

          I can sympathize with the movie name thing, Gloria.

          When my first daughter was born, we had found a wonderful, simple, can’t be screwed up name, “Kira”. It means “sun” in persian, or so I’m let to understand.

          About 30 days later, the muppet movie “the dark crystal” comes out, with a lead character named…wait for it….Kira. The movie is a spectacular flop.

          In my daughter’s fourth grade class in a little rural school, there are FOUR girls named Kira.

          In my best efforts to AVOID naming my child megan/lindsay/ashley, I manage to stumble on the NEW megan/lindsay/ashley.

        • Greg Olear says:

          I loved The Dark Crystal!

          Our daughter was born right before Tom Cruise’s kid, and we were PRAYING that he wouldn’t name her Prudence. (He named her Suri, the name of one of our best friend’s daughter).

          DWoz, you are on the cutting edge.

  15. Matt says:

    It’s not just wrong, it’s downright medieval in terms of ignorance. Believe you me, I have a LOT of qualms with the modern medical establishment (especially the pharmaceutical companies), but we are operating with the benefit of actual, researched & tested scientific knowledge that has accumulated over several centuries.

    While it was entertaining to watch her try and back-pedal her stance once the guy who wrote that “study” was revealed as a fraud, it in no way compensates for the damage she caused.

  16. Ronlyn Domingue says:

    So, are you going to be even-handed and do one on egregious dads? 🙂

    As someone with a weird name, I really wish celebrities wouldn’t keep making it “cool.” Almost every time I meet a new person, I have to repeat my name more than once–and often SPELL it. Next life, I so demand something very very simple.

  17. I have a soft spot for Britney Spears. I agree, that was a pretty epic episode, but I keep rooting for her and her adorable kids. And, begrudgingly, and I know this is not the topic of your post, Greg, I also kind of root for K-Fed. I feel like he’s stepped up his game as a dad (from what I, uh, read in the tabloids).

    • Greg Olear says:

      Here’s what I love about K-Fed:

      One of my best friends (he was there when I did In the Flesh) has always been sort of vain about his appearance…he’d always say stuff like, “If they made a movie of my life, I’d be played by River Phoenix,” and once River died it was Johnny Depp, and then Jude Law. I, meanwhile, was always a “younger, better-looking Stephen King,” or a “younger, straighter, less fat Nathan Lane.” And then Kevin Federline came into our lives, and my God, my friend looks EXACTLY like K-Fed. And he HATES it. And I love K-Fed for that.

      Silly, but there it is.

      Thanks for reading and leaving a comment!

  18. Oh, Greg, it’s been a rough week and this was EXACTLY what I needed. Brilliant and spot-on.

    But . . . Stephanie likes Kendra?! Why? What’s to like? I would way, way rather hang out with Angelina Jolie, even if she is a little psycho with a history of wearing blood in a vial around her neck, and even if she would make me look like a troll. I mean, at least she seems genuinely interesting, which is more than can be said for most of these stars.

  19. Irene Zion says:

    You are remarkably astute and hysterically funny.
    I fully agree with every single pick, although I have never seen a reality show, so I’ll just have to take your word on that particular, non-threatening and yet egregiously dull and yet fascinating woman.

    • Greg Olear says:

      Thanks, Irene.

      Tune in tomorrow for a surprise…

      • Irene Zion says:

        Oooh! I love surprises!

        I have to say that my favorite is Jenny McCarthy. I don’t actually know who she is, but if she’s an actress in good movies, I’d recognize her.
        Do you know that we are likely to have small outbreaks of measles, mumps and rubella, because these nuts can’t read the scientific proof that these shots don’t make a kid autistic?
        A kid can die from measles and from mumps.
        A pregnant woman in the first trimester catching rubella has a very debilitated child.
        And they aren’t protecting them against polio. POLIO!
        Some of us remember whole rooms of iron lungs.
        It makes me sick.

  20. Zara Potts says:

    My favourite awful names are:

    1) Auckland Bus Stop. I kid you not.

    2) Twins called: Benson and Hedges. Again, I kid you not.

    Having said that – my name is Zara Rose Penelope Jane Galaxy Gramaphone Potts. So, I should just shut up now. Thanks for the laugh, Greg – I really needed it! xx

    • D.R. Haney says:

      I’m acquainted with a pair who named their kid Audio Science. As for Apple, I consider it kind of a hippie name, and I’m used to hippie names, so I don’t think of it as particularly egregious, though your bit, Greg, about the “i” is hilarious.

      Gwyneth is said to have stolen “Apple” from Winona Ryder, who was planning to so name her theoretical offspring. Similarly, Gwyneth is said to have seen the script for “Shakespeare in Love” at Winona’s place and decided that she was a better fit as the female lead and called her agent to say as much, thus undercutting Winona. I don’t remember where the hell I heard all this, but I did, and if it’s true, Gwyneth isn’t much of a pal.

