Watch This!

Morton Downey Jr.’s Top Outbursts: Ron Paul, Al Sharpton, More (VIDEO)

The conservative host had a tendency to scream at his liberal guests. See his most memorable tirades.

AP Photo

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.

Get The Beast In Your Inbox!

Daily Digest

Start and finish your day with the top stories from The Daily Beast.

Cheat Sheet

A speedy, smart summary of all the news you need to know (and nothing you don't).

By clicking “Subscribe,” you agree to have read the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
Thank You!
You are now subscribed to the Daily Digest and Cheat Sheet. We will not share your email with anyone for any reason.

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.