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One of my Favorite Blunders…the sword!

Saturday,Aug 09,2014

Have you seen this video? If not, welcome to one of the classic retail TV blunders. There are quite a few. My own have racked up millions of YouTube hits over the years However, I just happen to know the director who sat at the helm of this little disaster and he gave me the inside scoop. Realize, of course, that this is coming to you second hand, so I might make a few mistakes, but this is how I remember his recollections. Lean in…
Apparently, the vendor for the swords in question met with the network host before the live show and explained that these blades are for collecting and display. They are by no means to be used as you would an actual sword (Ninja fighting, carnival sword swallowing or slashing air-born fruit). They were designed to be “ooohed” and “aaahed” over by manly men with fantasies of flitting across Japan’s treetops or tirelessly running through the hills of Scotland. Regardless, they needed to be handled with care since they were very sharp.
As you can see, the host then proceeds to go on the air and smack the blade against the table to show how incredibly durable the steel is. Big mistake. The tip of the sword breaks off and spins backward, stabbing the host in the torso. Oops! This is when things get even more interesting. The network has not given the director a way to go to a still picture of the product or anything other than a live camera shot. So, the director quickly cuts away from the host long shot to a slow pan across the remaining unbroken sword. At this point, you can see the host, buckled over behind the table complaining about his self-inflicted injury…rightfully so! You simply don’t expect to be impaled when you are standing comfortably in a television studio. The issue is now that the host has been samurai’d in the side and there is no one to continue the live broadcast!

In steps our savior. You now see a guy walk in with a microphone clipped to the outside of his v-neck. This is also a network host. However, he was not supposed to go on air that day. He was out enjoying his day off and had just stopped by his office to grab a paycheck or some such off-the-clock business. He had also had a few cocktails. He was the only person at hand when the injury occurred. The crew slammed a microphone onto his shirt and pushed him out on camera! He was not counting on this. I can imagine that he was trying to decipher which of the 12 cameras in front of him he should be looking at (there were actually only 3).
I count myself honored to have shared the YouTube limelight with such awesome disasters. Fortunately for me, my blunders have been the result of things out of my control. To have such a spectacular screw-up as this, it took some real dedication on the part of the talent and superb timing…fierce focus and unwavering follow-through. I tip my hat to one of the YouTube greats.

by Cory Bergeron
more at


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