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Cloud Cuckoolander: Real Life

Let's get this over with.

  • The entire human race to a certain degree. Everyone has their own personal quirks that make them who they are.

Now, on to noteworthy examples. We could also take this further and apply it to other non-human lifeforms as well.

  • Schopenhauer critiques Philosophers in general as being Cloudcuckoolanders who work within realms of theory that are detached from reality.
  • According to Nietzsche, concepts and ideas themselves that make up categories and words in so far as they do not appeal directly to any experiences may as well derive from Cloudcuckooland
  • In general, Cloudcuckooland is used in the realm of Politics as an insult for opponents [used notably by Hitler, Thatcher and Gingrich]. The validity of these insults are obviously more debatable however...
  • John Lennon was famous for this.
    Craaaanberrrrrry sauuuuuuuce...
    • And at the other end of the Cuckoolander spectrum, his former bandmate Ringo Starr.
  • Syd Barrett, founder of Pink Floyd, is one of music's more extreme examples. His increasingly bizarre behavior and detachment from reality led to the song "Shine On You Crazy Diamond", and inspired much of The Wall.
    • In the movie, Bob Geldof's portrayal of Pink is based primarily on Syd Barrett.
  • Michael Jackson. Given events involving his family's rather public infighting with the estate executors over the contents of his will, many are starting to question if MJ was possibly the Only Sane Man in his family. Then again, none of them ever owned a monkey named Bubbles...and his eccentricity only got worse as he got older, ultimately ruining him.
    • Chris Rock described Michael as this in 2004, right after the second set of child molestation charges. He said that Michael could barely function even in interviews.
    Chris: I saw Michael on 60 Minutes, Ed Bradley tried his best to make Michael look like a mammal. Like somebody that drank water and breathed air.
  • Andy Kaufman, and not just because of his taste in jokes. A typical story from his real life: before he learned he was terminally ill with cancer, he not only conceived of a "99 Cent Tour" where the tickets would cost exactly 99 cents, but considered surprising one of those audiences with the revelation that they were all going to go on a cruise with him. Immediately. There would be luggage prepared for everyone...
  • The whole reason for Vermin Supreme's fame in the early stages of the '12 elections. Naturally, he didn't make it far, but he became a meme, which may have been all he needed.
  • David Lynch. An article once described him as "Jimmy Stewart from Mars," and his interviews contain such gems as "I'm a real thin pancake! I'm right on the edge!" It does ''not'' make sense in context. He also wanted to make a sitcom about the sunken continent of Lemuria.
  • The late Graham Chapman is always described by the other Pythons as being "in his own world"- clearly a very peculiar man to fathom.
    • Eric Idle relates in one book the story of a woman who declared that, what with Graham being gay and all, he should be stoned because she'd been reading the parts of the Bible that appealed to her homophobia. So the Pythons took him out and got him stoned. "Of course, Graham was pretty stoned most of the time anyway..."
  • Evanna Lynch was chosen to play cloudcuckoolander par excellence Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter films because, though other girls could play Luna, she was Luna.
  • In the Fine Bros' series of "Kids React", the little girl Morgan seems to be the walking embodiment of a young Cloudcuckoolander. Will she ever grow out of it? We shall see.
  • Milton Jones is one. Hair, messed up jokes, loud shirts, the way he looks at people. Yup. He is a Cloud Cuckoolander for real.
  • Jeff Goldblum has quite the reputation for being incredibly out there in person. In a recent Conan appearance, Conan caught him fiddling around with his watch mid-interview and hilarously called him out for it.
  • Jennifer Lawrence has, at the very least, been one of these once upon a time according to a story she told on Conan: when she was 12, she once thought that wetting the bed (yes, at 12!) would make for an interesting story. She could still be considered one, since she said she would be a hotel maid if she weren't an actress, partly because she could observe other people.
  • Rube Waddell, baseball Hall of Famer from the first decade of the 20th century. He'd randomly run off from games to go chase fire trucks, accidentally shot a friend through the hand, forgot to divorce his first wife causing him to be arrested on bigamy charges, and would even be distracted by puppies and toys by opposing players and fans. This can also be considered a Bunny-Ears Lawyer example, since he was considered – when not in trouble – the hardest thrower and arguably the best pitcher of his time (his record for most strikeouts in a season would not be bettered for 61 years).
    • Similarly, Jimmy Piersall, a former center fielder for the Boston Red Sox. He once went up to bat wearing a Beatles wig while air-guitaring with his bat, and once got in trouble for acknowledging an opponent's home run by squirting home plate with a water pistol, among others. A tragic case, though: his antics sprung from his years-long battle with bipolar disorder.
