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The Most Legendary NZ TV Moments

By NZ On Screen team
26th May 2014

 The Most Legendary NZ TV Moments

The Most Legendary NZ TV Moments

 NZ On Screen team

By NZ On Screen team


Where were you when ...?

Forget who shot JR or what was under the hatch ... where were you when Thingee's eye popped out, 'O' was for 'awesome', or Bob "stormed out of the bracken like a yeti" to bop Rod in the 'Tumble in Taupō'? From Wainuiomata to Guatemala this Top 10 presents the most viewed clips from the previous NZ On Screen Legendary Moments collections (in descending order). 


The Top 10 Most Legendary NZ TV Moments

 Police Ten 7 (always blow on the pie)

At number one in our Top 10 countdown is the food safety advice heard around the world. The night footage of a policeman interviewing a suspected car thief on this long-running crime show was routine till the officer's deadpan response about a microwaved pie. From left-field it became a global sensation.

 Loose Enz - The Venus Touch

In this infamous Loose Enz edition sexologist (Grant Tilly) sees an eccentric patient (Bruno Lawrence) who claims to have a magic touch with women. The farce gained notoriety for high-profile newsreader Angela D’Audney (as the sexologist’s wife) going — NSFW — full frontal.

 The Son of a Gunn Show - Thingee's Eye Pop

"It really is a gem and some consider it to be the moment that this country truly became a nation. No offence to Gallipoli." Paul Casserly sums up the impact of the ocular incident that occured during the filming of a kids' TV show; and he breaks the news that alien Thingee was originally avian.

 Eyewitness News - Bob Jones punches reporter Rod Vaughan

In July 1985 TVNZ went searching for forthright New Zealand Party leader Bob Jones to interview, and after chartering a helicopter, found him fishing near Turangi. Jones was not amused and bopped reporter Rod Vaughan. Casserly: "It’s hard to go past Bob v Rob or the 'Tumble in Taupō'." 

 Eating Media Lunch - Best Of (Episode)

In this 'worst of' special of the cult satire series Jeremy Wells recalls the moment when the brutal truth behind the end of Shrek is revealed. Show writer Casserly wonders what it says about being Kiwi that we so much "enjoy watching the butchery of a normal sheep impersonating a celebrity sheep?"

 Heartland - Wainuiomata

Mid-way through our countdown, and number six is the most famous episode ever of the long-running Heartland series. Amidst the league clubs and Tupperware parties Gary meets Wainui-o-Martian Chloe Reeves who, with her squeaky voice, romantic dreams, and tiger slippers, proved to be unforgettable, and became a national hero.

 Tonight - Robert Muldoon interview

This battle of wills between interviewer Simon Walker and Robert Muldoon sees the Orwellian Prime Minister become bullish about being asked questions (about Soviet presence in the Pacific) that are not on his sheet: "I will not have some smart alec interviewer changing the rules half way through."

 Face to Face with Kim Hill - John Pilger

"This interview frankly is a disgrace." This is an excerpt from Kim Hill's infamous 2003 interview with John Pilger, award-winning journalist, and film-maker. Casserly: "His [Pilger’s] strange plea of “just read” belongs on another list: 'The most bizarre thing ever muttered on NZ TV'."

 Wheel of Fortune - Celebrity Episode (10 Oct 1992)

Barcelona Olympic bronze medalist boxer (and future World title challenger) David Tua’s letter request became instant folklore on the 10 Oct 1992 celebrity edition of the game show. Tua later claimed he'd asked for 'Olsen' but was a good sport about his heavyweight NZ TV history contribution.

 Shortland Street - First Episode

Number 10 in our Top 10 is the first episode of the serial drama based around the births, deaths and marriages of Shortland Street Hospital. Characters and lines from Shortland Street have entered the culture, most famously "you’re not in Guatemala now, Dr Ropata", the legendary TV moment that features in this episode.

Blowing on Muldoon’s pie

Blowing on Muldoon’s pie

Paul Casserly plays fantasy football with the memories: "But what if it was David Tua, not Bob Jones, who laid into Rod Vaughan?." Read More ›



NZ On Screen Content Director Irene Gardiner takes a one-eyed look at the line-up, and what it says about being Kiwi. Read More ›

More Legendary TV Moments

More Legendary TV Moments

Check out the previous Legendary Moments collections here.

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