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Top 10 Worst Celebrity Tippers

(Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

As someone who’s waited tables for over ten years, I’ve got a lot to say on the subject of tipping. I even once put together a sizzling “expose” on  tipping ettiquete for a “news” show in college (please, please let that never resurface). To avoid going on a rant, I’ll just say, tipping is not optional. Servers, at least in Michigan, are paid $2.65/ hour.  Tips are not “extra” money, they are a server’s paycheck. It can be argued that the service industry should change its practices and pay waitstaff at least minimum wage– but until that happens, tips are servers livelihoods.

All that said, I am always shocked to hear about celebrities who tip poorly, or worse, not at all. Really, you can’t fork over at least 20%  to the person scrambling around to make sure your sparkling water is full and your steak cooked properly?

The Miami New Times recently released a list of the top ten cheapest celebrity tippers. Now I know we can’t believe everything we read, but the blog claims to have compiled the list from several websites that track the tipping habbits of celebs: “We took a look at a slew of such sites and put together a composite list of the worst tippers among them. Criteria used is 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.” Sounds complicated, but hey at least it seems like they’re trying to be accurate. So who made the list? Some of these scrooges really surprised me.

10.  Rachael Ray: Ray once tipped one-dollar on a ten-dollar tab in addition to promoting less than 20-percent tips on her show.

9.   Bill Cosby: Cosby showed up on many “bad tipper” lists and reportedly once left a three-dollar tip on a 350-dollar bill.

8.   Sean Penn: After running waitstaff ragged in a restuarant in New Orleans, Penn left no tip on a 450-dollar tab.

7.  Mariah Carey: Carey reportedly kept a restaurant open after hours with a very large party, and then showed her appreciation by leaving no tip at all.

6.  Usher: Several sites claim Usher is notorious for always trying to get someone else to pay his bill and there is the often repeated rumor he leaves his autograph as form of gratuity.

5.  Jeremy Piven: Piven once showed up at an establishment with a party of 12 and no reservation. After telling the manager “Thanks for nothing”, he graciously left a signed “Entourage” DVD as a tip.

4.  LeBron James: James left a $10 tip on an $800 bill at a steak house in Cleveland.

3.  Barbara Streisand: Streisand makes a lot of lists as a demanding customer and a bad tipper.  She once left a $10  tip on a $457 bill.

2.  Madonna: Madonna tops a lot of bad tipper lists as well, once leaving $18-dollar tip a $400 check.

1.  Tiger Woods: Miami New Times cites Woods as being on every list they looked at. Reportedly, he says says the reason he doesn’t tip is because he doesn’t carry cash.

Wow, Tiger. I wonder if he knows it’s 2011 and we have amazing technology that allows you to leave gratuity on a credit card…

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