2011 Best TV Meltdowns: From 'winning!' to whining
Life can be stressful for Hollywood entertainers and personalities. The strain obviously took its toll on several who lost their composure, control and dignity, making for some of the most unexpected and memorable celebrity meltdowns of 2011.
CHARLIE SHEEN: Probably no other celebrity will be more scrutinized in 2012 than Charlie Sheen, who staged the mother of all meltdowns this year that eventually cost him one of the most high-paying jobs in Hollywood. Sheen took to the airwaves early this year to blast his bosses at CBS' "Two and a Half Men" after production on the series paused following his stint in rehab. He called executive producer Chuck Lorre "a clown" and referred to him as "Haim Levine" -- which some interpreted as an anti-Semitic slur on Lorre's last name. He appeared on numerous talk and radio shows bragging about having "tiger blood," compared himself to a warlock and constantly said he was "winning." Fired from the show, Sheen became calmer later in the year, endured a Comedy Central roast and even got a new job -- a comedy on FX called "Anger Management" that is slated to premiere in 2012. No doubt many will be watching Sheen to see how he follows his explosive 2011 fall.
KIM KARDASHIAN and KRIS HUMPHRIES: Well, they said it wouldn't last -- and it didn't. The queen of all celebutantes, Kardashian seemed to have everything: fame, wealth, a strong family and a hit reality show show on E!, "Keeping Up with the Kardashians." But what she really wanted was a husband. Her dream seemed to come true when her courtship with basketball player Kris Humphries led to a lavish "fairy tale" wedding in November which cost a reported $10 million and warranted a two-night prime-time special. But the fairy tale crashed and burned 72 days later when Kardashian filed for divorce citing "irreconcilable differences," provoking an outcry from fans who felt the entire event had been staged for profit. The backlash startled Kardashian, who said she really had been in love with Humphries--a claim she likely made about singer and former flame Ray J when they made the sex tape that launched her "career."
CHRISTINE O'DONNELL: Former U.S. Senate candidate O'Donnell had just wanted to promote her new book when she appeared in August on CNN's Piers Morgan show. But the interview became tense when Morgan began pressing her about whether she supported gay marriage. Even after she bristled, Morgan pressed on, asking her what she felt about the "don't ask, don't tell" credo in the U.S. military. When she accused him of being rude, Morgan said, "I think I'm being charming and respectful." But the damage was done -- one of O'Donnell's advisors off-camera told her to leave, and the Delaware Republican took off her mike and walked off. Morgan said later it was his first walk-off in 25 years of doing interviews.
KAT VON D: Live morning TV can be extremely unpredictable. Take the case of "Good Day L.A." on Fox 11. In July, Kat Von D, the tattoo artist who got engaged to Jesse James soon after his breakup with Oscar-winning actress Sandra Bullock, was scheduled to appear on the show to promote her TLC reality series, "L.A. Ink." But Von D, who had previously announced that the couple had split, stormed off the set right before she was supposed to go on. Von D fled the station when she was introduced with a clip from the show in which she surprised James by showing him her new tattoo, a picture of him as a youth. Her abrupt departure perplexed the show's anchors -- producers said that her only request for the planned interview was that Bullock not be mentioned. Von D tweeted moments after her exit: "Dear Good Day L.A., Thanks for the waste of a perfectly good morning. Lack of compassion and respect for each other never fails to disappoint me."
KTLA'S HENRY DICARLO: KTLA weatherman Henry DiCarlo joked that he hadn't had coffee or breakfast the December morning when he erupted during a live report in what later became known as "Henry's hissy fit." DiCarlo had been at Union Station around 6 a.m conducting a live report for Toys for Tots. When he then started his weather report, a full screen graphic appeared and DiCarlo was heard to say, "You know what, it's so interesting. I'm in the communications business and it seems like there's so little communication. When you send a weatherman out to do the weather but you also want him to do a story, you might want to give him a little extra time." He became more frustrated, said someone else in the studio would handle the weather and stormed off -- a moment captured by cameras. DiCarlo explained a few days later that he had been planning to do a four-minute segment, but the producer in the studio started yelling at him through his earpiece about 35 seconds into the report. "It doesn't matter when the circumstances were -- it wasn't a pretty sight for me to act like that, and I get that," he said. But he didn't actually apologize for the outburst, telling his colleagues: "But personally, you guys have seen much worse from me, so I didn't think I was that bad."
Photo: Charlie Sheen in September 2011. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times.