5 funniest TV news blunders

Anchor A. J. Clemente was fired after swearing on live TV in the opening minute of his first...

Anchor A. J. Clemente was fired after swearing on live TV in the opening minute of his first broadcast. (YouTube screengrab)

Steve Tilley, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:15 PM ET

When it comes to TV news, no one screws up quite like Ron Burgundy.

In the just-released Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, Burgundy (Will Ferrell) gets canned from his job at a San Diego news station, while his co-anchor wife Veronica (Christina Applegate) gets promoted to a sweet new gig in New York.

The reason Burgundy is booted? He keeps screwing up on the air. From blurting out profanity to sneezing directly on the camera lens, he is a live TV disaster waiting to happen.

Burgundy isn’t alone, though. Thanks to YouTube, no newscaster gaffe goes unnoticed, undocumented or unshared. Here’s a look at five of our favourite TV news blunders.

Worst first day ever

When Will Ferrell recently visited Bismarck, North Dakota, to co-anchor a newscast in character as Ron Burgundy, his people originally wanted to be on the city’s NBC affiliate — the one that made headlines this year after anchor A. J. Clemente swore on live TV in the opening minute of his first broadcast. The station declined Ferrell’s offer in order to avoid attracting any more attention, and Ron Burgundy instead appeared on the city’s CBS affiliate. But Clemente’s gaffe, which resulted in him being fired immediately after the newscast, won’t soon be forgotten.

Pick a what?

The only better thing than a good on-air blunder is an on-air blunder done twice. While telling viewers how to buy tickets for a sausage-making competition, Global Saskatoon anchor Lisa Dutton meant to say Picatic.com, but it came out as something else entirely. Dutton and co-anchor Kathy Le had a chuckle over the slip, which Dutton then proceeded to make a second time. (Dutton is also the anchor behind the infamous vibrating toothbrush blooper — Google it.)

But he’s gay

Despite society as a whole slowly becoming more open-minded, gay people still have to face obstacles that many others don’t. But one man overcame this adversity and managed to climb a mountain. Wait, what? Somehow when anchor Cynthia Izaguirre introduced a story about a handicapped man climbing Mount Everest, she managed to replace “but he’s blind” with “but he’s gay.” Because they’re practically the same thing.

J.Lo on the job

When introducing a story about Jennifer Lopez’s old neighbourhood in the Bronx, Fox News personality Shepard Smith meant to say “curb job,” but ended up blurting out a very different kind of job. He gravely apologized afterwards, but we’re still left wondering why he’d say curb job in the first place. Did folks in the Bronx really want to stomp on J.Lo’s head? Maybe this was right after Gigli came out.

Grapes of wrath

This classic live news blooper from 1996 has been referenced everywhere from Family Guy to the movie Wanderlust, starring Paul Rudd (who, coincidentally, co-stars in Anchorman 2.) Reporter Melissa Sander was crushing wine grapes on a live morning show in Atlanta when she fell face-first off a raised platform. When the clip surfaced online 10 years later, Sander and her awful cries of pain became Internet famous.


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