Late-night talk shows tend to be pretty boilerplate. First comes the opening monologue, then some light banter with the band leader, and eventually a celebrity comes on to tell amusing anecdotes they’ve clearly got memorized like it’s their cover story for infiltrating a gang. Someone’s album/movie/colonoscopy gets plugged and we can all go to bed. But those are American talk shows. In other parts of the world, these types of programs are often done differently. Very differently. Sometimes a lot can get lost in translation — like everybody’s minds.
The Harry Potter Cast Is Forced To Emotionally Abuse a Japanese Fan
Except for Jimmy Fallon, talk show hosts are expected to be funny. This often takes the form of monologuing, or doing skits, or the host being terrified of animals. But in Japan, their taste in humor is slightly different than ours. Which might explain why popular talk show Karakuri Terebi decided it would be hilarious to grant one teenage girl her greatest wish, only to then turn in into a mad fever dream.
Appearing on Conan, Daniel Radcliffe related a story about meeting Japan’s biggest Harry Potter fan, who was put on a 18-hour flight to the actual Hogwarts set to meet the Potter crew on camera. Now, everybody loves surprises , but not even a Japanese teenager could squeal for that long. So to regain the element of surprise, the producers of Karakuri Terebi inform this teenage girl, standing at the precipice of what is conceivably the happiest moment of her life up to that point, that Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint have fucked off and don’t want to meet her. Not that they weren’t unavailable, mind you, but that they couldn’t be British arsed to spend even a second with her.
Despite being obviously devastated, the brave girl is still determined to make the best of it and tours the Hogwarts set. Of course, crushing a teenager’s dream is all nothing but a funny prank, so right when she puts on the sorting hat, Radcliffe pops up to welcome her to the team. She reacts … poorly.
“Ravenclaw for life, motherfucker.”
Then the dazed girl, who’s been on a deliberately made emotional roller coaster, has to “interview” Radcliffe for the show. However, dropping an idol on a fangirl out of the blue does not a coherent interview make. Barely being able to utter a word, the girl ends up groping Radcliffe’s face like she can’t believe he’s there.
“Is … is this ‘Hello’ in Japanese?”
She then has the extremely ginger Rupert Grint stalk up behind her and say hello, which is enough to startle the crap out of anyone. This is again followed by more face-groping, and her then sniffing her finger, perhaps hoping some of that magical gingerness would rub off on her.
Last is Emma Watson — who, being the smartest of the trio, keeps a good arm’s length away from the punch-drunk fan, possibly because she’s legitimately scared of the girl groping her face, only to rip it off and wear it on her own.
Pierce Brosnan Tosses Olives At A Woman’s Breasts On A Russian Talk Show
Evening Urgant is a late-night Russian talk show in the mold of Letterman or Fallon. Brosnan appeared on it in 2014, and despite not having played James Bond in over a decade, the host still donned a tuxedo and devised a silly game for them to play.
Rather than lip-syncing Live And Let Die or playing a Bond-themed game of Password, the show decided to create a new game which involved two of Bond’s favorite pastimes: martinis and objectifying women. The host brings out two large-breasted women in low-cut dresses, gives Pierce a glass full of olives, and takes turns with him trying to throw the olives into the ladies’ cleavage:
After pelting the silent and still women with their bitter fruit, Brosnan finally manages to hit his mark. Channeling Bond, who has a lot of experience aiming at breasts, Brosnan manages to hit his olive off the board and bounce it into the cleavage. But as he awkwardly walks over to inspect his bullseye more closely, the host, who devised this game in the first place, pulls him back. Evening Urgant is nothing if not classy.
Jean-Claude Van Damme Gets A Boner On A Brazilian Show
The master of karate and the scrotum-tearing split, Jean-Claude Van Damme was an action megastar in the late ’80s and early ’90s thanks to Bloodsport, Kickboxer, Double Impact, and probably some other movies but who cares. Playing to his strengths, JCVD has often been asked by interviewers to showcase his martial arts skills. And Van Damme likes to get physical. We mean, he really, really likes to get physical.
