On Wednesday, actor Robert Blake stopped by “Piers Morgan Tonight” to promote his new self-published memoir, “Tales of a Rascal,” but the appearance descended almost instantly into a meltdown of “Tiger Blood” proportions.
In 2005, the “Baretta” star was acquitted of killing his wife, Bonnie Lee Bakley, but was later found liable for her death in a civil suit. Given the high-profile nature of the case, it wasn’t so unreasonable for Morgan to broach the subject, but Blake didn’t seem to agree.
Over the course of the hour – Blake was the only guest on last night’s show – the actor unleashed a tidal wave of invective aimed at a number of people, including, but not limited to: Morgan, whom he repeatedly called “Charlie” or “Charlie Potatoes”; the cops who arrested him for his wife’s death; the guy in Morgan’s ear (presumably he meant the show’s producers); his parents; and his late wife.
It’s hard to isolate the single craziest moment, but we’ll do our best. In the clip above, Blake gets exasperated when Morgan ever-so-delicately brings up Bakley’s death, a subject he dismissed as “boring as hell.”
Morgan countered that, of all the things that have happened in Blake’s life, the slaying of his wife must be the most significant. Blake vehemently disagreed, launching into a tirade about how “the most significant thing in my life is when I was 2 years old and I find an audience,” even suggesting that his stardom had lifted America’s spirits in the dark days of World War II.
Elsewhere during the hour, Blake was explaining his process for writing the book (which he was inspired to write after discovering a box full of old pictures covered in “rat [excrement]”) then suddenly turned to the camera to address the “rotten bastard” cops who "ripped my guts out and left me beside the road to die.”
“I’ll get you son of a bitches later, but don’t think you’re going to get off the hook. I was supposed to die in that cell, wasn’t I, you bastards. Well I didn’t die, and you didn’t get your book deal, you mothers. I wrote a book about you, so you’ll have to go out and rip some other celebrity 'til he’s dead, then you can write a book about him,” he said, his voice quivering with rage. Then, without pausing for a breath, Blake turned back to Morgan, saying, “I’m sorry, I’m back.”
In another segment, Morgan accused Blake of getting defensive when he asked about Bakley’s death. The actor admitted to having “thin skin,” but claimed Morgan’s interrogation was inappropriate. “I've never allowed anybody to ask me the questions that you're asking. I allowed you to do that because I trust you. And I would have assumed that you and that guy in your ear would trust me. And if you don't, then we'd better start talking about ‘The Little Rascals,’” he said, in what may be the greatest conversational pivot of all time.
Quick -- somebody get this guy a show on FX!
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