20 Heart-Stopping Moments That Happened On Live TV. Who Remembers #17?
Part of the magic of TV is perfection. The cast and crew have the ability to rehearse and shoot over and over again until they have for the public a perfect, award-winning shot. Together with the editing team, they sustain the fantasy.
But sometimes, the value of TV comes from reality — the spontaneity and surprise, and sometimes the horror — of pop culture spectacles, controversial cases, and natural disasters.
Despite the rise of "reality" TV shows such as Keeping Up With the Kardashians, The Real L Word, and The Real Housewives, many of these clips feel plastic and staged. Instead of a glimpse into their real lives, we experience a cheapened version, one that is meant to entertain. And although entertaining for us and lucrative for those involved, we are left feeling like we haven't learned a damn thing. And that's because most of the time, we haven't.
Below you'll find a list of some of the craziest moments ever captured on TV. The nature of some, like Janet Jackson's revealing halftime show, are hotly debated while others, such as live coverage of Hurricane Katrina, provide us with a look into a world we would have only known in day after reports.
#1. Streaker Robert Opel ran across the stage during the 1974 Academy Awards Show.
On April 2, 1974, host David Niven was getting ready to introduce Elizabeth Taylor to the stage when 33-year-old Robert Opel flashed a peace sign and his naked body on stage. How did the streaker get in? He reportedly used a press badge.
Sadly, Opel was murdered in 1979 during a robbery of "Fey-Way Studios," where he showcased gay male art.
#2. Reporter Christine Chubbuck committed suicide on air in 1974.
On July 15, 1974, reporter Christine Chubbuck showed up to work to read the morning news lives for WXLT-TV in Florida.
“In keeping with Channel 40's policy of bringing you the latest in blood and guts," she said. "And in living color, you are going to see another first: attempted suicide."
At that moment, she pulled out a gun and shot herself on air.
Chubbuck had suffered from depression, something that her workplace was unaware of at the time.
#3. Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift's acceptance speech during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.
During the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, Kanye interrupted pop star Taylor Swift during her acceptance speech for "Best Female Video."
"Yo, Taylor, I'm really happy for you, I'ma let you finish," he said. "But Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time! One of the best videos of all time!"
Kanye and Taylor seem to be fine today and have even joked about this incident.
#4. The tragic events of September 11, 2001 were captured on live TV.
Our hearts grow weak at the thought of 9/11 when the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan were completely destroyed by a terrorist attack. It wasn't clear what was happening at first, but when cameras caught a second plane hitting the South Tower, viewers began to understand the gravity of the tragic event. It's one of those events that people can recall where they were and exactly what they were doing when it happened.
Sara K. Schwittek / Reuters
#5. Comedian Tina Fey bid David Letterman a sweet goodbye in 2015.
Tina Fey is a woman beyond any man's imagination, a truth she proves time and time again. In honor of David Letterman's departure from The Late Show, she asked him to unzip her dress so she could offer it to him as a gift. She then stripped down to her Spanx. You can tell Letterman was happy with his retirement surprise. What do we think? Tina Fey has an amazing body for a mother of two!
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