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candid photos of famous people
October 29, 2012 7:56 AM   Subscribe

"Extremely silly" photos of: "extremely serious" artists - "extremely serious" writers - "extremely serious" historical figures. Also 14 photos that shatter your image of famous people. A few images might be considered slightly NSFW.

As well there's the rare photos of famous people tumblr - and this large collection of "rare photos of famous people" part 1 through part 20.
posted by flex (65 comments total) 45 users marked this as a favorite

 
I love that the 14 photos cracked article sneaks in a heartfelt description of what it's like to be suicidal in social settings in there.

Also: I would totally bang Young Stalin. Even if I knew who he'd become. He's just that sexy.
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:04 AM on October 29, 2012 [15 favorites]


Wow, Rene Magritte looked exactly like David Lynch.

COINCIDENCE?

yes
posted by echo target at 8:09 AM on October 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


I've seen the Stalin one before, during a Wikipedia perambulation. The wife looked over my shoulder and said, "Young Stalin? I'd do him."
posted by notsnot at 8:11 AM on October 29, 2012 [7 favorites]


Oh, and
"Well, depression works that way. Movies have given us a skewed idea of how it works, because there, when a character enters his "dark period," it's with a montage full of sad music and drinking and moping in dim rooms. Real life isn't like that. Not only do moods fluctuate, but even when you're at your lowest you find yourself in social situations where you're not allowed to show it. If you're in a dark place but can't get out of your nephew's birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese's, you're going to put on a smile for the camera. You feel selfish bringing everybody else down. You put on a cheerful mask."
...is one of the best descriptions of depression and the "you can't be depressed!" paradigm I've ever read.
posted by notsnot at 8:14 AM on October 29, 2012 [29 favorites]


The one of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor is pure gold. I wouldn't even have noticed they were mid-air if the tagline hadn't pointed it out, because their respective heights and expressions stay exactly the same. There's something very British about that.
posted by WidgetAlley at 8:18 AM on October 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


While I'm not sure Will Self would ever be considered "extremely serious", I feel compelled to offer this picture from this year's Booker Prize, held two weeks ago, which Self did not win.
posted by TheAlarminglySwollenFinger at 8:31 AM on October 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


One of my goals in life, since I was a little kid, was to never see a picture of Toulouse-Lautrec taking a shit. Oh well.
posted by dgaicun at 8:35 AM on October 29, 2012 [22 favorites]


I'm pretty sure that's just how Yves Klein lived his life.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:39 AM on October 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


David Wong continues to be amazing.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:39 AM on October 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


All good stuff (but think the basic thesis breaks down with the surrealists and HST).

Would pay good money for one of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates in Tigger and Pooh Bear suits.
posted by Devonian at 8:43 AM on October 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


The photographer who took that photo of the Duke and Duchess reported once that he always ended his photo shoots by asking his subjects to jump like that - he just found it was a good way to end things on a cheerful note, and sometimes the photos were really fun.

That pic of Hunter Thompson with the blow-up doll is actually a screenshot from a clip I've seen - apparently he and John Cusack and Johnny Depp just drove around with it for a while, with Hunter occasionally getting out of the car with it at stoplights and pretending to beat it up, just to freak people out. Cusack talked about it in a documentary about Hunter once and said the doll's name was "Ling Ling" or something.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:44 AM on October 29, 2012


The Cracked writer calls Eminem in his pink Alf shirt his "favorite celebrity photo of all time". But it doesn't really shatter my image of Eminem, since Eminem, true to form, openly jokes about said shirt in his songs. (Sadly, the video makers could only find a "No Problem" pink Alf shirt, instead of the more gangsta "Hey, Nice Underwear" original.
posted by dgaicun at 8:55 AM on October 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've always been fond of this photo of Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the back of an elephant.
posted by whir at 9:00 AM on October 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


What, no Trent Reznor in a marching band?
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:01 AM on October 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh Ruthie, why didn't you SHOVE HIM OFF.
posted by elizardbits at 9:10 AM on October 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Awesomepeoplehangingouttogether tumblr have a double, triple or even quintuple dose of this.
posted by elgilito at 9:17 AM on October 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


Also: I would totally bang Young Stalin. Even if I knew who he'd become. He's just that sexy.
That foto is just so great. He looks like the lost member of Wham! Supposedly his skin was already badly pocked, which doesn't show there however. But still, if you think that at the same age Lenin looked like a balding factory clerk, it's clear which Bolshevik you would lump for.
posted by Jehan at 9:21 AM on October 29, 2012 [1 favorite]




Seriously, tell me you can find any difference between the future president in the above photo and Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski:

Rhodes Scholar.
posted by DU at 9:43 AM on October 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Some of these are from Phillipe Halsman's Jumpology series, featured previously on MeFi
posted by TedW at 9:43 AM on October 29, 2012




Screenwriter Dalton Trumbo writing in the bath.

