7 Famous Shows That Were Total Chaos Behind The Scenes

It’s a sad fact of life that the very TV series that have given us so much joy throughout the years were often each a locked room full of bees behind the scenes. Yes, it would have been great to know that the entire cast of, say, True Detective hung out outside of work and shared some cream sodas, but the reality is usually that these highly paid actors are smashed together into an ensemble of other egos, barely tolerating each other, and things only deteriorate from there.

So the next time you’re watching your favorite show, remember that every time the director yelled “Cut!” the hilarious jokes and tense drama were replaced with stuff like …

7

Matthew Perry Was So High While Making Friends That He Can’t Remember Three Seasons

When you think of all the times that Chandler from Friends made you belly laugh, you’re already doing better than he is in the memory department. Matthew Perry claims that he has a blank space in his brain where roughly seasons three through six should be. Which is a tragedy, because those seasons comprise all the appearances of the greatest characters in the show:

Warner Bros. TelevisionThis means Perry also doesn’t remember the spinoff cartoon in which Duck and Chick solve mysteries.

During a BBC interview, Perry was asked for his personal least favorite episode of the show, to which he responded, “I think the answer is, I don’t remember three years of it, so none of those. I was a little out of it at the time.” Perry has stated that he started taking painkillers around that time so he wouldn’t drink too much alcohol, but then he became addicted to them. He entered rehab in 2001, bringing with him crippling addictions to Vicodin, methadone, amphetamines, and, oh yeah, booze too. So maybe don’t try this method.

Perry claimed that he never worked on the show while drunk, though he was “painfully hungover” a great deal of the time, which probably made it even harder than usual to deal with Ross’ wimpy crap. Anyway, good on him for getting (and staying) clean. Now if only we could all find a way to collectively erase Joey that doesn’t involve brain damage …

6

Scully Wasn’t Allowed To Walk Next To Mulder On The X-Files

The playful dynamic between The X-Files‘ Scully and Mulder was the main reason most people tuned in to a show that had a character with the official name of “Cigarette Smoking Man.” It was kind of like Jim and Pam from The Office, if Jim and Pam also came across a rogue alien penis from time to time.

But the sparks weren’t exactly manifesting in real life. Viewers wondered weekly if the two would ever get together, but folks on The X-Files had more pressing concerns. Gillian Anderson time and again had to fight to not only get equal pay, but to even stand next to her counterpart. For the first few seasons, the show’s producers insisted that she stay a few feet behind Duchovny while also making far less money than he did. In their minds, it was a show about Mulder’s sexual tension with … the truth? Werewolves?

20th TelevisionHimself?

Fox wanted Scully to be the Robin to Mulder’s Batman, a notion that was shot to hell when her popularity erupted. It took Anderson three years to finally receive a raise, something the studios fought against tooth and nail, presumably fearing that seeing a man and a woman side by side on camera would wreck the moral fabric of this great nation. Anderson’s spunk and headstrong attitude, however, ensured that no such mistreatment would ever again befall her. (Except when the show rebooted in 2016 and she was again offered half of David Duchovny’s paycheck.)

5

You’ll Probably Never See A Game Of Thrones Scene Featuring Bronn And Cersei (Because They’re Exes In Real Life)

The vast, murderous, sex-crazed world of Game Of Thrones hides some equally sordid tales behind the scenes. One such tale involves Cersei and Jamie Lannister’s, er, right-hand man, Bronn.

HBOThey share more than a goth fashion sense, it turns out.

Looking like he just excused himself from a medieval pub brawl, Bronn is also one of the few loyal characters in a show that does not contain multitudes. Give him his gold and his land that he was promised, and you have a friend and battle partner for life. With his constant proximity to Cersei’s brother/lover, you’d expect Bronn to share plenty of screen space with the queen, but you’d be wrong. In nearly seven years, Bronn has only appeared at the same time as Cersei once — or, to be more precise, his back did. This could easily be a body double:

HBOWho was probably glad to be called in for something that wasn’t a weird sex scene.

What about the Dragonpit meeting? Nope, Bronn goes off to have a drink right before Cersei shows up. Seriously, there are no scenes of the two together. That fluttering noise you just heard was every GOT fan simultaneously logging into their HBO GO accounts to verify.

So why are these two in their own separate versions of “time out” on the world’s biggest stage? Turns out the actors dated before the show even started, in the early ’00s. It looks like their split wasn’t exactly amicable, as they aren’t even on speaking terms anymore, which probably causes Westeros-sized headaches on set. As a source behind the show told The Telegraph that “they should be kept apart at all costs,” which sounds frostier than ice zombies descending upon the North.

4

Community Was A “Who’s The Biggest Jerk Competition” Between Chevy Chase And Dan Harmon

Community was a clever show about a disparate group of weirdos ending up together and forming an unlikely friendship, all thanks to the magic of crappy public education. Behind the scenes, however, it was the battlefield for a bitter, R-rated war between Rick & Morty co-creator Dan Harmon and noted obdurate human Chevy Chase.

The Harmon/Chase feud began with reports of Chase being “difficult” to work with. Chase reportedly walked off the set without shooting an important scene, would boast about his erections, and didn’t want to dance on camera for fear of “looking gay.” According to co-star Joel McHale, Chase’s idea of joking around with the cast involved telling one actress he wanted to kill and rape her. As the show went on, those personal quirks bled into Chase’s character, gradually turning him from a clueless old man into more and more of a hateful, racist jerk. Had the show never been cancelled, Chase would be playing the neighborhood Hitler by now.

