In what could be the most pathetic pun in the history of modern music, Eminem's recent song "Kiss" includes the lyrics "Tell Lady Gaga she can quit her job at the post office, she's still a male lady." The line refers to the rumor that Lady Gaga is part man and part woman -- an urban legend dismissed by Lady Gaga as completely false. The rumor gained street cred from a music video close-up that suggested Lady Gaga has a male body part, but as myth-busting website Snopes.com convincingly points out, if the story were true, one of Lady Gaga's partners would have certainly tattled to the tabloids by now.
Lady Gaga admitted to Barbara Walters she did not mind the rumor about being a hermaphrodite -- partly because she likes "pushing the envelope" about social norms. But who knows what other celebrities think of the tall tales told about them?
Here are some of the recurring whispers about celebrities that refuse to go away:
Rumor: Brad Pitt's Mother hates Angelina Jolie
Although she is not technically Angelina Jolie's mother-in-law, Brad Pitt's mother, Jane, is rumored to hate her son's sexy sweetheart. Rumors frequently run rampant that Mama Pitt is still chummy with Brad's ex-wife Jennifer Aniston . The rumors are spread by the tabloids, asserts Gossip Cop, a myth-busting site that polices celebrity rumors. The rift rumors are part of a plot to stir up trouble between Jolie and (for now) the only Mrs. Pitt, with the fabricated feud fueling speculation that Pitt and Jolie are on the edge of splitsville.
Rumor: Barbra Streisand starred in a porn movie
Back in the 70s, a hardcore movie called "The Personal Touch" featured a woman who resembled Barbra Streisand. The film was promoted with Streisand as the star, even though the actress in the movie was plumper than the svelte Streisand. In an interview with Playboy, Streisand compared herself to her X-rated alter ego, hoping to put the rumor to bed: "The girl has long hair, like I did back in the Sixties, although she was chubby, while I was very skinny. But the dead giveaway came when the camera zoomed in on her hands around the guy's you-know-what. There they were: short, stubby fingers! Definitely not mine. So all you would-be buyers, don't waste your money."
Rumor: Gene Simmons has a cow tongue grafted onto his tongue
Another rumor harking back to the 70s is that Kiss bass player Gene Simmons' oversized tongue was surgically enhanced by having a cow's tongue grafted onto it. Sure Simmons liked to show off his mega-tongue, wagging it like a dog's tail. But cow's tongues are wider than human tongues and Simmons would have needed a face the size of Herman Munster to house the extra width. In his autobiography, Simmons reflected on his mythological tongue: "I was oblivious, for the first thirteen years of my life, that I was endowed with a large oral appendage, my superlong tongue. It really was longer than everyone else's, and I was soon to find out that having a long tongue came in handy with the girls."
Rumor: Mr. Rogers Was a Navy SEAL
Remember the cozy guy in the cardigan who came on TV after Elmo? The mild mannered Mr. Rogers is rumored to have been a Navy SEAL. In one viral email that circulated after his death, the author claimed Rogers was "a master in small arms and hand-to-hand combat, able to disarm or kill in a heartbeat" -- and even explained why he always wore long sleeves: "Mr. Rogers was a U.S. Navy Seal, combat-proven in Vietnam with over twenty-five confirmed kills to his name. He wore a long-sleeve sweater to cover the many tattoos on his forearm and biceps."
Rumor: Walt Disney is frozen
The story that Walt Disney's body was frozen after he died and is stored under Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland is one of the most widely believed celebrity rumors of all time. What makes this Mickey Mouse rumor so believable is that Disney was a technological maverick, his funeral was very private and the scientific know-how for cryogenics (keeping a dead body frozen until medical science finds a way to cure it) existed at the time of his death. In fact, the first case of a person undergoing the procedure occurred one month after Disney's departure. Still, the rumor is about as realistic as the talking animals in the "The Lion King."
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- Lady Gaga
- Walt Disney
- urban legend
- Angelina Jolie
- Gene Simmons
- Brad Pitt
- tall tales