“I’m Done With This”: 12 Celebs Who Pulled A Dramatic Exit On Live TV
Being on live TV can be uncomfortable for anyone, even celebrities. Being put on the spot to talk while all the attention is on you is likely quite daunting. Especially when you consider that someone may potentially ask disconcerting questions just to see how you react.
In fact, there are occasions where several celebs have walked out of such awkward situations on live television. These surprising stunts left viewers and producers alike stunned at the events unfolding before them. Scroll below to check out some of the most dramatic exits to take place on live telly starring some famous faces and what led to them storming off.
#1 Lily Tomlin
Image source: ABC
Back in 1972, Lily Tomlin, the renowned actress and comedian known for her roles in Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In and later Saturday Night Live, made a memorable appearance on The Dick Cavett Show.
In this particular episode, an unconventional and noteworthy interaction unfolded between Lily Tomlin and one of the other guests that evening, Chad Everett, celebrated for his role in the TV show Medical Center.
Following the customary late-night talk show protocol, the actress, aged 33 at the time, relocated to an adjacent seat after concluding her interview.
Subsequently, Dick commenced an interview with the late actor who was 35 years old at the time, punctuating the conversation with occasional comments directed at Lily.
But midway through the interview, Chad ventured into a string of jokes that Lily found deeply offensive, prompting her to abruptly exit the stage and remain absent despite fervent calls from both Dick and Chad.
It was a dig at Dick’s own wife whom he referred to as an “animal he own”, that finally got to Lily.
Dick doubled down on his questionable humor saying his wife was “very happy being taken care of by a man” and “no aspirations to be taken care of by a woman” seemingly referring to Lily.
The studio audience fell into an uncomfortable silence, indicative of the fact that the incident was poorly received not only on screen but also in the live audience.
#2 Donald Trump
Image source: NBC
During his inaugural appearance on Late Night with Conan O’Brien in 1997, former US president Donald Trump found himself in an awkward moment as Conan playfully embarrassed him, coaxing him to reveal the presence of a condom in his pocket.
In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Conan recalled asking Donald: “How much money do you have on you right now?”.
He continued: “He sort of said, ‘I don’t know, I maybe have some.’”
“I said, ‘No, no, what do you have?’ Then he stuck his hand in his pocket and he clearly found something.
“I saw his face change, and I could see that he didn’t want me to know what it was.
“So I reached over and I was like, ‘Come on, come on.’ I made him pull it out — and it was a condom.
“He said, ‘Practice safe sex, everybody.’ He was in between marriages at the time.”
Donald was reportedly so discomfited that he had a fit of anger and exited the set in a huff during one of the commercial breaks.
#3 Robert Downey Jr
Image source: Channel 4 News
Robert Downey Jr. made an untimely departure from a 2015 interview on Channel 4 News, when he expressed his discomfort with Krishnan Guru-Murthy’s questions regarding his previous battles with addiction.
The Iron Man actor later referred to Krishnan as a “syphilitic parasite” and remarked, “I’m one of those guys who I’m always assuming the social kind of decorum is in play and that we’re promoting a superhero movie.”
Robert also said: “A lot of kids are going to see it, and this has nothing to do with your creepy dark agenda that I’m feeling all of a sudden like, ashamed and obligated to accommodate your weirdo sh*t.”
#4 Naomi Campbell
Image source: highdefnow
During an interview with ABC News in 2010, supermodel Naomi Campbell abruptly left when a discussion veered towards a blood diamond she was rumored to have received from former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor, who was facing war crimes charges at the time.
“I didn’t receive a diamond and I’m not going to speak about that,” the catwalk icon said.
As the interviewer persisted in questioning Naomi about the issue, the fashion icon rose from her seat and departed, accidentally causing a camera to topple over in the process.
Later in the same year, Naomi acknowledged that she had received the diamond while providing testimony during the trial of the former Liberian leader.
#5 The Bee Gees
Image source: BBC One
In 1997, during their appearance on Clive Anderson All Talk, The Bee Gees found themselves at the receiving end of the host’s jokes about their music.
Within mere seconds of commencing the interview, Clive likened the group’s distinctive high falsetto to Mickey Mouse and humorously suggested that the Bee Gees, renowned hit-makers, were only “one letter shy” of being “hit writers.”
The breaking point for Barry Gibb and his brothers, Robin and Maurice, came when the host forgot their hit records, prompting them to abruptly leave the show.
#6 Piers Morgan
Image source: ITV News
Arguably one of the most notorious on-air exits in television history occurred in 2021 when presenter Piers Morgan abruptly left the set of Good Morning Britain.
