Early this morning, The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that the once and future Fonz, Henry Winkler, has been made an honorary member of the Order of the British Empire. At first, we assumed the award was for the massive support he lent to both the leather jacket and pomade industries, but instead, he was honored for his educational work on dyslexia in the United Kingdom, which while nowhere near as awesome, is still extremely important.
All of this got us thinking though: If the Fonz got an OBE, what other surprising talents have been awarded the medal? So, after checking out a picture of the disconcertingly small Winkler with this award, thump the jukebox and check out these curious members of the “prestigious” Order of the British Empire.
Pierce Brosnan – In 2004, the actor received an honorary OBE for his “outstanding contribution to the British film industry,” which presumably covers all the time he fake-saved the country in “James Bond” movies.
The Bee Gees – We love the soundtrack to “Saturday Night Fever” as much as anyone, but does “Staying Alive” really justify being elevated to Commanders of the Order of the British Empire?
Rudy Giuliani – Just like the rest of the world, the Queen was apparently swept up in Rudy-fever in the wake of 9/11, honoring “America’s Mayor” as a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
Barry Humphries – From one Queen to another, Barry Humphries, best known for dressing in drag as Dame Edna Everage, was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
The wrong Steve McQueen – Frankly, we don’t care how good “Shame” is, or even how long you get to look at Michael Fassbender’s dong in it. If it’s not the guy who raced motorcycles and was pals with Bruce Lee, then you’re honoring the wrong Steve McQueen.
Kylie Minogue – Yes, Kylie Minogue sang “Locomotion,” but she was the third person to chart with that particular song, and it didn’t even reach No. 1 when she sang it. May she live forever in the shadow of Grand Funk Railroad.
Olivia Newton-John – Olivia Newton-John getting the OBE makes a little bit of sense when you consider the amazing service she performed for millions of teenage boys by appearing in the music video for “Physical.” But her honor came in 1979, two years before the track was even released.
Gordon Ramsay – Apparently, what “services to the hospitality industry” really means is “going apoplectic about side dishes and shouting at people.”
Rod Stewart – The pop star was named a Commander of the British Empire in 2007, which indicates that no one in the Royal Family has been paying attention to what Stewart hath wrought since leaving The Faces.
Do you know of any other questionable appointees to the Order of the British Empire? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.