Excruciating chat show moments

I don’t watch much television, although, as is evident from this blog, I do watch a lot of stuff online. I used to watch the box a lot more when I was younger, and of course the best tv moments were always when something went wrong, which in the earlier days of television it often did. The following five clips are all from talk shows. The talk show is an artificial construct, which is why it often provides excruciating television. Let’s start way back in the mists of time with a 1970 edition of the David Frost Show. A group of twenty hippies, headed by Felix Dennis and Mick Farren, infiltrated the audience, and then went on to the stage with David Frost and took over his show…

The above clip is an edited/shortened version of what occurred. You can find the full clip here.

Tracy Emin is one of the ‘Britartists’ and is well known for her predilection to drink. In a recent newspaper interview she said: “I swim a mile of backstroke four times a week, and only eat at lunchtime. I did used to be an alcoholic. Now I get drunk when I go out as opposed to getting drunk, staying in on my own. My maximum amount of alcohol these days is a bottle and a half of good, white wine. Maybe two, if it’s mixed with water. At that point, I usually black out”. In 1997, Emin appeared on a late night Channel 4 discussion about the Turner Prize. The programme was broadcast live…

The problem, of course, with late night chat shows that are broadcast live is that guests often show-up drunk and/or stoned. One such was the British actor and comedian Keith Allen, who was a guest on a 1989 edition of the BBC’s The Late Show

It’s not always the guests on chat shows who are drunk or stoned. Sometimes it’s the presenter, such as the infamous Bill Grundy Today Show interview with the Sex Pistols in 1976. Grundy’s show was cancelled shortly afterwards and his career was effectively finished…

After Dark was a late night discussion programme on Channel 4. It was broadcast live with no scheduled end time. Yup, that’s asking for trouble, isn’t it. In a 1991 edition of After Dark, trouble came in the form of Oliver Reed. The discussion was titled “Do Men Have To Be Violent?” and it took place at the height of the first Gulf War…

Even though Ollie is blind drunk it is, in places, an interesting conversation, the sort of conversation you no longer find on tv, which is one reason why I no longer watch it. The above clip is part 2 of 4. You can find all four clips here.

I might as well finish with a bit of frivolity, in the form of that “bloody bird”. It’s the famous clip of Michael Parkinson being attacked by Rod Hull and his puppet Emu. The next guest on was the comedian Billy Connolly, who threatened: “If that bird comes anywhere near me, I’ll break its neck and your bloody arm!” Hull swiftly got his ‘pet’ back on best behaviour…

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