As you've probably seen by now, Jim Carrey recently took an interviewer for a turn at New York Fashion Week, avoiding the typical questions about icons and fashion and instead insisting that nothing matters or has any meaning. It's pretty obvious that the interviewer isn't quite sure what to do with Carrey's "good news" that we don't matter. I mean, E!
isn't generally home to nihilistic philosophies so much as it's focused on, you know, hot gossip and trends.
Of course, Jim Carrey isn't the only one who has made things kind of uncomfortable and turned an interview on its head. The "crazy genius" stereotype of creatives exists for a reason, so it makes sense that musicians have had their fair share of strange, crazy, or just straight up awkward experiences in interviews. Check out some of the most uncomfortable interview moments below, and get ready to cringe:
1. Kanye West blows up at Sway in the Morning
Kanye West is known for his rants and his short temper, especially in interviews, so it was kind of hard to pick the most cringe-worthy one, but I think this moment takes the cake. In his Sway in the Morning interview a few years back, Kanye goes on an impassioned rant, a call-to-action if you will, about how influential and genius he is and how he needs a Medici family to invest in his ideas. Sway interrupts to ask a seemingly innocent question, inadvertently setting Kanye off even more. In response to Sway asking why the successful rapper doesn't just follow his ideas on his own, Kanye takes things to an "outside voices" level, repeatedly telling Sway, "You ain't got the answers."
2. Billy Bob Thornton of The Boxmasters on Q TV
Billy Bob Thornton is straight up rude in his interview with his country rock band The Boxmasters on Q TV. After the host makes the simple mistake of mentioning Thornton's acting career in his introductions, the lead singer is immediately icy and uncooperative. While the rest of their band members do their best to keep the interview on track, Billy Bob refuses to answer questions, simply saying "I don't know" or responding with completely irrelevant anecdotes. After a few minutes of this, the interviewer (props to him for keeping his cool through all of this) addresses Thornton's attitude and tries to explain that while he did mention the acting career, he was focusing the whole interview on the band and the music. Overall, Billy Bob Thornton just ends up coming off as obnoxious and pretentious - definitely not a good look if you're trying to get people to respect you for your music.
3. Courtney Love Crashes Madonna's interview at the VMAs
Courtney Love's appearance in the middle of Madonna's 1995 VMA interview is super uncomfortable for everyone involved (except for Love), and borders on sad. As Madonna says once Courtney starts throwing her makeup compacts up to the interview area, "Courtney Love is in dire need of attention right now," but the interviewer decides to invite her up in spite of Madonna's objections. Love completely derails the interview until Madonna eventually leaves, giving up the interview chair. By the end of the interview, Love is talking about losing her virginity, and laughs so hard that she tumbles forward out of her chair. It's pretty rare (and uncomfortable) to see an interview that literally ends with a face plant.
4. Madonna on Letterman
Speaking of Madonna… the pop star's 1994 appearance on Letterman, while nowhere near as tense and passive aggressive as the Courtney Love VMAs incident, has its fair share of quips and jabs between Madonna and the late night host. What really caused controversy with this interview, though, was Madonna's provocative antics and excessive use of expletives. Madonna's responses were peppered with sexual innuendos, and ended up saying the word "fuck" a staggering fourteen times during the conversation, making that episode the most censored in network TV talk show history.
5. Poppy on the Zach Sang Show
Poppy let's things get super uncomfortable in her half-hour long interview with the radio/podcast host Zach Sang, but if you know Poppy, you know that's pretty much right on brand. Using the same soft, whispery voice she uses in her often unsettling Youtube clips, Poppy doesn't answer a single question like a normal pop star, or even a normal person, would. You can at least tell that the interviewers are having fun trying and failing to get to the bottom of who Poppy really
is, so watching the interview is entertaining despite Poppy's commitment to giving stilted answers and refusing to break character.
6. Justin Bieber walks out on interview
It's hard to tell what really got to Bieber - the language barrier, the question about whether he has a girl or dresses himself, the request for him to make a surprise appearance for some European Youtubers. He looked pretty bored throughout the whole interview, which is kind of understandable since most of the talking was done in Spanish, and there wasn't a lot of translation happening. Whatever that last straw was, by the end of the interview, Bieber just wasn't having it - instead of following the interviewers to the Youtubers, the pop star just walks off and doesn't come back.
7. Michael Jackson in Living With Michael (39:00)
In British journalist Martin Bashir's documentary on Michael Jackson, a bunch of different tense topics are breached, from Michael Jackson's difficult childhood and adolescence to his dramatic changes in appearance to his allegations of child sexual abuse. Bashir begins to push Jackson at around the 39 minute mark on this last subject, questioning Michael Jackson's claim that it's ok to share a bed with a child. The arguments they both make honestly both make sense, but after Michael Jackson's previous allegations, it's easy to doubt the pop star's seemingly genuine sentiments.
8. Twenty One Pilots gets sarcastic
Right off the bat, Twenty One Pilots singer Tyler Joseph avoids answering any questions and instead chooses to criticize the interviewer's' questions. He calls their first question about the band name uncreative, "the worst question you could ask," and corrects the interviewer when he asks "what is a Blurryface," saying it should actually be "who is Blurryface" (and of course, he doesn't answer that question either). Tyler Joseph is pretty uncooperative throughout the whole thing, only answering questions he finds interesting or worth answering, and drummer Josh Dun doesn't contribute much. While they were probably just tired of answering questions they've gotten a million times, they really didn't have to be that rude. The video is straight up cringey and almost unwatchable.