Riding high on his success, and we mean that quite literally, he appeared on a Brazilian talk show, Domingo Legal, acting like he was on speed. He spars with some of the show’s crew members:
He also does bad impersonations of Sylvester Stallone:
And it wouldn’t be a low-budget stereotypical Latin American show without a lot of beautiful women dancing:
After he spends a few minutes grinding with a woman clad in a beaded curtain bikini, the host starts laughing and pointing at The Muscles from Brussels’ Belgian bulge:
And Van Damme, lacking any books to shuffle in front of his crotch, responds like pubescent middle-schooler. Which makes us wonder how many takes this scene in Kickboxer took before the director regretted not making Van Damme wear jeans.
Harry Connick Jr. Judges Australian Blackface
Blackface hasn’t been cool for a while now. Not long enough by far, but hey, we all finally got to a place where dressing up like a racist caricature is just plain wrong. Except in Australia, it seems, where Harry Connick Jr. found himself unknowingly judging a poor homage to The Black And White Minstrel Show. Appearing on the Australian variety show Hey Hey, It’s Saturday, Connick Jr. was asked to judge a talent show. One of the acts was a Jackson Five cover group called Jackson Jive, and here’s how they showed up:
The backup dancers, who (best-case scenario) are supposed to represent the Jackson Five, are performing in blackface, complete with afro wigs and artificially whitened teeth. To even things out, we then get to the singer who is in whiteface to play modern-day Michael Jackson, despite being a white man.
And don’t be misled by the cheap backgrounds and ’70s colors; that’s the Australian TV budget at work. This happened in 2009, during a one-off revival of the show. Connick wasted no time criticizing the group, saying, “If they turned up looking like that in the United States … It’d be hey, hey, there’s no more show.” He then handed out the harshest verdict a TV judge can:
After seeing the displeasure of Sir Harold Connick II, the host tried to defend his ridiculous spectacle by claiming it was to honor the actual Jackson Five, who performed on the show 20 years prior. And surely there’s no greater honor than being portrayed by a white man. After the break, and probably some excellent speakerphone yelling by Connick’s agent, the host backtracked, saying, “I think we may have offended you with that act … I know that to your countrymen, that’s an insult to have a blackface routine like that on the show, so I do apologize.” So not only did he offend all black people and one Yank, but also the millions of normal Australians by pretending this is a normal thing in their country.
Hugh Jackman Wrestles And Dances On A Korean Variety Show
Hugh Jackman is best-known for making the entire world have the wrong idea of what a wolverine is or what it does. His fans also know Jackman as a quadruple threat: He can sing, dance, act, and make everyone’s mom get the vapors. Jackman’s a born performer who never looks out of place on a stage — something one Korean show really put to the test.
In 2009, during promotion for X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Jackman went on a Korean variety show called Star King. This is the part where we review how weird it is, but having watched every clip on YouTube, we can confidently say we don’t understand what the hell it’s about. And that’s still way more information than what Jackman probably got before appearing on the show. Within a few minutes of appearing on stage, he’s engaged in a wrestling match with the host:
And then he has to bust out the Wolverine claws:
This leads to a girl serenading him while delivering a rose:
Then an entire group of young women start an impromptu dance party, which Jackman, the greatest sport since football, joins in …
… But it’s not just ladies who can get Jackman to cut a rug:
Haha, what a lovely guy. Can we have a Gambit movie now?
Weird Al Tries To Eat Japanese Man In A Lobster Costume
“Weird Al” Yankovic has a certain reputation, and it’s not for being California’s most reliable accountant. He has been wonderfully strange since the ’80s, delighting nerds with his parodies of popular music. But if there’s any show that can out-weird Weird Al, it’s a Japanese talk show.
