Live television is great because unexpected and unscripted things often happen. We are talking seconds of pure gold here before producers got a chance to react and cut to commercials.
Be warned about seeing these 18 unforgettable TV moments! Such an emotional roller coaster is not for everyone…
1. Biggest Oscars Gaffe
Announcing the wrong Best Picture winner is a felony worthy of Bonnie and Clyde.
Some would say choosing Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway to open the envelope was part of a carefully constructed plan. Nothing makes an LA night more memorable than a bit of controversy for people to dissect on their way home.
The 89th Academy Awards was close to committing one of the biggest injustices ever. Just imagine a scenario in which producers and juries decide to go along with the mistake just to avoid the ridicule.
Nevertheless, there is only one name to blame for the blooper. Pricewaterhouse Coopers might be the biggest company in the world, but the quality of its services sucked in critical points at this edition of the Oscars.
Let’s go back in time, shall we? Someone was rude to a sweet girl and ruined her night.
2. Kanye West Interrupts Taylor Swift
“Yo Taylor. I’m really happy for you, I’m going to let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time.’
Those words were used by Kanye West to interrupt Taylor’s acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV Music Video Awards. The rant was one of the worst ever seen live on TV.
Not only did the rapper grabbed the microphone, but he also made Beyoncé look like a sore loser. Everyone knows awards are not about making absolute justice but more about choosing a winner from so many equally talented artists.
Swift’s “You Belong To Me” won not only against “Single Ladies,” but also against an even catchier “Poker Face.”
Are you still not sure why Kanye West produces mixed feeling? Let’s remind you of just how generously the public booed him after snatching that microphone.
One murder case stayed in the headlines for weeks, culminating with some of the most watched TV moments. Do you remember?
3. The OJ Simpson Car Chase
The case of OJ Simpson divided a nation, and everything related to the case became prime material for all media networks.
More than two decades apart, Simpson’s 1994 “White Bronco” chase down the streets of Los Angeles easily ranks as surreal. The so-called standoff happened in prime time and was a slow-speed pursuit that concluded with Simpson arrested.
The most optimistic estimates give a total of 95 million viewers that tuned in to see how the story will end. Do you want another interesting fact? Domino’s Pizza reported sales at similar levels with those on Super Bowl Sunday for the duration that Simpson was a fugitive.
The ratings were nevertheless beaten the day when the jury delivered the “not guilty” verdict.
There is nothing worse than to prepare your playback for the wrong song. Check out the next celeb that got roasted live on TV.
4. Ashlee Simpson Lip Sync Fiasco
They don’t call it “Saturday Night Live” for nothing! Artists are supposed to deliver something authentic.
Ashlee first performed the single “Pieces of Me” and had her mind set on the next song, “Autobiography.” However, someone did a terrible job and “Pieces of Me” started playing for a second time, leaving Ashlee completely out of sync. She performed a hoedown before leaving the stage in utter embarrassment.
For Ashlee Simpson, that was by far the worst live performance ever, one witnessed by millions of viewers. She later blamed acid reflux for her decision to do playback that evening.
Despite reunited at the end of the show with host Jude Law, the fans got a bitter taste of just how phony she can get at times.
Working in television offers the best opportunity to end your contract with life. You must see the news anchor that committed suicide! Live!
5. Christine Chubbuck Live Suicide
Christine Chubbuck reigns with the worst thing ever done on live television.
The 29-year-old news reporter committed suicide during a live broadcast on Florida’s WXLT-TV network. “In keeping with Channel 40’s policy of bringing you the latest in ‘blood and guts’…” That’s how Christine introduced her evil intention just before drawing the revolver and shooting herself in the head.
There is only one positive detail about the case of the depressed news anchored. It happened back in 1974, and the footage had a much too low resolution to show all the graphic details.
Just imagine how shocking it would be to see something similar on how Ultra HD meter-wide flat screens.
The next TV moment was simply hilarious. Everyone laughed!
6. Steve Harvey Announces Wrong Miss Universe 2015 Winner
Steve Harvey has good reasons to be angry.
Those folks at the Oscars stole his bread and will probably make his blooper fall second in the history books. Too bad the 60-year-old comedian did not register it as a trademark.
For those who don’t know the heartbreaking story, Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez enjoyed the shortest reign ever. The crown spent a total of two minutes on her head before being removed and awarded to the real winner – Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach.
The 2015 edition of Miss Universe was the first to include such a high-level error. We propose each host to be accompanied on stage by a member of the voting jury, just to double check and avoid such emotional rollercoasters.
You will never believe the degree of nudity they showed live to an audience that included children of all ages.
