Life is hard for a fat guy. Not only do we have to face the same trials and endurance tests as the rest of humanity, but we also have to do it with a non-metaphorical elephant on our backs. Thankfully, there are some flabby fellows even fatter than you and I combined who have managed to overcome the weight of our weight without having to resort to drastic measures like proper diet, exercise, or Richard Simmons.
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10. Kevin Smith
This Jersey boy has the kind of success story that most film students dream about in-between (and probably during, judging by the lack of adequate customer service) shifts at the local burger shack. He dropped out of film school, and used the rest of his unpaid tuition and a couple of maxed-out credit cards to finance his first film "Clerks." The move paid off more than just his credit cards. He's earned a national reputation as a renowned screenwriter and film director (as long as you don't count "Jersey Girl") and has had a chubby hand or two in more than a few big name comic book and movie properties before they even reached the big screen. Few film directors have come as far and as fast as Smith, which is ironic since judging by his size he probably gets winded from running just a few feet.
9. George Foreman
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He may look like a big tub of lard, but call him one and watch what happens. He's not only one of the world's most gifted haymaker slingers, but he's also one of the world's most gifted and talented athletes. The boxer who puts the "heavy" in "heavyweight" has only five losses in his 30-year career and holds the distinction of being the oldest heavyweight champion in professional boxing history. Even in his retirement, he used his flab to fuel his livelihood by inventing a grilling machine that drains the fat from burgers and fries into a convenient dipping tray for French fries.
8. Nick Frost
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Anyone who has ever sampled British cuisine must wonder how anyone can eat enough to get fat from it. Believe it or not, Britain has its fair share of fat people and actor Nick Frost has become a rotund role model for British and American audiences. He started working in a Mexican restaurant but thanks to his close pal, Simon Pegg he has become the Oliver Hardy to Pegg's Stan Laurel, except Frost gets all the laughs for being the oafish goofball in moves like "Shaun of The Dead" and "Hot Fuzz." He has also struck out on his own as a writer/actor and has become a patron saint of fatties among film geeks and aficionados across the globe. He made being the fat, funny guy cool again.
7. President Theodore Roosevelt
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William Howard Taft might be known as the fattest President who ever lived, but Teddy outweighs him in so many other areas, which is a hell of a lot if you've ever seen Taft's "Mount Rushmore-ish" ass. He took up boxing at the age of nine and eventually developed a lifelong love of wild and dangerous animals, particularly with shooting them during his adventurous hunting trips to Africa. He upped his coolness quotient by riding with the famed "Rough Riders" during the Spanish-American War and became a renowned President who brought the country everything from the Panama Canal to Abraham Lincoln's face on the penny, a face that has graced the floors of cars and crevices of couch cushions for years to come.
6. Drew Carey
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The Cleveland comedian came from very humble beginnings as a portly stand-up, then become the creator of one of the longest running shows on television, and goes on to host a show that's been on longer than most TV test patterns. He started as a road comic who sometimes lived out of his car before earning a coveted spot on Johnny Carson's couch. This led to his own sitcom deal that lasted almost a decade and launched the careers of "Scrubs" star Krista Miller, and late night legend Craig Ferguson. Not bad for a guy, who when he puts on a Speedo "looks like a Bartlett pair with a rubber band wrapped around the bottom." Managing to get one of those on that frame is an amazing accomplishment. Don't ask me how I know that.
5. Homer Simpson
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The man may not be fully furnished in the brain department; but what he's earned and learned despite his lack of motivation, intellectualism and personal hygiene habits are more than astounding. He's got a smoking hot wife who couldn't be more out of his league then if she played for the NFL and he played in an online fantasy football franchise. He has managed to live the kind of American dream that was possible before the stock market turned into a never-ending plane crash. But through it all, he's also a dear, sensitive man who loves his family no matter how much they torture him and tries to do his best for them, even if his intellect and appetite get in his way. He truly has a heart that is as big as his waistline, even if it's running at 50 percent capacity because of years and years of pork rings and cheap beer.
4. Luciano Pavarotti
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So he's not on your iPod or even plays on one of the stations programmed on your car's satellite radio hookup. That doesn't mean he shouldn't be respected and admired for the many doors he has opened and passed through, even if he had to grease himself up to get through them. His renowned vocal talent has made him a global superstar and helped bring Opera into several corners of the mainstream. He became the first Opera singer to perform on "Saturday Night Live" and holds several world records including the performer with the most curtain calls, and the highest selling classical album of all time. How's your album doing since you posted the whole thing for free on MySpace?
3. Babe Ruth
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The Bambino has become one of the world's most revered athletic talents, even though he had a fat frame that looked as though the only sport he could become a legend at was competitive hot dog eating. This homerun-making machine defined what it meant to be a slugger long before the advent of anabolic steroids and horse tranquilizers. He singlehandedly led the New York Yankees famed "Murderers' Row" into the history books before George Steinbrenner would turn the term into what he does to all-star ball players' careers after he gets his grubby mitts on them.
2. Jackie Gleason
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Before this Brooklyn beefer came along, fat people in films were nothing more than punchlines to some really cruel jokes. Gleason's charming style and cool demeanor not only made him funny, but a legend as big as his shirt size. His work on early television and "The Honeymooners" defined the advent of television comedy for years to come. His performances in dramatic roles, most notably as pool shark Minnesota Fats in "The Hustler" brought a certain gracefulness to his wide frame. Every hefty guy who ever got a girl to tear up the dance floor with them for their senior prom have Gleason to thank for scoring them a date.
1. Ron Jeremy
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Don't pretend that you don't know why the Hedgehog is number one on this list. The world's most famous porn star looks like he should be the world's most famous excuse not to go to nude beaches, and yet he has a roster of ex-girlfriends and one night stands that could rival Wilt Chamberlain's hunting list. And the craziest part is, he gets paid to get laid! I think I'm going to end this feature so I can punch my high school guidance counselor in the throat.
Danny Gallagher is a freelance writer, reporter, humorist and very angry and bitter man who cannot push aside the feelings of rage he has for the people who shaped his career choices long enough to come up with a joke who lives in Texas.