Anything on Live TV can happen, just like in one’s life. Events that air on Live TV can range from award shows to news coverage to interviews to sporting events, to name a few. So many things have happened on Live TV in the past such as memorable/ funny interviews, controversial comments and/or things, etc. that have resonated with people over the years.
Now, with that being said, here are 10 of The Most Memorable Moments That Ever Happened on Live TV:
1. 9/11: The Collapse of The Second Twin Tower:
The date September 11th, 2001 is the worst day in American History as around 3,000 lives were lost that day after four airplanes were hijacked by members of the terrorist group Al-Qaeda. Images of one of the planes crashing into the second tower (The South Tower) of The World Trade Center were broadcast on Live TV by almost every major media network for people across the country to see.
2. The Wild OJ Simpson Car Chase:
The date of June 17th, 1994, is one that anyone old enough at the time will remember what they did that very day. Several major sporting events on Live TV happened that day, including Game 5 of the 1994 NBA Finals between the Rockets and the Knicks; the opening game of the 1994 FIFA World Cup between USA (who hosted the tournament for the first time) and Switzerland; and Arnold Palmer playing his final round at the 1994 U.S. Open, to name a few.
However, all of these sporting events were overshadowed that day by O.J. Simpson’s run (See the video below) from the police. The NFL Hall of Famer was asked to surrender to authorities in connection to the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman (the murders happened five days prior). Instead of following the orders by law enforcement, Simpson decided to evade authorities by leading them on a slow yet wild-car chase across the Los Angeles Freeway.
With his friend Al Cowlings driving his (O.J.’s) infamous white Ford Bronco, Simpson sat in the passenger seat with a gun held to his head as the two lead the LAPD on the freeway for over two hours before surrendering at the driveway of the Hall of Famer’s home. Several major television networks decided to interrupt their scheduled programs for that day and broadcast the car chase on LIVE TV! The pursuit was watched on Live TV by an estimated 95 million people and was the highest-rated program on television of the year of 1994.
3. The Wrong Movie Is Named Best Picture at the 2017 Oscars Ceremony:
The 89th Academy Awards Ceremony honored the best films of 2016 was held and broadcasted on Live TV by ABC on February 26th, 2017. Since 2017 marked 50 years since the release of the 1967 classic Bonnie & Clyde, Oscar-Winning Actors Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty (who played the lead characters in that film) were given the honor of co-presenting Best Picture, the final award given out at the end of The Oscars each year.
The ending of the 2017 Oscars Ceremony will go down in history as one of the most memorable moments to ever happen on Live TV and in the history of The Academy! After some confusion from Beatty (who didn’t know yet that he and his Bonnie & Clyde co-star had been given the wrong envelope), he showed the card to Dunaway, who announced that La La Land (the favorite to win Best Picture for films released in 2016) had won (see the first video below).
However, a few minutes later as La La Land Producers were in the middle of their acceptance speeches, Oscar crew members and Host Jimmy Kimmel came out on to the stage explained that there was a mistake and that La La Land hadn’t won Best Picture! The film Moonlight was the real winner of The Academy’s top prize instead! La La Land was forced to hand over their Best Picture Oscars to the producers of Moonlight.
The exchange left the audience and viewers in complete shock as Jordan Horowitz, one of the La La Land producers, actually showed the placard announcing Moonlight’s Best Picture win to the cameras for the audience and viewers at home to see! The Best Picture Error at the 2017 Oscars instantly became one of the most notable moments to occur on Live TV. The incident also sent the Internet and social media into more of a frenzy compared to when Steve Harvey announced the wrong winner at Miss Universe 2015.
Due to the error, Dunaway and Beatty were invited back to present Best Picture at The Oscars the following year (see the second video below) and this time, after being given the correct envelope, they didn’t announce the wrong winner on the Live TV broadcast. When The Shape of Water was announced as the winner, one of the film’s producers Guillermo Del Toro (who also won Best Director for the film) jokingly checked the envelope to make sure that The Shape of Water was the actual winner (see the second video below).
4. Steve Harvey Announces The Wrong Winner at Miss Universe 2015:
Before the wrong film was announced as the winner of Best Picture in 2017 (see #3 above), the most famous similar incident occurred at Miss Universe 2015, which was held on December 20th, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Steve Harvey was the host of the pageant.
After Olivia Jordan (Miss USA), was named the 2nd runner-up, the new Miss Universe was going to be either Ariadna Gutiérrez (Miss Columbia) or Pia Wurzbach (Miss Philippines). Harvey declared that Gutiérrez was the winner and she was crowned by Miss Universe 2014 Paulina Vega, who represented Columbia at the pageant the previous year. This marked the second time that a country won the pageant two years in a row (Venezuela won back-to-back years in 2008 and 2009).
Just as Gutiérrez was about to take her first walk as Miss Universe, Harvey returned onto the stage to “apologize”. In one of the most shocking and memorable Live TV Moments ever (See the video below), the host announced that Gutiérrez was actually the FIRST RUNNER-UP and that Wurtzbach was the ACTUAL WINNER! Vega had to take the crown off of her compatriot’s head and place it on Wurtzbach.
Harvey later stated that while reading the results card, he confused the winner’s name because all of the Top 3 Girls’ names were on the card and he only noticed the “1st” by Gutiérrez’s name. This Live TV moment sent social media into a frenzy and sparked tons of memes.
5. Kayne West Interrupts Taylor Swift at the 2009 VMAs:
Just like other major award ceremonies, The MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) are broadcast on Live TV for viewers at home to watch. The VMAs have produced some of the most iconic moments in the history of Live TV from Miley Cyrus twerking on Robin Thicke to Brittany Spears’s performance to her single “I’m a Slave 4 U” with a large albino snake on her shoulders to Lady Gaga’s meat dress, to name few.
