10 craziest celebrity talk show guests ever

While Hollywood royalty usually has their collective acts together, there are times when they hit the live talk TV circuit, and everything goes totally wrong. A bad day, a bit too much to drink, or taking method acting a bit too far can make for some pretty amazing television.

Tom Cruise on Oprah (and the Today Show)

For a while in 2005, the public insanity spiral of Tom Cruise was making headlines. A couple of very strange talk show appearances, and the 2008 release of a meandering, confusing video about Scientology starring the diminutive star didn't help his reputation, either. Cruise's couch-jumping, over-excited insanity during his appearance on Oprah was one weird event that spawned countless parodies, but his appearance on The Today Show was something else entirely. Cruise was in full-on condescension mode when he verbally sparred with Matt Lauer over traditional medicine versus using the power of Scientology to cure ailments. The tense interview truly proved that Cruise had left us mere mortals here on Earth, and he was in full communion with Xenu, the spaghetti master of the spaceways.

Kanye West on Ellen

In 2013, the eternally-stoic Kanye West went on Ellen to promote … something. Whatever it was, Kanye's message was clear: all hail Kanye. The creator engaged in a few prolonged monologues that can only be defined as "word salad," comparing himself to Steve Jobs and rambling about how much change he wanted to bring to the world, at the tender age of 36. The fact that Ellen was able to follow and respond to any of the verbal sewage explosion was a miracle, and if the 2016 VMAs were any indication, the flow of nonsense out of Kanye shows no signs of stopping.

Bobcat Goldthwait on Arsenio

Most kids won't know the mellifluous tones of comedian Bobcat Goldthwait, but in the '90s, the guy was everywhere. Notably, he appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman and lit his chair on fire, but most people forget his even more insane talk show appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show in 1994. With Arsenio facing imminent cancellation, Bobcat took his revenge on Paramount by completely destroying Arsenio's set, including spraypainting the backdrops, breaking multiple TVs, and tearing apart a couch … all on live TV. Arsenio didn't seem to be in on the joke, but didn't do much to restrain the warbling madman either. He knew better.

Mike Tyson on CP24

The former heavyweight champion of the world is no stranger to unusual and contentious interviews, but Toronto broadcast station CP24 got some of the worst of Iron Mike's ire in 2014, though it was probably well-deserved. During a standard interview, host Nathan Downer casually mentioned that Tyson was found guilty in a 1992 rape case. Tyson was immediately put on the defensive, and lashed out at the host with a volley of calm-yet-brutal profanity. Tyson had the last laugh, however—the station was found to have breached Canadian broadcasting ethics codes by continuing the interview after the first s-bomb dropped.

Mariah Carey on TRL

The queen of high notes hit a low note when she made an impromptu, confusing appearance on MTV's Total Request Live in 2001, much to the surprise of host Carson Daly. Once the pop diva saunters in with a melting ice cream cart and a huge t-shirt bearing the name of her most recent single, "Loverboy," Daly completely loses control of the show. Carey flits around the stage with complete disregard for commercial breaks or complete sentences, showing off pictures of her mother and generally appears to be having a total manic attack on live TV. Just days later, Carey checked herself into a hospital for a mental evaluation due to "exhaustion."

Crispin Glover on Letterman

For some reason, David Letterman always seems to bear the brunt of insane, irate, or otherwise unbalanced celebrities, so prepare for a four-pack of crazy. First up: the ever-strange Crispin Glover appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman in 1987 to promote River's Edge, but Glover flipped the script. Instead, he showed up as Rubin Farr, from the as-yet-unreleased film Rubin and Ed, confusing everyone in attendance … most of all Letterman. The host seemed especially impatient with the curveball, cutting the interview short after being challenged to an arm wrestling match, and being nearly kicked in the head with a platform shoe. Glover is notoriously weird … just usually not this weird.

Oliver Reed on Letterman

1987 was a pretty terrible year for Letterman, judging exclusively by his guests. Actor Oliver Reed had a known history of showing up on talk shows completely hammered, but according to close friend Michael Winner, it was the only way that Reed could overcome his shyness. Instead of his usual self, Reed appeared on Letterman as a strange, gruff American who claimed to eat lots of porcelain plates. Vacillating wildly between "grizzled weirdo" and "refined British gentleman," Reed is immensely entertaining and allegedly sober, though we'd still ask for a breathalyzer after seeing this performance.

Joaquin Phoenix on Letterman

Once again, a celebrity couldn't break character while appearing on Letterman, who by now had earned a reputation for being a humorless host who couldn't handle change. In 2009, Joaquin Phoenix was in the middle of a prolonged performance art piece that was being documented for the film I'm Still Here, when he appeared on Letterman as a drugged-out, spacey, standoffish version of himself. This not only unnerved Letterman, but led just about everyone to believe that Phoenix had hit rock bottom. Fortunately, Phoenix completely broke character once the film was released and appeared on Letterman again about a year later. This time, he was himself, much to the host's relief.

Andy Kaufman on Letterman

The most frightening talk show appearance of all time occurred in 1982, when Andy Kaufman appeared on Letterman opposite wrestler Jerry "The King" Lawler, with whom he had a long-standing beef. The feud wasn't real, but the audience wasn't in on the truth just yet. Months before, Kaufman and Lawler had staged a match in which Kaufman was "injured," and they took to the late night program to work it out. The rest is TV history — Lawler strikes Kaufman across the face, and a completely unhinged Kaufman returns after the commercial break launching a string of un-airable profanity. Once again, Letterman is nonplussed. Take a joke, Dave.

Ty Beeson on Dr. Phil

We're stretching the definition of "celebrity" a little bit here, but if you're familiar with the worst, most viral corners of the Internet, you may know Ty Beeson, the producer of Bumfights. When asked to appear on Dr. Phil to defend himself, the deplorable Beeson appeared on stage in full Dr. Phil regalia, right down to the shiny, bald head. Dr. Phil stopped the pre-recorded intro clip to kick Beeson off of the show, but not before Beeson drew some pretty fair comparisons between the exploitative nature of Dr. Phil's brand of television and Beeson's own Bumfights. It's immediately clear that Dr. Phil was just incensed about being mocked on TV, since he's maintained conversations with far worse humans before and since.