Being in the public eye must be exhausting. You go to the beach, TMZ is there. You jump on a sofa, it’s all over Facebook. You can’t even buy cat food without having to explain it.
Worse than all that, though, is the scrutiny of your nights out. Imagine if every time you tied one on, strangers with cameras followed you around, snapping flash photos as you tried to hail a cab or, I don’t know, accept an Oscar.
It’s enough to drive someone to drink...
Tara Reid got her big breakthrough as Bunny, the trophy wife and alleged kidnapee at the center of the Coen brothers classic The Big Lebowski.
Since her auspicious start, the 39-year-old actress has remained on the fringes of pop culture, mainly thanks to roles in cultural landmarks such as Sharknado, Sharknado 2: The Second One and Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! Well, and for having some very public, very drunk meltdowns. A brief overview of celebrity gossip articles brings up phrases such as “spotted barefoot and stumbling outside the club,” “falls over parked motorcycle” and “worse for wear.”
Speaking of which, it could be worse. She could be the “up and coming DJ” who got her name tattooed on his wrist in front of TMZ cameras.
Andy Dick has an impressively bad track record concerning alcohol. Actually, from grand larceny to anti-semitic rants, he has a pretty bad track record sober, too.
Sentient Chill Vibe, Matthew McConaughey leads an apparently charmed life. Since his breakout performance in Dazed and Confused and on through his recent victory lap, McConaughey seems to glide through life.
Even when things go wrong for the actor, they somehow still go right. There’s the time as a teen, for example, when he lost a lawsuit for literally being too handsome. At 29, he was famously arrested on drug charges (at which time, it bears repeating, he was “naked and playing the bongos”). Characteristically, he laughed off his night in jail, telling reporters, "I don't want to rent a place there, but it was a nice stay for a night.”
In that same vein, the actor made gossip rag headlines in 2008 for allegedly getting sloppy and handsy with several women on a dance floor in a South American bar, while his pregnant girlfriend was nowhere in sight.
He was allegedly spotted later, barefoot in a drainage ditch, trying to find his flip-flops. In perfect form, he responded to the reports by unabashedly acknowledging that he was drunk, reporting on the great surf in Nicaragua and claiming that he is “STILL looking for [his] left flip-flop.” The man may not be able to handle his booze, but he’s got everything else pretty well figured out.
Shia Labeouf, the former Disney child star and current Serious Actor, knows how to tie one on. Fortunately, he knows how to tell a good story, as well. Which is exactly what he did with Jimmy Kimmel, recounting his arrest during a performance of the broadway play, Cabaret. It’s a thing of beauty.
Labeouf recounts his whiskey-fueled misadventure to the late-night host, which included feeding strawberries to several women, grabbing Alan Cumming’s ass, his arrest and the eventual McDonald’s egg sandwich. By the time he’s done, all Kimmel can do is “hope that he’s dialing it back a little bit,” to which Shia responds, “yeah, I’m going to stay away from Broadway for a little bit.”
The 74-year-old former model has an impressive box office resume by any standard, but in some circles, he’ll always be best known for his role in Craziest Mugshot Ever. Nolte, who recently starred with Robert Redford in A Walk in the Woods, has been quite open about his drug and alcohol use throughout the years.
Fun fact: One of Nolte’s first acting roles was in a Hamm’s beer promotional video, billed simply as “Beer Drinker.”
The aging action star made headlines in 2006 when, after being pulled over for a DUI, he managed to up the ante with anti-semitic and sexist remarks.
The actor quickly went on the apology circuit and has claimed to be sober for several years. Maybe like Lethal Weapon partner Danny Glover, Gibson is finally “getting too old for this shit.”
It seems almost unfair to bring up someone getting hammered on a reality show, since it seems like a pretty reasonable response to living in such insanity. Nevertheless, Vern Troyer, best known for his role as Mini Me in the Austin Powers movies, went above and beyond.
As a contestant on VH1’s Surreal Life, the 2’8” actor apparently urinated in a corner ON THE FIRST DAY. Later, on the British version of Celebrity Big Brother, Troyer drunkenly drove his motorized scooter directly into a wall.
Luckily, no one was injured in either incident.
Where to even start with the Gallagher brothers? While fronting the biggest Britpop band of the 90s, Liam and Noel also managed to indulge in an Olympian cocaine and booze regiment and, relatedly, a near-constant stream of public vitriol, cancelled shows and petty squabbling.
The tales are endless. The two most famous incidences, though, both center around younger brother Liam. In 1996, during a performance on MTV’s Unplugged, the singer called out sick moments before the show was to begin. Instead of leaving, though, he hovered in the rafters, drinking and heckling his bandmates throughout their performance.
More recently, in 2002, Liam was part of a nightclub brawl in which he lost two teeth and allegedly kicked a German cop in the chest. Not exactly what you’d expect from the people behind “Wonderwall.”
The 90s were great for Mariah, but it’s been a long, strange road since then. In some ways, it can be hard to find the dividing line between the singer’s simply crazy moments and the crazy, boozy ones.
In the former camp, there was her 2001 on-air meltdown, which involved Carson Daly, an ice cream cart and gold short shorts. The next year, she was featured on Cribs, which invited viewers into her home, and a whole other level of absurdity.
More recently, the diva appeared plastered on stage at an awards ceremony. The whole thing is worth a watch, but the opening shriek of “ohhhh my goodness!” pretty much sums it up.
Think you know the booze?
Let’s start with some basics.