courtesy Harpo Productions
Think Tom Cruise was the first star to flip out on national TV? Don't be
1) Tom Cruise loses control.
Declaring his love for Katie Holmes, Cruise jumped on Oprah's couch. He pumped his fists and squatted like a scary version of The Thinker. He made weird faces. In short, he acted nuts. Then he went on
and loonily challenged Matt Lauer's knowledge of psychiatric history. Of course, Cruise's 2005 publicity-grabbing antics didn't hurt the box office for
War of the Worlds
(or for Holmes'
), so who's crazy now?
2) Michael Jackson dangles a baby.
Jacko had pulled plenty of wacko stunts before, but this one seemed dangerous: holding his son (nicknamed "Blanket") over the railing of a Berlin hotel balcony in 2002. "I got caught up in the excitement of the moment," Jackson explained. Perhaps most shockingly, no charges were filed.
3) Farrah Fawcett spaces out.
goddess denied allegations that she was flying high on
The Late Show with David Letterman
in 1997. Sure, she was distracted by the faux skyline backdrop (which she thought was real), but she later claimed she was just "pretending." We had no idea Fawcett was such a talented actress.
4) Mariah Carey breaks down.
Her rambling 2001 MTV striptease was attributed to "exhaustion." And this was
5) Whitney Houston just says "no."
Houston, we have a problem: In a 2002 chat with Diane Sawyer, the diva admitted to doing drugs but insisted, "I make too much money to ever smoke crack. Crack is whack." Judging from her bizarre behavior on
Being Bobby Brown
, so is Houston.
6) Howard Dean screams.
He may have finished third among Iowa voters in 2004, but the Democratic presidential contender shot to the top of late-night comics' hit lists when he let loose an ear-splitting, bloodcurdling wail at a post-caucus rally. What a howler!
7) Anna Nicole Smith slurs her speech.
It wasn't the TrimSpa talking when the reality-TV train wreck woozily introduced Kanye West at the 2004 American Music Awards. In a barely coherent falsetto, Smith squealed, "Like my body?" and dubbed the rapper "a freakin' genius." As opposed to just being a freak.
8) Jack Paar walks off.
The weepy host quit
The Tonight Show
for a month in 1960 after NBC's censors nixed a joke about a "water closet" (that means a toilet, kids). In an era when Mini-Me pees on TV, a "WC" gag seems downright quaint.
9) Verne Troyer relieves himself.
The Surreal Life
was never more surreal than in 2005, when a blotto Mini-Me rode his scooter into a corner and went No. 1. This is why pixilation was invented.
10) Courtney Love goes wild.
OK, it was cute when Drew Barrymore flashed David Letterman in 1995. But when this wobbly warbler repeated Barrymore's stunt in 2004, it was just plain creepy. Not that Letterman was complaining.
11) Joe Namath makes a pass.
"I want to kiss you," the ex-Jets quarterback leeringly burbled to ESPN sideline reporter Suzy Kolber in 2003. Alas, Namath didn't score, but he did rush into alcohol rehab.
12) Tyra Banks blows up.
It wasn't pretty when, in 2005, Banks chewed out
America's Next Top Model
wannabe Tiffany for - no kidding - not taking the show seriously. "I have never in my life yelled at a girl like this!" she bellowed. Here's one model who's not afraid to show her bad side.
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