TMZ reported that President Obama "dropped over $200" on a burger lunch for himself and a large group of campaign volunteers at Ted's Bulletin Restaurant in Washington, D.C. -- and that he "tipped more than 35%."
However, not all famous people are as generous. In fact, our elite tier of celebrities makes a whole lot more money than Obama. We would like to think of these wealthy stars as feeling at least a little gracious toward the public that has helped catapult them to the top. This is especially true when that member of the public is literally serving the celebrity, as when a waiter delivers them their meal and drinks. I'm not saying every fabulously wealthy person has to be as generous as Johnny Depp, who while filming Public Enemies reportedly enjoyed a $2,600 meal with friends and left a $1,500 tip. And in 2009, Depp is said to have handed a lucky waiter a $4,000 tip.
Actually, maybe I am saying every fabulously wealthy person has to be like Johnny Depp. But they're not. And numerous websites apparently keep track of these things. We took a look at a slew of such sites and put together a composite list of the worst tippers among them. Criteria used are number of cheapskate lists each person appears on, stinginess relative to how wealthy the person is, and how low the tip comparative to how high the bill. I know, it's complicated. But here are our ten scrooges:
10. Rachael Ray shows up on quite a few lists of measly tippers. "Tipped $1 on a $10 tab" according to List of the Day, which also accuses her of "promoting less than a 20% tip on a show that millions of people watch!" Rachael might have to rename her series of $40 a Day books $40 a Day -- Not Including Gratuities.
9. Bill Cosby is ranked #6 on Glamorati's list of 34 notoriously bad tippers, and the Cos makes it onto just about every other list too. He is said to have once left a $3 tip on a $350 order. This from a man who preaches about the importance of setting a good example.
8. Sean Penn and three others had "New Orleans waiters waiting on them hand and foot. The tip left on a $450 tab? Absolutely nothing. There are lots of instances of Sean Penn stiffing waitstaff," Glamorati reports. He takes the number three spot on the Frisky's compilation of measly stars as well. Of course Penn was in N.O. helping out poor people, so let's at least acknowledge he's generous with his time, if not his money.
7. Mariah Carey is said to have kept a restaurant open late with a very large party. Glamorati, getting its info from the New York Post, wrote, "Mariah and crew were very diva-ish with their demands. Despite keeping staffers jumping and a high tab, no one left a tip."
6. Usher is consistently cited as one of the worst tippers, including the Stained Apron's 44 tipping "sinners" and the number five spot on the Frisky. "Always tries to get someone else to pick up the bill," reports glamorati.com. More damning is the oft-repeated tale of Usher having once left his autograph as a tip.