Back in 1984, Weird Al was starting to achieve widespread fame with “Eat It,” bolstered by the shot-for-shot remake of Michael Jackson’s video for “Beat It” (get it?). The success of the song got him invited to a talk show in Japan, where he performed the song live with a large Japanese man next to him, dressed as Jackson, scarfing down food the entire time.
As the song ends, they bring out a man in a giant lobster costume. Weird Al, not knowing what to make of this, pretends to eat the lobster in dead silence, only to be rebuffed by the crustacean actor like he’s the doofus.
The look of confusion is not an act, according to Weird Al:
“This is me on a Japanese TV show in 1984, singing ‘Eat It’ (badly) in half-English, half-phonetic-Japanese. My look of confusion is not an act – I have absolutely no idea what is going on here. The clip features dancing Sumo wrestlers, a Japanese Michael Jackson, and of course, a guy dressed up as a giant lobster.”
Tom Hanks Watches A Potato Sack Race In A Cat Hat
Apart from being a phenomenal actor, Tom Hanks seems like a nice guy. When doing interviews, he has the ability to seem genuinely interested in whatever the other person is blathering on about without coming across as patronizing or condescending — a feat only equaled by Mr. Rogers and your grandma.
Perhaps it was this trait that led him to be invited as a judge on Wetten Dass, a German variety show in the vein of America’s Got Talent, if that show only did auditions in high schools with a lot of asbestos in the walls. But the defining feature of Wetten Dass is that it’s long. The show can drag on for up to four hours. Nobody informed Hanks of this, but he managed to hold it together much longer than any of us could have hoped to, through skits which involve him getting his nails done …
… pretending to eat at a restaurant where the tablecloth is yanked away …
… and something with dentistry?
But the breaking point appears to be a potato sack race in which, for some reason, he wears a cat hat. Hanks, who is internationally regarded for his ability to fake emotions, simply runs out of fucks to give.
In an interview with a radio station, Hanks later remarked that, “In the United States if you are on a TV show that goes for four hours, everybody responsible for that show is fired the next day.” Nobody at Wetten Dass was fired, or strangled for that matter, proving yet again what a nice man Tom Hanks is.
Nicolas Cage Is … Nicolas Cage … On A British Talk Show
Nicolas Cage has the great honor of being the de facto insane fucking dude of Hollywoodland, but to younger audiences, it might not be clear where that reputation comes from. Sure, the characters he plays can be a little unhinged, what has he done in real life to justify that?
Perhaps the clearest example is Cage’s 1990 appearance on the British talk show Wogan. This was an interesting point in Cage’s career. He was well-known from movies like Raising Arizona and Moonstruck, but still hadn’t reached the critical success of Leaving Las Vegas or the box office draw of The Rock. He was famous enough to get invited onto talk shows, but arguably not quite famous enough to have an entire team of handlers telling him to tone it down. So here’s how he came out:
After executing a front handspring, Cage gives a nice high kick before deciding to make it rain on the audience, along with some more sweet karate moves:
Eventually, Terry Wogan manages to get Cage to sit down, which is no small feat. All that karate-kicking had gotten Cage quite worked up, though, so after complaining that he’s hot, he takes off his Wild At Heart promotional T-shirt and then spends the rest of the interview wearing nothing but his leather jacket and looking like a sex offender at a bowling alley.
Finally, after a few more celebratory fist pumps, Cage carefully pops his microphone back on, leans back, and has a perfectly normal interview with Wogan. Because doing karate, throwing money around, and stripping down to a leather jacket isn’t Nicolas Cage being crazy on a talk show; that’s Nicolas Cage entering a room.
When he’s not giving Jean-Claude Van Damme boners, Chris can be found on Twitter.
For more bizarre places famous people turned up, check out The 5 Strangest Celebrity Cameos in Pro Wrestling and The 5 Most Baffling Celebrity Appearances in Video Games.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel, and check out The 5 Most Hilariously Drug-Fueled Celebrity Interviews Ever, and other videos you won’t see on the site!
Follow us on Facebook, and we’ll follow you everywhere.