I know my answer to this question!
In 2005, I was sitting in a laundromat in Chicago doing my laundry and I was watching the TV that was hanging from the wall as my clothes were being washed.
And then I noticed that Tom Cruise was actually very, very strange with Oprah for some reason…
Yes, it was that infamous interview where Mr. Cruise jumped all over the couch and acted like a wild man and professed his love for Katie Holmes. It was super bizarre and I just happened to look up at the right time, I guess.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen on live TV?
Let’s check out these stories from folks on AskReddit.
1. Two tragedies.
“Weird fact about me, I was in the exact same room at a school when the Challenger exploded and then when the first plane hit on 9/11.
For the Challenger, I was in my 4th grade classroom, and for 9/11, I was a teacher in that school in that classroom.”
2. Football disaster.
“Bradford football stadium fire 1985.
The wooden stand went up as if it had been doused in petrol while they were showing the match. Just as it seemed everyone who was getting out had a man ran out of the inferno with flames leaping from his body.
The commentator said ” Oh that poor man”. 56 died. The 1980s were bad for football safety.”
3. From the LA Riots.
“I saw the Reginald Denny incident live as it unfolded.
I was thinking “why are they standing around filming it? Why aren’t people helping?” I still have bad dreams about it.
Remember this was way before people had cell phones and video’d everything.”
4. Terrible wreck.
“Antoine Hubert’s fatal crash in Belgium last year.
The amount of carnage and debris from the cars on the race track was so shocking but I was so used to seeing drivers walk away.
Learning he had died shortly after was heartbreak.”
5. Iron Mike.
“Mike Tyson biting Holyfield’s ear.”
6. Luge accident.
“Watching the luge athlete from Georgia lose control and run off the track in a practice run during the Olympics.
It didn’t look super gruesome on TV but they showed the footage and you just immediately knew he was f*cked up. He was going 90mph… zero body protection…
I was pretty young so it was just a crazy example of our own mortality. RIP Nodar.”
7. Death on stage.
“The death of Tommy Cooper on stage.
For those non-UKians, he was a very popular magician/comedian in the 70s who had as his main ‘gimmick’ being his magic tricks appearing to fail, or doing something that looked clumsy, before successfully pulling the trick off.
In 1984 (he had not been on TV that much in the recent years due to ill health and heavy drinking) he was performing live on a variety show when he slumped down on stage and started snoring.
The audience first thought it was part of the act and laughed, but after a few seconds the producers realised something was wrong and went to the adverts.”
“Sinead O’Connor ripping up a photo of the Pope on SNL.
When the episode was rerun, it was removed.”
“It was the night of the Tienanmen Square Massacre. I was home that night nursing a sprained ankle when news coverage came up on CBS.
The surreal view of the soldiers with their AK’s pointing forward walking among the flames was only surpassed by Dan Rather delaying Chinese officials trying to shut him down while his production crew was transmitting the video to New York.
One of the few times I ever really admired the man.”
10. Flood hero.
“But the Houston flooding during Hurricane Harvey.
A reporter was live talking about how flooded the underpass was, and during this, a car drives straight past him into the water, at least 6 ft of water, probably more.
The reporter looks totally shocked at the camera and then runs into the water and saves the man from the drowning in his car. There were actually a lot of heroic reporters during Harvey.”
“Saw Pennsylvania’s Treasurer Bud Dwyer commit suicide on live TV. He pulled a huge pistol out of a manila envelope, put it to the roof of his mouth and pulled the trigger.
When he pulled out the gun, people were screaming “No Bud, No Bud”. As soon as you heard the bang he was on the floor. Didnt even see him fall, it was that fast!
He had been found guilty of a fraud scheme involving government contracts. He contended, right up to the minute he killed himself, that he was innocent and had been set up by the governor.”
12. The ’90s.
“Drew Barrymore flashing David Letterman for his birthday.”
“After the Russian nuclear submarine ‘Kusk’ imploded and sank, there was a live television broadcast of Putin addressing the media.
One of the sailor’s Mother’s whose Son died in the sinking confronted him, demanding answers and berating him. She was so upset that she ordered them to tear off their naval shoulder patches because they didn’t deserve them.
There was a handful of plainclothes bodyguards who restrained her and they had a f*cking KGB doctor standing by, who proceeded to inject her with a sedative right into her neck.
She collapsed and was carried out on a stretcher live on TV (normal Drs aren’t trained to do what this one did so efficiently in a public event with political implications). Bizarre.”
14. Wardrobe malfunction.
“It wasn’t so crazy as much as the impact of it was to television, but the Janet Jackson breast was so bizarre.
It seemed completely planned and everyone was unsure as to what exactly was supposed to happen, but it seemed like something that wasn’t supposed to. It was all very puzzling and then the controversy started blowing up.”
Okay, now it’s your turn.
In the comments, tell us about the crazy things you’ve seen happen on live TV.
Please and thank you!