I'mma Let You Finish: The Greatest Interruptions Of All Time


Says today’s Times, “interruption has clearly gained a foothold in American discourse these days, and is proving a powerful weapon for influencing the national conversation.” Indeed! Just look at some of recent history’s most infamous incidents.

Courtney Love Interrupts Kurt Loder and Madonna at VMAs, 1995
A tragic classic of the genre, a wasted Courtney hurls a compact at Madonna and Kurt Loder, crashes their interview, steals the spotlight from a snide Madge, does a Kurt Cobain impression, and possibly flashes her ladybits for maximum possible Catholic Damage. One palliative: Loder comes off as a total dick.

Rep. Joe Wilson Interrupts President Obama While Addressing Congress, 2009
South Carolina’s Joe Wilson secured a place in interruption history by going all pre-Civil War on congress, creating a short-lived meme.

Michael Portnoy Interrupts Bob Dylan at Grammys, 1998
As Dylan performed a rather lugubrious “Love Sick,” background dancer Michael Portnoy ripped off his shirt to reveal the words “Soy Bomb” and treated the audience an exuberant interpretive dance as a nervous Dylan continued to sing. Afterwards, Portnoy “explained” to E! that “Soy… represents dense nutritional life. Bomb is, obviously, an explosive destructive force. So, soy bomb is what I think art should be: dense, transformational, explosive life.”

Kanye West Interrupts Mike Myers, 2005
Kanye West’s first iconic interruption, during a telethon for Hurricane Katrina, was heralded by some at the time as a spontaneous outburst of frustration. Mike Myers’ desperate attempt to stick to the script was heralded by everyone as incredibly uncomfortable.

ODB Interrupts Shawn Colvin at Grammys, 1998
In what almost doesn’t qualify as an “interruption” (since Colvin hadn’t started her acceptance speech for “song of the year”) ODB calmly look control of the stage, asserted that Wu-Tang is for the children, and dismissed “Best Rap Album” winner Puff Daddy.

Randy Neugebauer Interrupts Bart Stupak, 2010
Mid-health care debate, a voice later revealed to be that of Texan Neugebauer’s turned the House floor into a circus, as Stupak asserted that despite his opposition to abortion rights, he’d be supporting the Senate bill.

Elinor Burkett Interrupts Roger Ross Williams, Oscars, 2010
While producer Williams managed to beat rival producer Burkett to the podium in order to accept the Oscar for short documentary Music by Prudence, she quickly got her own back by snatching the mic and refusing to let him get a word in edgewise.

Kanye West Interrupts Taylor Swift, VMAs 2009
It caused an international incident when Kanye West, with the immortal words “I’mma Let You Finish,” snatched the mic from wide-eyed Taylor Swift to advocate for Beyonce. The nation, including the President, reeled. And henceforth, such hijacking would forever be known as “pulling a Kanye.”

They Can’t Wait To Tell You
[New York Times]

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