      • Greg Olear says:

        I heard that, too, about her stealing the script at Winona’s house (bear in mind that I adore Winona). She also had a falling out with Madonna. Which sort of looks funny when you write it down.

        She’s carrying out her karmic punishment in this life, though: she has to listen to a shitload of Coldplay.

    • Greg Olear says:

      Galaxy Gramaphone? I want to see your birth certificate. (That’s my impression of Tea Party asshole).

      Been thinking of you a lot this week, Z. I hope things settle down — literally and figuratively — soon.
      Sending you our love. xo

    • Irene Zion says:

      Is that really your name?
      How do you get that much on a birth certificate?

  21. People shouldn’t be allowed kids. They should be forced to adopt cats instead.


    It would make for a new wave of celeb magazine covers. Angelina Jolie would no doubt be the first celebrity to adopt a cat from Antarctica, there would be a race to be the first kitty mom to have her cats taken into care after getting sent to rehab, accusations of being “cat ladies”…

    There would no doubt be some ridiculous names given to these poor cats, too. Fluffy and Bootsy wouldn’t do for celebrity cats. Nope, it would be names like Nosfercatu.

  22. Dave says:

    The only reason I agree with your award to Gwyneth for the name “Apple” is because I was going to use it for my own (if ever born) daughter to ensure no boys would come sniffing around. (I should point out my last name is Crider.)

    • Greg Olear says:

      Apple Crider. Ha! (One hopes your wife would never allow it).

      Another terrible thing about the name, I just realized, is that it’d be shortened to “App.” So the boys would be all, “I’m gonna download that App.”

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  23. Simon Smithson says:

    I can’t believe I never picked the Apple Martini possibility before. I feel like I’m letting the team down.

    That being said, I went to primary and high school with a kid named Michael Jackson.

    To make matter worse, he was fat and un-coordinated.

  24. Judy Prince says:

    Why oh why do we insist on having American processed cheese for females in H’Wood?

  25. Tom Hansen says:

    Haha brilliant. Thank God for this. Celebrities should be beaten up on sight

    • Greg Olear says:

      Thanks, man.

      It depends on the celebrity. I don’t know that I’d want, say, Alex Trebec beaten on site. But some of the folks in this piece, I wouldn’t complain if it went down…

  26. Brad Listi says:

    I realize you’re talking celebrity moms here, but I do feel compelled to mention a documentary called The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia, which I happened upon just the other night. You can take all of the aforementioned celebrity moms, roll up their dysfunctions into one, and you still wouldn’t come close to matching the incredible insanity on display in this film.

    It’s the stuff of legend.

    Netflix it.

    Trust me.

    You’ll never be the same.

    PS. It was produced by Johnny Knoxville and Dickhouse Films.

  27. You had me at Apple Martin[i].

  28. Dana says:

    Twani! haha!

    • Dana says:

      Funny stuff Greg! But what did Jenna Elfman and Gwen Stefani do to land themselves in runner up position?

      I skimmed the comments and am quite amused that Gwyneth (allegedly) stole Shakespeare in Love from Winona. I just read in the past couple of days that Charlie Sheen takes credit for re-naming Winona from Horowitz to Ryder…. because of the song Riders On The Storm. He’s been special for DECADES.

      • Greg Olear says:

        He also wanted to change her first name to “Winning,” I heard…

        Jenna’s kid is named Story. Gwen has two: Kingston and Zima.

        Thanks, Dana!

        • Dana says:

          Zima. hah!! That’s beautiful.

          Don’t pelt me with stuff, but I think Story is kind of a cute name. (Also, apparently I haven’t gotten US magazine in many, many years.)

        • Greg Olear says:

          Story is destined to be the butt of “happy endings” jokes for the duration of her adolescence.

      • pixy says:

        i think the gwen could be due to naming a kid “zuma”. it kind of sounds like the name of one of those stand-up two-wheeled scooter things… are those seg-ways?
        or a robot vacuum.

        and jenna elfman might be on there because kid #1 is named Story? maybe?

  29. Elizabeth says:

    It’s already been said, but I think you’ve topped yourself with this:

    “Angelina Jolie… giving birth in Namibia, where the hospital was guarded by AK-flashing soldiers who were encouraged to shoot and kill paparazzi without reprisal, may never be topped. All that was missing was a throng of worshipful Namibians hoisting her on a chair and parading her like C3PO around Windhoek.”

    Well done.

  30. jmblaine says:

    I thumbed through Jenny’s book
    the other day
    & was completely entertained
    by the chapter
    Songs to Do the Nasty To

  31. Jessica Blau says:

    Wonderfully insightful in the pulpiest way!
    Who is Kendra Baskett?

    • Greg Olear says:

      Thanks, JAB.

      Who is Kendra Baskett, indeed. Phat B is better able to field that than I, but I’ll give it a whirl: former Playboy Mansion/Hef gal who was liberated by a third-string wide receiver, and parlayed all this into her own reality show.

      Pulpy is always good!

  32. Jessica Blau says:

    And, as you probably know, I mean PULPY in the BEST way here!

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