7. Super Bowl XXXVIII Halftime Show Controversy
Names like Nipplegate show just how political things can get if they step over the line.
More than ten years separate us from the moment when Justin Timberlake exposed Janet Jackson’s right breast. Given the momentum that leads to each Super Bowl (at least in the US), that was probably the “wardrobe malfunction” that got the most views.
Although brief and ruined by a nipple shield, the moment of nudity probably triggered premature puberty in many boys watching the final. One moment you are talking touchdowns with your father and the next you have to hide an awkward erection.
The best part is that CBS avoided a record $550,000 fine from the FCC (Federal Communications Commission). As for Timberlake and Jackson, Google searches skyrocketed, and they climbed even higher on the A-list (if that was possible).
A celeb removes her dress live on TV. We are not hallucinating, and you must check it out!
8. Tina Fey Strips For David Letterman
It’s hard to beat what Tina Fey did on live television.
Tina chose to celebrate David Letterman’s last appearance at the Late Show in a rather unusual way. She stripped down to her spandex and offered her blue dress as a present.
But the surprise didn’t end there. “Bye Dave” and “# Last Dress Ever” were written on her leotard. It’s hard to believe the host was not aware of the plan, but we will play along and include the moment on our list.
Although he had his hiccups, David Letterman commanded an incredible 33 years at the desk of his late shows, with a total of 6,028 episodes. The man deserved a birthday suite from Tina.
When all else fails, the only option is to spill some blood live on TV.
9. The Death Of Forbes McAllister
Although not real, the death of Forbes McAllister shocked a bit the unsuspecting audience.
The alleged shooting was a carefully staged theatric moment that happened during one edition of “Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge.” English comedian Steve Coogan (pictured in the first photo) was the brain behind the Radio 4 spoof chat show.
The second pic shows Forbes McAllister, the guest that “got shot” live on TV. It happened as Alan was maneuvering a shotgun and the scene was pretty realistic for its time (1993).
The case was “settled” as accidental manslaughter, and Steve Coogan was cleared of all charges. They tried to play the authenticity card hoping it would boost ratings. It didn’t work!
Move her revolutionary act 500 years ago, and she would have been burnt alive! Luckily, the TV accepts everything nowadays.
10. Sinead O’Connor Ripping Pope Picture
Sinead O’Connor is an extravagant apparition amongst musicians and what she did on live television back in 1992 was simply unbelievable.
The Irish performer held a photo of Pope Paul II in front of the camera while singing the word “evil.” She then proceeded to tear the picture to pieces ultimately throwing them towards the camera.
Sinead O’Connor virulent message attempted to raise awareness on the sexual scandals that emerged inside the Catholic Church. However, she only attracted a hate speech like never seen before.
The incredible scene took place on Saturday Night Live. O’Conner was smart enough to do something else during rehearsals, and her act was fast enough to survive uncut.
You know what the worst thing about what she did is? The photo belonged to her mother who kept it on her bedroom wall since 1978. The two didn’t share a good relationship.
Nothing beats high altitude drama. A whole nation watched what ultimately proved to be a hoax. Check it out!
11. The Balloon Boy Hoax
The 2009 Ballon Boy Hoax sent America to a virtual standstill as everyone was anxious to see how the story concludes.
It all started when Richard and Mayumi Heene filled a balloon shaped like a UFO with helium and failed to supervise it. As the contraction took off in the atmosphere, they were convinced their six-year-old son got stuck on board.
The news was sensational and impossible to resist. All the key networks turned the eyes on the balloon’s odyssey across three Colorado counties. The landing was obviously the climax of the live transmission, and the question at hand was whether the boy was still alive.
It’s cruel to say it, but it was a disappointment for journalists to discover all has been an elaborate hoax and that the child was hiding at home all this time. Nevertheless, the story proved a good point. The prospect of tragedy and blood fuels the ratings like nothing else.
Coming up next is another singer that forgot her tongue at home.
12. Mariah Carey New Year’s Eve Fail
Some say that Times Square is the best place to celebrate the New Year’s Eve.
For those who wanted to welcome 2017 from the bustling heart of New York, Mariah Carey was the main course of the evening. However, the diva delivered one of the worst live performances in history.
Something happened, and Mariah Carey couldn’t keep up with the prerecorded vocals of the songs “Emotions” and “We Belong Together.” “We didn’t have a check for this song” was the lame excuse used by the 46-year-old, as she watched hopelessly how the dancers acted like nothing was wrong.
Yes, everyone can claim a bad day, but you have no excuse when you rank as one of the best-paid musicians of the last two decades. Knowing how to lip-sync is part of every singer’s 101.
Maybe Carey is still not past her failed engagement to billionaire James Packer.
