The Smoking Gun released a list of the greatest mug shots of the year this week and in between chortles, we've been trying to figure out what draws us all so deeply into the magnificent mug shot.

Is it the schadenfreude of seeing someone (besides ourselves ... for once) in the midst of deep trouble with the law? Or is it amazement at the way some people seem able to make the best of a bad situation? In the end we think it's something like what that French photographer dude meant when he referred to "the decisive moment," that makes a booking room pic speak way louder than words.

Drawing inspiration from The Smoking Gun's year-end list and their awesome book "The Dog Dialed 911," we sifted through hundreds of moments frozen in crime to nominate what we do solemnly swear to be the most amazing mug shots of all time. You have the right to enjoy.,feedConfig,entry&id=446392&pid=446391&uts=1251235845
Greatest Mugshots
Does this booking photo qualify as the greatest mug shot of all time?

Click to launch Asylum's favorite mugshots of all time. It features nabbed celebs and regular busted Joes.

The Greatest Mugshots

    Patrick Tribett, aka, "Goldy." Busted at an Ohio dollar store trying to get more spray paint with intention to huff. We can only hope he was attempting to purchase the color, "Flesh," so he could tidy himself up before going to an art museum or dinner party.

    We have no idea what happened to "Head Brace Man." However, his facial expression makes it look like his arrest was nothing compared to the physical trauma that required his head to be bolted in place.

    The Godfather of Soul. Timeless classic.


    Larry King, arrested 1971 in Florida on a grand larceny charge and passing bad checks. Apparently, CNN doesn't do background checks.


    Chris Kemp here bears an uncanny resemblance to the character Butthead from "Beavis and Butthead." Though he was arrested for burglary in Oregon, The Smoking Gun speculates that he may have also assaulted a briar patch.

    Michelle Rodriguez and Cynthia Watros, aka, "The Lost Girls." Not only were both busted in Honolulu in 2005 on DUI charges, the pair also showed up for their booking photos with glowing red orbs for eyes.

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    Until someone gets busted wearing our narwhal T, this guy holds the Asylum award for Greatest T-shirt to Wear to a Booking.

    Henry Earl, arrested in Fayette County, Kentucky over 1,300 times. Thanks to his diligent work in the field of criminal public drunkenness, Mr. Earl's lifetime achievement is unparalleled.

    Paul Reubens, aka Pee-wee Herman. It was a sad day at the Playhouse when Pee-wee was charged with indecent exposure at an adult movie house in Florida. Like James Brown, this one is also a classic.


    Eric Rogers aka "Meringue Face" was arrested for public drunkenness in Kentucky. It's speculated that his awesome make-up job is paint-related, and that no pies were actually involved.

More mug shot mania on Asylum:

Mug Shot Fascination Is Growing

Mug Shot Hotties Smile for the Camera