Ryan Seacrest's 'horrible' mix-up

Publish Date
Thursday, 18 May 2017, 2:41PM

US TV presenter Ryan Seacrest just lived out every interviewer's worst nightmare - live on air.

The former American Idol host was on US talk show Live with Kelly and Ryan, interviewing actor Jeffrey Tambor alongside co-host Kelly Ripa.

Tambor's had a long and distinguished career, in recent years winning praise from audiences and critics for his roles in TV shows Arrested Development and Transparent.

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But for Seacrest, Tambor will forever be associated with one role: "To me, you're the scary guy in the subway in Ghost," he told his guest.

In fact, he's not. That role was played by Vincent Schiavelli, a similarly prolific actor who bears a passing resemblance to Tambor - and who died in 2005.

Tambor immediately clocked the error and tried to let Seacrest down gently.

"Oh this is horrible... you're gonna be embarrassed. That's not me," he said.

"How're you doin', you alright? It's Vincent Schiavelli. Are you OK? Are you alright?" he continued, no doubt realising the gaffe would live to haunt Seacrest.

Having checked the host wasn't about to burst into flames from embrassassment, Tambor couldn't resist hamming it up a bit.

"He's dead," he announced. "We tried to book Vincent Schiavelli, he's passed away and here I am. What is wrong with you? I came on to sell a book, not to be insulted! I am hurt. My reps are here and we are filing an action suit. I came on in GOOD FAITH.

"Let me ask you, did you think you were booking Vincent Schiavelli?"

As the awkwardness subsisted, Tambor admitted it's not actually the first time he's been mistaken for the late actor, detailing a confusing encounter with a waiter in Rome who kept quoting a line from Ghost at him.

"[Even] my WIFE thought I was Vincent Schiavelli ... and we married," he quipped.

Tambor isn't the first actor to fall victim to a presenter's case of mistaken identity. Back in 2014, Samuel L Jackson ripped into a US news anchor who mistook him for fellow black actor Laurence Fishburne.

"We don't all look alike!" he yelled at the sheepish presenter.