In light of, um, recent events, I thought now might be an opportune time to delve into the subject of awkward moments in the history of television / music / movies / etc.
This forgotten (or, in America, unseen) gem of awkwardness comes to us from a 1997 broadcast of Clive Anderson’s BBC talk show “Clive Anderson All Talk.” Better known as the host of the UK version of “Whose Line is it, Anyway?,” Anderson also hosted a successful chat program in Great Britain.
Anderson’s style was often not conductive to smooth interviewing, as his quick interjections prevented a long-form, thoughtful answer along the lines of what one might get from Charlie Rose or Dick Cavett. What’s more, Anderson routinely walked that fine line between good-natured ribbing and insult. I guess a better way to explain it would be to say that he would prod guests in a manner that might have been fine if he were good friends with the interview subjects, or if there were a pre-existing rapport.
On this occasion, he had an easy target.
The Bee Gees served as a punching bag for Anderson’s increasingly-pronounced ribbing throughout this mildly painful nine-minute interview. To be fair, Maurice (the one on the right, for those who don’t know one from the other) seems to take the whole thing in stride, but oldest brother (and de facto leader) Barry begins to take offense very early on at the constant interruptions and demeaning comments about the group’s most successful period. He begins to check out right around the three-minute mark. The nail-in-the-coffin moment comes when Anderson, playing off a mild attempt at self-depricating joke, says to Barry, “You’ll always be Les Tossers to me.”
Barry fumes for a couple of minutes, and then the real magic begins. Enjoy the awkwardness!