If you were in the business of watching bottom-barrel daytime talk show TV dredge, then there's a good chance you've seen more than a few episodes of Maury Povich's "Phobia" episodes, where folks who are deathly afraid of very specific things are mocked openly and forced to "face" their fears.
Let's say you've got a person who's afraid of chickens? Maury invites them on to discuss their fear of the birds, where they think it stems from, how it affects their day-to-day life and interpersonal relationships, and what steps do they take in order to curb this fear so it doesn't take a stranglehold of their lives.
Then the show's production team, at the guest's most vulnerable state usually, brings someone in a giant chicken suit from backstage and the person freaks out.
It's the same setup, every single time, While Maury Povich maintains that every single thing that transpired on his show was real, that didn't stop folks from claiming there were tons of staged bits/moments on the program. There have been well-documented incidents of comics "infiltrating" daytime TV shows in the past, too.
And if you were a fan of these "Maury's Phobias" episodes, or missed out on 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 recording her sister having an emotional breakdown in a nightclub as a Michael Jackson impersonator performs behind her.
The clip is being widely shared/commented on because not only did Mace out 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 the exact time someone was pretending to be the King of Pop.
@mace_m shifts her camera's focus from the MJ impersonator performing on the dance floor to her sister trying to calm herself down as she sobs at a table daring not to look back at the dancing menace behind her. Other people seated at the table attempt to console her but her crying persists.
It's this confluence of events paired with her sister's irrational fear of the deceased singer that has so many folks cracking up on the application and using it as an opportunity to crack jokes at the young woman's expense.
"I’ve heard of this before. Think it’s called Heheephobia"
"I’ve just googled this and it’s a legit phobia, apparently it’s called the heeheebie-geebies"
"Annie are you okay, are you okay Annie?"
Others just thought that the chaotic energy of the clip is peak comedy. A scenario so perfectly bizarre that you could only write it.
"I’m so sorry but this is the funniest thing I’ve seen"
"It’s him doing kick moves right behind her having a mental breakdown for me"
"Sorry but this is iconic. The filming angles, the way he is dancing behind her while she is in distress"
As tickled as many people were by the short clip and the way the entire breakdown-to-dance-and-back-to-breakdown sequence was captured, a number of TikToker expressed genuine shock and concern as to why anyone would have a phobia of Michael Jackson.
"How are people scared of Micheal I was obsessed with him when I was a kid"
"Why is everyone afraid of MJ :( let him rest"
"Why? Theres no reason to have a phobia of Micheal, he was the nicest and kidest man who cared for people"
Others just couldn't wrap their heads around the fact Mace's sister wouldn't just up and leave, but since she has a phobia of MJ, it could be that she was just paralyzed with fear.
The Mayo Clinic states that there are three primary reasons for phobias in human beings: "negative experiences" along with "genetics and environment" and lastly, "brain function." The nonprofit went on to state: "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 the phobia or anxiety of your parents — this could be due to genetics or learned behavior."
So when Mace's sister was younger she could've spilled hot water from a kettle on her hand while the "Do You Remember the Time" music video was playing? Or maybe she fell off of her bicycle and the high-pitched scream she uttered sounded like Michael's own iconic yelp?
Whatever the reason for her MJ phobia, it brought joy to the hearts of many folks on the internet.
In all seriousness though, if you or someone you know mental health is suffering from a phobia or any other ailment, help is available through NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. You can contact them at 1-800-950-6264.