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The Greatest Celebrity Moments in CES History

by DannyGallagher   December 14, 2011 at 12:00PM  |  Views: 36,829
The thought of being the first person to see the newest gadgets and gizmos may bring tech-heads to the floor of the Consumer Electronics Show from all over the world, but they rarely make for the best stories on the trip back home. That's why scores of celebrities are flown to Las Vegas each year to give those in attendance something more interesting to talk about than being the first person to see the new DDR3 SDRAM infused device. These are the moments that some attendees are still talking about to this very day.

Taylor Swift

Photo: Bloomberg/Getty Images

Even if you're not a fan of this country star's sweet country pop style, being in her presence at Sony's presentation in 2010 was impressive enough to make you the envy of every guitar toting teenage girl for the rest of time. The recording artist was brought to Las Vegas to promote her upcoming tour and promote Sony's new 3D technology. Sony put their new technology to the ultimate test by recording a Swift concert at the CES for those in attendance.

Kevin Costner

Gibson Guitars always organizes a tent for the CES attendees to rock out under and you might expect them to bring some kind of rock god to their stage to help the horde headbang. However, in 2008, they brought actor and director Kevin Costner to the main stage and he actually gave the crowd a good show. It's just nice to know that celebrities can actually do something besides stand there and look cute. 

LeVar Burton and Brent Spiner

Of course, if you're going to entertain one of the biggest gathering of geeks in the entire universe, you better awe them with a famous face that will leave a smile on their face for years to come. 2010's CES gathering featured not one, but two with "Star Trek" icons LeVar Burton and Brent Spiner in attendance to confess their love for all things geek with "TWiT" founder and fellow geek god Leo Laporte. 

Alex Trebek

Alex Trebek CES

Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

When it comes to geek god-dom, it's hard to top the likes of the host of the most popular geek show of all time. "Jeopardy!" has become more than just a stomping ground for the smartest people in the world. It is the premiere arena for putting one's prowess of general knowledge to the most nail-biting and bloodiest academic decathlon in the history of television. Alex Trebek not only appeared at the convention in 2009 to celebrate the show's 25th anniversary, but also to hold a special live celebrity edition with "Dancing with the Stars" host Tom Bergeron, comedian Aisha Tyler and "Weeds" actress Elizabeth Perkins. 
"Weird Al" Yankovic and Coolio

These two names might seem like the strangest pairing for a musical rivalry since the great Nat King Cole/Spike Jones skirmish of 1942. Apparently, Coolio wasn't pleased with the "Weird" one when he did a parody of his "Gangsta's Paradise" single called "Amish Paradise," claiming his management did not give him permission he seeks for the songs he satirizes. The two buried the hatchet publicly at the 2006 CES.

Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder is already one of the most consummate and professional showmen in all of show business. He upped his already classy act by taking to the CES stage in 2009 to convince developers and electronic engineers to work on products that could help the blind join the technological revolution. 

Ron Jeremy

Ron Jeremy CES

Photo: Steve Eichner/WireImages

The adult film industry usually holds their "eXXXpos" around the same time as tech and gaming conferences like CES because, well let's face it, they both have a key demographic. 2010's CES saw a rare crossover when adult film legend Ron Jeremy held a spirited but friendly debate with anti-pornography activist Craig Gross about the effect the medium can have on human sexuality and how technology is widening its presence (stop giggling). It's hard to say who won since Jeremy famously blamed video games for having a greater negative influence on children than films that show Santa Claus having a threeway with a midget and a donkey.

Conan O'Brien

We've already noted Bill Gates' utter failure to present his software as troublesome and worry free at the 2005 CES gathering when his newest software creations crashed on stage not once, but twice. It's worth mentioning again because of the brilliant way that the then-"Late Night" host handled the situation. O'Brien couldn't do much to deflect the bad press that the moment inevitably got but his trademark and quick wit saved an awkward situation from becoming even more awkward than, well, the first time it happened to Bill Gates almost nine years to the exact date.

Lady Gaga

The gaudy and flamboyant pop star can bring an entire room to its knees with her over-the-top presence. Even though her appearance at 2011's CES gathering didn't feature her wearing a dress made out of bubble wrap or a three-piece meat ensemble, her announcement about her collaboration with Polaroid's camera sunglasses was a stunning moment of marketing genius. In fact, if she had chosen to wear a duct tape bikini instead of just Polaroid's creation, it would have been the one time in her career where her weird choice of wardrobe would actually serve as a distraction.

Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks CES

Photo: David McNew/Getty Images News

No one on this planet is more likable than the star of "Forrest Gump," "Apollo 13" and "The DaVinci Code". In fact, science has proven that puppies run a close to second to Mr. Hanks on the likability charts. His likable quotient jumped by double digits in 2009 when he was brought on board by Sony to help promote their new lineup of products, but he instead gave a friendly roasting of the company's droll "state-of-the-industry" speech. It was a riffing that only Hanks' ultra friendly presence could pull off. He could have walked out on stage, punched Sony's CEO dead in the face and still gotten a standing ovation.

With all the new electronics and gadgets CES 2012 in Las Vegas is going to be absolutely phenomenal. Best part? As the official broadcaster of the entire event, SPIKE is going to give viewers at home an All Access pass to see what goes behind the closed doors of CES 2012: exclusives, celebrities, special guests, and surprises that you won't find anywhere else - and it all starts on January 10.