  • Megan Fox. Read the following quotes and tell me you don't see it.
    '''You eat Chinese food, your farts come out like Chinese food. If you eat Mexican food, your farts come out like Mexican food. And milk, it's like-you can smell the warmth in the fart. My wardrobe on Transformers always smells like farts, and I have no idea why." -GQ, October 2008
    '''I am pretty sure I am a doppelganger for Alan Alda. I’m a tranny. I’m a man. I’m so painfully insecure. I’m on the verge of vomiting now. I am so horrified that I am here, and embarrassed. I’m scared.” – Red Carpet Golden Globes 2009
  • Misha Collins. Just take a look at his twitter. And then there's all the crazy shit he likes to pull at cons... Take a look at this article "It frequently seemed like Collins was living in his own universe, and everyone in attendance were merely guests."
  • Phil Lester, BBC Radio 1 host and YouTube vlogger known for his eccentric, whimsical, and near-childlike personality.
  • Joel Heyman of the internet entertainment company Rooster Teeth. His idiosyncratic characters in Red vs. Blue and the Rooster Teeth Shorts (in the latter of which he ostensibly plays himself) certainly qualify, but observations of Heyman outside of an acting capacity reveal that those characters likely have their roots in his real-life eccentric personality and quirky mannerisms.
  • Adolf Hitler: A summary (from this page) of Erwin Rommel's views on the Atlantic Wall: "[I]n his words, "a figment of Hitler's Wolkenkuckucksheim."
  • Ludwig von Mises used the term "Cloud-Cuckoo lands" explicitly in one of his essays to refer to the utopian societies proposed by certain economic thinkers of the early 1900s.
  • Esa Tikkanen, a former professional hockey player with the Edmonton Oilers and New York Rangers, fits into this category very well. He was best known for his unusual mix of Finnish, English and sometimes gibberish, which was frequently referred to as "Tikkanese". He seemed to enjoy speaking in the language quite a bit, very seldom did anyone, teammates or not, understand what he was saying. This was only additional to his relatively... odd behavior off the ice as well.
  • Manny Ramirez, most recently of the Tampa Bay Rays. He's done a laundry list of strange things, though he also borders on Jerk Ass in some respects too. His two time teammate Julián Tavárez could count as well.
  • Mark Whitacre, the real-life whistleblower whose life is dramatized in the movie The Informant, is depicted in the movie as being prone to non-sequitur inner monologues and compulsive lying. Whitacre was diagnosed with bipolar disorder during the course of his career, and the real Whitacre says the movie's a pretty accurate depiction.
  • Mark "The Bird" Fidrych, Detroit Tigers' pitcher back in the late '70s is absolutely this. He used to play with the dirt on the mound, talk to himself, talk to the ball, and had various odd routines that made him a curiosity back in his day. He also led the AL in ERA and was second in the Cy Young Award voting as a rookie (winning Rookie of the Year) and pitched a complete game in over half his career appearances in an era where relievers were already becoming prominent. Sadly, his career was cut short by injuries, to the point that said outstanding rookie year constitutes more than half of his career starts.
  • Dan Quayle. Some of his quotes:
    • "Let me just tell you how thrilling it really is, and how, what a challenge it is, because in 1988 the question is whether we're going forward to tomorrow or whether we're going to go past to the back!"
    • "You take the UNCF model that— what a waste it is to lose one's mind, or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is."
    • "Mars is essentially in the same orbit [as Earth]... Mars is somewhat the same distance from the Sun, which is very important. We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, that means there is oxygen. If oxygen, that means we can breathe."
    • "The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation's history... No, not our nation's, but in World War II. I mean, we all lived in this century. I didn't live in this century, but in this century's history."
    • "It's time for the human race to enter the solar system."
    • "The other day [the President] said, I know you've had some rough times, and I want to do something that will show the nation what faith that I have in you, in your maturity and sense of responsibility. Would you like a puppy?"
    • "I made a misstatement and I stand by all my misstatements."
    • "I worked in the Attorney General's office and I also worked as the director of the Inheritance Tax Division of Indiana. I was known as the chief grave robber of my state."
    • "This is where the Continental Congress met over two hundred years ago during the American Revolution. So, Lancaster was actually the capital of our nation for one day in 1977."
    • Unfortunately, sometimes his words are attributed to other people, or spurious quotes are added to what he really did say.
  • James Rolfe, a.k.a. The Angry Video Game Nerd, as proven in his Childhood Comics and his short films.
