Stars You Forgot Were On Celebrity Wife Swap

There is, undeniably, an enduring appeal to the reality series "Wife Swap." The "Trading Places"-esque narrative in which spouses switch lives for a week or two, only to be deeply dismayed by what they see, has provided ample hours of entertainment. If the show is amusing with ordinary folk, then the celeb edition is a riot. As with the standard format, the celeb version follows a basic recipe: take two polar opposite couples, sprinkle in some spousal switching, and watch as chaos bakes. This is, without a doubt, a winning formula.

Marriage is supposed to be sacred, but the institution didn't bet on reality TV producers exposing couples' relationships for the whole world to see. However, the show's producers believe that the "Wife Swap" experience is ultimately beneficial to its participants. "The show really puts a mirror up to people in a way I think surprises them," the show's executive producer Bruce Toms told the New York Post. "Most people come out of it grateful for the opportunity to look at some things in their lives that they haven't been looking at, or just to confirm that our values are what work for us and I'm not going to change them."

Celeb episodes have seen compulsive hoarders paired with minimalists, clean freaks swap with slobs, and one episode even features the daughters of a Christian Republican politician switch with a foul-mouthed, sex-centric comic (can we talk about which one?). Here are the stars you completely forgot were on "Celebrity Wife Swap."

Gilbert Gottfried leads a Z-list lifestyle

With his unmistakable cadence, Gilbert Gottfried is so much more than the comedian who pushes the boundaries of bad taste. Despite his vulgar jokes, Gottfried is actually a family man, having been married to Dara Kravitz since 2007.

Much to everyone's surprise, he ventured into reality TV when he made an appearance on the second season of "Celebrity Wife Swap." He squared up against Alan Thicke when their respective wives, Dara and Tanya, traded places. The families didn't exactly get along swimmingly, with Gottfried making some crude comments about Tanya, suggesting that they have sex: "I would like to have sex with a different woman. That's why I want to do 'Wife Swap,'" Gottfried remarked, adding, "Not too many women I would turn down at this point."

Accustomed to a life of wealth and luxury, the fur-draped Tanya didn't anticipate that the star of "Problem Child" would shop at the 99 cents store and dine at restaurants you'd expect to see featured on "Kitchen Nightmares." As it turned out, Gottfried lives quite the Z-list lifestyle.

In an interview with The New York Times, Gottfried opened up about his initial reluctance to do the show. However, he relented after acknowledging that reality TV is a necessity to stay relevant in the age of the Kardashians. "To the public, Kim Kardashian is a much bigger name than Robert De Niro," he reflected.

Heidi Montag experienced rustic living

Heidi Montag is attuned to the reality TV limelight. As one half of the oft-loathed Heidi and Spencer, Montag developed a reputation on "The Hills." This was largely due to her dalliance with Spencer Pratt, which caused an irreparable rift between herself and erstwhile BFF Lauren Conrad. 

Considering the public hate she was subjected to, Montag was an unlikely guest on the third season of "Celebrity Wife Swap." Montag swapped places with Olympic Swimmer Amanda Beard, who was immediately thrust into the paps-filed world of reality TV stardom by Pratt.

As for Montag herself, she moved in with Beard's husband, Sacha, and their young kids. "Are there like coal mines here?" the starlet queried upon spying the Beards' house for the first time from her limo. "I thought that it was that guy who lived in a tree and builds the tree houses!" she later told Fox News. Montag spent a large portion of the episode complaining, from lamenting raking leaves to refusing to help out around the house.

Regarding her decision to appear on "Wife Swap," Montag told Fox News that the show gave her an opportunity to be her authentic self. "My mom saw the preview and she told me, 'I can tell this is the first opportunity that you've ever had to be you,'" she enthused. "It's just great to have that moment. It was really fun to just be more authentic and be in a situation and see what happens."

Gary Busey creeped out a pastor's wife

Despite being an actor with a career spanning 50 years, Gary Busey has become somewhat of a parody of himself in recent years. He did, of course, guest star in Season 16 of "The Simpsons," in which he guided Bart through his restraining order in unhinged fashion, noting that "a small independent film company ... couldn't deal with me because I'm too real." Lending his voice to the long-running animated series is one thing; appearing on "Celebrity Wife Swap” is quite another. But the flaxen-maned and wide-eyed Busey is nothing if not a man always full of surprises (plus, he really needs the cash). 

"Prepare for the best, prepare for the worst, and expect the unexpected," he said at the start of his "Wife Swap" episode. He made an appearance on the first season of the show alongside disgraced evangelical pastor Ted Haggard, who previously admitted to buying meth from a male sex worker despite his homophobic rhetoric, as noted by CBS News. Busey welcomed Haggard's wife into his house and creeped her out by discussing all the people he has been in his past lives.

