- He was famous for his vanity. This made him the butt of jokes, such as this one from the time poking fun at how he loved to get medals (Hero of the Soviet Union, on more than one birthday):
"Leonid Ilyich is in surgery."
"No, chest expansion surgery: to fit one more Gold Star medal."
- He was not considered the sharpest tool in the shed, and his speeches were famous for the times he misread the words (off of paper, because the Teleprompter wasn't available for him). An apocryphal story from the time goes like this:
He was widely considered to be the embodiment of the Peter Principle, to have risen to a station well beyond his competence. Remind you of anyone?Brezhnev, a former ruler of Russia, was thought not to be too bright. He comes to address a big Communist party meeting, and starts:"Dear Comrade Imperialists,"
The whole hall perked up - "what did he say??" Brezhnev tried again..."Dear Comrade Imperialists,"
Well, by now the hall was in pandemonium - was he trying to call them Imperialists?
Then, an adviser walked over to the podium and pointed to the speech for Brezhnev. "Oh..." he muttered, and started again:"Dear Comrades, Imperialists are everywhere."