Top 10 Most Embarrassing Moments Caught on Live TV



Top 10 Most Embarrassing Moments Caught on Live TV

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake
The most embarrassing moments caught on live TV still burn. For this list, we'll be looking at the most mortifying moments that were forever immortalized on live television. Our countdown includes Kanyegate, jetpack fail, Conan correction, and more!
The horror… the horror. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Most Embarrassing Moments Caught on Live TV.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the most mortifying moments that were forever immortalized on live television. We’re focusing on funny embarrassing moments that make you chuckle, so we’ve excluded anything that would make us feel too uncomfortable and would defeat the purpose of the list.

#10: Kanyegate

This clip has been viewed so many times that we doubt it needs any context at this point. For the slim minority who aren’t familiar with Kanyegate, though, the 2009 VMA Awards were defined by a single moment. Winning Best Female Video for “You Belong with Me,” Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech was hijacked by Kanye West, who declared Beyoncé the rightful victor. While Beyoncé gave Swift a chance to give a real acceptance speech at the end of the ceremony, this was far from the last word. This cringe-inducing interruption continues to follow Beyoncé, West, and Swift, who talked about it in her 2020 documentary, “Miss Americana.” Its prominence over a decade later is a testament to how awkward the incident was and still is.

#9: No Spidey Sense

Building up hype for “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” everyone’s favorite web-slinger swung into “Good Morning America.” The bit was simple enough. Spidey lands on a balcony, journalist Sara Haines falls back, and he catches her as she faints. As she pretended to pass out, though, Haines slipped through Spider-Man’s hands and hit the floor. By the time Spider-Man sprang into action, Haines had already made an uncomfortable thud. Although the two were able to laugh it off and even make fun of it, this obviously wasn’t the real Spider-Man because his reflexes are terrible. The moment is only made more ironic when you consider Gwen Stacy’s fate in the movie that they were promoting. Good thing this stunt didn’t take place in a clocktower.

#8: Fashion Forecast

Various meteorologists have learned the hard way that you’re not supposed to wear green in front of a green screen. Green’s not the only color that blends in with this technology, however. For a weather segment on L.A.’s KTLA 5 News, Liberté Chan wore a white dress with a coral design. Instead of clear skies, the segment became all about Chan’s dress. This wasn’t the last time Chan’s fashion led to an awkward moment. During another forecast, Chan was asked to put on a sweater while wearing a cocktail dress. Chan later clarified that she was playing along with a spontaneous joke, but #Sweatergate nonetheless ignited a storm of controversy.

#7: Not a Treasured Moment

This is a classic that really never gets old or wears out its cringe-factor. Back in the ‘80s, TV personality and journalist Geraldo Rivera centered his whole live special around opening long-gone mobster Al Capone’s secret vault. Massive, scandalous treasure awaited! Well… things didn’t exactly go as planned, since said vault was opened live on-air, only to reveal, well, a whole lot of nuthin’. It’s not like tens of millions of viewers had tuned in to watch, right? Right? Talk about mortifying. But it didn’t derail Geraldo’s career, so there’s that, we guess.

#6: Pole Position

A true journalist doesn’t let anything get in their way. Canadian reporter Kent Molgat demonstrated this when he questioned an evasive and ornery attorney trying to walk away from him. But in the middle of his pursuit, Molgat walks . . straight into a metal pole. Ouch! The impact is so alarming, that the person he was pursuing even stops to check on him! Molgat actually stayed on his feet, which is impressive, but the impact probably cost him a pair of glasses, if not a concussion. Now that’s a good example of impactful reportage!

#5: Sour Grape-Nuts

Live on air, Connecticut meteorologist Scot Haney noticed what appeared to be Grape-Nuts on the floor. So naturally, he helped himself to the free cereal, much to the disgust of his colleagues. Munching on the treat, Haney almost immediately regretted his decision. It wasn’t until later, however, that Haney realized just how big of a mistake he had made. There’s a reason why these “Grape-Nuts” tasted like soggy shoes. They were actually cat vomit that Haney accidentally tracked into the studio. This raises so many questions. Why would you eat food off the ground, on live television no less? Why would you announce to the viewers at home that you just ate feline barf? Above all else, who eats Grape-Nuts without milk? That’s just barbaric.

#4: Jetpack Fail

We’d all love to try out a water-powered jetpack, but if you’re not careful, you’re sure to end up all wet. At a San Diego boat show, a man named John was eager to show off what the JetLev R200 jetpack could do. A little too eager it would seem, as he launched the pack after barely giving reporter Matt Johnson a heads-up. With Matt still standing in close proximity, Matt took off into the water, nearly knocking the journalist over in the process. As John went underwater, the broadcast cut back to the studio where the anchors were unable to contain their laughter and shock. John would eventually get his contraption up and running, but even the whole flight was funny!

#3: Conan Correction

Conan O’Brien went to Harvard and don’t you forget it! Nevertheless, Jennifer Garner thought she had outwitted the Ivy League alumnus in a 2003 interview. Talking about the spy skills Garner had picked up from “Alias,” Conan used “snuck” in a sentence, only for Garner to correct his word choice. In the moment, Garner felt on top of the world as the audience applauded while Conan glanced down in shame. It was Conan who got the last laugh, however, as he whipped out a dictionary later in the show. As it turns out, “snuck” is a word and he couldn’t resist rubbing it in Garner’s face. Conan reveled in this triumph with maniacal laughter, but backed off upon remembering that Garner could take him in a fight.

#2: End of the Universe

Before there was the Academy Awards mixup, there was this infamous Miss Universe pageant. The night boiled down to two contestants: Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach from the Philippines and Ariadna Gutiérrez from Colombia. With everybody watching in anticipation, host Steve Harvey announced Gutiérrez as the winner. With her sash and crown, Gutiérrez was able to enjoy this victory for about a minute, until Harvey returned to the stage. It turned out that Gutiérrez was the first runner-up, meaning that Wurtzbach was the true Miss Universe. Although the crowd continued to cheer, it was impossible not to cringe as Harvey explained his mistake while Gutiérrez passed the crown to Wurtzbach, who clearly wasn’t sure how to feel about all this.

#1: Ashlee Lip Syncing
“Saturday Night Live” (1975-)

Jude Law hosted this “SNL” episode, but everyone was talking about the musical guest, Ashlee Simpson. After a smooth and steady performance of “Pieces of Me,” Simpson and the audience started to experience déjà vu. Instead of singing “Autobiography” with her band, the vocals for “Pieces of Me” started again. Simpson attempted to salvage the performance with a jig, but it was no use. Everyone knew that she had been lip-syncing. This was apparently because Simpson had been suffering from acid reflux disease, although it was hard to escape this moment once it was out there. Getting embarrassed on live TV is one thing, but having it happen on a show as high-profile as “SNL” is every celebrity’s worst nightmare.