Celebrity interviews are a tricky affair. The stars involved are often midway through a lengthy promotional tour, a long way from home, and not in the mood for laughs or wacky gimmicks, which can lead to some famously tetchy encounters.
So it was with considerable relief last week when we saw this hilarious interview with Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling. It started out straightforwardly enough: two chairs set up in a London hotel room, a set time limit, and mugs of tea for all.
After a minute or two of British TV presenter Alison Hammond‘s questions, however, Harrison and Ryan were reaching for an altogether different kind of refreshment…
The whole thing got us thinking — which are the funniest interviews out there, where the celebrity involved drops the act and just lets rip? Here are ten of our favorites.
10. Michael Caine does his best Michael Caine impression
Sir Michael Caine discussed his time in Korea, the Stanislavsky school of acting and crying on cue in this wide-ranging 2007 interview with British talkshow host Sir Michael Parkinson. The subject he got most worked up about, however, was all those terrible Michael Caine impressions.
9. Steve Carrell scares Ellen DeGeneres
The warmth between real-life friends Steve Carrell and Ellen DeGeneres is obvious in this clip from 2010, despite the latter’s desperate desire for revenge. The reason? An earlier interview, where Steve got her good and proper.
8. Eminem in sense-of-humor shocker
Eminem has a somewhat formidable reputation, so it’s no surprise that talkshow host Jonathan Ross began this 2009 interview on the back foot. For starters, he asked if he should call his guest “Eminem” or “Marshall” or “Slim,” a question sure to get short shrift — until it didn’t. It’s fair to say no-one was expecting a Yoda impression.
7. Russell Brand hijacks Morning Joe
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what went wrong and when in this 2013 interview with the definitely un-messianic Russell Brand, but it’s tempting to say it was right at the start. Russell certainly looks uncomfortable at the suggestion that presenter Mika Brzezinski doesn’t know who he is, and it goes downhill from there, with Russell eventually berating his hosts on their lack of manners. Trust ol’ Russ to make it funny though.
6. Mila Kunis is a freakin’ good sport
In March 2013, British radio presenter Chris Stark was given ten minutes’ notice that he’d be interviewing Mila Kunis about her new film Oz the Great and Powerful. The result was a line of questioning that barely referenced the film, and instead revolved around Chris’s local pub, football club, a certain British chicken restaurant, and drinking games with his friends. He invited Mila to all four, getting “massive lad points” when she said she’d do her best to attend. Mila, on her part, said it was the “best interview of the day.”
5. Bruce Willis vs. Stephen Colbert
Bruce Willis is a famously prickly character when it comes to interviews, for instance when this 2013 junket interview went badly wrong for Magic FM radio host Jamie Edwards. So this contretemps with Stephen Colbert looked extremely plausible when Bruce appeared on The Late Show in 2015 — until, that is, it didn’t.
4. Zig and Zag meet their match in Robin Williams
Puppet aliens Zig and Zag haunted British TV in the 1990s, causing mayhem on various shows until they were given their very own interview slot in the daily morning show The Big Breakfast. Sequestered in an upstairs bathroom, their bonkers brand of questioning perplexed stars such as Robin Gibb, Mike Myers, and Aerosmith — until finally they met their match in the one and only Robin Williams.
3. Jack Nicholson interrupts Jennifer Lawrence
It’s one thing to win an Oscar, and it’s quite another to be hit on by Jack Nicholson live on camera. That’s what happened to Jennifer Lawrence during an interview on Oscars night in 2013, and her face says everything there is to say, really.
2. Craig Ferguson Interviews His Old Mucker Peter Capaldi
In November 2009, long before he was even announced as the twelfth Doctor, Peter Capaldi appeared on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson to promote new film In the Loop, in which he reprised his role of the foul-mouthed Malcolm Tucker. Peter and Craig go way back, of course — and the result is a hilarious trip down memory lane.
1. Will Smith on Graham Norton
Okay, so it’s not an interview as such, although Will’s chat with Graham was as funny as usual. What happened next though had us — not to mention fellow guests Bradley Cooper and Heather Graham — grinning from ear to ear. First, Will and his son Jaden Smith got the audience on their feet, then introduced DJ Jazzy Jeff for a rendition of the theme tune to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. And if that wasn’t enough, even Carlton (Alfonso Ribeiro) got in on the act. Just try and keep a straight face watching this.
Any absolutely hilarious interviews we missed?