This morning, I saw a YouTube video that totally inspired me to write about cringeworthy musical moments on classic TV…

Forgive me. I’m having issues coming up with a good topic today. When this happens, I often turn to YouTube for inspiration. The very first thing I found was a classic video from 1978.


Here’s William Shatner performing “Rocket Man” while smoking a cigarette and backed up with a disco version of Elton John’s and Bernie Taupin’s classic song.

Some people claim this video is unwatchable, but I find it strangely fascinating. I sit here and wonder what possessed someone to ask William Shatner to act out this song. On the other hand, it’s kind of hilarious, especially when he gets all boogiefied with his bow tie undone. Bizarre and definitely cringeworthy.

Never one to pass up an opportunity to be cringeworthy, Donny Osmond also makes this post when he sings this truly horrifying cover of “Johnny Be Good”. He’s changed up the lyrics, though, to honor the then nearly elected U.S. President, Ronald Reagan.


This is godawful. I notice that no one in the audience seems to get into this number. Is it just because they’re straight-laced Republicans? Or is it because this number is truly cringeworthy?

Marie Osmond does her best to rally the crowd, but it all kind of falls into a cheesy kind of hell. I like the guy sitting behind Reagan, who looks like he might need to pull the underwear out of the crack of his ass.

In 1975, the late country singer Charlie Rich showed up for the 1975 Country Music Association awards completely bombed out of his mind. Watch how he presents the Entertainer of the Year award…


I like how Glen Campbell introduces Charlie Rich while holding a lit cigarette. Everybody smoked in the 70s, didn’t they?

And because everybody smoked, Mr. Rich had a cigarette lighter with him, which he used to light John Denver’s winning ballot on fire. I’ve read that poor Charlie’s career suffered due to that little stunt. I also love the way Glen Campbell looks nervously at the camera… which immediately reminds me of this scene from 2005.


I remember watching this live in 2005 when Kanye West went off script…

Poor Mike Myers looks like he wants to just fall through the floor. Bless his heart. Totally cringeworthy, although I can understand why many people were fine with what Kanye West said.

Kanye West was also at the forefront of cringeworthy at the 2009 MTV awards, when he totally dissed poor Taylor Swift, who was just trying to graciously accept an award…


I’m not a Taylor Swift fan, but I thought she handled this fairly gracefully. If I were her, I’d be itching to kick Kanye in the cojones.

Here’s a relatively mild clip from the ACM awards from 2003. Vince Gill presents an award to Toby Keith…


If you recall, Toby’s name was referenced on a t-shirt worn by a certain Dixie Chick.

Maybe not as cringeworthy as Kanye’s antics, but I do like the way Vince and Reba banter back and forth.

And finally, here’s a clip from 1993 starring RuPaul and Milton Berle…


I don’t remember when this happened… but dayum! Definitely cringeworthy. I think RuPaul won that round, too.

I’m hoping to get out this weekend and find some fresh inspiration for my music posts. For now, I hope your weekend isn’t cringeworthy and you don’t spend it watching TV.

Seeking Major Tom (Audio CD)


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