With so many red faces lighting up TV in 1996, it seems that appearing on Singled Out is no longer the preeminent way to embarrass yourself in front of the camera. Just take a look at these memorable moments:
EGREGIOUS KATHIE LEE (May 1): Talk-show host Kathie Lee Gifford went live to offer herself as a martyr to the child-labor cause, insisting that she was unaware her Wal-Mart clothing line was made in sweatshops by Honduran children: ”You can say I’m ugly, you can say I’m not talented, but when you say I don’t care about children…. How dare you?”
THE JOHN TESH OLYMPICS (July 19-August 4): Critics lambasted the former Entertainment Tonight anchor for his jingoistic gymnastics coverage, which consisted of babbling gravely about the differences between ”the Soviet system” and the good ol’ U.S. of A. Relax, John — the only red menace left is your Live at Red Rocks CD.
DONNY OSMOND IN THE DOGHOUSE ON ROSIE O’DONNELL (July 26): Osmond learned a quick and painful lesson after poking fun at O’Donnell’s weight while appearing on her show. The host lamented for days that ”Donny called me fat,” prompting the erstwhile heartthrob to apologize. O’Donnell was reluctant to accept, but after she forced Osmond to serenade her with his bubblegum hit ”Puppy Love” while wearing a doggy suit, all was forgiven.
TOM BROKAW DISSES DAN RATHER (August 13): During a rehearsal for the Republican National Convention, the NBC newsman was caught on a satellite feed saying CBS’ Rather reported stories leaked from the Nixon White House ”that had no basis in fact.” When his comment surfaced, Brokaw apologized, saying it may not be true and ”it just popped out.”
ROSEANNE TAKES IT OFF (October 1): Viewers blushed when the mercurial Roseanne staged a fantasy Playboy shoot on her sitcom. In the overlong sequence, the Rubenesque exhibitionist pouts at the camera while displaying herself in skintight leopard pants, a baby-doll getup, and naked in a tub of money. Even Tom Arnold has more taste.
BRINKLEY CALLS BILL A BORE (November 5): Five days before he hoped to interview the President on his last This Week With David Brinkley, the ABC broadcaster made this assessment of Clinton: ”He has not a creative bone in his body…. He’s a bore.” Brinkley later apologized to Clinton, who joked, ”The vice president was very happy when you said I was boring.”