Whoops! 5 Famous On-Air Slip-Ups

Not everyone on television is a savvy, well-practiced professional. It’s a fact that is never more apparent than when the cameras are rolling live. The pressure and lack of flexibility when what’s happening on camera is going straight to air can be tremendous, and sometimes the results can be unintentionally hilarious. Case in point, video from a Bismarck, North Dakota NBC affiliate has gone viral, thanks to a rookie news anchor leading off his very first broadcast by accidentally swearing, more than once, on the air. While A.J. Clemente’s slip-up was clearly unintended and wound up costing him his job, it also gained him a lot more attention than any well-run Bismarck news broadcast ever could have. It also brought to mind some other famous on-air incidents.

5 Janet Jackson’s Infamous Nip

Considering that it was clearly premeditated and visibly intentional, it’s hard to call the infamous “wardrobe malfunction” of 2004 an on-air “slip-up.” However, there was no way it wasn’t going to land on this list. After all, it isn’t every day that an innocent little nipple steals all the publicity from a riveting Super Bowl, and eventually changes the way sports are broadcast. Janet’s “accidental” exposure earned news coverage worthy of a presidential assassination, and eventually led to a 10-second tape delay on all live sporting events.

4 Diane Sawyer’s Tipsy Coverage

God bless Diane Sawyer, who during the exhausting coverage of the 2012 election, seemed to take it upon herself to pass the time by having a few libations. While the veteran reporter still maintains that she wasn’t drunk on air, who would blame her if she was? If any of us were covering the spectacularly boring election for what seemed like 72 hours straight, we’d probably throw back a bit of the old hooch too. But whether she wants to admit it or not, the footage that America saw featured a very loose-lipped Diane Sawyer who seemed unwilling to take her hands off the desk for fear she’d fall out of her chair.

3 Bill O’Reilly Loses His Mind

If you didn’t already think Bill O’Reilly was a pompous ass, this will definitely do it for you. Also, how could you not already think Bill O’Reilly is a pompous ass? Anyway, this clip features the Fox News host at the helm of Inside Edition, and is easily one of the best on-camera breakdowns of all time. Unfortunately, it didn’t go out live to audiences, but thanks to the blessing that is YouTube, this video of O’Reilly handling a teleprompter issue with all the class and tact of a 5-year-old, still eventually made it to the viewing public.

2 Newscaster Bugs Out

If you have never seen this one before, you’re welcome. This well-known clip is from a few years back, but still well worth your time and laughter. During a broadcast on a local news affiliate (sensing a trend here?), this newscaster goes from buttoned-up to freaking out in a split second when a bug flies into his mouth mid-sentence. What ensues is a curse-filled rant about his distaste for the “country-ass town” he’s stuck in, and the cameraman cracking up laughing. It’s all very professional.

1 Big Papi’s Big F-Bomb

Another incident happened a week after the tragic Boston Marathon bombing, when Red Sox slugger David Ortiz took to the microphone prior to Boston’s game against the Kansas City Royals. The game marked the first appearance at Fenway for the Red Sox since the bombing, and when Ortiz addressed the crowd, he said what was in his heart. Evidently, what was in his heart happened to include a very special four-letter f-word that went out live to audiences around the nation. Despite his on-air f-bomb though, the FCC said they would not fine Ortiz, because let’s face it, the guy was absolutely right. And it was awesome.

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