Play nice, boys and girls! Punches thrown, smacks put down, chairs hurled, and water tossed…no, this is not the set of Jersey Shore. These are real brawls on live TV. Recently, a Jordanian Parliament member pulled out a pistol on-air when he didn’t like the opinions of another guest. From Argentina to Russia and countries in between, see similar on-set incivility in 10 televised scuffles over the past 25 years.
JORDANElements used: pistol, shoe
Beginning in the Middle East, Jordanian Parliament member Mohammed Shawabka removes his shoe, tosses it at political rival Mansour Sayf al-Din Murad, then whips out a pistol and aims at his foe in a heated debate. The brawl stems from a discussion about Jordan’s politics surrounding Syria. Luckily, Shawabka doesn’t shoot. But the two get physical. At that point, sound is muted but cameras roll, capturing the host trying to restore order until credits come up. It doesn’t end there. Al Arabiya reports Shawabka’s driver also tussled with Murad, hitting him in the face before studio employees come to the rescue. The victim plans to file charges of attempted murder. Interestingly—and creepily—Shawabka’s gun is never confiscated. After the fight, he slips it back into his waistband.
LEBANONElements used: glass, water, chair
Near Jordan, another TV brawl in Lebanon is initiated over the topic of Syria. Two Lebanese rivals argue about the Arab League’s sanctions when one man can’t take it anymore. Mustafa Alloush, from the pro Bashar Al-Assad Baath party, hurls a glass of water at Hafez Shokor, from the Anti-Assad Future Movement after Shokor calls Syria’s president a liar. The fight ends there as the host tries to bring peace.
PAKISTANElements used: glass, water
Working eastward, in Pakistan, this brawl begins in the blink of an eye. Naeem ul Haq, ex-Sindh president of the political party “Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf” tells the ex-Sindh chief minister’s adviser Jamil Soomro that under his leadership, the government failed to rule. Once Soomro defends himself, Haq throws his glass of water at Soomro, and it shatters on his face. Then, both get physical. The guest sitting between the two men tries to restore order. “You shouldn’t go overboard on political ideologies,” he insists.
INDIAElements used: fists
A scuffle between two guests on an Indian talk show was bound to happen. A pair of student leaders sit inches away from each other and bicker about the region Telangana becoming a separate state. Suddenly, one slaps the other in the head. That’s when the wrangling begins—and doesn’t stop. Unlike other hosts who physically try to stop the chaos, this host stays in his seat. By the time he gets up, several others jump on set to stop the brawl. Finally, the show goes to commercial.
GREECEElements used: water, fists
In Greece, far-right Golden Dawn politician, Ilias Kasidiaris throws water at a woman, Rena Dourou, from the left-wing Syriza party. He then slaps and punches another woman, Liana Kanelli, from the Communist Party, across the face—three times. Kasidiaris is offended by Dourou’s comment over a court case pending against him. Soon after, public prosecutors issue Kasidiaris an arrest warrant. But he takes action, too. Kasidiaris sues the two women and the channel that hosts the talk show.
GEORGIAElements used: glass, water, hand, arms
Near the Black Sea, in Georgia, a political debate about the country’s issues (yet again) impels opposition leader Koki Guntsadze to throw his cup of water at pro-presidential M.P. Giorgi Kandelaki. Guntsadze is obviously upset that Kandelaki interrupted him. And when Kandelaki reacts, Guntsadze slaps him.
RUSSIAElements used: hands, arms
In Russia it’s a battle among the wealthy. A conversation on a television show about the financial crisis turns into its own crisis. Russian billionaire newspaper mogul Alexander Lebedev throws a punch at fellow billionaire real-estate tycoon Sergei Polonsky, after Polonsky tells Lebedev he wants to “stick one in the mouth.” But after the punch, Polonsky does nothing (we’re as surprised as you are). Lebedev later blogs, “In a critical situation, there is no choice. I see no reason to be hit with the first shot. I neutralized him.”
ROMANIAElements used: hands, arms, legs, feet
In Romania, talk-show host Andrei Gheorghe shows his guests who’s in charge. In this brawl, one of his guests gets out of his seat, walks to the corner of the two-story set and provokes Gheorghe. A little later, the host gets up and immediately punches that guest so hard he falls off the two-story set. Then Gheorghe goes after the second guest and kicks him down a flight of stairs. According to his IMDB profile, “Gheorghe is very popular in Romania for his sincerity and for his courage to say exactly what he thinks.”
ARGENTINAElements used: hands, arms, legs, feet
Moving to South America, in Argentina, Mauro Viale, the host of a live political show, accuses guest Alberto Samid, a poultry entrepreneur, of taking part in the bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) building that killed at least 85 people. Samid refutes that argument and rises from his seat. What begins as a shove by Samid, turns into a punch. Soon, kicks and blows are part of the fight. Yet after the men are separated, the host goes back for more. Momentarily, another man comes onstage and kicks the host several times. But the host still goes back to punch Samid.
UNITED STATESElements used: chairs, tables
This brawl could be foreseen. Talk-show host Geraldo Rivera features a panel including white supremacist John Metzger and African-American civil-rights activist, Roy Innis. The battle begins when Metzger provokes Innis by calling him “Uncle Tom.” After further agitation, Innis chokes Metzger and mayhem ensues. Chairs are thrown, tables are knocked over, and many people onstage are toppled. Rivera is left with a broken nose. In the end, while ratings for this specific show soared, the actual program was dubbed “trash TV.”