This is one of those things that I always think would be awesome, but I've never actually done. I commit to giving this a try sometime in the next year.

I hope I don't drop my computer in the water.
posted by SpacemanStix at 9:46 AM on October 29, 2012


Charles Manson is the most famous serial killer of all time...

imma let you finish but Jack the Ripper
posted by DU at 9:47 AM on October 29, 2012 [8 favorites]


The "14 Photos that shatter your image of famous people" lived up to its name: Bill Clinton has red hair? I say "has" because clearly he dyed it grey for electability. I think the last redheaded president that actually had red hair while in office was Van Buren and no president has ever worn a red beard. That picture is good proof why.
posted by Lorin at 9:48 AM on October 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Most of these photos, while definitely silly, don't seem as out of character for the subjects as the headlines would suggest. I mean, Neil Gaiman wearing a Cthulhu hat? That doesn't surprise me in the least.
posted by asnider at 9:48 AM on October 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


One of my goals in life, since I was a little kid, was to never see a picture of Toulouse-Lautrec taking a shit. Oh well.

They didn't call him "Too Loose" for nothing, I see.
posted by chavenet at 9:50 AM on October 29, 2012


Nietzsche and Lou Salome
posted by goethean at 10:01 AM on October 29, 2012


Theodor Adorno at the beach.

"Ach! Is that sand? It is too hot. Why did I come here again? I hate the sea."


Max Horkheimer partying.

"Don't look at me- I like Jazz."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:02 AM on October 29, 2012


Why would anyone (who knows him even slightly) be surprised that Nabokov was hunting butterflies? He was a trained entomologist (his first job in the US was at the AMNH) and by no means a rank amateur, and his lepidoptery may, indeed, have been his greater passion. Perhaps a shot of him writing longhand on a legal pad along with the snickering caption "Russian-American naturalist V. Nabokov tries his hand at the Great American Novel".
posted by dhartung at 10:12 AM on October 29, 2012 [7 favorites]


I thought Humphrey Bogart would be cool, but he is totally looking down Marilyn Monroe's dress in this photo.

He and Lauren Bacall look like they got ambushed there, though, too, like Marilyn sat down next to them and pretended to be having a raucously good time just for the photo.
posted by misha at 10:14 AM on October 29, 2012


I've seen the Stalin one before, during a Wikipedia perambulation. The wife looked over my shoulder and said, "Young Stalin? I'd do him."

He was already pretty brutal and insane -- I wonder if it showed when you talked to him?
posted by jb at 10:23 AM on October 29, 2012


Tsar Nicholas II and another royal friend playing airplane, c. 1890.

Just to be annoyingly picky: Nicky wasn't tsar until 1894.

Joseph Stalin making a face at his bodyguard. Photo by Lt. Gen. Nikolai Vlasik, c. 1930.


He liked Vlasik so much he waited till 1952 to have him arrested!
posted by languagehat at 11:08 AM on October 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Twopoos Lootrek. Amirite?
posted by MuffinMan at 11:15 AM on October 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Writers and Kitties, previously mentioned.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 11:22 AM on October 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Twopoos Lootrek.

Twopoos NoLootrek, surely?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:31 AM on October 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't get the point about the skin on Stalin's face. Violent people don't "look evil." No one looks evil. For example, no one caught on to me until it was way too late.
posted by Nomyte at 11:34 AM on October 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


That photo of Nico and Warhol dressed as Batman and Robin fills me with so much happiness I might burst.
posted by munchingzombie at 11:41 AM on October 29, 2012




OK, we've seen extremely silly. Can we now see extremely sexy?
posted by pracowity at 12:01 PM on October 29, 2012


OK, we've seen extremely silly. Can we now see extremely sexy?

Yes...yes you may.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:06 PM on October 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


What, no Trent Reznor in a marching band?

That was way back when talent actually meant something and the unpopular kids could grow up to rock your face off.

Now it's semi-steroided bullies with the same 4-chord song to sing.
posted by Malice at 12:07 PM on October 29, 2012


Even if one was never taught anything about using a horizontal rule, isn't it plainly obvious that that's not correct‽‽
posted by humboldt32 at 12:16 PM on October 29, 2012


Even if one was never taught anything about using a horizontal rule, isn't it plainly obvious that that's not correct‽‽

If you're talking about my comment, you're probably right, I'm just being bitter and curmudgeonly.

Now back to shaking my cain on the front porch at all the kids on my lawn.
posted by Malice at 12:28 PM on October 29, 2012


Man, that Gordon-Levitt kid is everywhere....oh, that's Alex Trebek.
posted by oflinkey at 12:45 PM on October 29, 2012 [6 favorites]


Wow, that is not what I thought Edward Gorey looked like.
posted by book 'em dano at 12:54 PM on October 29, 2012


David Bowie is the is the best part of most of these photos.
posted by JennyJupiter at 12:54 PM on October 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


A lot of this stuff links back to my favourite unfortunately titled site: www.thisisnotporn.net, so might as well thrown them a link in here. Works wonderfully with flippad if you like that kinda thing. I am always highly entertained by photos of Einstein in unexpected footwear.
posted by Iteki at 1:19 PM on October 29, 2012 [2 favorites]



Some of these are from Phillipe Halsman's Jumpology series, featured previously on MeFi


When I was a kid, my mom got that book as a giveaway from a bank. A few years ago, I found it in her house and adopted it, and still have it.

