Oh Tyra. Ms. Banks is one cuckoo lady, y'all, and I am so thankful that someone was clever enough to give her her own talk show for five seasons. Of course, we can still catch all the crazy when America's Next Top Model returns August 2 -- and I expect to see even more weirdly sexual remarks and desperate grabs for attention this cycle, considering that male models are competing as well.
Unfortunately, ANTM has to focus at least part of each episode on the, you know, models. This sad fact means that Tyra has just a few brief minutes each week to unleash her apparently unbalanced mental state on her viewing audience. The Tyra Banks Show, on the other hand, gave her a whole hour five days a week to perform "social experiments," talk to dwarves, creepily flirt with younger men, fall out of chairs, and fight for the cause she most believes in: teaching society not to discriminate against supermodels and other ridiculously beautiful people.
In honor of the return of Top Model -- which has been absent from our screens for a full year, instead of the typical four months -- let's recount Tyra's best talk show moments. I like to think of these eight clips as some of America's best moments as well.
8. Tyra falls out of her chair
In an episode from 2007, Tyra got to meet a bunch of woodland creatures and also Hilary Duff. Our host, Duff and the animal trainer are sitting on the studio's couch when a porcupine is introduced as the next animal guest. Tyra freaks out and tries to scramble away from the porcupine by climbing on top of the couch, which then falls over on top of her. This scenario begs the question: would Tyra use Hilary Duff as a human shield when facing a dangerous predator? I think the video gives us a definitive answer.
7. The Great Vaseline Giveaway
If you were ever an Oprah audience member, there was a chance you could win a car. But if you were an audience member at Tyra's show, you got something so much more practical in your goody bag: a tub of Vaseline! Tyra even did the whole, "You get Vaseline, and you get Vaseline, and you get Vaseline!" act as if she really thought that anyone who was watching her show would be at all excited by petroleum jelly. The fact that each tub was bedazzled, and that Ty had advertised the giveaway as her "Super Duper No Fail Skin Saving Eye and Anything Cream" made the whole thing even sadder. Perhaps Tyra, who is a millionaire celebrity, was unaware that we peons can actually afford to buy our own Vaseline, and that such a gift would not automatically make us eternally in her debt.
6. For Science!
Tyra is a supermodel, so she's used to people scrutinizing her body. But she took a stand when American Idol alum Katherine McPhee came on her show to complain that she was accused of having fake breasts. Of course, Tyra would not stand for that nonsense, so she feels McPhee up, like you do. I guess Ty figured people would believe her more readily than they believed Katherine, owner of said boobs? Whatever, get a room you two.
5. Tyra Explains Procreation
Tyra has never been a parent. However, that should in no way preclude her from giving parenting advice about crucial moments in your child's life, such as explaining the birds and the bees. While interviewing Bow Wow (who was 20 at the time, and just may have already known this information), Ty commands her guest to sit on her lap so that she could give him "the talk." Oh, she also comments on how muscly and manly he was once he climbs on top of her. Tyra proceeds to tell Bow Wow all about his "flower stem" and a woman's "petals" and ugh this is gross I can't think about it anymore.
4. Creeping on Cullen
Tyra sometimes gets uncomfortably sexual with her male guests -- see above. But she took it to a whole new level when she had Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner on to promote the first Twilight movie. It seems like Ty gets mixed up between what was part of the movie and what was real life (not an uncommon occurrence for her). First, she puts on a terrible English accent to try to bond with Pattinson. I would guess that imitating your guest's voice probably isn't the best way to endear yourself to him, but Ty's the expert on this one. Things go from just awkward to outright cringe-inducing when she asks Pattinson to bite her. He obliges (which also makes me think way less of him), and then Tyra squeals and shows everyone her new "hickey." Also in this segment, she informs Pattinson and Lautner about the "Team Edward/Team Jacob" phenomenon, because they probably were not previously aware of that.
3. Five Women, Ten Vaginas
From 2005 to 2010, whenever someone in the medical community came across a case they had never seen before or could not explain, they would call Tyra. After all, she is a model and a television producer. Who could be more qualified to discuss rare pathological conditions? In one of her most out-there segments, Ty interviews five women who each have two vaginas or what is known as uterus didelphys. Our intrepid host makes sure to point out to the audience that, normally, a woman can only get pregnant once at a time. But for these women, they could get pregnant, and then they could get pregnant again through their second uterus, which is exactly what happened to one of the guests. So now we all know that women can have multiple vaginas. Is it possible that Tyra has multiple personalities? I think it might be.
2. "Kiss My Fat Ass"
Being the proud women's activist that she is, Tyra has often stood up for females of all shapes and sizes. Of course, she herself profited from, and gained fame and success through, an industry that is based on the regulation of women's bodies. But let's not dwell on the past. In 2006, a paparazzo snagged a photo of Tyra looking larger than we are used to seeing her. Tyra, who continually tells her audience that they are beautiful at any size, was horrified and offended that this photo was being distributed. Therefore, she appears on her show wearing the same bathing suit from the photo, and goes on a tearful rant about the audacity of those who were jeering at her size. Of course, when she dared to wear the bathing suit on her show, she had obviously lost a bunch of weight and appeared far thinner than she had in the photo. She ends her speech with the famous phrase "Kiss! My! Fat! Ass!" (Complete with butt slap.) Thus, Tyra was able to simultaneously tell everyone that women should not be ashamed of their bodies, yell at photographers for capturing her at highest weight, and show how much weight she had since lost. That is some evil genius-level shit.
1. Tyra has rabies
In this episode's opening monologue, Tyra informs the audience that she was bitten by a rabid dog while jogging in her neighborhood. It seems plausible that Tyra genuinely believes she can talk to animals like Eliza Thornberry, so I can understand how the attack could have happened. Ty "tries" to continue with the show, before bending over and foaming at the mouth. She then gets down on all fours and starts barking like a dog and pretending to bite audience members. Turns out, Ty was using this stunt to open her "pranks" episode. From this segment, I learned that Tyra believes that people with rabies actually turn into dogs, and that she chose to reenact this medical anomaly on her own show. Just one more example of Ty being the exemplary human being that she is.
Think you've got game? Prove it! Check out Games Without Pity, our new area featuring trivia, puzzle, card, strategy, action and word games -- all free to play and guaranteed to help pass the time until your next show starts.