Monday, September 13, 2010

20 Arguably Famous People Who Prefer to Wear Black

Note: This list is not in any particular order and I chose not to include any mention of the film Men in Black or include to any Goth or Emo types because that would just be too easy. 

20. Richard Lewis
Lewis is probably best known for his HBO comedy specials, his literally hundred or so late night TV appearances, his role on Curb Your Enthusiasm, and as the only man who beat out Billy Ray Cyrus for the longest running mullet of all time, but if you are under 25 years of age there is a chance you have no idea who this guy is. GQ Magazine put Lewis on their list of the '20th Century's Most Influential Humorists', which would have been quite an honor had it not come from a magazine that is only read by frat boys and closet metrosexuals. 

19. Judge Ito
It was a tossup between Judge Ito, any of the Supreme Court Justices, or Judge Judy. Since Judge Judy is far too annoying to be included in my list, and because the Supreme Court Justices are the farthest thing from entertaining Ito it is. Frankly, nobody really knows what Ito wears under his robe, but then again nobody wants to. Although Ito bears an uncanny resemblance to Oddjob from the James Bond film Goldfinger, he will probably always be associated with the OJ Simpson trial he presided over, better known as the only time Court TV ever had more than 32 people tuned in at the same time. 

18. Clint Black
The guy's last name is black and he has black hair so it probably isnt a stretch for him to always be seen with a black cowboy hat and black wrangler jeans. I am convinced had his last name been Fuchsia, there is a good chance RCA Records wouldnt have been so eager to sign him to a record deal, but opinions vary. The real dilemma here is how he could marry Lisa Hartman... a blond woman with skin so bright she makes the Olsen twins look tropical by comparison.

17. Richard Belzer
My grandfather once told me Richard Belzer was a funny guy, but then again grandpa wore diapers and claimed Amelia Earhart worked at the local Walgreens, so maybe he was just confused. Belzer does however win the award for best character name for any of the 43 versions of Law & Order with his portrayal of Detective John Munch in Law & Order: SVU. I'm guessing most people with taste have no idea who Belzer is although many probably confuse him for Mr. Spock on Star Trek.

16. Joan Jett
The question is, would Joan Jett still resort to wearing black all the time if her band was not called The Blackhearts? I think so, but then again I have noticed Jett has started bleaching her hair, so perhaps she has drifted away from her punk roots (pardon the pun) just a tad. Jett will always be known for her 1979 cover of the classic rock song I Love Rock N Roll, which made the song a mainstay on American radio stations until Britney Spears covered the song again in 2002, and publicly attributed the hit version of the song to Pat Benatar single handedly ruining a perfectly good song in multiple ways at the very same time. 

15. Batman

Sure Batman isnt a real person, but he is arguably famous, so he makes the cut. You have to admit, for superhero born in the 30s, he still looks pretty damn good in a plastic suit. Then again, in some variations the suit was really medium blue or light gray but if you ask Robin it all looks the same in the dark. George Clooney went out of his way to make the character look even more gay than Adam West did while wearing tights, although the comicbook diehards out there swear there was nothing going on between Batman and Robin. Then again some people think Tom Cruise and Jake Gyllenhaal are both straight too, so obviously the world is full of ignorance. 

14. Ron White

His last name is White, so wearing white would have been the logical choice, however my sources tell me that he tried it once and wound up looking like a taller version of J.D Boss Hogg. Since that point, White generally only wears black when on stage, although his fingers do remain a nice shade of nicotine. An added bonus for White is that whiskey stains are much less noticeable on black and that has served to decrease his dry-cleaning bills by 80%. 

13. Wesley Snipes
Anyone who has ever watched Chapelles Show, or heard people recycling Chapelle quips for the next eight months after the airing of each episode, will easily tell you that Wesley Snipes is one of the blackest men on the planet, and I think that holds true regardless of what color of clothing the man has on at the time. Added bonus points go to Snipes with his role as a leather-clad vampire hunter in the film Blade, and again in Blade II, and once more in Blade: Trinity, and again in Blade: Another Attempt to Resurrect Wesley Snipes Career.              

12. A Catholic Priest
Priests all over the nation have given new meaning to the phrase pop the collar, but my therapist suggested I stop talking about such things to strangers, so Ill keep this civil. I guess there is a hierarchy to the Roman Catholic Church with Priests wearing black, Cardinals wearing red, and the Pope wearing white... even after labor day. I'm not sure what any of it means with the exception of black supposedly meaning poverty, which I find ironic because my Priest pays me $750 a week just to keep my mouth shut. 

11. Agent Smith
Pretty much any character from the Matrix films would have been applicable here, and yes Smith does wear a white shirt but his attitude is all black even if he does resemble a IBM engineer from the late 60s. The man is a regular badass capable of dodging bullets, amazing acrobatic maneuvers, incredible speed, self replication, and spawning from perceived death. Rumor has it that the real reason Smith was defeated is because Neo entered the following sequence into his source code: Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start. Thats just a rumor though and I havent been able to confirm it with the Wachowski brothers quite yet. 

10. A Ninja

I would have listed a specific ninja here but I couldnt find any due to their incredible usage of stealth. I searched and searched but as far as I can tell the only man who has ever successfully captured a ninja was Chuck Norris, and Chuck isnt talking. I tried asking him what it was like to come face to face with a real ninja, but when provoked all Chuck said was it isnt wise to question the authority of 'the Norris' which quite honestly left me somewhat in fear for my safety. I mean when someone refers to themselves in the 3rd person, it is pretty clear they mean business. 