Promoting the show, Busey and Haggard featured in a bizarre interview with Good Day LA, during which Busey quietly accepted host Dorothy Lucey's assertion that he's "crazy," as per The Hollywood Reporter. It seems that "Celebrity Wife Swap" simply couldn't handle Busey. Why? Because he's too real.

Andy Dick, the girlfriend, and his lover

Controversial comedian Andy Dick has steadily built a disastrous reputation in no small part due to his alleged history of predatory behavior, as per The Hollywood Reporter. However, he saw "Celebrity Wife Swap" as an opportunity to present himself in a different light.

As it turned out, Dick was leading a polyamorous life at the time, living in a trailer with his much younger girlfriend, Jennifer, while his partner, Lena, had the house. "Our house is a crazy house. Dad just popping in, and Jennifer just popping in and making a scene," joked one of Dick's daughters in the episode

The comedian swapped places with hunky '80s soap star Lorenzo Lamas in the show's second season, exposing the actor's wife to a markedly different environment than what she is used to. When asked about meeting his new "wife," Dick said, "they better be ready to cook, clean, and change my diaper." Dick and Lamas' wife, Shawna Craig, clashed when he repeatedly ordered her around and made increasingly ridiculous demands, which she rightly deemed as "unappreciative."

According to the Huffington Post, Dick hoped that his stint on the show would remedy his tarnished public image. Did it work? Well, it was less than perfect.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Flavor Flav got a tongue-lashing from a twisted sister

Once part of the well-respected and highly influential hip-hop pioneers Public Enemy, Flavor Flav has become a reality TV sensation. His emergence in the assisted reality realm began within his VH1 show "The Surreal Life," leading to arguably his most popular offering, "Flavor of Love." As for the rapper's own flavor of love? He showcased it for a nation of millions.

Forever decked in a giant clock, Flav made an unexpected appearance on the first season of "Celebrity Wife Swap” where he lived with Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider's foul-mouthed wife, Suzette. Unfortunately, Suzette squarely targeted Flav as public enemy no. 1. In one heated moment, she branded the rapper "disrespectful and rude and childish" before giving him a furious tongue-lashing and warning that if he gets out of line again, she's prepared to kick some a**. Yeah, boi!

After a disastrous time together, the two couples had a somber meeting, which culminated in Suzette yelling at Flav. "I'd spank you if I could," she declared in her distinctive New York inflection, as per the Daily Mail. "You're like a kid that needs to be reprimanded." Suzette is one woman that Flav shouldn't mess with. This twisted sister? She's not gonna take it.

Eric Roberts' cat house

Julie Roberts' B-movie sibling, Eric Roberts, isn't a name typically associated with reality TV, but judging by his filmography ("A Talking Cat!?!," anyone?), he's up for just about anything. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Roberts spoke of his excitement regarding "Celebrity Wife Swap" while promoting his masterpiece, "Human Centipede 3." Trading places with British infotainer Robin Leach in Season 3 of the show, the contrast between Roberts' humble feline-filled abode and Leach's swanky lifestyle was apparent from the very beginning.

Roberts and his wife and manager Eliza are "the self-proclaimed redneck and the hippie," as the latter declared at the start of the episode. The couple lead a simple life, complete with various cats and other furry friends. Meanwhile, the late Robin Leach found fame presenting shows about the super rich, most notably the quintessentially '80s series, "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous." Unmarried, Leach's glam pal, former model Joan Severance, stepped in to swap with Eliza Roberts.

Accustomed to an opulent lifestyle, Severance turned her nose up at Roberts' modest home and did not take too kindly to his feline friends. Things got heated when Roberts insisted that Severance feed the squirrels who frequently inhabit his garden. "I don't want to feed the squirrels because I don't think it's safe. I think it's a hazardous thing to do," she insisted. She had previously, albeit reluctantly, fed the Roberts' cats, but was drawing the line at rodents. Kitty's got claws!

Roddy Piper lived reclusively

Here's Rowdy Roddy Piper. The wrestling icon achieved the incredible feat of appearing in the very first Wrestlemania event, as per The Globe and Mail. He also wasn't afraid of poking fun at himself and played washed-up wrestler Da' Maniac in the fifth season of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." Accordingly, the enigmatic wrestler turned actor, who sadly died in 2015, was game for appearing in "Celebrity Wife Swap."

In Season 2, Piper swapped spouses with his controversial peer Ric Flair, who was accused of sexual misconduct via an episode of Vice series "Dark Side of the Ring," as per Newsweek

"Some people thrive on being a celebrity and that's where their head's at," Piper explained. "Me? I'm not looking for any attention." While Piper nestled in a modest country abode in Portland, Flair lived the high life, causing friction with their new "wives." 

