Some people's entire lives work toward just one moment in the spotlight. That was true for these four people, and hilariously, they blew it in grand fashion.
#4. Tsunemi Kubodera, Giant Squid Hunter
The giant squid used to be right up there with Bigfoot, the Chupacabra, and unicorns on the list of beasts we've always been assured were real by various wackos and nutjobs, but it's not anymore, because someone found that shit. A zoologist from Japan named Tsunemi Kubodera, to be exact. He scored the ultimate prize by filming one in its natural habitat. And this wasn't by dumb luck. He'd captured footage of the elusive beast before, but never alive and frolicking around in the comforts of its own deep sea home.
"Wipe your feet first, goddamn barbarians."
This finding positioned Kubodera as the pre-eminent giant squid expert in his field. Naturally, a quote from Kubodera was in order to commemorate this achievement. So what kind of insightful commentary did he come up with to describe the moment?
"It looked to me like it was rather lonely."
Yoshikazu Tsuno / Getty
It's worth reiterating here that this assessment was based on a few quick seconds of video footage of a squid swimming past. An objective person could look at the footage on a loop for hours, and name every adjective that comes into their mind without landing on lonely. But in his moment in the spotlight, the one thing that Kubodera illuminated was how depressing a life spent looking for squid can be. This was his "giant leap for mankind" moment, and he used it to project his own existential crisis onto a cephalopod with gigantism that was probably thinking about how awesome it was that it gets to hunt whales for a living. Don't get us wrong. We feel for Kubodera. But he'd just made one of the coolest scientific discoveries of the year, and the only thing we learned was that he probably thinks most coat racks look like they could use a hug.
#3. Alex Jones on Piers Morgan
Conspiracy theorist and radio personality Alex Jones has had a long career outside of the mainstream media. His opinions are undoubtedly controversial, but his following has grown to be so huge that it almost lends his raving lunacy some semblance of legitimacy.
"And the rest of my legitimacy comes from this sweet-ass suit."
At least that was the case before CNN decided to really give Jones the opportunity to get his message to the public on a big stage by inviting him to appear as a guest on Piers Morgan Tonight to discuss the super touchy issue of gun control.
Alex Jones managed to keep his cool for all of about one minute, and then lost his damn mind.
Alex Jones had a chance to move his wacky ravings even more into the mainstream by appearing on CNN that night. Instead, he gave gun control advocates a face to go with all of their stereotypes about what kind of people own guns.
#2. Lana Del Rey on SNL
Lana Del Rey didn't have much experience as a live performer when she was asked to be the musical guest on Saturday Night Live. Having built her name on the power of the Internet, this was her big chance to prove that more than the likes of Justin Bieber can spring forth from the loins of YouTube.
Chelsea Lauren / Getty
"Flannel is basically spun talent, right?"
Unfortunately, by the time her awkward, lifeless, half-mumbled performance was done, all she'd proved is that Lana Del Rey's talents are best enjoyed within the confines of your headphones. Turn your volume down before clicking this link.
It was so bad, Kristen Wiig parodied the incident on SNL the following week.
#1. Michael Spinks Gets Knocked Out by Mike Tyson in 91 Seconds
Going into their fight on June 27, 1988, Michael Spinks and Mike Tyson were riding undefeated streaks that were both over 30 fights long. Spinks held two championship belts; Tyson held three. The fight's poster read "Once and for All," and it meant it -- one match for all five belts and legitimate claim as the heavyweight champion of the world. If there was ever a time to be elevated into legendary status overnight, this was it.
Ronald Modra / Getty
"... and when I've got my belts, I'm gonna throat-punch God himself."
Tyson knocked out Spinks 91 seconds into the match. To this day, it's still the shortest heavyweight title match ever. A month later, Spinks retired. "I said whenever the time comes, I don't want to retire, I just want to quit. Have people say: 'Michael Spinks, whatever happened to him? He quit.' It's easier to go that way."
In the moment when Spinks could have become one of the greatest of all time, Mike Tyson punched him so hard that he gave up his dreams.
The Ring Magazine / Getty
Tyson may be crazier than a coked-up honey badger, but he's also the goddamn Mozart of punching.