13 of the Funniest Reality TV Moments Ever
Sometimes TV’s funniest moments aren’t scripted — and we’re not talking about the best moments from Whose Line Is It Anyway? either. While there’s always a debate about how “real” reality television is, especially as it shifts toward being called “unscripted television” in hopes of shedding this notorious reputation, it’s undeniable that the genre has produced some hilarious TV.
And so, @natererun recently asked the timeline to “quote the funniest reality TV show moment you’ve ever watched.” Needless to say, the well of answers ran deep. Here are a baker’s dozen of our favorites…
Ray J’s Ever-Moving Hat
As with a fictional work, continuity is an important part of reality TV in order to maintain a seamless narrative, which makes seeing Ray J’s hat sit in a different position with every cut that much funnier on this episode of Love & Hip Hop.
Not to be outdone by Jersey Shore, the Brits have their own televised version of brash, foulmouthed partygoers out of Newcastle upon Tyne called Geordie Shore. One episode saw Sam Gowland ask then-girlfriend Chloe Ferry a very important question straight from a fortune teller.
‘This Is Alexis Neiers Calling…’
Without this moment in reality TV history, Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring would never exist. Alexis Neiers, who was part of the real-life group of teen burglars at the center of Coppola’s 2013 film, called journalist Nancy Jo Sales to discuss some issues she had with a piece Sales wrote about Neiers and her fellow thieves. But they’re not the issues you’re probably expecting.
The God Warrior
Shows like Trading Spouses sought to bring together families of different cultural and social backgrounds to teach them and viewers alike the value of learning about other people. As part of that mission, it naturally included larger-than-life personalities who were almost too insane to believe. Case in point: “The God Warrior.”
‘Survivor’s Twisted Mud Net
With 44 seasons under its belt, one of the hardest parts of Survivor is not the contestants enduring 40 days of competition, it’s producers creating new and inventive challenges. That’s where the Twisted Mud Net comes in.
Hottie’s Microwaved Chicken
Flavor of Love was one of the many dating reality shows that were mainstays on VH1 in the aughts. In particular, Season One’s Hottie was a font of unintended comedy, never more so than when she attempted to microwave a whole chicken.
The Gang Goes to Jail…
What looks to be ripped straight from an episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is actually an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians in which the family of moguls brings one of their own to court for a parole violation.
Nene Leakes Not Reading Between the Lines
Although her acting career was short-lived, Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Nene Leakes was one of the few housewives who crossed over into network comedy with appearances on Glee and The New Normal. The roles were largely the product of her most iconic Real Housewives moments, such as her confusion around the metaphor connected to a very expensive gift from a business partner.
‘South Beach Tow’s Physical Comedy
Blurring the line between reality and fiction, TruTV’s South Beach Tow features a lot of reenactments of alleged real-life situations. In one of them, the assistant manager of the towing company taking a tumble off a parking structure during an altercation with a disgruntled car owner.
The Prisoner Who Wants to Kill Kathy Griffin
Kathy Griffin probably has an unfair advantage here since she’s a comedian by trade, but her visit to a women’s prison in an episode of My Life on the D-List is definitely made all the funnier when she flexes her natural improv skills after a prisoner expresses a desire to kill her.
B-I-C-T-H… In That Order
Confessionals are a staple of reality TV. They give people a chance to answer questions or provide context for the drama unfolding around them. But for Love & Hip Hop Atlanta’s Momma Dee, it can be a spelling extravaganza. Or in this case, a misspelling extravaganza.
‘American Idol’s Comedy Hour
The early episodes of every American Idol season was one part talent competition, one part inadvertent comedy showcase. The show made a habit of highlighting absurd, clout-chasing auditions in addition to those of soon-to-be household names like Jennifer Hudson. Sometimes these awful singers are so bad that the judges can hardly contain themselves, including during this Philadelphia singer’s rendition of “Go Down Moses.”
Abby Lee Miller’s De-Escalation Tactic
David Lynch could not dream of writing something as surreal as Dance Moms tyrant Abby Lee Miller backing away from a potential confrontation in her motorized wheelchair as ominous strings play in the background.