Celebs That Farted On Live TV

Did you hear the news? In a 2016 survey conducted by Wrangler Jeans, 56 percent of participants admitted that, of all the many "bodily offenses," loudly farting was by far the most embarrassing affront on the list. However, publicly passing gas must be child's play compared to the embarrassment of involuntarily "emptying the tank" on live TV — particularly if the infraction leads Rosie O'Donnell to comment ruefully about breakfast burritos

Want to insert yourself into a really humiliating scenario? How about involuntarily dropping a booty bomb in front of Anderson Cooper's piercing baby blues (and their approximately 2.30 million dedicated viewers)? Or unleashing a gut-busting gust right after waltzing to "Moon River" on Dancing with the Stars? Or — as was arguably the case with one particularly bumbling 2016 presidential candidate — farting while stoutly reciting scripture to Jeanine Pirro?

It's a fact both fascinating and foul: A life-affirming number of celebs have suffered backend blowouts on live TV. Since we imagine you're curious to know the culprits, we've gone ahead and done the dirty work... by compiling their most heinous on-air honkers to date. 

As it says on Leslie Nielsen's gravestone: "Let 'er rip."  

Mike Ditka dealt it, didn't he?

There are questions. During a live 2015 broadcast of ESPN's Monday Night Countdown, former Bears coach Mike Ditka very well may have "released the hounds," but damned if he'll ever come clean. As the New York Daily News reports, Ditka did his best to deny perpetrating the foul faux pas, but we have ears, and sportscasters have noses: Cris Carter's expression following Ditka's inferred infraction says everything we legally cannot.

Ditka's alleged cheese-cutting wasn't so easily swept under the carpet, either. Word of "Fartgate" rapidly rumbled through mainstream media, with NBC primly suggesting the presumed keister cacophony "raised some eyebrows." Bleacher Report called Ditka's alleged under-burp "thunderous," while GQ assumed the role of body-language experts, sagely dissecting how he "leans off his chair" and "the arch of his eyebrows" as irrefutable proof of the poot. Meanwhile, Uproxx abandoned any pretense of civility at all, simply calling Ditka's suspected stinker "a big old fart."

As the media fanned the flames, Ditka felt the need to defend himself to the reputable Chicago-Sun Times: "It wasn't me," he adamantly told the newspaper. "Believe me, I'm to the point in my life where it doesn't matter." For what it's worth, Ditka doesn't give a toot about any of our sulfurous suspicions, either: "I don't care what they think. They can think anything they want."

Was Nancy Grace responsible for this booty cough?

You're really tempting fate with a name like Nancy Grace. While competing in a 2011 episode of Dancing with the Stars, the bombastic TV journalist may have succumbed to an on-air butt-blurt  — and right on the heels of her much-ballyhooed wardrobe malfunction the week before. Shortly after Grace waltzed to "Moon River" with dance partner Tristan MacManus, former DWTS co-host Brooke Burke giddily interviewed the duo. That's when Grace seemingly suffered a severe case of "Moon Quivers," offering up what could be her most noxious soundbite to date.

As the smoke cleared, Grace did her damndest to deflect blame, telling TMZ she'd launched an "investigation" into the crime: "As an ear witness on the scene, I can absolutely exonerate Tristan, myself and Brooke," she alleged, adding: "However, the rest of the cast — seated just inches away — all remain under grave suspicion." But as the old saying goes, "Whoever pointed the finger let it linger."

In a sick-making subplot, adult site Clips4Sale reached out to ABC in a letter, hoping to acquire the rights to this potentially flatulent footage (per The AV Club.) The pornographers were courting "Flatulophiliacs" (a.k.a. "Fart Fanatics,") a presumably raucous crew we hope is only a small subset of their customer base. Clips4Sale assured ABC brass they possessed "a real nose for the news," reminding them that "passing gas is as natural as breathing, and our members are waiting with bated breath."   

We strongly suspect they're still waiting.

