Live news broadcasts can be a gold mine for humor, especially when an animal is involved. Animals really don’t care if you’re broadcasting live to an audience, and the chaos they can cause once that red light is on is simply hilarious. Luckily for us, these broadcasts can live on forever on the internet, especially once they find their way to YouTube. Here are 15 examples of what can happen when an animal goes rogue during live news.
1. A needy cat
While broadcasting the weather forecasts from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, Indiana’s 14 First Alert chief meteorologist Jeff Lyons gained a new on-air costar. His cat, Betty, became an internet sensation after she interrupted one of his forecasts while seeking some attention. She’s since appeared in many of his subsequent broadcasts, much to the delight of viewers around the world.
2. An excited dog
Technological snafus come with the territory of working from home. Such was the case when Buddy the Golden Retriever accidentally bumped his head into the computer while Paul Dellegatto, Fox News 13-Tampa Bay’s chief meteorologist, gave the forecast. Buddy’s clumsiness caused the digital maps to disappear. With the maps gone, Dellegatto broadcast the weather with Buddy center stage—that is, until the dog ran across the room to greet another person.
3. A pelican attack
In 2010, Steve Jacobs was broadcasting live from Sydney’s Taronga Zoo for an extended segment of the Australian show TODAY. He still had to report on the weather forecast from the remote location, but didn’t get far into it before a pelican bit him on the behind. There’s no way to keep a straight face when that happens.
4. A jumping cat
Nicole DiDonato of WXMI was doing a live news tease in July of 2012 when an intrepid cat jumped up onto her shoulders. When DiDonato returned to do the full report, the cat was still there, attempting to take her attention away from her job.
5. A weather cat
Cats pay no mind whatsoever to conventions like keeping a studio floor clear during a live broadcast. Univision’s Eduardo Rodriguez was presenting a weather report at WLTV in Miami in 2012 when a cat sashayed across the studio floor. Rodriguez kept his composure and finished his report as the crew cracked up in the background.
6. A persistent kitten
At WXYZ in Detroit, a stray kitten decided she wanted to get to know reporter Nima Shaffe just a little bit better. The fact that he was on location for a news report made no difference, and the kitten wouldn’t take "no" for an answer. The station went with it and made the report about the kitten. The local Humane Society took the kitten in and planned to put her up for adoption.
7. Horsing around
A reporter from Macedonia TV tried his best to deliver a story on equestrian training, but a horse named Frankie couldn’t contain his curiosity and affection. It makes perfect sense to put a horse in the background for such a report, but this one wasn’t good at following stage directions. You can see the clip here.
8. A donkey with something to say
This interview from a Russian news channel was placed right in front of a donkey enclosure, which, as you'll see, is never a good idea for a coherent broadcast. The lone donkey in the shot was not going to stand idly by when he had the opportunity to address the audience. We’re not sure what he said, but he came off like a real jackass.
9. Cougar or dog?
One early morning in October 2018, reporter Morgan Saxton was shooting a live segment in Utah's Spring Lake when a mysterious creature interrupted the shot. "What you’re seeing is—actually a dog coming into our live shot,” she said nervously. “I think it’s a dog, I’m not sure. Anyway, there’s some sort of creature below me.” Saxton later shared the segment on Twitter, asking what animal her followers thought it was. Some went feline, saying it was a mountain lion; others, however, said it was a dog. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources ultimately determined, based on the animal's tracks, it was indeed a pupper.
10. A dog crashes the weather report
Meteorologist Ryan Phillips was delivering the weather report at NBC 6 in Miami in January of 2015. Meanwhile, the broadcast crew was preparing for the upcoming “Pet of the Week” segment, featuring a pet from a local animal shelter, Pooches in Pines. King, an American bulldog, couldn’t wait for his turn in front of the camera and decided to jump up on the news desk to get some extra attention from the weather man. King was soon adopted by his foster family.
11. A dog on a lawnmower
In March 2016, Andrea Martinez of KYTX CBS1 9 News was reporting on storm damage in Malakoff, Texas, when a dog on a lawn mower distracted everyone. The dog wasn’t trying to interrupt, but once Martinez saw him, the news crew had to take a closer look. Needless to say, more people saw the dog than would ever see the storm report.
12. Griffey the weather dog
In early 2015, meteorologist John Zeigler was doing his report at KOLR 10 in Springfield, Missouri, when his dog Griffey decided it was time to play. Zeigler distracted the dog by tossing a ball, but Griffey knows how to play fetch, so it was a constant struggle to keep him off-camera. However, Griffey was such a hit that he became the station’s mascot, complete with legions of fans and his own Facebook page.
13. A spider terrorizing a meteorologist
You’re probably familiar with the way broadcast news blends various graphics into the background of weather reports. Broadcasters get used to responding to what’s on the air instead of what’s physically in front of them. But that response went haywire when a spider crawled across the lens of a camera in downtown Vancouver as Global BC meteorologist Kristi Gordon was giving the weather forecast. She couldn’t help but respond as if the spider were right there with her.
14. A space spider
That wasn’t the first time a spider on a camera lens caused laughter on the air. In 2007, as NASA prepared to launch the space shuttle Atlantis on the oft-delayed mission STS-122, they had a constant video feed on the launch pad. When this segment made YouTube, it came with an announcement:
STS-122 The space shuttle Atlantis will not launch until the new year. A fuel tank glitch forced mission controllers to delay the launch. And, fuel sensors weren't the only problem. The shuttle was also attacked by a giant spider.
15. A trouser snake
When KCCI meteorologist Kurtis Gertz did a live report from the Iowa State Fair in 2008, he volunteered to appear in a snake show. A huge Burmese python named Dawn slithered her tail up into the leg of Gertz’s cargo shorts and out the other leg. It took some time to extract her, and even longer for everyone to stop laughing. The video became a classic.