Whisker Wars was a reality show that followed a group of American beard and mustache growers as they fought over who had the most epic beard to take out the title of Top Beard in the World Championship competition in Norway. It aired in 2011 and 2 seasons were produced.
In 1983, NBC launched a sitcom named Mr. Smith, which was about a talking orangutan named Mr. Smith who had an IQ of 256, who eventually went on to became an important political advisor. Only one season was aired.
In 1960, Inejiro Asanuma, who was chairman of the Japanese Socialist Party, was stabbed to death during a televised debate by a 17-year old with a samurai sword. The young militant nationalist rushed to the stage and stabbed Asanuma between the ribs on his left side, killing him.
In 1985, Richard Belzer on his talk show requested Hulk Hogan to demonstrate one of his signature wrestling moves. After being asked several times, Hogan put Belzer in a front headlock, which caused Belzer to pass out, drop to the floor and smash his head open. Belzer later sued Hogan for $5 million and settled out of court.
In 1984, British comedian Tommy Cooper had a heart attack and died on live television halfway through his act. Since his act consisted of failed magic tricks, the audience assumed it was part of his act and laughed/applauded during his final moments.
26The Great Tantra Challenge
In 2008, an Indian news channel aired “The Great Tantra Challenge”, where a tantric practitioner named Surinder Sharma was challenged to kill a man named Sanal Edamaruku using only his tantric powers. After hours of trying, the tantric claimed that he could not kill him because the god he prayed to was protecting him. Edamaruku replied that he was an atheist.
In 1974, Florida Newscaster and TV personality Christine Chubbuck killed herself with a pistol on live TV. Her last words were, “And now, in keeping with Channel 40's policy of always bringing you the latest in blood and guts, in living color, you're about to see another first - an attempted suicide.”
28I Have a Secret
In 1956, the TV game show “I Have a Secret” featured a special guest, Samuel J. Seymour, who was the last living person to have witnessed the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Seymour was 5 when he was taken to the theater the night Lincoln was shot and saw John Wilkes Booth jump off the balcony and break his ankle.
29Execution of Nicolae Ceausescu
On December 22, 1989, Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, along with his wife Elena was executed by a firing squad. A TV crew was present to record the execution and aired the footage on Romanian television on Christmas Day in 1989.
In 2011, two Dutch TV presenters literally ate each other on a show named Proefkonijnen (meaning Guinea Pigs). The two presenters of the show underwent surgery to have pieces of their flesh removed from their bodies. One of them gave a piece of his butt cheek, while the other gave up a part of his abdomen. A TV chef cooked the tiny pieces of flesh in sunflower oil, and the presenters ate them.