Flair's girlfriend Wendy mentioned that she is used to living in luxury, as her household employs an entire staff. Meanwhile, Piper's wife Kitty was disinterested in the trappings of materialism. Inevitably, Wendy was pretty grossed out when she moved in with Piper and ended up having to engage in farmyard chores, a far cry from the glitzy flair she usually enjoyed.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Jermaine Jackson walked off in Season 3

What happens when you cross two celebs who are both in their superstar brothers' shadows? It's bad. Michael Jackson's brother Jermaine swapped places with Daniel Baldwin, the younger brother of Alec Baldwin, in Season 3.

Jackson's home was filled with suitcases, and his hoarding tendencies were resoundingly clear from the moment Baldwin's girlfriend, Isabella Hoffmann, stepped foot in the building. As per AOL, Jackson's hoarding became a major issue for Hoffmann and escalated when the former star refused to continue with the show. "You're a shopaholic and it's crowding everyone out. There's no other way right now," Hoffmann told Jackson, who replied with the repeated mantra, "It ain't gonna happen." AOL notes that the confrontation led Jackson to retreat from the cameras, though he was eventually brought back onto the show after a lengthy chat with the producers.

After the experience, Jackson said he would "never in a billion years" do "Wife Swap" again. The experience was likely further sullied by Jackson's previous reality TV venture, when he appeared on the U.K. version of "Celebrity Big Brother" several years earlier, which was marred by housemates hurling racist abuse at Shilpa Shetty, whom Jackson defended against bigoted bullies.

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Cloris Leachman trolled a carnivore

Acting legend Cloris Leachman was renowned for her riotous comedic roles, frequently appearing in Mel Brooks films and, later in her career, guest starring on "Family Guy" and "Malcolm in the Middle." Accordingly, her willingness to poke gentle fun at herself made her a prime, albeit unexpected, candidate for "Celebrity Wife Swap."

Lifelong vegetarian Leachman was famed for her animal rights activism, as per PETA. So when she swapped places with meat-eating actor Pia Zadora in the fourth season of the reality series, high anxiety ensued.

"I'm gonna make 'Wife Swap' my b***h," Leachman trolled at the start of the episode. A steak lover living the high life in an ostentatious mansion, Zadora wasn't quite prepared for Leachman's animal-filled hippie home. Approaching the rustic-loving actor's property, Zadora was distressed by the stench of horse manure emanating from the surrounding stables, branding the abode "hippieville." Meanwhile, on her way to Zadora's home, Leachman claimed that Las Vegas has "death on every corner," presumably in reference to the vast amounts of roadkill associated with those dusty desert roads.

Despite their differing sensibilities, Leachman and Zadora ultimately found common ground. Following the experience, Zadora said, as per Yahoo!, "It was great working with Cloris. She got to live the Vegas lifestyle and I got to spend some time in a legend's very Bohemian house. We are two fish way out of their familiar water ... What's wonderful is that even though filming is over, we've become friends."

Sisqó is the original wife swapper

We all remember "Thong Song," but do we also remember that Sisqó starred on "Celebrity Wife Swap"? In the show's second season, the singer-songwriter traded places with rapper Gerardo, who, like Sisqó, is famed for being a one-hit wonder thanks to his 1990 song "Rico Suave." 

Sisqó's then-girlfriend Elizabeth — who is now his wife, as reported by the Daily Mail – traded lifestyles with Gerardo's wife Kathy. During their time on the show, Sisqó's girlfriend had to contend with cleaning up dog poop in the Gerardo house, something that the partner of a millionaire singer likely isn't used to. "When I come in and say hello to her and I'm showing her the house, there's just tons of poop," Gerardo told TV Guide, adding, "And the thing is, it's the little dog, and the little dog's my wife's dog. So I was like, that's not my dog. So my new 'wife' in the house had to clean up that mess. I don't think she really enjoyed that part of it."

Sisqó joked about his time on the show in an interview with Rolling Stone, claiming that he is the innovator of IRL wife-swapping. "Right before 'Thong Song,' I was dating one celebrity while she was dating this other celebrity and then me and that celebrity swapped," he explained. "This was 'Celebrity Wife Swap' with two celebrities before that became a thing. Before 'Celebrity Wife Swap,' I was on 'T**t Swap.'"

Vince Neil was a live wire

Girls, girls, girls. Well, if "Celebrity Wife Swap" is to be believed, there's only one girl in Mötley Crüe frontman Vince Neil's life, girlfriend Rain Hannah. In what sounds like the premise of one of his notoriously debauched glam rock band's songs, Neil traded spouses with fellow rocker Gunnar Nelson in Season 4. The episode emphasized that Nelson is an all-round family man, domesticated and devoted to his wife, Lila, and their kids, while Neil is still living the rockstar lifestyle.

