Thanks to Mr. Rob Lammle, I came across a rather entertaining video of Darth Vader and a gaggle of Stormtroopers ringing the Opening Bell on Wall Street this morning. It made me wonder what other random people or characters they have put in charge of opening up trading for the day "“ it's not just for CEOs and bigwigs anymore! Here are 10 of them, starting with Darth, of course.
1. Darth Vader. He and his posse were there to celebrate 30 years of Star Wars.
2. Hillary Duff. A year ago tomorrow, the former Disney teen queen was there with the foundation Blessings in a Backpack to open up trade.
3. WWE representatives and wrestlers. They were apparently celebrating the 25th anniversary of WrestleMania and the movie 12 Rounds starring John Cena.
4. The cast of The Toxic Avenger. I was more excited about this one when I thought they meant the movie "“ this just happened in August, so I thought the cast of a 1984 movie opening the NYSE was pretty odd. But it turns out that the cult classic movie has been turned into a Broadway musical. Still, who would have thought you'd be saying "New York Stock Exchange" and "Toxic Avenger" in the same sentence?
5. Foreigner. Yup, the band. It seems like they should have rang the Opening Bell back at the height of their popularity in the "˜80s, but they opened trade on October 21 of this year. It turns out they're celebrating newfound popularity, thanks to Mariah Carey's cover of their song "I Want To Know What Love Is."
6. The Taco Bell Chihuahua. In 2000, Taco Bell promoted "the least expensive and most accessible Initial Public Offering in U.S. History," for new-chip.com. It ended up being a mere marketing ploy for the then-new Nacho Chip. The extensive campaign culminated in the little Taco Bell mascot and her friends ringing the Opening Bell.
7. Robert Downey, Jr. He was promoting Iron Man, of course.
8. The Cat in the Hat. Darth isn't the only completely fictional character to kick things off at the NYSE. The Cat in the Hat rang the Bell in 2000 to kick off the Read Across America program. No word on if he wreaked havoc when the traders' parents left for the day or not.
9. Snoop Dogg. November 19, 2009. This one is my favorite. First Martha Stewart, now the NYSE? What's next for Snoop? His appearance at the Stock Exchange was to kick off the "Mentoring Madness" event.
10. Anna Kournikova. Nope, not because she's unusually attractive. Anna was there representing the Boys and Girls Club of America earlier this spring.
Who would you like to see ring the Opening Bell?