Talk Show Moments That Gave Us “The Ick”

By: Lauren Wurth | Published: Dec 14, 2022

At the opening of most talk shows, the host, usually a major star, welcomes a guest on stage. The two engage in breezy conversation, and we get to see actual celebrities close up, just chatting.  

The shows aren’t scripted, which means the conversation just flows. But sometimes, that flow is interrupted by a truly awkward moment when someone makes an inappropriate comment. Here are some of the most cringe-worthy moments.

“You Didn’t Invite Me”

This one was genuinely awkward. Ellen DeGeneres and Dakota Johnson were chatting, and Ellen stated that Dakota did not invite her to Dakota’s party.   



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Dakota looked taken aback and told Ellen that she had, in fact, invited Ellen to the party. Dakota even mentioned that the last time she had been on Ellen’s show, Ellen had given her grief about not being invited to a different party. Dakota, seeming irritated and insulted, stated, “I didn’t even know you liked me!”


At Least Get Her Name Right

The actress Cara Delavigne was interviewed on Good Morning Sacramento‘s TV program about her role in an upcoming movie called Paper Towns, which was based on a novel. Unfortunately, the anchors interviewing her truly goofed and created an incredibly uncomfortable scene. First, they got the actress’ name wrong, calling her Carla.  


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Things got worse from there. They then asked her, “have you even read the book” on which the movie was based, which was insulting to Cara. The actress seemed uncomfortable after that, so the TV anchors suggested she could just end the interview. After the actress left the stage, the TV anchors continued disparaging Delavigne.  

Just Being Honest

Ellen Degeneres invited actress Nicole Kidman on her show, along with a professional chef. Part of the show’s plan was for the three to create a snack together.  


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They prepared the food, and everyone had a taste. Ellen enjoyed it, but Nicole did not. She was determined to give her honest opinion, declaring the item “a little tough.”  She became a bit apologetic, adding,  “I know you’re not meant to criticize, but it’s a little tough”. The chef laughed it off but having your creation criticized on a national show with millions watching makes for a very awkward moment. Try harder next time, Nicole.

Check your Contacts First

Jimmy Fallon made a big boo-boo with actor Rami Malik on an episode of Fallon’s talk show. Sometimes talk show hosts overstate their closeness with their guests, trying to convince the audience that the two are good friends. That may make the audience more interested in watching the two chat.  


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On that episode, Fallon said that he would definitely be more in touch with Rami if only he had his email or phone number. Immediately, Rami turned to Jimmy, saying, “Umm… you have my email and phone number”. Jimmy got flustered and didn’t quite know how to respond. Rami just sat there, grinning.

Can I Talk?

Let’s award some points to Dakota Johnson for speaking up even in on-air situations when it makes things awkward. On the Tonight Show, she was trying to tell a story when Jimmy Fallon continued to interrupt her. So naturally, Dakota becomes quite irritated with the interruptions.   

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Dakota eventually got fed up and asked, “Aren’t you supposed to let people talk on this show?” Jimmy was clearly chastened because Dakota was totally correct in her opinion. At first, they laughed it off, but things remained awkward throughout the show. At least Jimmy didn’t interrupt her again.  


Ellen Goofs Again

When Ellen DeGeneres hosted Katy Perry, she had apparently not prepared for the actress’ appearance. She asked the singer if she planned on getting married. Katy, who was married, responded, “Do I have to get married again?”

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Good one, Katie! Although Ellen confidently claimed that Katy was never married, she forgot that Katie had been married to Russell Brand in 2010. Oh, and it gets worse. When Katy and Russell married, Ellen gave her a wedding gift. Double oops. 


Leave Me Alone, Man

Jimmy Fallon got it good from Joaquin Phoenix. Jimmy tried to give Joaquin a nickname, stating that his name was too long to say. This type of banter was one of Jimmy’s favorite stunts with his guests, and usually, the guest takes it with good humor. Not this time.  