Whoopi Goldberg to whoopee cushion: Hold my beer

In 2014, one of The View's "Hot Topic" segments abruptly devolved into a "Hot Wind" hoedown, courtesy of Whoopi Goldberg. The malodorous misstep — which reportedly occurred in front of guest Ashanti — inspired Rosie O'Donnell to grumble: "You know those breakfast burritos." And talk about gaslighting: A priggish ABC spokesperson pointedly told the New York Daily News: "The noise was clearly a sound effect which prompted a fun, spontaneous reaction from the co-hosts."

The NYDN claimed Goldberg is something of "serial tooter" who previously treated viewers to two on-air outbursts in May and December 2011. Aptly enough, one incident occurred during a visit from Dr. Oz during a segment dedicated to the subject of flatulence. In the wake of Goldberg's implied on-air air-biscuit, a visibly horrified Barbara Walters quipped: "Where is standards and practices when you need 'em?"

When Claire Danes visited The View in 2011, she intently deconstructed her Showtime drama Homeland: "I think it's one of the first stories that really talks about our experience post 9-11," she mused. Shortly after, Goldberg offered a compelling counterpoint that qualifies as "Prestige TV" in its own right. She offered this folksy apology in the wake of the flatulence: "Oh, excuse me, I think I just blew a little frog out of there."

Goldberg's penchant for parfing even inspired a think piece in 2014, with The Daily Dot offering this particularly hot take: "Whoopi Goldberg reminds us that women fart too — and that's OK."

Regis Philbin's chair: 'Don't look at me'

We're convinced this one is some sort of deliberate visual pun. An audio-visual pun? Otherwise, what are the odds Regis Philbin unwittingly let one rip while sitting next to someone named Kelly Ripa? An unusually juicy Live with Regis and Kelly clip from November 14, 2006 features Ripa introducing a new segment called "Kelly's Thanksgiving Secrets Revealed," when Regis lets loose a secret all his own. This particular secret sounds like a bubble-wrapped tuba emitting a sharp B-flat.

Ripa giggles at Philbin's unexpected outburst and then valiantly steers the show back to safety, expertly chirping her way past the embarrassing peccadillo. Meanwhile, Philbin meditatively stares into space, unconsciously closing his coat like a man with something to hide. Snapping out of his reverie, he nonchalantly asks: "What is all this about?" Alas, we all know the answer to that one: It's about our bodies, and the way they ultimately betray us.

An anonymous tip has brought our attention to another suspect Live with Regis and Kelly clip: This potential paint-peeler took place during a 2014 visit from the late zookeeper and conservationist Steve Irwin, who delights the co-hosts with the cuddly antics of a baby kangaroo. Seeing as the stage here is stuffed with four potential suspects — Philbin, Ripa, Irwin, and a wayward joey — there's ultimately no way to finger the culprit with any surety. That said, Philbin's cough-cough sounds like a classic tell to us.

Larry King's colonic calliope

What's the term? Right. "Veteran television host" Larry King reportedly kicked off one live interview on a hazardously wrong foot, and at a highly inopportune moment: On July 16, 2006, in the aftermath of Hezbollah rockets hitting Israel, King was joined by Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, who serves as the chairman, as of this writing, of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats.

And on the subject of emerging threats: The gravity of the situation was significantly undermined when King seemingly experienced some on-air under-thunder. The gusty gaffe was met with an equally audible scoff from Rohrabacher.

AdWeek maintained this was business as usual, with the usually even-keeled publication reduced to all-caps for emphasis: "Larry King was NOTORIOUS for breaking wind on the air." Ultimately, King may be amused by all this noise: In October 2015, he asked the Twitterverse: "Why is a fart funny?," a question he asked Rob Riggle in January 2018.

