Most of us have spent countless hours in front of television sets throughout our lives. We've seen and heard some outrageous things on (and about) television, but most of them can't compare to the outrageous things we think we've seen on television
Select this link for an expanded definition of our rating system.
Alfred Hitchcock Presents:
An episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents was suppressed for being "too horrifying."
The Bachelor: The Bachelor's Alex Michel was pressured by the network to pick the underdog rather than the woman he wanted. The Bachelor's Aaron Buerge got three contestants from the show pregnant.
Purple dinosaur children's host Barney had cocaine hidden in his tail or cussed out a child.
The lyrics to the Batman TV theme song were produced by brass instruments, not human voices.
A curse doomed the cast of Bewitched to early deaths.
"Steve" died of a heroin overdose and was replaced by a look-alike.
Bozo the Clown:
A youngster told Bozo to "cram it" after losing one of the show's contests.
Passengers on an airliner diverted to Cuba thought the hijacking was a Candid Camera stunt due to the presence of Allen Funt, the show's host.
Frank Zappa was the son of the actor who played Mr. Greenjeans on Captain Kangaroo.*
British TV cartoon characters had sexually suggestive double entendres for names.
The Marlboro Man died of lung cancer.
Little Mikey of LIFE cereal fame died from eating Pop Rocks and soda.* Subway pitchman Jared Fogle ("the weight-loss guy") died.
A Mountain Dew commercial included footage of a fatal skydiving accident.
The "Dell Dude" lost his job because of a drug bust.
Taco Bell ended its famous ad campaign because the dog died.
Kid in Frosties commercial committed suicide, was murdered by bullies, or died of cancer.
An unsuccessful contestant on The Contender committed suicide after being bumped from the show.
Randomly selected letters on TV game show spelled out the phrase
Dragnet: Dragnet's Sgt. Joe Friday character frequently implored female informants to provide "Just the facts, ma'am."
The Ed Sullivan Show:
During the Beatles' first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, crime rates plummeted all over the U.S.
Family Matters: Jaleel White (Steve Urkel) committed suicide.
The French Chef:
Cooking maven Julia Child dusted off a chicken she'd dropped on the floor and continued cooking it.
The Game of the Name:
Several TV series have included leading characters whose full names were never revealed.
The full name of the title character in Gilligan's Island was 'Willy Gilligan.'
Albert Einstein once guest-starred on Gunsmoke.
John Wayne was offered the role of Matt Dillon.
After a 1977 episode of Happy Days aired, the American Library Association reported a nationwide 500% increase in library card applications from children.
I Love Lucy:
Lucille Ball claimed radio transmissions picked up by her fillings led to the capture of Japanese spies. I Love Lucy co-star Vivian Vance was contractually obligated to remain at least 20 pounds overweight.
Joanie Loves Chachi: Joanie Loves Chachi was the highest-rated American program ever shown in Korea because "Chachi" is Korean for "penis."
A broadcast by Houston TV station KLEE was received by viewers in England three years after the station went off the air.
Don Knotts once served as a drill sergeant in the U.S. Marines.
Labor Day Telethon:
Jerry Lewis keeps a significant portion of the funds raised during the annual MDA Labor Day Telethon.
Leave It to Beaver:
The first toilet seen on American television appeared on
Leave It to Beaver. Leave It to Beaver star Jerry Mathers was killed in Vietnam.
Life Is Worth Living:
Bishop Fulton Sheen foretold the death of Stalin on his TV show.
The Little Rascals:
Bill Cosby bought up the rights to The Little Rascals comedies to keep them off TV.
Congressman Fred Grandy had a page fired for insolence.
Mary Kay and Johnny: Mary Kay and Johnny was the first TV series to portray a husband and wife sharing a bed.
The cast of M*A*S*H did not learn of Col. Blake's death until they were actually filming the scene in which it was announced.
An outtake from Mister Ed captures the talking equine making a racist comment.
Mister Rogers' Neighborhood:
Children's show host Fred Rogers hid a violent past.
Mr. Rogers' stolen car was returned after thieves realized it was his.
Mr. Rogers said that his mother responded to scary news by telling him, "Look for the helpers."
Charles Manson auditioned for The Monkees.
The Newlywed Game:
Contestant gave unintentionally hilarious answer to a question about "making whoopee."
The password is "deer." Celebrity gives his black partner the clue "doe." Contestant responds by guessing "knob."
A 1997 episode of Pokemon triggered epileptic seizures in over 600 young viewers.
A viewer received an insulting response after sending a complaint to ABC's web site about the TV program The Practice.*
Press Your Luck:
A contestant won big by memorizing the sequence the lights on the prize board followed.
The Price is Right:
Because his jailbird son complained about a lack of prison toiletries, Bob Barker of The Price is Right founded a company that supplies them.
A QVC demonstrator fell from a ladder on live television.
Joan Rivers once gave out actress Victoria Principal's home phone number on her talk show.
The five characters in Scooby Doo represent five Eastern colleges.
Ernie is slated to die in a future episode of Sesame Street.
Ernie and Bert are gay and will soon marry on Sesame Street. Sesame Street is adding to its cast a muppet who is HIV-positive. Sesame Street's Cookie Monster is being replaced by Veggie Monster.
The Soupy Sales Show:
Soupy asked children to send him "green pieces of paper" from their parents' wallets.
Soupy Sales sneaked smutty jokes onto his show.
The Star Trektheme has lyrics.
The character of Ensign Chekov was added to Star Trek because of an editorial in Pravda.
The actor who portrayed TV's Superman died because he believed he possessed his character's super powers and accidentally killed himself attempting to fly.
John Ritter's testicles were briefly visible in an episode of Three's Company.
The Tom Green Show:
Tom Green's MTV show was cancelled after he attended a bar mitzvah dressed as Adolf Hitler.
Johnny asked Zsa Zsa Gabor to "move that damn cat."
Wife of famous golfer blurts out on TV that she kisses her husband's balls for luck.
Johnny Carson once delivered a humorous monologue about 'What Democracy Means to Me.'
Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson all appeared on the Tonight Show on the same day.
Johnny Carson caused a toilet paper shortage in 1973 after making a joke in his monologue.
Touched by an Angel: Atheist groups are petitioning Congress to have the program Touched by an Angel removed from the airwaves.*
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire:
Game show contestant cannot correctly determine which is larger: an elephant or the moon.
Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom host Marlin Perkins was once bitten by a rattlesnake on live TV.
The Wonder Years:
Kevin's sidekick Paul was played by Marilyn Manson.*
You Bet Your Life:
While interviewing the mother of a large number of children for the show You Bet Your Life, Groucho Marx made a risqué remark about his cigar.
The Young and the Restless:
Actress Eileen Davidson of The Young and the Restless is a transsexual— she used to be a man.
Death Takes a Powder:
An actor whose character had been killed during a live television production suddenly got up and walked off-stage.
Television sets don't have a Channel 1 because that frequency had already been reserved for military use.
The government will temporarily interrupt all television, radio, communications, and power in the U.S. on 9 November 2011.