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Scott Aukerman


6 Best Talk Show Moments of All Time

Posted: 06/29/2012 4:56 pm

Let's face it: I was handpicked from obscurity to become the face of television's new talk/variety show IFC's Comedy Bang! Bang! There is a lot of pressure on me to create some "classic TV moments" that could air during future Emmy broadcasts (and during my inevitable "In Memorium" segment).

What else to do but to turn to talk shows of yore for inspiration? What are my personal picks for the best talk show moments of all time? Continue forth, gentle reader...

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  • Jason Voorhees on "The Arsenio Hall Show" - When Talk Show Guests Go Silent

    For a spell in the nineteen-hundred-and-nineties, appearing on Arsenio Hall's show was the hippest thing you could do, so it makes sense that he was able to land guests that no other show could procure. But the dog pound was certainly not ready for this! Arsenio wasn't afraid to ask the tough questions of his non-syllabic guest, like why he's killing fewer people in his newest movie, what caused him to be so angry and become a killer (because he was cut from the hockey team in high school?). And while <em>Friday the 13th Part 8</em> may not be remembered by history, this incredible "no talking" talk show appearance surely will.

  • Paul McCartney on "The Chris Farley Show" - Dumb, Obvious Questions from a Nervous Host

    My favorite member of Wings makes an appearance on this long-running chat show, fielding some obvious queries from a hyperventilating, bumbling host with his trademark "Liverpudlian aplomb™." "Member when you were in the Beatles and you were supposed to be dead?" Pretty much how any of us would act if we had the chance to meet and chat with the still-living legend McCartney.

  • Starburns on "Troy and Abed in the Morning"

    The news of Starburns' recent passing only makes revisiting this classic clip all the more poignant. And while I'm no animal expert, the tips I learned on the show about my own pet turtles, I use to this very day.

  • Jim Carrey's Send-Off on the Finale of "The Larry Sanders Show"

    When it comes to saying goodbye to your talk show, we could all take some tips from the master, Larry Sanders. In this clip, Jim Carrey, high off the success of Dumb and Dumber, sings his way into Larry's heart (as well as into that studio audience!), just like Bette Midler did for Johnny Carson. What surprises me about this clip, however, is the part after Mr. Carrey sings, where he tells him to cut the crap and threatens to "crush him" if he decides to go into movies. To be frank, I'm surprised their private conversation ever made it to air.

  • Rupert Pupkin on "The Jerry Langford Show"

    Nothing leads us off to dreamland easier than heartily chuckling at a fantastic comedian mere seconds before our slumber. In his television debut, Mr. Pupkin makes light of his own childhood upbringing, and, in turn, lets us laugh a little at ourselves. He leaves us with words to live by: "Better to be king for night than schmuck for a lifetime."

  • Pat Morita on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno"

    In this curious clip, the "Happy Days" star performs an impressive leaping tour de force, demonstrating to Jay the proper technique for karate kicking a car. This rivals the Ed Hames-throwing-a-tomahawk clip for "stunts gone awry" in <em>Tonight Show</em> history!