Meanwhile, according to GQ, rumors of a "flatulence problem" have long dogged King, with whispers of a fan he kept under his desk to whisk away airborne antagonists, as well as a hidden "fart button" he used to mute trouser trumpets during live broadcasts. The latter must have gotten a lot of use, as Gawker reported King possibly farted during a Star Jones interview and while shooting a documentary about CNN anchors back in the day. Reportedly, they would have to stop rolling "every 10-15 minutes" until King stopped roiling.

​X Factor judge Cheryl Cole blows raspberries

In November 2010, The Mirror dutifully investigated pop star Cheryl Cole "potentially parping" on an episode of The X Factor. The ignominious incident occurred as she sized up competitor Cher Lloyd, somewhat undermining her authority as an arbiter of beautiful noise. Not hurting for puns, the tabloid pointed out that "it's not clear" whether Cole really perpetrated the act... but is it ever?

Mirror staffers worked overtime to get to the bottom of the murky business, reportedly scouring the video "a dozen times," but [they] couldn't figure out whether the suspicious squirt was "coming from her bumhole or not." Meanwhile, competing tabloid OK! also caught a whiff of the scandal, pinching its nose and diving headfirst into the story, wondering: "Did anyone else hear Cheryl Cole 'fart' after Cher Lloyd's performance?"

The "Parachute" singer is no stranger to such accusations. In 2012, she aired a particularly arid grievance with The Sun, telling the tab that she's regularly blamed for mid-air mud ducks: "I know they're thinking: 'Cheryl Cole thinks it's OK to fart on a plane as she's special,' and it's so not true." In the same interview, she wished aloud for a product that we're now praying to the gods of Shark Tank to invent: "There should be a sort of aerosol that can be sprayed into the air and it would pinpoint the guilty person."

One night back in November 2010, Cole must've been relieved that no such product exists.

Ben Carson has something to add

As this next morsel illustrates, the tenuous thread that once kept our lives from capsizing into unfettered satire has eroded. On July 29, 2015, Stubhill News posted a story emblazoned with a highly engaging headline: "Ben Carson suspends campaign after press conference fart." But don't get too excited: Stubhill News is a "satirical" website — or, as they worryingly refer to themselves on their About page, a "sad tire" website. Alas, their story about Carson's campaign-ending seven-second fart is bonafide Fake Fart News.

Okay, now you can get excited: Stubhill News might consider pivoting into psychic predictions, as their joke turned out to be oddly prescient. During a February 17, 2017 Fox News interview with professional gasbag Jeanine Pirro, Carson was discussing something called "The EnVision Program," which reportedly aims to "help" poor people get off federal aid. After reciting some scripture — "The Bible says in the Book of Proverbs, 'Without a vision, the people perish" — the politician careened wildly off Book, and divine intervention swept in.

This nasty news nugget was overlooked by most outlets, but The Daily Show caught wind of Carson's purported pant puffer: "Ben Carson didn't just fart on TV," host Trevor Noah deadpanned. "He did it while quoting scripture." Noah ended the segment hoping Carson's penchant for $5000 chairs means the furniture is equipped with "sophisticated fart-suppressing technology."

​Barney Frank caused a media frenzy

According to NPR, there is a flawed perception that August is a slow news month, which possibly explain why such a to-do was made out of Barney Frank's alleged one-man salute on The Rachel Maddow ShowThe Washington Post called it a classic case of "potty politics," wondering: "Did Barney Frank fart live on television?" Judging by our ears, the answer is a resigned Almost definitely. 

On August 8, 2011, Rep. Barney Frank left audiences — and, we imagine, Maddow — with much to think about: How can Congress create jobs and curb the country's spending in Afghanistan and Iraq? Also, was that really Frank's randy rectal percussion on live TV, or had the leg of his chair pierced a scavenging mouse?

According to Mediaite, right-leaning website Daily Caller treated the story like an full-on editorial emergency, with the resultant story by Jeff Poor including the remarkable disclosure that "C.J. Ciaramella contributed to this report." While Mediaite sounds convinced the sound was ultimately "Frank shifting on a noisy chair," The Daily Caller felt he'd unequivocally farted, and rang his office for comment.

