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Ellen Degeneres and Jimmy Falon
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20 Infamous Talk Show Moments

You’ve Got to See This!

Most people appear on a talk show to promote something — including themselves — and sometimes those appearances don’t go quite to plan. Here’s a series of unusual TV moments that run the gamut from hilarious to hard-to-watch, including a few that spawned altercations.



Oprah Gives Everyone A Car

One of the all-time TV talk-show highlights happened in 2004 when every member of Oprah Winfree’s audience was given a Pontiac G6 as Oprah walked across the stage yelling, “You get a car! You get a car! You get a car! Everybody gets a car!” 



Ed Ames Throws Carson A Punchline

Ever the master of improv, when a tomahawk-throwing demonstration by Ed Ames (who played Mingo on the TV series “Daniel Boone” ) goes slightly awry, Johnny Carson sees an opportunity to get a laugh and bides his time before delivering the knockout. 




Drew Barrymore Flashes David Letterman

It was David Letterman’s birthday and free spirit Drew Barrymore had a surprise for him when she appeared on his show in 1995. Barrymore climbs on the desk to dance and stuns Letterman in a spontaneous (walk and revealing) moment. “Remember the night Morley Safer was here and pulled the same thing?” Letterman quips afterward.




Sharon Osbourne Loses A Tooth

During a taping of an episode of “The Talk,” co-host Sharon Osbourne realizes she’s losing part of a tooth. “It’s an implant and I spent a bloody fortune on it!” she says as the audience roars. “Has anyone got any glue?”



Jimmy Fallon Messes Up Donald Trump’s Hair

Hours before Donald Trump was to appear on a debate stage in New Hampshire he stopped by “The Tonight Show” where host Jimmy Fallon had an unusual request. Surprisingly, Trump was willing to oblige him.



Anderson Cooper Has Had Enough

Guests have been known to walk off talk show sets but they are rarely asked to leave. Back when he had his own talk show, Anderson Cooper did just that to “Human Barbie” Sarah Burge. “I just think you’re dreadful and I honestly don’t want to talk to you anymore,” he says, ending the conversation.



‘The View’ Hosts Walk Out on Bill O’Reilly

In the midst of a heated discussion, “The View” hosts Whoopie Goldberg and Joy Behar walked out on guest Bill O’Reilly of Fox News. Ever the professional, Barbara Walters took her co-hosts to task for losing their cool and ending the discussion.



Niki Minaj Raps About Steven Colbert

Niki Minaj raps about Steven Colbert in the vein of her hit “Barbie Dreams,” flustering the “Late Show” host who had noted he wasn’t included in the list of famous men mentioned in the song. “It’s all downhill from here,” he says after the rapper improvises a naughty verse.



David Letterman Exposes His Blackmailer

“Do you feel like a story?” Letterman asks a studio audience in this 2009 clip before launching into the tale of how he was blackmailed. The audience laughs through the whole awkward confession as Letterman jokes about the circumstance behind the $2 million extortion scheme.



Diddy Gets A Surprise on ‘Ellen’

Ellen DeGeneres has a little surprise for Sean “Diddy” Combs who assures her that he’s not afraid of clowns — and then proves otherwise. “I love that you dance when you get scared,” she jokes afterward.



Tom Cruise Goes Wild on Oprah

When the news broke that Tom Cruise was smitten with actress Katie Holmes, Cruise and Oprah Winfrey bantered about it to the delight of the studio audience and Cruise got a little animated. Cruise is said to have claimed later that the footage was edited to make him look bad



Dick Cavett Discusses the Death of a Guest

Alan Arkin and Dick Cavett talk about the time one of Cavett’s guests appeared to fall asleep during the taping of a show in 1971. As it turned out, health guru Jerome Rodale had suffered a fatal heart attack while Cavett was talking to the next guest. The episode never aired.



A Dramatic Reveal on Jerry Springer

Who’s pulling whose leg in this clip from the Jerry Springer show? The man who agrees to have the first meeting with his new love interest on the show? The woman with the secret? Or the audience that ate it up? This is one in a series of big reveals that became the hallmark of the show.



Skinheads Brawl on ‘Geraldo’

Geraldo Rivera got his nose broken during a brawl between members of white supremacists groups on his show in 1988. “We didn’t rig it,” Rivera later told the Television Academy Foundation about the show’s top-rated episode. “It was what it was. I’ll always live with it.”



President Obama Slow-Jams the News

Sure, it’s a set piece, but when you can get the sitting President of the United States to participate in a bit dripping with double entendres, you go for it. Obama’s reactions to Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show” are priceless and he drops the mic — twice — at the end.



Joaquin Phoenix Has Left the Building

David Letterman tries to coax conversation from a disheveled, fidgety Joaquin Phoenix during this cringe-worthy 2009 interview. It wasn’t clear what was happening at the time, but it turned out to be a setup for the mockumentary film “I’m Still Here” the actor was working on with Casey Affleck.



Kimmel Asks Kanye a Stumper

After discussing Kim Kardashian’s visit to the Oval Office, Jimmy Kimmel asks Kanye West if he thinks President Trump cares about Black people. The question seems to stump West, who generally isn’t at a loss for words.



Did You Make Any New Friends?

Paris Hilton went on “The Late Show” in 2007 expecting to talk about her clothing line, movie, and new perfume, but David Letterman only wanted to discuss her recent time in jail following a probation violation and kept grilling her past the point it ceased to be funny.



Jim Everett Loses His Cool

Jim Rome, then the host of ESPN2’s “Talk 2,” gained some notoriety in 1993 by insisting on calling Los Angeles Rams’ quarterback Jim Everett “Chris” (after the female tennis player). After Rome refused to stop, Everett made him regret the slight. While Rome later expressed regret about igniting Everett’s anger, the bitterness between the two men is still going strong, at least on social media.



Zsa Zsa Gabor and the Cat

In a “Tonight Show” appearance in 1989, Jane Fonda questions a bemused Johnny Carson about an urban legend involving Zsa Zsa Gabor and a cat, asking if the encounter actually took place. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.


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