However, the most memorable moment ever (and for moments that happened on Live TV) in the award ceremony’s history happened during the 2009 VMAs. After winning Best Female Video for her single “You Belong with Me”, Taylor Swift (who had won her first of eventually 10 VMAs) was in the middle of making her acceptance speech when all of the sudden, rapper Kayne West went onto the stage and interrupted her.
In the video below, the rapper took the mic and famously said, “Yo, Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’mma let you finish, but Beyoncé (who was also nominated in that category for her music video for her song “Single Ladies”, but lost to Swift) had one of the best videos of all time! One of the best videos of all time!” The cameras then cut back and forth between a stunned Beyoncé (and audience) and West and Swift, the latter of whom was speechless. West then left the stage to the sound of jeers.
This moment on Live TV stunned viewers at home as well. In addition, West was condemned by various celebrities and public figures for his actions towards Swift. Even then-President Barack Obama called West (in an off-the-record part of an interview) a “Jack***”. Although West has apologized, he and Swift have remained frenemies in the ten years since this Live TV moment happened.
6. Tom Cruise’s Coach Jumping:
One of the most memorable moments on Live TV was the time when Tom Cruise lost his mind and jumped on the couch during an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2005. What caused the actor to lose his mind? The answer: Katie Holmes, his girlfriend of one month at the time of his interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Initially, the actor’s appearance on Oprah’s daytime talk show was going to be about him promoting his new film War of Worlds. However, when Winfrey brought up Holmes (who was backstage where no one, even the cameras, could see her), Cruise’s excitement about talking about his new girlfriend caused him to jump on Oprah’s couch TWO TIMES! This caused the audience to go nuts and left Oprah stunned. She even got Tom to bring Katie out onto the stage.
7. Christine Chubbuck Suicide:
Just like the South Twin Tower collapsing (See #1 Above) and JFK’s Assassination (See #6 above), the Live TV Moment listed here is considered memorable as it involves a tragedy. Christine Chubbuck was a television news reporter for WTOG and WXLT-TV in Florida. On a morning broadcast that aired on July 15th, 1974, her actions shocked not only her co-workers but viewers as well.
After starting the broadcast by reporting three national stories and when she was reporting the fourth story (which was a local shooting), the film reel for that piece was jammed. As a result, the footage couldn’t be shown and when the cameras came back to Chubbuck, she then stated, “In keeping with Channel 40’s policy of bringing you the latest in ‘blood and guts’ and in living color, you are going to see another first—(an) attempted suicide.”
That’s right. Christine Chubbuck became the first person to commit suicide on a live television broadcast as she pulled out a gun and shot herself behind the ear. After she fell down violently, the program’s technical director faded the broadcast rapidly to black and Chubbuck was rushed to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead 14 hours later. It was later revealed that Chubbuck had struggled with depression. Footage of her suicide on Live TV has not been seen since its initial air date and Chubbuck’s brother Greg said in a 2016 interview that he received a legal injunction to ensure that the footage will never be released.
8. Zinedine Zidane Headbutts Marco Materazzi during the 2006 World Cup Final:
The FIFA World Cup is soccer’s most prestigious tournament and one of the most-watched sporting events on Live TV. Regardless of which two countries make The World Cup Final, that game is the biggest one. The 2006 FIFA World Cup Final was played between Italy and France. While Italy would go on to win the match in penalty kicks and their fourth World Cup title overall, the nation’s victory wasn’t the main thing everyone was talking about post-match.
The 2006 World Cup Final went into overtime after regular time concluded in a 1-1 draw. French Midfielder Zinedine Zidane scored a penalty in 7th minute for France and Italian Defender Marco Materazzi made the score 1-1 after scoring a header in the 19th minute. In one of the most memorable moments in the history of the World Cup, Zidane head-butted Materazzi in the chest (who fell on the ground) in the 110th minute of the game. The latter reportedly made an offensive comment about the former’s sister. As a result, Zidane, who was also playing in his final match as a professional, was sent-off by the referee and France lost to Italy in penalties shortly afterward.
9. The Moon Landing:
The date of June 20th, 1969 marks a very important day in world history as it is the day which The Moon Landing occurred. The 50th anniversary of the event took past this past July.
The space flight was conducted on The USA’s Apollo 11 and three astronauts, Commander Neil Armstrong, Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin, and Command Module Pilot Michael Collins completed the first manned mission to land on the moon. Armstrong became the first man to ever walk on the moon and was followed shortly by Aldrin. As reported by CNN, Armstrong’s first steps were broadcast on Live TV and watched by an estimated 600 million people around the world. Major Broadcast Networks including ABC, NBC, and spent a combined $12 million to cover the historic Moon Landing on Live TV.
10. Antoine Griezmann Interrupts Paul Pogba’s Interview Post-World Cup Final in 2018:
The second event from The FIFA World Cup to make this list happened right after the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final where France beat Croatia 4-2. France’s win marked the second time that the country had won the World Cup (The first time France won the tournament was in 1998).
French Midfielder Paul Pogba, who scored the game-winning goal, was in the middle of a Live TV Post-Match interview with FOX Sports when one of his teammates forward Antoine Griezmann (who scored France’s second goal and was named Man of the Match) suddenly appeared on camera. Griezmann took the microphone from the reporter just to say “I love Derrick Rose” (see the video below). He then winked at the camera before walking out of the shot.
No disrespect to the former MVP of the NBA, but of all the things one can say after winning the World Cup, what Griezmann said has to be one of the most random (but most funny) things ever. However, given that Antoine Griezmann is an avid NBA fan and that his idol is Derrick Rose (see the photo below), it probably makes sense. Whenever Rose wins his first NBA Finals, hopefully, the first thing he says in his first Live TV post-game interview is “I love Antoine Griezmann”.