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October 7, 2015

The Twelve Days of Festivus: Nine on-air breakdowns

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 15th 2009 11:00AM
Glenn BeckOn the ninth day of Festivus, TV gave to me... nine on-air breakdowns.

Director Alfred Hitchcock once said, "Television has done much for psychiatry by spreading information about it, as well as contributing to the need for it."

Yes, having a camera stuck in your face for an hour or more a day must take a toll on your sanity. Your privacy is virtually limited. Your every move is scrutinized and criticized by faceless meanies. Your therapist is one session away from owning his own fishing trawler.

It's only a matter of time before the grasp of sanity is clipped away like a loose thread on a homemade snowman sweater and you turn into a blubbering, snotty, incoherent mess for all the world to enjoy. These are the personalities who lost it and may or may not have gained whatever "it" is back.

9. Glenn Beck's crying fit
Just how powerful is the Beckster's ability to express fear and worry about the state of our economy and the country we call home? It totally backfired. Beck has lost his composure on more than one occasion, but the snot-bubble pop heard 'round the world took place back in March when he first started promoting his popular 9/12 Project. The moment got so much airtime on every other network that it reduced MSNBC morning host Joe Scarborough to tears ... of laughter. Even Fox News anchor Shepard Smith roasted Beck for his bawling.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Moment of Zen - Glenn Beck Cries
Daily Show
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Political Humor Health Care Crisis

8. Debra Morgan on Dexter
Dexter's little sister has more than one reason to cry this season. She lost the love of her life and watched the life slowly drain out of his lifeless body thanks to an unknown assailant's bullet. Then when she confronted the person who did it, they took their own life in a brutal suicide right before Debra's blood-stained eyes. Debra, played by Jennifer Carpenter, had more than a few crying fits, but unlike some people on this list, they were never over the top and completely believable. Her performances, particularly in the fifth episode of the season, reeked of compassion and sincerity and brought her character to new, unexplored depths of raw emotion and total loss of control, two things her characters hates admitting to having or showing.

7. Laurie blows her top on She's Got the Look
TV Land's attempt to rip off model reality competition shows not only brought the network to new depths, but also birthed a few mental disorders that the American Psychiatry Association has yet to officially classify. When host Kim Alexis announced they would cut two contestants instead of one, Laurie refused to quit, but begged to be cut with the impatient temper tantrum of a scorned five-year-old in the grocery store cereal aisle. She ramped up the crazy to 11 when she removed her top and earned a trip home, quite possibly on a plane with an all-rubber interior.

6. Carrie Prejean can't hear Larry King
The former Miss California's very short and "inappropriate" interview with Larry King made for one of the weirdest on-air breakdowns of all time. When King pressed Prejean to discuss the reason for her settlement with officials of the Miss USA pageant, Prejean refused to answer any question surrounding the settlement and takes off her ... well, let's just say it's not her top, but it still made for good meltdown TV.

5. Joaquin Phoenix goes full schizo on The Late Show
David Letterman's NBC and CBS late night shows have compiled more awkward moments than your naked baby photos being circulated at your high school prom. For some reason, he's a magnet for weird celebrity behavior and thankfully, he's a funny diffuser of tense situations. Joaquin Phoenix's weird behavior, however, left just about everyone speechless including Joaquin Phoenix. Not only did he speak a total of 17 words in his interview, but some viewers mistook him for a grizzled homeless man who wandered into the studio in the place of Joaquin Phoenix.

4. Kanye West turns into Kanye West at the VMAs
Giving Kanye West a microphone linked to a global network with millions of viewers is like giving a loaded gun to a monkey. Something horrible is sure to happen, but keep the cameras rolling because everyone on YouTube wants to see it. This time, the auto-tune crooner just had to give his two cents by yanking the mic out of dear sweet Taylor Swift's hand as she was accepting her award to proclaim his love for Beyonce's video.

<a href="http://www.mtv.com/ontv/vma/2009/" _fcksavedurl="http://www.mtv.com/ontv/vma/2009/" target="_blank">Kanye West Storms The VMA Stage</a>
3. Jon Stewart goes mad over Jim Cramer
The impending collapse of the entire U.S. stock market and the destruction of just about everyone's 401K except for the guy at the tippity-top got wedged in Daily Show host Jon Stewart's craw. So he and his trained squadron of enraged fact-checking monkeys dug up some rather interesting dirty on the talking heads at CNBC in the months, weeks and days leading up to the collapse and fashioned them into a well-thought out critique. It consisted of the very disturbing clips they found of Mad Money host Jim Cramer touting the stability of Bear Stearns' stock just weeks before its total collapse and Stewart screaming "F$&* you!" into the nearest camera. The rest, as they say, is history.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
In Cramer We Trust
Daily Show
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Political Humor Health Care Crisis

Speaking of enraged number crunching monkeys...

2. CNBC's Rick Santelli calls out the real losers
When word surfaced that some of the foreclosed home owners with bad mortgages might be getting a bailout of their own, Santelli blew his stack on the floor of the stock exchange in Chicago and rallied a small crowd of stockbrokers with him in a tirade that the Chicago Tribune described as one part Howard Beale and one part Howard Jarvis. He was so incensed at the idea that I'm sure if he had a few more minutes of airtime, he would have added two more parts of Curly Howard.

1. Teresa turns the tables (literally) on The Real Housewives of New Jersey
I have never watched this show. I don't know the situation that led to this moment or the context of it. I don't even watch the Bravo Network. All I know is that when I picture any show on Bravo in my head, this is what my mind sees.

Twelve shows a stinkin'
Eleven babes worth watchin'
Ten shows on DVD

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