9. George Clooney

George Clooney didn't always wear black, but ironically it seems to have defined his style ever since he started going gray. I guess the salt and pepper look coordinates better with black than any other color, so Clooney figured why fight it. Of course he also played Batman (number 15 on our list) and many of his other roles find him wearing a tuxedo for one reason or another, so black seems to play a prominent role with his on screen persona as well. There is also a good chance Russell Crowe will wind up giving Clooney a black eye sooner or later, which would only serve to solidify his place on this list. 

8. Simon Cowell
As it turns out, Cowell used to always wear a white t-shirt, but found it increasingly difficult to bleach out the pit stains every week, so he switched to black. Being known as the only honest judge on American Idol, and having to listen to Randy Jackson say dawg 54 times each episode has taken its toll on Cowell and he seems to have developed a dandruff problem. Rather than switch to Selsun Blue, he thought it best to try a different color shirt, although it is just a matter of time before listening to horrid fame whores try to sing annoys him to the point he will pull out his own hair, thus solving the dandruff problem, and thus being able to return to his signature black shirt. 

7. Al Pacino
Al is the biggest short guy on the silver screen with a voice that makes one assume he smokes at least four packs of unfiltered camels a day. He has played both good guys and bad guys but will always be associated with his role in the Godfather films as Michael Corleone and his incredible performance in Scarface as Tony 'say hello to my little friend' Montana. Pacino is regarded as one of the greatest actors of his generation, and surprisingly he is one of the only male leads in Hollywood to have never been divorced. Then again he has never been married either, but that really isnt the point. 

6. Herman Munster
Herman (portrayed by the late Fred Gwynne) obviously always wore black, but considering ever episode of The Munsters was filmed in black and white I suppose he could have been wearing purple for all we know. Truth is, I wanted to go with Count Chocula here, but as we all know, the Count actually wears brown... so that just wouldnt work.

5. Lewis Black
Much to my personal disappointment Lewis is not Clints brother, however that doesnt prevent him from following the pattern of matching your wardrobe to a surname. Lewis is one of those guys that can find a complaint about everything, so the way I figure it elimination of all color from his closet enabled him to focus on the really important issues in life, like whether stereos should have volume knobs or volume buttons, or whether or not Pamela Anderson has to check her implants at the luggage counter when flying. 

4. Roy Orbison
Black hair, black clothes, black glasses, and a big black mole that would make Cindy Crawford jealous - that is the essence of Roy Orbison. Elvis was quoted as saying that Orbison was "the greatest singer in the world", so if the opinion of a bourbon chugging, barbituate inhaling, leisure suit wearing, cultural icon is of any significance, clearly Orbison was quite talented. Plus, Orbison was the only celebrity who successfully wore sunglasses at night and on stage without looking like a complete tool. (Im looking at you Bono) 

3. Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss, and Ace Frehley
(Original band members of 

The band who was built around makeup and costumes long before The Spice Girls were ever even heard of surely deserves a position on the list. What I find most amazing is how a band can recycle the same 20 songs onto more than a dozen live, compilation, greatest hits, or soundtrack albums, various box sets, and even videos and DVDs yet people continue to buy them. Even more amazing than that is the fact that the self proclaimed rockers have recorded a song written by Michael Bolton, have pimped themselves out on more products than Ron Popeil including both condoms and caskets, and have recorded a few hundred songs yet only broke into the top position once with 1998s release of Psycho Circus which had a short life at #1 on the Mainstream Rock chart. Oh yea and Gene Simmons claims to have slept with about a bazillion women, so clearly women find something attractive about a man in makeup who likes to spit blood and wear high heels. 

2. Johnny Cash
No list of this nature would ever be complete without Johnny Cash. I suppose with the recent surge in popularity Cash has experienced you would expect him to be number one on the list, but then you would have to remember this list is in no particular order, and even if it was in a specific order Cash wouldnt be number one, because frankly I'm not much for jumping on bandwagons, and the truth is I dont even know what a bandwagon is. However, Cash earned the title of the 'Man in Black' on his own and was never guilty of selling out to popularity. The way I heard it Cash was so upset that they picked Joaquin Phoenix to play him in a movie that he threatened to haunt the studio, but apparently he changed his mind when Reese Witherspoon walked on to the set. After that the ghost of Cash could only be seen in Witherspoons trailer... and really who could blame him. 

1. Darth Vader

What needs to be said about the great Sith Lord who spends over 23 years inside of a black suit? A cultural icon who has infiltrated our society since the original 
Star Wars Episode IV film in 1977, Vader continues to be considered one of the greatest villains of all time. Although most consider his black helmet and outfit to be a requirement to sustain his life after a nasty battle with Obi-Wan Kenobi where he met the business end of a lightsaber I know the real story, and the real story is he wears black because he is in a constant state of mourning for his loss of Padmé Amidala and he was once told guys in capes get all the hot chicks. As an added bonus, thanks to the great James Earl Jones, he has the best voice of any villian throughout cinematic history as well.

So there you have it. 20 arguably famous people who prefer to wear black. It was a tough selection process and I'm sure some of your favorites didnt make the list but I think we can all agree that I don't care what you think about my choices. Just be sure to always match your belt with your shoes and everything will be fine - unless you are Jack Black in which case it doesn't matter because everything you do is considered comedic gold. Jack might not always wear black, but he is always funny.

True Story.


  1. why does black identify a part of you its open for questioning....

  2. cool , my frined knows him

  3. Um, the Joan Jett cover of I Love Rock 'n Roll was in 1982, not 1979...

    1. Technically she recorded the first version of the song in 1979. Then she re-recorded it again in 1981 with the Blackhearts... which then was released and became a hit in 1982.

      So you're more correct than not, but the real question is... did she always wear black?