Being referred to by many as the “shy” Beatle, part of George Harrison’s image was to get awkward on camera. He should reveal what he’s genuinely feeling at that time rather than try to hide his discomfort with the person he’s conversing with or the questions being asked. George knew what he had to say on the questions being thrown at him, and as an interviewer, you’d sometimes feel surprised by how frankly he spoke his mind. Furthermore, if you go over and explore the internet, you may find several interview clips of Harrison being awkward as a guest, and it’s way funnier than you think it was. You can check out some of them here.
The Dick Cavett Show (1971)
Shortly after the breakup of The Beatles in 1971, George made an appearance on The Dick Cavett Show. His discomfort throughout the interview is practically evident. As the host was trying to get some information out of George, the latter wasn’t cooperating. He doesn’t seem intrigued, and Cavett’s inquiries aren’t piquing his curiosity. Later, Cavett says that Yoko Ono sat in George’s chair and he pretended to get up and walk. Just plain awkward, that’s all we could testify.
Today Show (1986)
For a variety of reasons, George’s interview on the Today show in 1986 is one of his most uncomfortable. The conversation begins with the reporter inquiring about his history with Monty Python. It seems like she is having trouble pronouncing “Monty Python,” therefore she says it slowly. George takes up on it and imitates her in a sluggish American accent. Even more so, as the conversation went on, George began to share his thoughts on the late Filipino ruler Ferdinand Marcos Sr., who George said had attempted to “kill the Beatles.” Harrison also took the moment to detail the horrific events he experienced when the band infamously visited the Philippines.
Harrison’s nonchalant attitude in a 1988 interview with MuchMusic is easily discernible. The reporter opens by expressing amazement that George was doing the interview and expressing his gratitude for his participation. The reporter then apologizes to the audience, saying, “I’m sorry we couldn’t forewarn our viewers…” George says uneasily, “That’s okay.” After an uncomfortable silence, the reporter finally offers his first question.
Even though the reporter asks fantastic questions for the most part, there are a few tense exchanges when George finishes an answer and the reporter immediately follows up with another question. Some of the later laughter on set throws George off as well.
Count Down (Holland) (1988)
A 1988 Count Down interview shows George uneasy. He begins reading the top 10 songs in Holland but realizes his mistake after mentioning his CD, at which point he bursts out laughing. Next, George mentions knowing Bill Medley when asked if he’s familiar with any of the top 10 performers. Jokingly, he claims to have gone on tour with Medley back in 1827.
The journalist follows up with a comprehensive and potentially embarrassing inquiry into George’s activities since 1975, which offended Harrison. She makes it sound as though he has done nothing for the past decade, which is not the case. While George’s musical break lasted from 1982 to 1987, the years 1975 through 1980 saw the publication of five albums. George informs her of this, but it’s clear that she didn’t do her homework.
Kino News (1988)
In 1988, while George was on a press tour, he gave one of his most ill-advised interviews on the German show named Kino News. A young German TV reporter interviewed George and asked him some awkward questions. At one point, the interviewer wanted to know if he was familiar with the band Bomb the Bass. As George replies no, the reporter begins speaking German about the band. Cringe.