  • Brandon Dicamillo, of Jackass and CKY fame. The various Cloudcuckoolander characters he portrays aren't too far off from how he actually is: when production was beginning on Jackass: The Movie, he was asked about his availability, and stated that he wouldn't be able to be in the movie too much because most of his schedule for the forseeable future was reserved for playing video games. He then showed the producers a Day Planner which showed his video game regimen for the next several months! He also shows this off in Viva La Bam, where they're taking cars apart in the junkyard for some quick money, while Dico does this by slamming the car with a sledgehammer, while screaming like a madman.
    Scrapyard Guy: "That guy's a psycho."
  • Jude Law had a very cloudcuckoolanderish moment during a promotional interview for the Sherlock Holmes movie. When asked what his "detective name" would be, he replied: "Banjo Heywood." In this case, "what would your detective name be?" is a pretty cuckoolandy question to ask someone, so it's hardly surprising that the response would be odd as well. Especially since "Jude Law" would already be pretty awesome as a detective name. Or an Old West sheriff.
  • In the past, ALL the Germans were said to be a bit like this. Author Jean Paul (German, despite the French pseudonym) stated: "In the beginning, the good God gave to the French the dominion of the land, to the English the dominion of the seas, and to the Germans the dominion of the clouds."
    • Well, they are known for Kant, Hegel, Marx, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche... and the Luftwaffe.
  • Mario Balotelli. Apparently, he once stopped at a primary school in Manchester to go to the toilet, and drove through an Italian women's prison just to see what it was like inside.
  • NFL player Chad Johnson. He changed his surname to Ochocinco just so his name and jersey number would be identical. Ochocinco by the way, is Spanish for 8.5. A few years later, he changed his last name back to Johnson, but kept Ochocinco as a middle name.
  • NBA player Metta World Peace (formerly Ron Artest). Aside from his rather odd name change (even by professional athlete standards), he once applied for a job at Circuit City while playing for the Chicago Bulls and also showed up to practice with the Indiana Pacers while wearing a bathrobe. And that's not even considering his role in the infamous Pacers - Pistons brawl.
    • The fact that he's also changing his name again to - get this - The Pandas Friend (yes, that's how he wants it spelled) to accommodate his time with the Chinese Basketball Association doesn't help his case either.
  • Dr. Seuss. Don't deny it, just read one of his books. Any one of his books. The proof is in the pudding, boys and girls.
  • Robert Downey, Jr.. Here is one interviewer's opinion of him:
    Conversations with Robert Downey Jr. are rarely linear, and sometimes it takes a moment to realize how one thing might relate to the next. But I realize after a while that if you keep up with him, hang on tight, and have faith, all kinds of strange sense may eventually be made.
  • In every sport, there's a stereotype that certain positions attract these. In ice hockey, goaltenders have a reputation for this, and baseball has seen enough left fielders (such as the aforementioned Manny Ramirez) demonstrate this that "out of left field" has become a euphemism for oddity. And apparently because there aren't enough roster spots for left fielders for the loonies to go, pitchers in general also have a bit of this reputation as well (Hall of Famer Dizzy Dean, Bill "Spaceman" Lee, Fidrych mentioned above are just a few examples).
    • Pitchers, pitchers, pitchers. There's also Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd. There was one minor-league pitcher who used infield dirt as a substitute for chewing tobacco, and became an expert on the flavors of various infields. And the whole Pérez family, Pascual, Carlos, etc., who sometimes veered toward Ax-Crazy. Pascual Pérez' Montreal Expos manager responded to a question about Pérez' habit of talking to himself on the mound by pointing out that he doesn't just talk to himself, he also talks to the resin bag and planes flying overhead.
    • Yogi Berra, although he didn't say half of the things he said.
    • Carl Everett, disbeliever in dinosaurs. Do the Red Sox collect these guys?
    • Giants and Dodgers closer Brian Wilson is a cuckoolander and a possessor of a memetic beard. His antics include things like wearing a spandex suit to the ESPY.
    • Casey Candaele, most fondly remembered for inventing Naked Batting Practice Sundays.
    • Denver Broncos' linebacker Nate Irving has been known to sing and dance by himself, rock out when there is no music playing, and play Pokemon while his team-mates are out partying.
  • Charlie Sheen, if the Tiger-Blood Warlock interview is anything to go by...
  • Sleep talkers. No matter how normal they are in every day life, people who talk in their sleep appear to be relaying transmissions directly from Cloudcuckooland. Anyone who is the subject of a Non Sequitur Thud will produce something similar.
  • Gary Busey. Supposedly, he was like this before a serious head injury from a motorcycle accident.
    • His son, Jake Busey, as well. While not as weird, he does have his own quirks, like wearing skeleton gloves in public.
  • Eiichiro Oda, the creator of One Piece.
