The Stars Revolt: 15 Televised Celebrity Meltdowns

15 On-Air Celebrity Meltdowns


Photo: Judy Eddy/

There are few things that grab headlines faster than celebrity meltdowns, especially if they happen to be captured live. Let’s face facts– beyond the drama of ranting, aggravated stars berating those around them, there’s nothing like a televised rant to bring out a celeb’s fragile humanity. Okay, that’s a bit lofty– maybe it’s just funny to see these stars exasperated and turning up the awkward. Either way, enjoy our 15 favorite televised celebrity meltdowns below.

Charlize Theron

Theron PF WENN


In 2007 Charlize Theron did a CNN interview with Rick Sanchez to promote her documentary East of Havana. The discussion of the film, which centers on struggling Cuban rappers, lead Theron to compare Fidel Castro’s country to America. When an angered Sanchez pressed the subject, things got a little weird.

Jeff Hardy

Jeff Hardy PF WENN


TNA wrestler Jeff Hardy’s meltdown came at the expense of his fans. At the company’s 2011 pay-per-view Victory Road, Hardy showed up to a headlining match against Sting drunker than anyone in the history of inebriation. See the uneasy mix of booze and high flying below.

Tyra Banks

Tyra Banks PF WENN

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Back in the UPN days of America’s Next Top Model, Tyra Banks climaxed an April episode of the show by eliminating a contestant not with a whimper, but a scream. A lot of screams, actually. Watch her lay into a contestant who, ironically, seems to have some rage issues.

NeNe Leakes


Photo: Judy Eddy/

Celebrity Apprentice’s 2011 season was defined by the explosive relationship between NeNe Leakes and Star Jones. This climaxed in Leakes’ denigrating Jones in front of everyone on the show in a long-winded rant you’ll find below. Leakes later left the competition on her own accord.

Mel Gibson

Mel Gibson PF WENN


While Mel Gibson’s most famous rants haven’t occurred on live TV, a 2006 interview with WGN abbreviated the scandal nicely. During a 2006 promotion of his would-be comeback, Edge of Darkness, Gibson’s interviewer pressed him about said previous scandals. The actor plays it straight until the very end, when, thinking the mic is cut off, lets his true feelings out.

Robert Blake

Robert Blake PF WENN

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Apparently Robert Blake is still sensitive about the whole being accused of committing his wife’s murder thing. Piers Morgan took this for granted in an interview with the actor from earlier this year, resulting in Blake’s full-fledged, on-air meltdown.

Christine O’Donnell

Christine O donnell PF WENN (1)

Photo: Carie Devorah/

Piers Morgan strikes again, this time with former U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell. The politician has a history touting total abstinence, something Morgan digs through before questioning the candidate’s beliefs on gay marriage. This, in turn, caused O’Donnell to walk off his show at the behest of a manager. Sure, it isn’t quite a full-fledged meltdown, but you could cut the tension with a knife.

Crispin Glover

C Glover PF WENN


“I can kick!” Crispin Glover’s August 1987 interview with David Letterman is the stuff of legend. The erratic actor’s performance here has to be an intentional bit of Warhol-ian humor. Too bad Letterman doesn’t seem to be enjoying it.

Joaquin Phoenix

JphoeniX PF WENM


We can only hope Phoenix had Glover in mind when he appeared on Letterman bloated, in full beard, and seemingly torqued out of his mind. The surly stunt turned out to be a bit of performance art for Phoenix’s mockumentary, I’m Still Here, but clearly Letterman was not in on the joke.

Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino PF WENN


Quentin Tarantino has been fielding questions about the ramifications of onscreen violence since Reservoir Dogs. After almost twenty years of fighting with interviewers and critics, the auteur seems to be just about done broaching the subject. Watch him “shut the butt” of a Channel 4 interviewer down when the topic arises in relation to Django Unchained.

Spike Lee

Spike Lee Bad PF WENN

Photo: DJDM/

Tarantino’s hotheaded contemporary, Lee, garnered controversy of his own after turning to Kickstarter to fund his latest movie. An appearance on Bloomberg attempting to promote the campaign backfired when co-host Trish Regan questioned the morality of Lee’s campaign. Watch things heat up below.

Bill O’Reilly

Bill Oreilly PF WENN

Photo: HRC/

“We’ll do it live, f— it!” Before he was the star of Fox News, Bill O’Reilly was hosting Inside Edition. While the rant below never made it onto live TV, the tape has become a viral favorite.

Bruce Willis

Bruce Willis PF WENN


Bruce Willis loves making movies. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Bruce Willis hates promoting movies. Watch the actor shut down an Empire Magazine interviewer who is attempting to get folksy with Willis and Red 2 co-star Mary Louise Parker.

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise PF WENN


During the height of Tom Cruise’s publicist-less years, he managed to outcrazy his previous public appearances with a 2007 Today interview. Watch the Mission Impossible star and interviewer Matt Lauer butt heads over the merits of psychiatric medicine below.

Jim Cramer

Cramer PF WENN


Jim Cramer is all about Mad Money, but where does he draw the line between his onscreen persona and actual, full-blooded rage? We think you can find an accurate answer to that question below.

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