My Five Favorite Controversial and Hilarious Pop Culture Moments on TV

Published on January 30th, 2012 in: Issues, Listicles, Music, Oh No You Didn't, Top Five Lists, TV |

By Ann Clarke

I rarely care about what the famous (and the infamous) do that stirs up controversy or awkwardness . . . but sometimes that shit is just hilarious! I am not talking about “Reality TV” either; I’m talking about the stuff that you weren’t really expecting—but were NOT surprised once it happened—and over which you had a good laugh. There have been plenty of moments like this in pop culture, but I’m only going to list the ones that I could watch over and over again and still laugh at hysterically. In fact, some of these things get funnier upon multiple viewings!

gg allin on geraldo

Clint Ruin (a.k.a. JG Thirlwell) on The Tube

Mr. Thirlwell may not be proud of this moment, but, I’m sorry . . . this was really humorous. You can clearly tell he didn’t want to be there, didn’t care for the line of questioning . . . and that he had that zinger in his head, and was looking for the right time to use it on someone. It was itching to come out of him, and it was going to in some way (it would later appear in his song “Bedrock”).

Andrew “Dice” Clay at the MTV Video Music Awards

I always liked “Dice” and found his brand of humor raunchy and wrong, yet it was clearly a “character” that wasn’t to be taken too seriously. I liked him even more once he pissed off everyone at MTV so much that he was banned for life! Considering what the hell they show on that channel now, Dice’s outbursts were tame . . . but incredibly ballsy at the time!

“Bruno” (a.k.a. Sacha Baron Cohen) on Conan O’Brien

Sacha Baron Cohen is a comedic genius, and probably one of the best actors around! The guy never breaks character (even when his life could be at risk). Da Ali G Show, Borat, and Bruno are all non-stop comedy and steeped in controversy, but were scripted to a degree. When “Bruno” appeared on Conan O’Brien, I think the dance sequence in the end of the interview was slightly scripted, but mostly spontaneous! It even made Conan blush!

GG Allin (Any time he was ever on TV)

It didn’t matter what talk show it was, if GG Allin was on it . . . the shit was going to hit the fan! The first time I ever encountered GG was on Geraldo. I didn’t know who he was, but I remember my sister and I sat there and watched and couldn’t believe what the hell was transpiring. Years later I would discover his music (and his legacy), but I did indeed remember it was the same guy that was being extremely difficult on Geraldo’s panel. The clip I am featuring is not from Geraldo, but from The Jane Whitney Show, mainly because it’s just so fucking laughable. I love how the guy tries to argue with him to absolutely no avail. You don’t even need to know what the argument was about, it’s still hilarious!

Serge Gainsbourg vs. Whitney Houston

This is the motherlode! This might be one of the best awkward moments ever caught on camera involving celebrities, and yet Serge (as inebriated as he was) managed to stay almost classy (much classier than that show that Whitney later did with her ex-husband, Being Bobby Brown). The completely mortified look on Whitney’s face is priceless, but you can tell she was flattered by it (although she’d probably never admit to it, but she should; considering who Serge Gainsbourg slept with in his life, the man had good taste!). You have to wonder if this moment in history was the turning point in her life, wherein her tiara’s diamonds had started to CRACK!

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