Right after Joaquin Phoenix’s meltdown on the Late Show with David Letterman, we posted seven of our favorite other talk show trainwrecks. You told us we’d missed a few and we agree: So here are seven more, featuring everything from a classic melee on Geraldo to a wasted literary icon to a repentant star of Seinfeld. Let the meltdowns begin…
Crispin Glover’s Epic Letterman Meltdown
It doesn’t get any better than this: In 1987, an agitated Glover, appearing on Late Night with David Letterman, rambles about press coverage, challenges Dave to an arm-wrestling match, then nearly kicks the host in the head before the segment is abruptly ended.
Jim Everett Tackles Jim Rome
In April 1994, New Orleans Saints quarterback Jim Everett appears on Jim Rome’s ESPN 2 talk show to confront the smartass host who constantly taunts him with the nickname “Chris Evert.” Let’s just say Rome falls.
Charles Bukowski Says “Au Revoir” to the French
At first things seemed to be going well on Charles Bukowski’s 1978 appearance on the French talk show Apostrophes. That is, until host Bernard Pivot—the same Bernard Pivot who inspired James Lipton’s famous questions at the end of every Inside the Actor’s Studio—had the temerity to compare Bukowski to Henry Miller. Guess we know the answer to the question, “What makes you angry?”
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Geraldo Fights Nazis, Loses
In the classic Geraldo episode from 1988, Geraldo Rivera gets his nose broken and, arguably, his career made.
Michael Richards’ Apology Only Makes Things Worse
After Michael Richards’ notorious racist breakdown onstage in 2006, he went on Letterman to apologize. Alas, the apology is undercut by his use of the phrase “Afro-Americans.”
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Tom Cruise Exposes Need for Psychiatrist
Back in 2005, we got our first glimpses of Tom Cruise’s descent from matinee idol to maddening enigma when he called Today’s Matt Lauer “glib” and went on a condescending tirade about the history of psychiatry. Makes you nostalgic for the Oprah couch surfing, huh?
Marlon Brando Plants One on Larry King
This one coulda been a contender for our first set of trainwrecks, but at least we’re showing it to you now. On a 1994 appearance on Larry King Live, Marlon Brando and Larry King share a song—and then a kiss. It’s not quite a meltdown, just a sad, surreal moment between two titans.