Mental Floss

8 Surprising College Roommates

Jason Plautz
facebooktwitterreddit

As incoming freshman pack up their stuff and head to college, one of their many anxieties is the roommate. Will they throw parties in the room all the time? Will they take my Pop Tarts? Will they smell? To remove some of the fear about being forced to live with some stranger, here are some former college roommates that went on to great individual success:

1. Tommy Lee and the V.P.

Actor Tommy Lee Jones and Former Vice President Al Gore (and eventually John Lithgow) shared a room at Harvard and, like plenty of college roomies, chased skirts together. However, most don't join a country music band to do it. The unlikely duo also served as the inspiration for the character of Oliver in Love Story, written by fellow Harvard alum Erich Segal.

2. A Tale of Two Coaches

When rooming together at the University of Minnesota, Tony Dungy and Flip Saunders dreamed of capturing a national championship for the school, Dungy on the football field and Saunders on the basketball court. Little did they know they'd both be responsible for coaching nationally spotlighted teams; Dungy led the Indianapolis Colts to a Super Bowl victory last year and Saunders' took the Detroit Pistons to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2006.

3. Popeye and Superman

r.willreeves.jpg
r.willreeves.jpg /

more roomies revealed after the break!

4. The Guys Behind Rushmore

r.wes-owen.jpg
r.wes-owen.jpg /

5. Legends of Notre Dame

r.montana.jpg
r.montana.jpg /

6. Stanley and Irving

Actor Ving Rhames probably wouldn't have carved out his successful career if it weren't for roommate Stanley Tucci. While at SUNY Purchase, Tucci convinced Rhames to shorten his name from Irving. And let's face it, that was probably a good career move; Marsellus Wallace just wouldn't be the same played by someone named Irving.

7. Two Rhodes to Success

r.billstrobe.jpg
r.billstrobe.jpg /

8. Climbing to Success

This is one of those anecdotes you just can't make up. When they were friends in Michigan, Steve Mariucci and Tom Izzo would race up the steps of a man-made ski jump to see who would be successful. If Izzo won, he'd become head basketball coach at Notre Dame, but if Mariucci won, he'd be the school's football coach. The two bffs roomed together at Northern Michigan University and then went on to live their childhood dreams. Izzo became head basketball coach at Michigan State University, while Mariucci went on to coach the San Francisco "˜49ers.

Note: It's been reported that former FEMA chief Joseph Allbaugh was roommates with his successor Michael Brown. The tale of two disgraced government officials living together is, sadly, too good to be true- the two didn't even go to the same college.Big thanks to Kara, Jenny and Mangesh for their research tips.

facebooktwitterreddit