There are a lot of famous people out there who have a reputation for being tough, but the following list is reserved for only those who are not only tough, they are lethal. They don’t need a gun or a knife or a sword or whatever OJ had in the trunk of his car on a certain fateful night because they themselves are a lethal weapon. You might be surprised by some of the names on this list but that’s only because they don’t need to advertise the fact that they are bad asses. They are like radiation or a silent fart –- deadly, and you’ll never see them coming. So, if you ever see any of these nine famous people in a dark alley, run, because if they get their hands on you, it’s all over.
Photo credit: YouTube/Universal Pictures
9 Ice T
There are a lot of fake tough guys in the rap world, but Ice T isn’t one of them. Sure, a lot of people have been fooled by his stint on Law & Order into believing that he has settled down but that doesn’t mean the dude has gone soft. Hell no. A longtime practitioner of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Ice T was also a former Army Ranger. I’m guessing LL Cool J and Soulja Boy didn’t know that when they decided to beef with him, but it’s good for them that those beefs never got as heated as the Tupac/Biggie feud otherwise we all would have probably been treated to the sight of Ice T choking out Soulja Boy at the Source Awards. You don’t wanna mess with a former Army Ranger, even one that spent a decade hanging around with Richard Belzer.
Photo credit: WaCCo Photography, Flickr
8 Guy Ritchie
Look, you have to be tough to be able to survive being married to Madonna and those freakish arms of hers. The poor dude probably had to extensively train in both judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu just to avoid being choked out in bed. I’m guessing that whenever he hears “Material Girl,” the dude just starts armbarring random victims until he hears bones cracking. But now that he’s escaped from her damn near literal talons he’s out in the world with all sorts of hand-to-hand combat training. A black belt in judo and a brown belt in BJJ, Ritchie doesn’t need to take any shit from the actors on his sets. You can tell him that you think Swept Away sucked, but you do so at your own peril.
Photo credit: YouTube/ScreenSlam
7 Jason Statham
It would make sense that a good friend of Guy Ritchie would be able to handle himself and Jason Statham can do much more than that. Those fancy moves and choreographed stunts in his movies aren’t just a stuntman going through the motions. No, Statham is an expert kickboxer who could probably break every bone in your face before you even got a limp-wristed drunken punch off. He’d probably also then sleep with your girlfriend, thus destroying both your body and your soul. He might not have won an Oscar for Crank, but I’m guessing that’s because the cowards in the Academy were too afraid to even be in the same room with him. You could call me a liar, but that would just make you look like an idiot and you’re not an idiot, are you?
Photo credit: YouTube/Universal Pictures
6 Jesse Ventura
Don’t be fooled by the fact that wrestling is fake (sorry if I shattered anyone’s innocence there) or that he spent a few years stuffed behind a desk as the Governor of Minnesota, because Jesse Ventura is a former Navy Seal who probably knows about a 100 different ways to break your neck and make it look like you died of natural causes. In Predator, Jesse Ventura memorably played a tough guy soldier who fell victim to the Predator, but in real life, the Predator would have beaten Arnold Schwarzenegger to death within five minutes and then ran like hell from Ventura. Sure, that would have drastically changed the tone of the movie, but I wouldn’t mind. After all, it’s comforting to me to know that there is a man like Jesse Ventura out there capable of keeping us safe from alien hunters.
Photo credit: Freedom to Marry, Flickr
5 Chuck Norris
Yeah, yeah, no big surprise here. As much as I hate to drag this old Internet meme out of mothballs, you simply can’t deny that Chuck Norris could do terrible, terrible things to you if he felt like it. A black belt in Karate and the Korean martial art Tang Soo Do, Norris is also apparently the only Westerner in the 4,500 year history of Tae Kwon Do to achieve an eighth degree black belt, which also brings with it the title of Grand Master. If you want to scoff at all that, fine, but just know that instead of kicking your face off, Norris will just throw you to the ground using the judo that he’s studied and will then break all of your bones using his knowledge of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Of course, the man is over 70 years-old, but let’s face it, he could be 151 years old and still be capable of sending you to meet your maker. That’s not a meme. That’s just the way it is.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
4 Angela Merkel
What the hell? Yes, it’s true. Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, is a black belt in judo. Look at her picture and let that sink in for a minute. Okay, done? Good, now take a minute and contemplate that Angela Merkel could kill you with her bare hands while you just squirmed helplessly in her grasp and wondered how your death would be explained to your friends. If there’s one thing that history has taught us it’s that when it comes to killing people the Germans don’t mess around. There was the savage Thirty Years War in the 17th century, there was the vicious killing of David Hasselhoff’s soul and there was, uh, some other stuff back in the ‘30s and ‘40s that kinda drew some attention. So it makes sense that their leader in these strange and terrible times would be a capable killing machine, a Terminator ready to throw down on anybody who made the fatal mistake of messing with her or her people.
Photo credit: Michael Panse, Wikimedia Commons
3 Ed O’Neill
Yes, that’s right, Al Bundy could kill you with his bare hands. Before you laugh, just remember that in addition to scoring four touchdowns in a single game for Polk High, O’Neill is also a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, having studied for years under the famed Gracie family. He may look like an ordinary shoe salesman with a beaten soul, but beneath that humble exterior lies a true warrior, capable of wrapping himself like an anaconda around the body of anyone stupid enough to mess with him, squeezing and twisting until all that’s left is just a pile of broken bones and regret. It’s a messed up world, but it’s comforting to know that it is still a world in which a man like Ed O’Neill can be considered a true lethal weapon. Seriously, finding this out made my day.
2 Vladimir Putin
Uh, I’m kind of afraid to say anything here for fear that I will wake up hanging from a meat hook in some refrigerator in Siberia. And that’s because not only is Vladimir Putin an avid judo enthusiast, he’s also a total badass who looks like he could be a Bond villain. While everyone is always worried about Russian arms and chemical weapons and all that, what they need to understand is that if Vladimir Putin has a problem with you, he’ll just show up at your doorstep stripped to the waist with only a grim mask of stone and determination on his face and with only his bare hands to teach you a lesson in foreign relations. He is the Anton Chigurh of international politics, but he doesn’t need some lousy air gun to send you to hell. He just needs to use the power of judo and his own frozen soul.
Photo credit: Kremlin.ru, Wikimedia Commons
Before you laugh, just remember that’s exactly what she wants you to do. That way, you’re caught unaware when one of the gremlins that lives inside of her crawls out of her vagina and eats you whole. And even if you somehow managed to survive an encounter with Snooki with your body still intact, your soul will have withered and died like a flower in a nuclear blast. She might not be a trained lethal weapon like so many others on this list, but she doesn’t need to be. She is mentioned in the Book of Revelations. Even the four horsemen of the apocalypse in that book are terrified of her. She is who Oppenheimer was quoting when he famously said “I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” Snooki doesn’t need a lethal weapon or a martial art because Snooki is a lethal weapon. So tangle with her at your own peril and just remember that if you survive, you will have seen into the great void that all men fear and you will never be the same again.
(Previously published on March 29, 2011.)