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People Recount The Craziest Thing They've Ever Seen Unfold On Live TV Before It Was Taken Off The Air

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Some of the most jaw-dropping moments occur during news coverage, sporting events, and even halftime shows. Anyone remember Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction?


Awards shows like the Oscars are also huge magnets for gaffes.

Perhaps one of the most embarrassing snafus at a prestigious awards ceremony happened at the 2017 Academy Awards when La La Land mistakenly won for Best Picture. Oops.

With an endless list of shocking moments throughout live TV history, Redditor groovetrain_ wondered what readers remembered most by reaching out on askReddit.

"What's the craziest thing you've seen unfold live on television before it could be taken off-air/censored?"

The examples below prove that when it comes to live television – anything can happen.

And have they ever!

Instant Stars

"When I was around 7 years old in Panama City, Florida two teenagers hacked into the local news feed. We were in the living room watching the news and it started to break up and then went to snow. Before my dad could get up to mess with the rabbit ears, the signal resolved to show two kids in a bedroom looking at something off screen, then they looked at the camera. Once they realized they were on live TV, they started screaming and hugging each other and jumping around yelling 'we did it! WE DID IT! AAHHHHHHH!."

"After a few seconds the signal resolved and went back to the newscaster who apologized for the disruption. Then they just went back to reporting the news like nothing happened."

GoliathPrime

"Nothing Compared" To This Moment

"Sinead O'Connor ripping up a photo of the pope on SNL, when the ep was rerun, it was removed."

cassandracurse

We Interrupt This Program

"When I was a kid TV shows were interrupted all the time for high speed chases and police standoffs."

"One time a helicopter was tracking a guy who was driving through a field. The driver hopped out of his van(?) with a shotgun. The reporter was telling the helicopter to pan away from the shot but they didn't. The driver then put the shotgun in his mouth and blew his head off on live TV. The camera cut and came back to the in studio reporter who had a defeated wtf look on his face."

"I swear this led to less situations like this being shown on TV."

calgarykid

Staged Disasters

"Probably the reporter in a canoe covering how bad the floods were, and then two dudes walk through the puddle she's floating in."

"Runner up to the guy pretending there were hurricane force winds and bracing himself while yelling into the mic. Same thing happened, some dudes just kind of walked by in the background."

"Both times the poor reporters had to pretend it didn't happen, and both times it was absolutely hilarious."

Meegs294

High As A Kite

"I was watching a live broadcast in Texas. The reporter was saying that every year the police have to burn all of the drugs that they seize in all their drug busts. It was mostly huge piles of marijuana, probably a 10 foot high or so pile. The reporter was in the foreground and she mentioned that most of the police were off duty and volunteering to be there so that the blaze wouldn't get out of control. So all these police and this pile of weed are in the background and it is lit. As the pile starts roaring into a big bonfire, even I could tell that they were standing way too close to it. At least 30 or 40 police officers all standing really close to thisBonfire with their backs to the camera. So this reporter decides to ask one of them a question and walks over and taps one of them on the shoulder. This high AF police officer turns around as this reporter is asking him something and he looks directly at the camera with these squinty red eyes and goes 'whaaa the f'k?'"

Blameking27

Fastball

"That time Randy Johnson vaporized a bird with his pitch. I was at a sports bar with my parents and half paying attention to the game when I saw the ball explode into a big poof of feathers."

cordycepswitch

Pure Kanye

"'George Bush doesn't care about black people.' - Kanye West"

"I will never forget the look on Mike Myers' face."

coffeehousebrat

kanye west news GIF by NowThis Giphy

"I'd Rather Marry Steve"

"This is so stupid, but I was a youngin' when it happened. A guy was holding up a sign on the Today show (or some national morning TV show) that said 'Marry Me Julia' (or something like that)"

"Willard Scott or Al Roker or someone went up to the guy and said 'Tell us a little about Julia!' and the guy was like 'Nope, I'd rather marry Steve' and started making out on camera with the guy next to him. The host booked it and was like ooooookayyyyyyy onto the weather!"

"Prior to then I'd never even heard about being gay, let alone seen anything like it. I'm not sure why that image stuck with me though it was pretty shocking at the time."

----_

Janet's Boob

"It wasn't so crazy as much as the impact of it was to television, but the Janet Jackson boob 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."

EtherBoo

David Letterman's Brown Shower

"I swear I've seen it but I've never found it again. David Letterman was hosting the Tonight Show and he had a pair of ferrets on his desk. The zoo guy was talking about them and they freaked out and started running around his desk. Their leash got caught in the microphone so they started going in circles, defecating the whole time, even splashing David. They went to commercial and afterwards the ferrets were gone and David was cleaned up. I had never laughed so hard."

cyberdrunk

Going Downtown On Julie Brown

"In the 90s, MTV was on in the background, and Downtown Julie Brown was hosting some sort of pool party weekend thing. They were going to commercial, so as she was talking to the camera, saying what was going to be going on after the commercial, some dude started getting closer, and started grinding up against her. Just as she was done, and before they cut to the commercial, she pushed the dude off her and she yelled 'Get the F'K off of me!'"

wzl46

The Max Headroom Signal Hijacker

"I saw the Max Headroom signal intrusion the night it happened, I was hanging with some friends smoking and watching Doctor Who, it was so bizarre and we were so high that we weren't even sure we had actually seen it until a couple days later when it started showing up in the news."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Headroom_signal_hijacking

DRybUGS

The Moment That Lives On In Infamy

"The Challenger exploding when I was in elementary school. The whole school was watching it on tv in the auditorium."

catinreverse

"I live in Florida and my whole class watched it outside in the schoolyard. I was in 3rd grade. The teacher rushed us inside and we didn't really know/understand what was going on. I still see it in my dreams occasionally. And now when I take my kids to see launches, there is always that moment when I hold my breath."

ABD4life

A High Speed Chase That Ended In Tragedy

"When I was a kid TV shows were interrupted all the time for high speed chases and police standoffs."

"One time a helicopter was tracking a guy who was driving through a field. The driver hopped out of his van(?) with a shotgun. The reporter was telling the helicopter to pan away from the shot but they didn't. The driver then put the shotgun in his mouth and blew his head off on live TV. The camera cut and came back to the in studio reporter who had a defeated wtf look on his face."

"I swear this led to less situations like this being shown on TV."

calgarykid

L.A. Riot Violence

"The LA riots were really brutal to watch on television. They tried to not show any graphic violence but sometimes it just happened. You saw a lot of footage of people looting and running up and down streets throwing things and hitting people but nothing really bad until those men caught Reginald Denney stranded in his truck at an intersection."

"They smashed the truck windows and dragged him by his hair, I think, out of the truck and just stomped the ever loving crap out of him and the camera never moved. It was a news helicopter shooting down so you could see the entire intersection and it legitimately looked like you were seeing a man beaten to death right on television."

"And then when you thought it was over there was that kick and you just knew he was dead. You just knew no one could survive that and it was so upsetting and terrifying to see that kind of unbridled violence take place live right in front of you."

"And then came the helpers. A few men, one of them a very large black man came to Denney's rescue and the attackers scattered like stray, vicious dogs and they helped Denney. They saved his life."

"It was only a few minutes but until 9/11 it was one of the most dramatic things I'd ever seen on television."

Maxwyfe

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