Ron Paul Gets Heated
Back in 1987, Ron Paul was a libertarian running for president (sound familiar?). In an appearance on The Morton Downey Jr. show, Paul did not take kindly to the show’s host yelling in his face—and lashed out at both him and the audience.
Stripper for God Gets Pelvic-Thrusted
One of the most infamous episodes of Morton Downey Jr.’s rowdy show involved a pair of “Strippers for God.” When Downey got in one of the strippers’ faces, she came back at him, at which point the host began thrusting at her with his pelvis, ordering her to sit back down in her chair. She later sued the commentator for $40 million over the incident, but the lawsuit didn’t go anywhere.
Stuttering John’s Knuckle Sandwich
In February 1990, following the cancellation of The Morton Downey Jr. Show, the former talk-show host filed for bankruptcy. It was apparently a pretty touchy subject for Downey, and, when pestered about it during an interview with Howard Stern’s most annoying “reporter,” Stuttering John, the cranky host treated John to a knuckle sandwich.
White Supremacists at the Apollo
This was probably the beginning of the end forThe Morton Downey Jr. show. Desperate for ratings, Downey hosted what amounted to a shouting match at the Apollo Theater between Harlem residents and a group of racist skinheads. As expected, chaos ensued. But the real headlines would be made later …
The Swastika Incident
… when in April 1989, Downey claimed that he was attacked by a pack of neo-Nazis who scrawled swastikas on his clothes and attempted to shave his head in an airport restroom at the San Francisco International Airport. The incident was later proved to be a hoax, according to friends of Downey.
Lloyd Kaufman Catches a Beatdown
After filmmaker Lloyd Kaufman, of The Toxic Avenger fame, got into a shouting match with Downey on his show, the host kicked him off the set, where the show’s security team manhandled him. All the mayhem was caught on tape during one of the show’s commercial breaks.
In the Army Now
Don’t mess with Downey while the kooky host is wearing war paint and army clothes.
Al Sharpton Takes a Tumble
At a show in 1988 at the Apollo Theater, Al Sharpton and CORE National Chairman Roy Innis got into a heated argument—instigated by Downey, naturally—and Innis shoved Sharpton out of his chair. After Sharpton took a tumble offstage, he got up and came after Innis, and Downey was forced to intervene.
Al Sharpton’s Gay Slur
While Sharpton made a name for himself on The Morton Downey Jr. Show, his appearances often brought out the worst in the loquacious activist. In this infamous encounter with a fan, Sharpton challenged an audience member to a fight, calling him a “punk faggot.”
Considering that the two programs shared similar lynch mob-like audiences, it was only a matter of time before Downey appeared on WrestleMania. Here he makes a cameo on WrestleMania V, where he has some choice words for Roddy Piper and Brother Love on Piper’s Pit.