Harmon countered crazy with his own batch, delivering a nice “F you, Chevy” speech in front of Chase’s family at a wrap party, and encouraging others to join in. Chase, much like his last 30 years of picking scripts, did not see the humor in all of this, and left a rather explicit voicemail for Harmon … which Harmon, of course, aired in front of an audience on his Harmontown podcast.

Harmon also tried to call Chase on-mic during his shows, at one point having guest Jason Sudeikis leave a prank message as Vice President Joe Biden. It seems like the feud has died down since the show — and Harmon and Chase cohabiting it — has come to an end. Which is probably a good thing. After all, a war against a Griswold generally gets you nowhere fast.

3

John Belushi Would Sabotage Anything Written By A Woman At Saturday Night Live

The early years of Saturday Night Live would probably dominate any top 10 list of “most cocaine snorted off of genitals.” When you combine Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Funny Chevy Chase, and the demon that inhabited John Belushi’s body, the line between funny and horrific becomes a bit blurred. Remember, though, that this wasn’t so long after women’s lib started up. So even though three pioneering female comedians were in the initial cast, misogyny still ran rampant … and Belushi, the comedy legend who would go on to star in Animal House and The Blues Brothers, was the worst of the lot.

Universal PicturesYou may know him from the wall of every dorm room ever.

According to his own friends and co-stars, Belushi had a special kind of hard-on for making life at SNL miserable for the women that worked, wrote, and acted there. When he wasn’t shrieking that “women aren’t funny,” he was pleading with the higher-ups to fire the women writers, even threatening to resign if that didn’t happen. If the few female writers did get sketches through, Belushi would refuse to act in them. When Chase was about to leave the show, Belushi pounced on the chance to become the biggest star and the biggest douche in SNL, going as low as badmouthing female hosts within audience earshot.

One of the original female cast members and a lifelong Conehead, Jane Curtin, went into greater detail the extent of Belushi’s misogynistic rage-boners. Even during simple table reads, he would childishly whisper his parts if they were written by a woman. Watch Chase squirm as Curtin reminisces:

Things have obviously gotten better on the show for women over the years, but it’s told that sometimes late at night at the Rockefeller Center SNL studios, you can still hear the wailing, ghostly moans of a man who bitterly feared all things female.

2

The Good Wife Had Co-Stars Never Appear On-Screen Together For 50+ Episodes

The Good Wife was an acclaimed show in the “sexy lawyers” subgenre of television. Much of the earlier seasons focused on the friendship between the characters played by Emmy-winning actresses Julianna Margulies and Archie Panjabi — who, it turns out, weren’t so friendly in real life. After a few seasons, fans noticed that over 50 episodes had gone by without them sharing a single scene together, even though they were often at each other’s law firms. If they needed to chat, it was via telephone. The show did everything short of having them communicate via Jedi mind link.

With Panjabi about to leave the show at the end of Season 6, it was time to get these two in a real flesh-and-blood scene one last time. However, there was no blood, and very little flesh. As they shared a drink at a bar in the season finale, viewers with functioning rods and cones noticed that there was something extremely disingenuous about the whole visual. And that’s because, as confirmed by Entertainment Weekly, Margulies and Panjabi were never in the same room together. It was all shot using body doubles and digital fakery. It was pretty blatant too, as even computer imagery can’t make these two act in the same vicinity.

CBS Television StudiosDoubles and post-production splicing can’t mend fences. Only the heart can.

In interviews, Panjabi dodged the reasons behind all this chicanery. Margulies called it “gossip,” and said that Panjabi was out of town shooting another series, to which Panjabi tweeted, “I was in New York ready to film the scene!” Huh. Was this the first time Margulies pulled this trick? Did she truly act beside George Clooney in ER? Does George Clooney even exist? We want answers, dammit.

1

Frank Darabont’s Emails To The Crew Of The Walking Dead Were Crazier Than Anything On The Show

If the early seasons of The Walking Dead feel like a whole other show compared to the one still lifelessly plodding today, that’s in part because of the talents of original showrunner Frank Darabont (also responsible for The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and probably Stephen King’s mansion). This does not mean the man is reasonable, or even a good person.

Darabont sued AMC after being fired from The Walking Dead midway through its sophomore season. It was during those court proceedings that numerous emails between Darabont and people who worked on the show came to light, and they show a raging prick in top form. Let’s start with the one in which he threatens to murder everyone:

via Vanity FairAfter all, it’s a zombie show. He can make them keep working after that.

Apparently, the crew’s job wasn’t to Darabont’s satisfaction, so he dealt with the problem like a responsible adult: through Tarantino dialogue and death threats. He didn’t stop there, choosing instead to mention the angina that these fools were causing him:

via Vanity FairWe’re assuming this would be all in caps if it wasn’t for autocorrect.

Producers weren’t the only ones included in the fun on these email chains. The writers also felt the wrath of Darabont’s spiraling keyboard of death, and if he had his druthers, he would have “hunted them down and f*****g killed them with a brick, then gone and burned down their homes.” Screw zombies, a horde of Darabonts is way more terrifying. “There is no writers room, which you know as well as I do. I am the writers room.” (Please read that in “Stallone as Judge Dredd” voice.)

The directors were next, but he couldn’t outright say that Gwyneth Horder-Payton did a bad job helming an episode. No, that would be too easy. It seems he took one look at the her footage and concluded that she had suffered a stroke:

Vanity FairHe has a point. We’d remove the “wise.”

The fact that The Walking Dead was somewhat of a passion project that Darabont tirelessly planned years before bringing it to AMC probably explains a lot of these verbal hemorrhages, and that’s why he chose to stand by every single one of these outlashes. Even the murder-y, arson-y ones.

Justin writes more on his comedy site here. Also check out his podcast that takes place in a barn!

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