    • In behind-the-scenes photos for the anime, the cast has shades of this, not the least of which was Kappei Yamaguchi.
  • Remi Gaillard. What other word could describe someone who continued to pull pranks that usually ended up getting him either arrested, assaulted, chased, or any combination of the above; just For the Lulz?
  • Fred Willard. His role in any movie he's in is to be a Cloudcuckoolander. In a Christopher Guest movie, his role is to out-cuckoo a cast of Cloudcuckoolanders. According to his various friends and collegues, he's very much this in real life as well.
    Christopher Guest (being interviewed by Charlie Rose): "Fred Willard is a man who got into character twenty-five years ago, and never got out."
  • Anne Heche has a tendency for statements that reveal her to be farther from Earth.
  • Judging by his site, Matthew Gray Gubler falls here.
  • If his Old Spice commercials are any indication, Terry Crews.
  • Charles Manson. It's difficult to tell whether he says the things he does just for attention, or whether he actually believes that he's Jesus, the Pope, and a box of wine, but the man is clearly quite insane.
  • Singer/songwriter Anna Nalick. You may not think so from her music alone, but try reading some of her Tweets/Facebook posts/blogs and you'll see a whole other side. She admits that she lives in her own world, as she relates closely to Alice in Wonderland.
  • Bai Ling - in her own words: "I'm not really in reality. I'm in my own universe and my mind is a million miles somewhere else." She also claims that she comes from the moon.
  • Shigesato Itoi, and it shows in his work! His case regularly leads to The Cuckoolander Was Right.
  • Legendary mathematician Paul Erdos stands out as an eccentric even in a field notorious for its eccentrics. For most of his life he lived as a guest of other mathematicians, collaborating on papers and moving on every few months.
  • Matt Smith. Most actors would have to step things up a notch to play someone as nutty as the Doctor. After seeing Matt in his downtime, one gets the feeling he has to tone it down.
  • Among athletes, ice hockey goaltenders living off in their own worlds is almost the norm but a couple names stick out even further above the clouds. Hall-of-Famer Patrick Roy, considered by many to be the greatest goalie of all time knitted before games, talked to his goal postsnote , and refused to skate on the red and blue lines during pre-game warm-ups, among other things. But even he may have now been upstaged by current Philadelphia Flyers netminder Ilya Bryzgalov, whose personality quirks were already verging on Memetic Mutation before the Flyers were featured in NHL 24/7 on HBO and the world got a taste of his philosophical side.
    • Coaches in the NHL are not immune to this either. Fred Shero, former coach of the Philadelphia Flyers, was known as "Fog" for his strange habits and stranger behavior.
  • Fran Drescher, who believes she was abducted by aliens.
  • Hideaki Sorachi, a manga writer famous for Gintama. If the series doesn't convince you, try reading his omake comments.
  • Friedrich Nietzsche once called Jesus an "idiot". On account of language shift (and translation issues), it's probable that he didn't think Jesus was stupid, but rather living in his own world—i.e. a Cloudcuckoolander.
  • Chuck Barris, creator of The Gong Show and The Newlywed Game. He was known for alleging that he worked for the CIA, as seen in his book Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. As host of Gong, he often came across as very aloof.
  • Actor Christopher Walken, though a classic example of Mean Character, Nice Actor, is often called an alien.
  • Space frontman Tommy Scott based some of his vocals on Spiders on Speedy Gonzales; dresses like the Eleventh Doctor; was described as 'fucking weird' by bandmate Jamie Murphy; writes lyrics about all sorts of weird and wonderful characters (and wanted his songs to 'sound like films'); once claimed his ideal superpower would be 'telepathic hairdressing'; and in one interview with Melody Maker, talked about how he wished he was a cartoon character (a fact confirmed by Mark Cowley, Space's manager). In the same interview, he even stated that he was a Cloudcuckoolander as a child.
  • Political and pop cultural commentator Greg Gutfeld, aka the host of Red Eye With Greg Gutfeld. Although in fairness he acts like this only for satirical purposes.
    • And his "repulsive sidekick" Bill Schultz.
  • Incumbent President of Chile Sebastián Piñera is full of this.
  • To be fair, most tropers either fall into this category naturally or come off as one to their friends assuming their sense of cognition online and jargon carry over into the Real World.
  • Averted with Paris Hilton...contrary to popular belief, she isn't as dumb as the media makes her out to be. Though some of her past decisions don't really do her any justice.
  • Ludwig Wittgenstein was possibly the most important philosopher to come out of the 20th century. He was also easily the most eccentric individual in the history of western philosophy. He abandoned his comfy position at Cambridge to go live in a shack in Scandinavia and think about philosophy, he volunteered for suicide missions while serving in the First World War, and while working as an elementary teacher (Because he had given away the family fortune and refused to work as a professor, believing he had solved philosophy) he would beat the children for making mistakes in mathematics.
