In 1988, reporter Boyd Matson produced a piece on the outrageous stories leering at shoppers from the tabloid magazine racks as they waited in checkout lines at the supermarket. Inadvertently, he captured what is without a doubt the greatest on-camera interview of all time.
For this segment, Matson spoke with Richard Dominick, a reporter from The Sun (and later a producer for The Jerry Springer Show), who took him to meet a few of his subjects. There’s the guy who was rescued from the ice by his Howdy Doody ventriloquist dummy. The woman who spent years as a sex slave to extraterrestrial beings. And June O’brien with her haunted toaster.
“Right here where it says ‘put one slice’ we heard ‘I am the devil,'” June says. She is sitting at her kitchen table in Boca Raton, Florida, with an inconspicuous white toaster in front of her.
“What kind of voice did the devil have?” Richard asks her.
“A very low voice I’d say sounded like Eli Wallach,” June says.
Richard says, “Have you saved any of this satanic toast?”
Yes, of course June saved the evil toast.
She holds up a piece of charred black toast with the words “Satan Lives” seemingly scratched into it.
Richard asks if the toaster is still possessed. They still have problems with it now and then, June confesses, and drops in a single slice of bread to demonstrate. She struggles briefly to get the handle down to stay down, apparently a sign that Satan is conveniently present in the toaster today.
“It seems to be a winner,” June says, shaking her head, and nudges the toaster a little further away from her.
That’s when, in the single most glorious moment of television history, the evil appliance belches hellfire.
After June has a moment to compose herself, Richard asks, “Why have you kept this toaster?”
“Well, Richard,” June says, “You know, when all is said and done, it makes good toast.”
The Today Show segment, called “Celebrity Tabloids Examined,” originally aired on May 4, 1988. Watch it here: