The Twenty Weirdest TV Interviews of All Time

Nicole says:
I wanted to let you know about a great list we just put up on Nerve – “The Twenty Weirdest TV Interviews of All Time.”

With celebs gone wild, wasted, or just mad about Katie – it’s good stuff. Joaquin Phoenix on Letterman was just the beginning.

All 20 are good. Here's No. 3: Adam West and Jerry Lawler on Memphis Wrestling, 1977

When Adam West appeared on a Memphis TV station to promote a local car show in 1977, he arrived slurring his speech and wearing what can only be described as "homeless Bat-chic." Jerry "The Evil King of Memphis" Lawler then stopped by, prompting West to inexplicably lecture him on superhero sartorialism and traffic safety. Moments like this are why YouTube exists: the whole tableau is so wonderfully mystifying that it only gets better when watched out of context, particularly when West solemnly tells Lawler, "I've heard about your box." It's like you're watching his Family Guy audition tape.


  1. For a while I was wondering if they’d forgotten all about the Crispin Glover interview.

    Glover’s LA phone number used to be listed (it may still be, I don’t know) and when you called you got a rambling recording about some sort of art project he was doing. It was like your very own Glover/Letterman interview, sans karate kick.

  2. The omission of Tom Snyder’s 1981 interview with Charles Manson isn’t just inexplicable. It’s criminal.

  3. i have no idea whats happening here but I do kind of wish to see a mashup where 60´s batman figths christian bales batman..

    1. I do kind of wish to see a mashup where 60´s batman fights christian bales batman.

      I’m pretty sure that Adam West would have demolished him with a bon mot and one raised eyebrow.

  4. While the gentleman on the right is Jerry Lawler, the fella on the left isn’t really Batman — it’s actually a very drunk Tony Clifton disguised as Batman.

  5. I’m glad they included Kaufman, ’cause Joaquin Phoenix seems to be doing an homage to him.

    I don’t know why they went with IGGY on Tom Snyder…the Public Image interview is excruciatingly uncomfortable and far superior.

  6. The Adam West vs. Jerry “The King” Lawler interview is just another prime example of why it was so great to grow up in Memphis during this time. Dave Brown, the man giving the interview, was a local hero to kids with a Sunday morning variety show. You never knew what you’d get with the Sunday wrestling that followed.

  7. Nerve is the worst at whatever it is they do, which is six ideas poorly executed. This is just a compilation of other peoples’ “Top-10 wacky interviews” that crop up from year to year.

  8. The Manson video is fascinating and everyone should see it.

    The all-time weirdest interview I’ve ever seen, though, is this one of Richard Pryor:

    It’s amazing.

  9. I wish I could find the Tom Snyder/Tomorrow Show interview where he got stuck with a guy who changed his name to a number.

    He was stuck with him for almost a half hour if I recall and it was excruciating to watch as the guy had nothing he wanted to say and Tom tried everything to get him to talk.

    The next day’s show opened with Tom showing off a Sympathy card he had received because of the interview:
    “Much Sympathy on the Death of Your Show [date]”

  10. Tom Waites “interviewed” by Don Lane, Australian television, late 70s. Truly extraordinary moment. Tom can’t lift his head to answer any of the host’s questions, totally wasted, then rouses himself to say in deep gravel-honey voice “You… you gotta lotta good people workin’ for you Mr. Lane.” End. TV Magic!

  11. I can imagine he got drunk and tried to wake up by hot coffee, burned his tongue, then decided to do this half drunk and slurring. itd explain everything. wonder if hed explain it if someone asked…

  12. I don’t agree West is drunk; it sounds more like the audio is as fatigued as the video. His rambling is what happens when an actor works without a script. Or even a real premise. The stripes on his sleeves, I cannot excuse.

  13. I don’t get it. Why was the Iggy interview even on this list. He was sincere, seemingly sober, and fairly articulate. So what’s the big deal?

  14. Wow. The Crispin Glover/Letterman interview was etched permanently into my consciousness when it originally aired, and I can still recall it vividly. It was the most bizarre thing I’d ever seen on TV at the time. Definitely deserves #1.

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