It must be said, Mötley Crüe were an infamously macho group, frequently "using women like sex toys" as alleged by the band's former A&R exec Vicky Hamilton in an interview with Variety. Accordingly, domestic duties aren't quite Neil's forte.

One issue that the rockstar really struggled with was being asked by Lila Nelson to go grocery shopping, a task most unbefitting of a glam rock god. "I hadn't been in a supermarket to do grocery shopping since Mötley Crüe first went out on the road in 1981. I didn't know where to find any of the ingredients," Neil admitted to the Las Vegas Sun, as per Contact Music. What's more, Lila was rather shocked when she realized that Neil, despite being in a long-term relationship with Rain, was still cavorting with young bikini-clad women. As Neil once famously sang, "I'm such a good, good boy/ I just need a new toy."

Margaret Cho's bondage dungeon

"Wife swapping is old hat. I've been doing that for years," Margaret Cho quipped at the start of "Celebrity Wife Swap." A vocal opponent of monogamy, the comedian was the antithesis of straight-laced actor Holly Robinson Peete, with whom she swapped places in Season 4.

Cho lives in a rather gothic abode complete with ornate furnishings and admitted that her home is a mess. "My house is Morticia Adams as a drag queen," she mused. Peete moved into the quirky house with the comedian's BFF Selene Luna, while Cho settled in with Peete's husband Rodney in the couple's fancy mansion. While Peete was a little perturbed by Cho's creepy aesthetic, Cho felt out of place in Peete's suburban home, deeming it too pristine. "Seriously, is it a museum or a house?" she wondered.

When Rodney asked the outspoken comedian about her philosophy on relationships, Cho replied, "I feel like we can have sexual variety in our lives without threatening our partner," much to the bemusement of the prim and proper family man, who deemed Cho's values to be "crazy."

In spite of their differences, the couples were able to find some common ground in the end, though the Peetes were pretty uncomfortable with Cho introducing them to a bondage dungeon. Just don't expect Cho to embrace monogamy. Likewise, the Peetes won't be installing a sex dungeon in their home any time soon.

Mick Foley had fun with the show

A WWE icon, Mick Foley brought hardcore wrestling to the mainstream. Despite his rough exterior, the guy with the bushy beard is actually a lovable family man. Always full of surprises — he's also a New York Times best-selling author — the wrestling superstar made an unlikely appearance on the first season of "Celebrity Wife Swap."

He's the king of hardcore, and he's swapping lives with a former Calvin Klein model. What could possibly go wrong? Foley's wife of three decades, Colette, traded places with Antonio Sabato Jr.'s fiancée, Cheryl, and the families clashed over their differing hygiene habits. Sabato Jr. made a point of him and his partner being "clean freaks." 

Meanwhile, in the Foley household, the wrestler was firmly focused on the love in his somewhat chaotic life. As he said, "I pride myself on being a family man." For Dude Love, family comes first. However, Cheryl wasn't buying it. "The house was a disaster," she told the Foleys. "You know, there was the poop on the floor and I'm like 'Oh my gosh, how can anybody live like this?'"

Regarding his appearance on the show, Foley has said that it was a largely positive experience. "It was my finest work. I got a free haircut from it," he joked in an interview with The Roman Show. "I enjoyed the experience very much. It's nice to know your wife is spending time with the most handsome man in the world."

Joan Rivers formed an unlikely bond

The controversial, acid-tongued Joan Rivers was noted for her scathing put-downs of celebs. But she was also an innovator for female stand-up comedians, paving the way for many similarly minded comics such as Amy Schumer, who was influenced by Rivers. Many fans may have forgotten that the witty superstar appeared on the second season of "Celebrity Wife Swap."

Joan Rivers and her daughter, Melissa, traded places with Sarah Palin's daughters, Bristol and Willow, the former living with Joan and the latter with Melissa. Despite some initial hesitation, the abrasive stand-up and the devoutly Christian Palin girls eventually got along pretty well, which was rather astonishing considering that Bristol is an advocate for abstinence, as per Reuters, while much of Rivers' jokes centered on sex. Rivers and the Palin girls bonded in an emotional scene whereby Rivers revealed, "I learned nobody should judge anybody from where they come, or who they're related to, good or bad," as per the Huffington Post.

Discussing her appearance on the show with Access, Rivers said of Bristol, "She'd never been to a Broadway musical. I was sitting there with six gay friends, our mouths dropped. She's never been to Europe. That's why I said, 'Come live with me for a month, boy, oh boy, would we have a good time!' ... It sounds stupid, but I felt very sorry for her and I liked her tremendously, and [she is] so nice, not a mean bone in her body."