Dancing With the Stars 2011: World B. Free, Lizzie Borden, and other historical cast members.

Dubious and far-fetched ideas.
Aug. 30 2011 3:42 PM

Lizzie Borden, Dancing the Cha Cha Cha

Dancing With the Stars casts through the ages.

Hope Solo. Click image to expand.
Hope Solo will compete on Dancing With the Stars

Chaz Bono, LGBT rights advocate and the only child of Sonny and Cher, will compete on the upcoming season of Dancing With the Stars, ABC announced Monday night. Other headline-grabbing names in the mostly nonsurprising lineup included Nancy Grace, the loudly opinionated legal commentator on HLN; David Arquette, actor and frequent Howard Stern guest; and Ricki Lake, former talk show host and star of Hairspray.
Washingtonpost.com, Aug. 29, 2011

Bronson Pinchot, who plays the lovable Myposian Balki Bartokomous on ABC's new series Perfect Strangers, is one of 12 contestants on Dancing With the Stars, the network announced Monday night. Other bold-faced names vying for the show's coveted disco-ball trophy include loquacious basketball icon World B. Free; Secretary of the Interior Donald P. Hodel; and Johnny 5, the irascible robot hero of this summer's sleeper comedy hit Short Circuit.
Washington Post, Aug. 25, 1986

Singer and funnyman Al Jolson will slap on his patented, crowd-pleasing blackface makeup for Broadway's perennial smash Dancing With the Stars, it was announced on Monday night. Joining Jolson on the Great White Way will be literary wife, socialite, and style icon Zelda Fitzgerald; "Queen of the Waves" Gertrude Ederle, the first woman to swim the English Channel; and Hull House founder Jane Addams, who has vowed to donate all of her winnings to the lame and the Irish.
New York Times, Aug. 30, 1926

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Lizzie Borden, who was just acquitted of brutally murdering her parents with a hatchet, is set to sashay on to Dancing With the Stars. The cast of vaudeville's rip-roaringest stage show also features stage actress "The Divine" Sarah Bernhardt; world heavyweight boxing champion "Gentleman Jim" Corbett; and Tammany Hall boss Richard Croker, who will be declared the winner after a series of votes that have not been rigged.
New York Evening World, Aug. 28, 1893

Pontius Pilate, the controversial, tempestuous prefect of Judea, will preside over the brand-new season of Dancing With the Stars, it was decreed on the 23rd day of Augustus. This year's all-apostle edition of the long-running series will include James, son of Zebedee; James, son of Alphaeus; and Bartholomew. The loser of each round will be crucified in front of a live studio audience. The winner will also be crucified.
—Papyrus scroll, A.D. 40

Josh Levin is Slate's executive editor.