?There’s a certain class of people one might call “professional celebrities”. They have none of the traits one generally associates with being famous: They can’t really act or sing or dance, they’re not professional athletes, yet for some reason they capture the imaginations of the public.
Now, usually this title is reserved for useless, talentless, oversexed and over sexualized socialites and heiresses like Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian.
But sometimes, magic happens. And a young man named Laurence Tureaud is born in the worst housing project in Chicago, makes it to college on a football scholarship, is sidelined by a knee injury, becomes a bouncer and bodyguard to the stars, and eventually steps into the limelight as the immortal phenomenon known throughout the civilized universe as Mr. T.
Rather than becoming famous through the kind of wealth only a contract with Satan can provide, like most professional celebrities, Mr. T managed it through sheer force of personality and will. I mean, the man became a movie and TV star by playing himself — repeatedly! And it worked! (Unfortunately, he was turned down for the role of Seth in Beastmaster, thus depriving the world of what would have been the most unbelievably awesome movie in the history of civilization.)
So today we celebrate the majesty of Monsieur Tureaud with this collection of miscellaneous awesomeness bearing his name, likeness, and/or endorsement.
8) Mr. T in Your Pocket
?We all find ourselves occasionally fumbling for the right thing to say. Job interviews, first dates, Valedictorian speeches, eulogies, and suchlike often leave one at a loss for words. Well, you know who always knows just what to say? Mr. T. And now you can reap the benefits of the great man’s loquaciousness no matter where you are with this handy little keychain doohickey. Six of Mr. T’s most profound and thought-provoking quotations are included within this wondrous gadget in his own singular voice. WARNING: Not for use by “fools” or for “jibba-jabba”.
7) Mr. T’s Flavorwave Oven
Apparently George Foreman hasn’t cornered the market on aging ass-kickers shilling custom cookware. Behold the “Mr. T Flavorwave Oven,” which seems for all the world like what you get when a microwave makes sweet love to a crock pot. I can only guess here, but I like to think that this device is only capable of cooking wholesome meals that are good for the kids… and said meals must be accompanied by a glass of milk.
6) Mr. T Cereal
If there was one thing kids who grew up in the ’80s knew it was this: You’re not famous until you — or the movie/TV series you’re in — gets its own cereal. If we knew a second thing, it was that said cereals would generally be bland, semi-edible, repurposed Cap’n Crunch. Mr. T’s breakfast offering was no exception. It was rather disappointing as you’d think a man who loves kids so much would see to it that the cereal that bears his name might be something they’d actually want to eat. Eating instructions: Make pancakes, eggs, and bacon with elaborate Rube Goldberg machine, arrange in smiley-face, pour dry cereal on top, eat two bites with oversized fork, say “ahh”, and dab mouth daintily with napkin.
5) Mr. T’s Mohawk Grenade
In 2007, Mr. T was one of a number of celebrities who professed their love for World of Warcraft and were featured in TV spots where they talked about their characters, joining notables such as William Shatner, Verne Troyer, Ozzy Osbourne, and Jean-Claude Van Damme. T, however, took it a step further and invented his own mythical character class: The Night Elf Mohawk. In 2009, he introduced his Mohawk Grenade to the denizens of Azeroth. This harmless item has the effect of gracing the affected character or creature with Mr. T’s signature visage temporarily. Sure, it wasn’t an item you could physically purchase in stores, but as in-game merchandise, it defined “absoludicrous.”
4) Mr. T’s Rubber Duckie
?I fully admit: I’m a 34-year-old man, and I loves me some rubber duckies. Make of that what you will, but even the scoffers among you can’t ignore the magnificence of this. This gem is from a line called Celebriducks that includes the buoyant rubber likenesses of such notables as James Brown, The Blues Brothers, and Betty Boop. This sumbitch is going to the top of my Christmas list! (Mental note: Write out my Christmas list as TR Daily List.)
3) Chuck Norris Vs. Mr. T
?For ’80s nostalgia nerds like myself, Mr. T has become the “yang” to Chuck Norris’… well, “yang” (that’s not a typo — neither of them have a passive aspect). The debate rages on: Would T be downed by Chuck’s unstoppable roundhouse kicks? Would Chuck be laid out by intensity of a Mr. T punch? Would the fight itself bring about the end of the universe as we know it? No one can say for sure, but Ian Spector, author of the bestselling The Truth About Chuck Norris and originator of the Chuck Facts meme addresses the conundrum as best he can with this book. Chuck facts are spliced with fanciful musings about Mr. T, as well as a few words of wisdom combining the two paragons of badassery. To wit: “Mr. T once punched Chuck Norris at the exact moment Chuck Norris roundhouse kicked Mr.T in the chest. The result was the ’80s.”
2) Mr. T as Clubber Lang USB Drive
Holy shit. Someone actually took the time to make a little plastic Mr. T as Clubber Lang that does crunches when plugged into a USB port (that’s all it does, by the way, there’s no storage on this thing). Regarding the location of the plug on this curious device… well, I’ll let you folks come up with your own jokes. They also made Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed versions, for you Rocky III completists out there.
1) Mr. T Chia Pet
?When life gets me down… when the sordidness, cruelty, and ignorance of humanity begins to weary me to the depths of my atrophied soul, there are a handful of thoughts I turn to for solace. And the fact that I live in a world where goddamn Mr. T Chia Pets exist is high on that list. Just look at it… drink it in. This HAPPENED! This EXISTS! I really can’t say anything more. For some things in life, there are no words.