Not everybody respects education. It can be hard to get some respect, sometimes, especially when you’re getting by on a crappy job and paying for your degree. Yours truly can represent: we spent five years working temp jobs to pay for our Master’s Degree in No Requests.

But here are five slightly more inspiring, and much odder examples.

5: Ron Jeremy

Ron Jeremy, aka “The Hedgehog“, is most famous for… well… being a porn star despite looking like… well… a hedgehog. It’s a little surprising how common higher education is in a profession not exactly known for its… ah… intellectual pursuits. We blame student loans.

No, seriously: many porn stars got into it to pay off their loans.

Jeremy takes the cake, though; not only does he have a Bachelor’s in Education, he holds a Master’s in Special Education. In fact, Jeremy was for a time a fully licensed and working professional teacher, handling children with special educational needs.

Odd factoid or depressing story about how this country values education? YOU DECIDE!

4: Rowan Atkinson

rowan atkinson [Studying What We Want] Five Unlikely Celebrities With Masters Degrees

Patrick Riviere / Getty Images

Known to many across the world as the loveable Mr. Bean, Rowan Atkinson has had a long career as a comedian and actor…and he also has a long career of destroying very expensive exotic cars, much to the dismay of fans around the world.

Maybe it has something to do with his Masters degree in Electrical Engineering.

That’s right- a man who has made a fortune playing a dopey, simple man who still sleeps with a teddy bear can actually explain in great detail to you how a computer works.

Of course, this is just one note in the long British tradition of intellectuals paying the bills with pratfalls: “Monty Python” featured a doctor (Graham Chapman), a lawyer (John Cleese), and two respected historians (Terry Jones and Michael Palin)… and those are just the degrees they held.

In short, the guy taking a plank to the head in the movies? He probably is doing it because otherwise Sallie Mae is coming a-knocking for those overdue loan payments.

3: Dexter Holland

dexter holland [Studying What We Want] Five Unlikely Celebrities With Masters Degrees

Sander KONING / AFP / Getty Images

You probably know Holland best as a Rock Star, leading [lastfm link_type=”similar_artist_radio”]The Offspring[/lastfm] to five Top-Ten albums in their twenty year history. To this day, they continue to tour and release albums. They also set a record for the highest selling album from an independent label in 1994.

But if The Offspring had never taken off, he probably would be trying to cure cancer right now; Holland was on track to a doctorate in Molecular Biology at USC when the band had a huge hit album and changed the course of his career just a little teeny bit.

As it is, he left with a Master’s Degree and if this Rock Star thing ever stops working out for him, we supposed he could go back.

In case you think he’s an isolated example, rock music has a surprisingly large number of scientists: One of rock’s biggest bands, [lastfm link_type=”similar_artist_radio”]Queen[/lastfm], has Brian May (Doctorate in Astrophysics), John Deacon (Master’s in Electrical Engineering), and Roger Taylor (who was training to be a Dentist). Freddie Mercury even had a Bachelor‘s in Graphic Design, in case you were wondering.

They’re not alone: Greg Graffin of [lastfm link_type=”similar_artist_radio”]Bad Religion[/lastfm] (Ph.D, Zoology as well as degrees in Anthropology and Geology), Tom Scholz of [lastfm link_type=”similar_artist_radio”]Boston [/lastfm](who got a Master’s from MIT), and [lastfm link_type=”similar_artist_radio”]Art Garfunkel[/lastfm] (who went from an Art History Bachelor’s to a Master’s in Mathematics!) are just three more examples.

Oh, and Holland’s former band mate, James Lilja? He’s a Gynecologist.

Basically, it seems like if you want an Advanced Degree in Science, you should head out to the garage and start a rock band.

2: David Duchovny

david duchovny [Studying What We Want] Five Unlikely Celebrities With Masters Degrees

Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

Duchovny, of course, is currently playing a debauched, washed-up writer on Showtime’s “Californication“. Which is a little odd to see, because that was his original career path.

Well, maybe without the debauchery (and the occasional “X-Files” reference), more or less. Duchovny has a Master’s Degree in English Literature from Yale University. In fact, before his acting career took off, he was working towards his Doctorate; fittingly, the thesis he abandoned was “Magic and Technology in Contemporary Poetry and Prose.”

Then he threw it over to play a hand model. Well, we guess it worked out for him.

1: Dolph Lundgren

dolph lundgren [Studying What We Want] Five Unlikely Celebrities With Masters Degrees

Kiyoshi Ota / Getty Images

You probably know Dolph Lundgren best (if you know him at all) as Hollywood’s favorite Russian in the 1980’s. He first came to attention because he was tall, nearly six and a half feet, and a karate champion in Europe for two years. Ahhhh, the ’80s, when being a karate champ was all the qualification you needed to be a movie star.

Just how 80’s is Lundgren? Sylvester Stallone taught him bodybuilding.

It paid off for him: he was Ivan Drago in “Rocky IV“, He-Man in the live-action “Masters of the Universe” movie, and was in a string of 80’s action B-movies before ending up on the VHS covers of direct-to-video movies.

Not that he minds; he has invested his money well and lives comfortably. This is pretty much what you expect from a man who holds a Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering.

Yep, Ivan Drago knows his way around chemicals. Oh, he also speaks three languages fluently, and has at least some proficiency in three more. And he also managed to terrify three criminals who broke into his house by virtue of owning it- they saw his face in the family photos and fled.

So, he’s highly intelligent, incredibly fit, and also a really nice guy who can still terrify thieves by existing. Anybody bags on your graduate degree dreams… point them straight towards Dolph.

  1. I said it before, I will say it again! RON JEREMY IS THE BOMB! DONT MESS WITH MY PORN and ALL SHALL BE GOOD.. If he is a Jack FM Listener, my day just got a lil brighter!

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