That left AdWeek in awe of The Daily Caller's editorial brazenness to the point that they asked Ciaramella how he broached the delicate business of Frank's alleged airshow: "I just asked to confirm a quote," Ciaramella responded, "which, y'know, is pretty much the truth. I didn't think I'd get a return call if I asked straight-up: 'Wondering if Rep. Frank farted on-air last night. Holler back.'"

Julianne Hough falls victim to the DWTS curse

Live television really isn't for the faint of heart. A week after Marie Osmond reportedly passed out on Dancing with the Stars in October 2007, fellow contestant Julianne Hough (pictured) gamely one-upped her by making a considerable on-air rumpus. According to The Hollywood Gossip, Hough and her dancing partner Helio Castroneves had just caught wind of the judges' scores when she allegedly unfurled a fertile fanny flapper. Following Julianne's implied eruption, her brother Derek reportedly showed his support by erupting in laughter.

And this just in from the "Three Makes A Trend" Department: We're now officially afraid of the Dancing with the Stars cafeteria. On top of Hough's huffer and the aforementioned Nancy Grace grievance, a taped 2017 segment starring Lindsay Arnold finds the professional dancer and choreographer letting off some serious steam ... right in the face of her dance partner, former Chicago Cubs catcher David Ross. Equal parts grace and grotesquerie, the incident finds Arnold performing a cartwheel and handstand with inimitable élan, culminating in a crowd-killing kaboom.

Evidently not above such things, CBS giddily covered the story in an article headlined: "David Ross' Partner From 'Dancing With The Stars' Farts In His Face [VIDEO]." The network clearly knows "rich content" when they see it.

Did Max Kellerman 'cough-fart'?

Clearing his throat, or making one float? On April 15, 2019, several online publications were trying to get to the bottom of what Deadspin called a potential "cough-fart." This wasn't your average alleged "cough-fart," either — because this potential "cough-fart" was possibly perpetuated by sports commentator Max Kellerman, a co-host on ESPN's First Take. During an already noisy conversation centered around pro basketball player Kevin Durant, Kellerman quite possibly succumbed to an on-air heinie hiccup, making matters altogether murkier by attempting to conceal the fizzling flatus. As Deadspin noted, "it very much sounded like someone coughed as a maneuver to cover up a fart."

The situation may have been even more dire than that. One eagle-eyed (and bat-eared) Redditor claimed that Kellerman burped out the wrong end a total of seven times during the broadcast. This intrepid fan even time-stamped each presumed sphincter siren, noting that the alleged anal acoustics ranged from a "little squish" to "a bit quiet." In its own unflinching story, AOL pointed out that Kellerman "had some explaining to do," and explain away he did: He appeared on The Dan Le Batard Show the next day (per Deadspin), and denied that any of this ever happened: "No, I did not fart on the set — I have farted in the past, though. That is true. But that's not one of the instances."

Well, by at least one tally, it's seven of the instances.

Paul Pierce pierced our eardrums (allegedly)

Is there trouble brewing at ESPN? It certainly sounds like it. According to TMZ, former NBA star and current ESPN commentator Paul Pierce full-on "farted on [co-host] Michelle Beadle" during a broadcast of Off The Clock on May 8, 2019. His presumed passed gas didn't quite pass under the radar, either. "Nasty," Beadle commented, later quipping: "We're trapped in a room, y'all." Sports analyst Jalen Rose, who was also present, wryly observed that "Michelle Beadle [is] smelling something in the air." Following the segment, ESPN producer Mike Goldfarb gave Pierce the benefit of the doubt, tweeting that "Paul may or may not have farted at the start of the taping." Doing her part to clear up any confusion, Beadle responded, "No. He did. Period."