This happened after the weather presenter, Alex Beresford, confronted him regarding remarks he had made about Meghan Markle’s interview with Oprah Winfrey during the previous day’s broadcast.
Alex said: “And I understand that you’ve got a personal relationship with Meghan Markle and she cut you off, she’s entitled to cut you off, if she wants to.
“Has she said anything about you since she cut you off? I don’t think she has. But yet you continue to trash her.”
This prompted Piers to stand up and exit the studio, which would ultimately mark his final appearance on the show, as later that day, it was revealed that he would be departing immediately amidst the controversy surrounding his remarks about the Duchess.
#7 Dr. Jan Adams
Image source: CNN
In 2007, Dr. Jan Adams, the plastic surgeon known for his involvement in the surgery of Kanye West’s mother, Donda, abruptly concluded his appearance on Larry King Live.
He revealed that the West family had communicated their request for him not to participate in the show.
Dr. Jan Adams was seen pulling out his earpiece, before storming off.
Larry later told CNN: “It was as crazy a night as you can imagine, I have seen it all now.”
#8 Crispin Glover
Image source: NBC
Charlie’s Angels actor Crispin Glover’s unforgettable appearance on Late Show with David Letterman in 1987 secured its place as one of the most notorious moments in the genre’s history.
Whether it should be hailed as genius or deemed cringe-worthy remains a subject of ongoing debate.
Crispin had previously garnered attention for his captivating performance in the 1984 film Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, followed by his role as George McFly in Back to the Future.
His scheduled guest spot on Late Night With David Letterman was intended to promote his latest film, the dark indie drama titled River’s Edge.
However, instead of the expected promotional interview, the actor, who was only 23 at the time, delivered a perplexing and bewildering segment that lacked a discernible purpose or direction.
The catastrophic segment ended with David declaring: “I’m gonna go check on the Top 10,” before walking off the stage and leaving Crispin briefly alone before the show cut to commercial.
#9 Ryan Gosling And Russell Crowe
Image source: CBS
But not all live TV walkouts are the result of interviews gone terribly wrong. Sometimes, celebrities and hosts also like to act out on impromptu jokes.
In 2016, Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe made a joint appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
During their segment, Ryan playfully exited the stage as part of a comedic moment, joking that Russell wouldn’t take on The Nice Guys without his involvement.
#10 Joan Rivers
Image source: CBS
In 2014, the late Joan Rivers made headlines when she dramatically exited a CNN interview.
CNN host Fredricka Whitfield was accusing Joan of being mean in some of her harsh fashion critiques, which appeared to ruffle the comedian’s feathers.
Fredricka continued to challenge Joan as she said: “You’re not really worried about feelings getting hurt.”
To which the showbiz personality replied: “Well, not when it’s about dresses, it’s not about them, it’s about clothing.”
Not backing down on her questioning, especially touching sensitive topics appearing in Joan’s book that she was promoting at the time, the guest made an abrupt exit.
Before abruptly walking out of her interview, Joan yelled: “Stop it with ‘you’re mean and you’re that,’ you are not the one to interview a person who does humor, sorry!”
Consequently, during her appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman, the host playfully reciprocated by humorously leaving the stage in jest.
#11 Keith Allen
Image source: BBC 2
In a roundtable discussion on comedy during an episode of The Late Show in 1989, Keith Allen, known for his role in Making Out, engaged in a heated dispute with fellow guests.
His exchange took a racially charged turn as he directed remarks at Indian-born British writer Farrukh Dhondy.
Keith infamously mocked Farrukh, who was sitting at the table, saying “you don’t have a chip on your shoulder, you’ve got a vindaloo”. A vindaloo is an Indian curry dish.
This escalated to the point where Keith raised his voice at a producer before making a dramatic exit from the show. The actor had been reportedly drinking heavily.
#12 Chris Christie
Image source: NBC
Comedian Jimmy Fallon couldn’t resist slipping in a wisecrack about former governor Chris Christie’s weight when the Republican presidential candidate attempted to recount a story involving ice cream.
This incident unfolded during Christie’s appearance in 2015 on “The Tonight Show”. Christie was sharing an anecdote about a recent visit to New Hampshire, where he and Florida senator Marco Rubio had stayed with Utah senator Mitt Romney.
During their stay, Christie recounted how they all went on a boat ride with their respective families and, upon returning to the dock, Mitt suggested that they all indulge in some ice cream.
Christie described his reaction to the ice cream offer as “alright,” but Jimmy, making a playful reference to Christie’s weight, suggested that his response might have been a tad more enthusiastic. Christie caught on to the joke and, in good humor, momentarily walked off the stage before returning with a humorous comeback of his own.