Our favorite TV fumbles

We've all had those moments. We're all highly trained, skilled athletes and — in a display of premature celebration — we fumble the ball away a split-second before an important touchdown in a critical professional football game.

On second thought, maybe only the Philadelphia Eagles' DeSean Jackson can claim that distinction.

But Jackson is certainly not alone in making incredibly stupid decisions in front of an unforgiving, global audience.

Here is our highly unscientific list of the Top Boneheaded Performances on TV. Click on the headline for video.

Rippin' on the pope

Sinead O'Connor (Oct. 3, 1992)

The music guest on Saturday Night Live that week, O'Connor sang a version of Bob Marley's War, then tore up a photo of Pope John Paul II while singing the word "evil." Sure, her music career took a nose-dive three seconds after it happened. But it was totally worth it, right, Sinead? (Now, about that haircut …)

The Dean scream

Howard Dean (Jan. 19, 2004)

His voice shredded from a nasty bout with the flu — and his ego bruised by an unexpected third-place finish in the 2004 Iowa Democratic caucuses — Howard Dean's high-pitched primal scream during a rally shocked the media and supporters. Did it also effectively end his presidential campaign? "Yeeeahhh!"

Supersized nip-slip

Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake (Feb. 1, 2004)

During the Super Bowl halftime show, Timberlake ripped off part of Jackson's outfit and out popped her bare breast on live TV. The fallout: Outraged feds slapped a half-million dollar fine on CBS — until the courts restored sanity and threw it out years later. Far worse than a flash of nipple: the phrase "wardrobe malfunction," which is used about every three seconds in normal conversation.

Out of lip synch

Ashlee Simpson (Oct. 24, 2004)

When the wrong track of her voice starting playing on Saturday Night Live, it was pretty obvious Simpson wasn't singing live. Busted! Flustered, she walked off stage to cry. Her career became one big joke, though she has since regained some respect. At least she hasn't given up on pop and gone country, right, Sis?

Where's the Cruise control?

Tom Cruise (May 23, 2005)

The man went totally bonkers jumping on Oprah's couch, proclaiming his love for young Katie Holmes. Publicity stunt? Well, yeah, though TomKat did end up getting married. That episode played right into controversial comments on Scientology and postpartum depression, and now nobody's jumping for joy over Cruise's lackluster career. Rebound impossible.

Heck of a gaffe, Mr. President

George W. Bush (Sept. 2, 2005)

Just days after his director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency botched the handling of Hurricane Katrina's strike on New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, President Bush praised Michael Brown with the infamous phrase, "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job!" in front of hordes of news cameras. Brown would resign in disgrace 10 days later. You'd think being an officer with the International Arabian Horse Association would prepare a person for such abuse.

Comeback another time

Britney Spears (Sept. 9, 2007)

Her performance on MTV's Video Music Awards was supposed to be her big comeback after some hair-shaving crazy moments, but instead she looked like nobody told her she was going to perform on national TV in her bra and panties. Flash forward to this year's VMAs, when she got a standing ovation and three awards. Ah, but she didn't perform. Smart move.

Gasparilla Gayle

Gayle Guyardo (Jan. 26, 2008)

Everybody loves a party, and the annual Gasparilla pirate invasion is one of the most alcohol-fueled, rowdiest events in Tampa Bay. So viewers were more than worried to watch WFLA-Ch. 8's Gayle Guyardo slur her speech and make seemingly disoriented comments as she co-anchored TV coverage of the 2008 parade. Guyardo, who was briefly removed from the telecast after the station fielded an unknown number of calls and e-mails, says a weeklong battle with the flu was to blame, not booze. A relieved bay area drank a collective toast to her recovery.

Our favorite TV fumbles 09/16/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 5:11pm]

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