If you’ve been watching bottom-barrel daytime talk show TV Dredge, you’ve probably seen a few episodes of Maury Povich’s “Phobia” episodes, in which people who are deathly afraid of very specific things are openly mocked and forced to “face” their fears.
Let’s say you have a friend who is terrified of chickens. Maury invites them to discuss their fear of birds, where they believe it stems from, how it affects their day-to-day life and interpersonal relationships, and what steps they are taking to alleviate the fear so it does not strangle their lives.
The show’s production team then brings someone in a giant chicken suit from backstage during the guest’s most vulnerable state, and the person freaks out.
It’s the same setup every time. While Maury Povich maintains that everything that happened on his show was real, many people claimed that there were numerous staged bits/moments on the show. In the past, there have been well-documented instances of comics “infiltrating” daytime TV shows.
And if you enjoyed these “Maury’s Phobias” episodes, or if you missed them and want to know what they’re all about, the energy of these segments is captured in the TikTok clip below.
TikToker @mace m went viral on the popular social media platform after filming her sister crying in a nightclub while a Michael Jackson impersonator performed behind her.
The video is being widely shared and commented on because not only did Mace expose her sibling for having a rare phobia of Michael Jackson, but what were the chances she’d be out with her sister, at the exact nightclub, and at the exact time someone was posing as the King of Pop?
@mace m shifts her camera’s focus from the MJ impersonator on the dance floor to her sister sobbing at a table, daring not to look back at the dancing menace behind her. Other people at the table try to console her, but she continues to cry.
This confluence of events, combined with her sister’s irrational fear of the deceased singer, has so many people laughing on the app and using it as an opportunity to make fun of the young woman.
“This is something I’ve heard of before. I believe it’s known as Heheephobia.”
“I just googled this and it’s a real phobia; it’s called the heeheebie-geebies.”
“Annie, are you all right, Annie?”
Others simply thought the clip’s chaotic energy was hilarious. A scenario so bizarre that it could only be written.
“I’m sorry, but this is the most amusing thing I’ve ever seen.”
“It’s him, right behind her, having a mental breakdown for me.”
“Sorry, but this is legendary. The camera angles, the way he dances behind her while she is in pain”
As amused as many people were by the brief clip and the manner in which the entire breakdown-to-dance-and-back-to-breakdown sequence was captured, a number of TikTokers expressed genuine surprise and concern as to why anyone would have a phobia of Michael Jackson.
“How come people are afraid of Micheal? I used to be obsessed with him when I was a kid.”
“Why is everyone afraid of MJ: (let him rest”)?”
“Why? There’s no reason to be afraid of Micheal; he was the sweetest and most innocent man who genuinely cared about others.”
Others couldn’t understand why Mace’s sister wouldn’t just up and leave, but since she has a phobia of MJ, it’s possible she was paralyzed with fear.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are three primary causes of phobias in humans: “negative experiences,” “genetics and environment,” and “brain function.” “Many phobias develop as a result of having a negative experience or panic attack related to a specific object or situation…[and that] There may be a link between your own specific phobia and your parents’ phobia or anxiety — this could be due to genetics or learned behavior,” the nonprofit continued.
So, when Mace’s sister was younger, she could have spilled hot water from a kettle on her hand while the music video for “Do You Remember the Time” was playing? Maybe she fell off her bike and the high-pitched scream she let out sounded like Michael’s famous yelp?
Whatever the reason for her MJ phobia, it made many people happy on the internet.