1. Wim Kok (Dutch Prime Minister)
Not especially funny in the Netherlands, but always got a laugh in the English-speaking world.
2. Lon Nol (Cambodian President)
The palindromic premiere’s surname is the same as his first name, only backwards. Crap leader though.
3. King Zog (Albanian king/ dictator)
Sounds like a character from a bad sci-fi movie. His coronation crown weighted almost eight pounds in gold when the life expectancy of the average Albanian was 7 and a half. He later fled Albania after the Italians invaded, taking half the country’s wealth with him – which just about covered the plane fare.
4. Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej (Romanian Dictator)
It would have been some to task to write a campaign song. Few words rhyme with Gheorghiu Dej, even in Romanian. An unrepentant Stalinist, Gheorghe gave Romania seventeen miserable years of misrule.
5. Marmaduke Grove (Chilean President)
Bravely went into public life, despite his name. Seized power and declared Chile a socialist republic. His regime lasted 10 days.
6. Koci Xoxe (Albanian Minister of the Interior)
After Zog, the Albanians gamely continued their tradition of comic opera titles with this effort from the early years of Communist rule. Xoxe (pronounced I haven’t the foggiest) spent five years having people shot, before it was his turn in front of the firing squad.
7. King Carol (Romanian King)
Isn’t that a girl’s name? Possibly his parents wanted to toughen him up like the Boy Named Sue. Perhaps that’s why he decided to join forces with Hitler – a touch of the old over-compensation. Romania was hopelessly unprepared and ended up conquered by the Soviet Union. Oh Carol!