Football often gets violent. Millions were puzzled by this bizarre fault.
13. Zinedine Zidane’s Headbutt
Fans of football will surely remember this.
More than ten years separate us from the moment Zinedine Zidane delivered one of the most unusual faults in the history of the sport. Debates still rage on the exact words that triggered such a violent reaction from one of the most cerebral players.
Zidane’s headbutt sent Italian defender Marco Materazzi to the ground and trashed French hopes for another World Title. There was something indescribably sad about seeing the number 10 walking past the trophy on his way off the field.
The 2006 moment was watched live by hundreds of millions of fans around the planet and was without a doubt Zidane’s lowest point. However, the 44-year-old recovered and embraced a successful career as the manager of Real Madrid.
It is very rare for live broadcasts to catch such horrific accidents.
14. Fatal Car Crush Of Dale Earnhardt
It rarely happens for death to occur so violently during a sports events.
Dale Earnhardt was extremely unlucky to die with just one lap left until the finish line of the 2001 Daytona 500. And you know what makes it even worse? His son, Dale Earnhardt Jr., competed in the same race and was just meters away from the impact that claimed his father’s life.
The live transmission was rather bizarre. Commentators focused more on telling the audience who won. The heartbreaking news came much later and shacked the whole world of motorsport.
You will be glad to know Earnhardt’s death was not in vain. The accident triggered a thorough reconsideration of safety rules and precautions. NASCAR became increasingly safer in more recent years, and no other fatality occurred since 2001.
Female celebs kissing each other live. Sounds familiar to you?
15. Britney Spears Madonna Kiss
The Earth stopped spinning for a couple of seconds when Madonna kissed both Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera during the 2003 VMA.
However, the stunt went well. Besides a couple of fundamentalists who declared a media jihad to the bold performers, everyone was pleased to see such wild fantasies come to life.
Yes, we know what you are thinking. That memory seems to originate from the stone age of the entertainment industry. Even so, it is worth remembering the time when Spears was 21 and Aguilera 22.
The 2003 edition of the awards marked 19 years since Madonna’s iconic “Like A Virgin” performance. Let’s all hope producers don’t decide on another jubilee. We don’t want to be mean, but 58-year-old Madonna is way past her prime.
Many fans broke their TVs when they witnessed her get nasty.
16. Miley Cyrus 2013 VMAs
No one can forget the 2013 edition of the MTV Music Video Awards.
Although there was no one there to mix up the winners with the runner ups, the flamboyant performance of Miley Cyrus was enough to shock everyone. Parents never fully trusted television to deliver the right models for their young ones but what they saw that night was utterly nightmarish.
After performing “We Can’t Stop” surrounded by giant bears, Miley joined Robert Thicke for “Blurred Lines, ” and everything went off the grid. We don’t know what PG rating the show bargained for at the beginning, but kids had to close their eyes and pray their innocent minds don’t go to waste.
Twerking Miley got what it hoped for – everyone’s attention. The star’s incredible transition to a more mature and sexual display reminded everyone that celebs would do anything to blow the dust off their act. Just go and ask Madonna!
News reporters shot live! You must read their story.
17. Shot To Death On Live Television
What can be more shocking than to go live with your colleagues and see them get shot?
For news reporter Alison Parker and her cameraman Adam Ward, the interview with the executive director of the local chamber of Moneta (Virginia) proved to be an unlucky one. Former teammate Vester Lee Flanagan II decided WDBJ network needs to pay with blood for terminating his contract.
The shaky photo above does not mean Adam Ward sucked at his job. The frame indicates the moment of the horrifying attack.
It might sound strange, but the August 2015 case is by no means isolated. Considering how easy it is for people to get guns in America the job itself comes with incredible risks attached.
Even worse, the idea that journalists can be killed live on TV is widespread in American popular culture. Following the shootings, various TV shows had to be pulled off or delayed because they included a similar scene as a result of fiction.
Let’s end the list with something less tragic. The next story will cause you a solid laugh.
18. Guy Goma BBC
BBC is synonymous with high standards and professionalism. However, even they screw up from time to time.
Guy Goma showed up at the BBC Television Centre in west London hoping to land a job in the IT department. He got more than he was hoping for when the producers took him as a technology expert.
The Congolese found himself live on TV having to explain to the good folks stuck behind their tellies the complex nature of the Apple Computer vs. Apple Corps court case. Ordinary people would have signaled the host for the confusion and quietly wait for publicity to exit the set. But Goma decided this might be an awkward test to determine if he was fit for the job.
The result was hilarious. With a heavy French accent, Guy Goma usurped the position of expert and offered a decent display most of us would take for granted.
You will be sad to know Guy didn’t get the job in the end.