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Joaquin was having none of it. He told Jimmy, “You can handle it. I feel like you can handle it. You do a monologue every night”. Next time, Jimmy should just stick to his guest’s regular names.


Things We Don’t Talk About

Interviewer Megyn Kelly has a few rules yet to learn. While interviewing Jane Fonda and Robert Redford on the Today Show, Megyn turned the conversation to the physical appearance of the two stars. Jane was quite taken aback at the topic, and it showed on her face.  

(Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)

Megyn may have been trying to pay a compliment, saying that despite her age, Jane looked great. Unfortunately, these conversations rarely turn out well. Things got weird, but that didn’t stop Megyn. She continued, “You admit you’ve had work done, which I think is to your credit, but you look amazing .”Jane came right back with this question, “Do we really want to talk about that now?”  Hopefully, Megyn learned a lesson that day.


Wendy Williams and Ellen Degeneres

Talk Show Hosts are celebrities as well and sometimes they have one another on the show to interview each other. In this case, Wendy Williams joined Ellen on her show and things got a little tense. 

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 17: Wendy Williams is honored with Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on October 17, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

The interview seemed odd from the very beginning, with many awkward pauses. When they play a game involving Justin Bieber, Wendy commented that people say Ellen looks like him. We’re unsure if she meant to offend or not but she has made a career out of saying some shocking things. Regardless, Ellen was not too thrilled about the comparison.


Kanye West and Jimmy Kimmel

Kanye West has a reputation for being incredibly eccentric and shocking. Jimmy and Kanye got into a discussion about politics which turned really uncomfortable really fast. When Jimmy questions Kanye’s support of Donald Trump the rapper goes absolutely silent.

(Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

It appears that he refuses to answer the question so Jimmy awkwardly cuts to commercial break to try and soothe the tension. Kanye took to Twitter after the interview and claimed that he was not stumped by the question but rather was not given an opportunity to answer. Either way it was uncomfortable to watch!


Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan

On the final episode of Live With Kelly and Michael things got really awkward between the two hosts. It may have been because Michael was leaving the show to go to Good Morning America.

(Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)

Kelly brings up Michal’s divorce! She turns to him and says she wants his take on divorce since she hasn’t been through it. That’s more than a little insensitive. Michael’s shock was evident in the way he turned wide-eyed into the camera. Not a great end to the show!


Celine Dion and Ellen Degeneres

This interview happened all the way back in 2007 but it remains one of the most awkward interviews of all time. Things can get weird when the hosts comment on the guest’s personal life. It can get intrusive!

PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 03: Celine Dion is seen, outside Valentino, during Paris Fashion Week Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2019/20, on July 03, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Edward Berthelot/GC Images)

In this case, Ellen asked Celine when she was going to give her son a haircut. She kept harping on the subject to which Celine finally asked, “Do you have a problem with that?” Ellen said she didn’t have a problem but it was just really long hair. Celine finally stated she would never be able to please everyone.


Blake Shelton and Jimmy Fallon

Blake Shelton is known for having a good sense of humor which he regularly displays on The Voice. But he had quite enough of Jimmy Fallon in this interview. He was on the show to promote his new album but Jimmy kept poking fun at him.

(Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for NBC)

He asked if he was making fun of his album cover and eventually asked if he was even going to conduct an interview because Jimmy wasn’t asking him any rela questions.It was pretty tense throughout and it’s hard to tell if Jimmy was just having a bad day or what was going on.


Joaquin Phoenix and Jimmy Kimmel

In another awkward interview moment Jimmy Kimmel shows a clip of Joaquin on the set of Joker scolding a cinematographer. The actor was clearly upset about the clip being shown. He apologized to the audience: “That was supposed to be private. I’m sorry about that. Sorry you guys had to see that”. 

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 09: Joaquin Phoenix attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 09, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

He asked to move on and later explained that he was embarrassed by the clip because it was taken out of context. Things can get tense on a movie set!