It is very fun to page through. . .Apparently, at the end of every shoot, Halsman asked his subjects to do one jumping photo, mostly for shits and giggles.
posted by Danf at 1:24 PM on October 29, 2012


By what definition is Neil Gaiman an "extremely serious" writer?
posted by Stagger Lee at 1:32 PM on October 29, 2012


Here are some photos to shatter your image of a famous person: David Bowie being normal.
posted by fings at 1:53 PM on October 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Anyone else getting a Joseph Gordon-Levitt vibe from this pic of Alex Trebek (fr. p. 2 of the Cracked link)? Yow.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 2:47 PM on October 29, 2012


Young Stalin, young Lucien Freud, young Clinton - whew - all I knew was these old kind of creepy guys. Well Stalin was of course worse than creepy. When you see these pictures, you get what all the hype was about..
posted by mumimor at 2:56 PM on October 29, 2012


One of my goals in life, since I was a little kid, was to never see a picture of Toulouse-Lautrec taking a shit. Oh well.

Four pictures of said shit, even.
posted by letitrain at 3:29 PM on October 29, 2012


That's Grace Coddington behind Karl Lagerfield. One of the big powers at American Vogue.
posted by helmutdog at 3:53 PM on October 29, 2012


This seems familiar.
posted by charlie don't surf at 4:14 PM on October 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


Karl Lagerfeld looking like an extremely chic gangster, 1974.
I'm sorry, I thought this was standard practice for Karl Lagerfeld.
posted by smirkette at 6:32 PM on October 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


(also: that portrait of Keith Haring is kind of perfect; the only thing interesting about Toulouse-Latrec taking a dump is that he consented to the photographs; and it makes perfect sense that Dali and Warhol would be in a picture together. May I submit this picture of Dali riding Walt Disney's private miniature train, the Lilly Belle, conducted by animator Ward Kimball. Amusing side note: the a few commenters incorrectly ID Dali as Walt's brother Roy, who handled the company's business affairs.)
posted by smirkette at 6:38 PM on October 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sighing now at my dorky redundant comment after suddenly seeing oflinkey's. I did read the thread before posting, I swear.

But yeah, Joseph Gordon-Levitt! Plus Alex Trebek *swoons*
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 8:17 PM on October 29, 2012


shatter your image of famous people.

None of these did that. Famous people are just like non-famous people except for the famous part. They dance and kick cans and love Grover and have hobbies. I don't get why that is a surprise to folks.

David Bowie being normal.

He used to at least occasionally pick his step-daughter up from school; she was five or six years behind me and I noticed him a couple of times.
posted by DarlingBri at 11:04 PM on October 29, 2012 [2 favorites]



If you're talking about my comment... .
posted by Malice at 12:28 PM on October 29 [+] [!]


Nope. I was talking about the poorly used horizontal rule/caption combo under each of those images on the flavorwire site.
posted by humboldt32 at 1:26 AM on October 30, 2012


Wow, it's almost like artists are real people who sometimes do normal things. Who knew?! :-p
posted by Kit W at 5:57 AM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Claire Quilty?
posted by j_curiouser at 9:09 AM on October 30, 2012


notsnot: "Oh, and
"Well, depression works that way. Movies have given us a skewed idea of how it works, because there, when a character enters his "dark period," it's with a montage full of sad music and drinking and moping in dim rooms. Real life isn't like that. Not only do moods fluctuate, but even when you're at your lowest you find yourself in social situations where you're not allowed to show it. If you're in a dark place but can't get out of your nephew's birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese's, you're going to put on a smile for the camera. You feel selfish bringing everybody else down. You put on a cheerful mask."
...is one of the best descriptions of depression and the "you can't be depressed!" paradigm I've ever read.
"

As I said a while back, "People with depression are the best actors you'll ever meet."
posted by deborah at 12:36 AM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


misha: I thought Humphrey Bogart would be cool, but he is totally looking down Marilyn Monroe's dress in this photo.
Your link got borked, but fortunately a GIS for "Humphrey Bogart would be cool, but he is totally looking down Marilyn Monroe's dress" works just fine.

The phrase "extremely serious", like most usages of the word "extreme" (and its variants), is pathetically invalid. I think the phrase the author meant was "some":
"Some silly photos of some celebrities."
posted by IAmBroom at 6:49 AM on November 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Your link got borked, but fortunately a GIS for "Humphrey Bogart would be cool, but he is totally looking down Marilyn Monroe's dress" works just fine.

A link to just the image in question.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:51 AM on November 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


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