And yet, the New York Post pooh-poohed Pierce's presumed cheese-squeeze, reviewing the brassy brouhaha like it was a lukewarm installment of a middling Hollywood franchise. The daily paper ultimately felt Pierce's alleged booty belch couldn't quite hold a candle to Max Kellerman's presumed parping. (He may or may not have squeezed out an on-air fart the month before.) "ESPN's Fartgate sequel lacks all the drama," the article noted sourly, adding that "Round 2 wasn't nearly as interesting." Well, there's no accounting for taste.

Joe Swash REALLY let loose on 'Loose Women'

Does the name Joe Swash ring a bell? While he's yet to make waves in America, he's evidently breaking plenty of wind on the other side of the pond — on live television, no less. The English actor and TV personality — perhaps best known for his stint on the British soap opera EastEnders — made quite a memorable ruckus during a Feb. 12, 2019 appearance on the long-running "live magazine show" Loose Women. While sharing his views on romantic dinners, love notes, and other matters of the heart, Swash was rudely interrupted by an altogether different part of his anatomy. You can clearly hear what Digital Spy calls "a loud farting noise," after which Swash begins to look "a little sheepish."

This alleged fluffer-doodle reverberated through social media channels, with one startled viewer tweeting, "Did [Joe Swash] just fart live on tv? Was he bought up with my dad in our council house?" The answer to one of those questions seems to be a resounding yes. What's more, this apparently wasn't the first time Swash emitted some thunder from down under while filming a TV show: He also tooted his own horn while filming an episode of the children's show The Dog Ate My Homework, which you can hear quite clearly in an outtake. Why this boisterous blooper never made it to air is anyone's guess.

​Leslie Nielsen knew how to wake up morning shows

British people are embarrassed easily; a fact that actor Leslie Nielsen apparently knew how to exploit. On June 20, 1991, the Airplane! star perked up two daytime hosts with what sounded like some impromptu rump ruckus. The on-air awkwardness went down on UK morning show TV-AM, and the hosts didn't let it slide, even asking Nielsen if he needed to use "the little ladies room." Later, Ulrika Jonsson presented the weather in Wales, quipping: "Sorry about this ... we're suffering from wind here as well."

It's quite possible Nielsen was merely practicing Dadaist humor: He also seemingly singed his pants on the British chat show Wogan in 1989, shortly after assuring host Terry Wogan: "[I'm] a man who has background and education." To be honest, he evidently "farted" on talk shows rather often.

In the grand tradition of "pull my finger," the late actor could've been pulling your proverbial leg. In 2015, Ted Danson told The AV Club that Nielsen owned a "fart machine." He was so obsessed with the gadget, he was reportedly booted off a plane after an onslaught of manufactured booty blunders. Another working theory: Nielsen's tailwinds were genuine, and he purchased this clever contraption to cover his tracks.

Alas, Nielsen took the truth — and his love of potty humor — to the grave. According to Snopes, his gravestone in Fort Lauderdale's Evergreen Cemetery contains one final fart joke: In lieu of the traditional R.I.P, Nielsen opted for: "Let 'er rip."

A moment of silence? Not a chance.

​Rich Galen's gassy gale

During a March 2016 appearance on AC360 with Anderson Cooper, outspoken Republican strategist Rich Galen made headlines by calling out the show on its around-the-clock coverage of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, leading the host to acknowledge that Trump had indeed "set the agenda ... from almost the moment he entered the race." 

It'd be a shame if that rabble-rousing performance overshadowed what might be Galen's real on-air coup d'etat: During a 2012 interview with Cooper, the former press secretary to Dan Quayle reportedly popped quite the impressive fluffy.

But do our ears deceive us? In the interest of due diligence, the folks at AdWeek went ahead and showed the clip to "dozens of people." Their gallery of pundits and media commentators acknowledged it did sound quite a bit like Galen had uncorked a particularly fine vintage that year. AdWeek even reached out to Galen for a statement, but never received a response. Perhaps the Republican strategist felt he'd already made enough noise for one news cycle.