  • His Imperial Majesty Joshua Norton I of These United States and Protector of Mexico. After losing his fortune to a bad turn of luck, he solved his problems by declaring himself Emperor. And the city of San Francisco loved him for it. To this day, he's the only saint of Discordianism who was an actual person.
  • Actress Aubrey Plaza sometimes going along with her Deadpan Snarker persona:
    • She's a bit loopy in her Letterman interview but she was running on very little sleep. And some Xanax.
    • From someone who worked with Aubrey in that production of ''The Ugly Duckling'', she seemed fairly down to earth at 15 years of age. Still, it was her idea for the whole cast to walk into the McDonald's behind the theater and try to order "people mcnuggets".
    • She uses weird phrases like "Sacrament of Reconciliation!" to call plays while playing basketball as opposed to hand signals like anyone else.
    • She has some kind of fear of snail mail and has a weird ritual involving a dark candlelit room to open her mail.
    • As a child she would do things like pretend to sell real estate to her teachers and follow her principal home in a cardboard box.
  • Michael Moriarty. In 1994, after several successful years in the cast of Law and Order, he suffered a Creator Breakdown and fled to Canada because he believed that Janet Reno was stalking him. He was an alcoholic recluse who rarely appeared in public for most of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Since around 2005, he has given interviews on occasion, and he has said some...interesting things in all of them. He also has some unusual opinions regarding the United Nations, 9/11, and the American government.
  • People with schizotypal personality disorder tend to be this. Typical personality traits of this disorder tend to include odd behavior, odd thinking, and unconventional beliefs.
  • Bill Murray. Stories involving him are literally the stuff of legends! But that's because if you do encounter Bill, No one will ever believe you!
  • Karl Pilkington started off as the producer of The Ricky Gervais Show, but was soon added to the cast when Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant decided his thought process was too bizarre not to share with the world. It got to the point that in the show's initial radio run, people accused him of being an actor playing a character because no one can possibly be as strange as him in real life.
  • The MBTI Hung theorists suggest ENFP tend to act like this.
  • Noel Fielding could give many of the examples on this page a run for their money. His wardrobe is full of bright clashing colours and patterns that include metallic gogo boots, dresses, victorian era gothic formal wear, and hats with animal ears attached. His art is an indescribable mix of cartooney style strangeness that range from amusing to disturbing. He co-wrote The Mighty Boosh, and writes Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy, obviously, two of the strangest tv shows out there, and in real life he's prone to making up strange stories (Once claimed he found a door in Kanye West's chest and got trapped in it while trying to reach Soho), and stringing together odd words to form hilarious sentences (Once threatened to cut open someone's pillow using a motorcycle made of jealousy). His brother Michael is very similar if his twitter is anything to go by; supposedly their senses of humour stemmed from their parents being absurdly youthful when they had children and were always surrounding the two boys with parties and drugs.
  • Paloma Faith has managed to amaze viewers of Never Mind the Buzzcocks by being Noel's equal in complete batshit crazy. The two of them together were weird enough that the fans decided that they needed to start dating.
  • Blue Stahli is a huge example. Not only does he have a very odd sense of humor, but his way of playing his music is odd since he doesn't write down his music he just holds it in his head and then plays it when it's time to play.
  • Tommy Wiseau. If The Room didn't sell just how weird he is, reading Greg Sestero's book The Disaster Artist will definitely make you realize it.
  • Alex Lifeson of Rush. Need proof? Look up any of his stream-of-consciousness rants from "La Villa Strangiato" (especially the one about meat bees) or his acceptance speech from when Rush was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
  • Doug Walker originally described himself as boring in comparison to his characters, but as time goes by, he's embraced the crazy after years of wanting to be normal.
    Doug: It's a nice feeling when you wake up and you're like this doesn't matter, I was trying so hard to be like this on TV, it doesn't matter, as I get older this makes you really boring and uninteresting. The stuff that makes me really frigging weird is what makes me interesting and fun and different.
  • Jon Anderson of Yes. If the almost-but-not-quite comprehensible Word Salad Lyrics didn't tip you off, try the cape he used to wear at Yes shows back in the 70's. Or the fact that he attempted to make up a word "tobographic" for an album title (Steve Howe eventually persuaded him to name the album the slightly more comprehensible Tales From Topographic Oceans instead). Perhaps because of this, Anderson's so beloved by fans that any other Yes vocalist is automatically denounced as a Replacement Scrappy.


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