Thanks to saturation coverage of lame stuff celebrities say, we could be forgiven for thinking that our idols are as thick as bricks. (Example, via Britney Spears: "I've never really wanted to go to Japan. Simply because I don't like eating fish. And I know that's very popular out there in Africa.")
But think about how you'd come off if you spent a large part of every day talking to people who were waiting for you to say something stupid, so they could post it as hate bait and watch the clicks roll in. One minute you're having a momentary geography brain-fail, the next, you're the internet's newest dunce and a worldwide laughing stock.
Celebrity IQ scores: to be taken with a grain of salt
The internet is full of hoax celebrity IQ scores that are entirely made up. It's obvious, really: IQ tests aren't compulsory, and if you scored low, why would you tell anyone?
Tom Cruise: 94; David Hasselhof: 73; John F Kennedy: 60. All confidently posited by various sites. (An IQ of 60 signifies 'mild mental disability'.) JFK's IQ score was 'actually' 119 (on the high side of average). But you have to ask: where are these scores coming from? Why are all these celebrities sitting down to do IQ tests and then sharing the appalling results?
Appearances can be deceptive. Famously, Hollywood bombshell Jayne Mansfield had a genius-level score of 149. In fact, some celebrities we may suspect of solid stupidity (or at least common averageness) turn around and shock us with surprisingly high IQ test scores. Arnold Schwarzenegger clocks in at 135; Madonna hits genius-level at 140; Quentin Tarantino blitzes it at 160 (the same as Einstein).
So keep all that in mind when you read on about celebrity numbskulls. Maybe the real bonehead here is the IQ test.
Muhammad Ali: "The greatest not the smartest"
The internet is rife with stories about Muhammad Ali's shockingly low IQ - at 78, he was at 'borderline mental disability'. But, really? Let's use some high-IQ critical thinking skills to examine the mitigating factors. He hit that score in his test for military service - for the war in Vietnam, to which he was vocally, violently opposed. Did Ali rope-a-dope the IQ test? Smart move.
Then there's the fact that the IQ test has been accused of being culturally specific, meaning that results can be biased against diverse groups; for example, not white people. Add to that his lightning wit, proto-hip hop rhyming outbursts and quotable quotes ("I'm so mean I make medicine sick") - this does not appear to be the profile of a cretin.
Andy Warhol: Stupid like a fox
According to the internet, pop artist Andy Warhol dragged himself through life with the burden of a 'low average' IQ score of 86. Although he cultivated a splendidly vacuous image ("I am a deeply superficial person"), he managed to get through college with a degree, and then get incredibly rich and famous making art that slyly poked fun of the rich people who were buying it, thus making him rich. Not really a dum-dum move.
Plus, he made the most prescient prediction since Nostradamus when he said: "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes." We're calling that 86 IQ a typo.
Various US Presidents: A confederacy of dunces?
Calling into question the brainpower of the head of state has a long and proud history, but a widely believed 2001 hoax took it to a whole new level. The current (at the time) Prez, GW Bush, was reported to have a pitiful IQ of 91; his immediate predecessor Bill Clinton was at super-brain level 182.
While GW was well known for making dunderheaded comments ("It has come to my attention, that air pollution is polluting the air!"; there are many gems to choose from), 91 was unkind, and indeed a later study credited him with a respectable 125. (Bill Clinton was downgraded to 137, three points below his almost-President wife Hillary.)
As for claims that Donald Trump has a genius-level IQ of 156: fake news.
Kim Kardashian: Stupid is as stupid does?
"Stretchmarks are my biggest fear of life."
"North [the name of her first-born] has a better direction. I don't think we'll go with another direction. I think South is so stupid. It's the stupidest thing ever."
"I hate it when women wear the wrong foundation colour. It might be the worst thing on the planet when they wear their makeup too light."
No one knows Kimmie's IQ score. Maybe she is a Jane Mansfield-style mega-brain in moron's clothing. Let's hope not - that would be unbearable. Although apparently there is research that says that the high omega-3 levels required to maintain her substantial bum boost brain function and cognitive abilities. Proving once again that we are witnessing the demise of Western civilisation.
Nobel Prize winning physicist clearly an idiot
Lest you think that it's only narcissistic, vacuous celebrities who are nitwits, consider American theoretical physicist Richard Feynman. He actually took the IQ test as a 12 or 13 year old, hitting a squarely 'average' score of 125. And went on to be regarded as one of the most brilliant and influential figures in his field, remaking quantum electrodynamics and winning the Nobel Prize in 1965, all the while joking about his low IQ.
The moral of the story: IQ scores are suspect, and online articles about IQ scores are highly dubious. You'd have to be a sub-90 to believe otherwise.
Main image: Roman Mager