Viral rewind: Mel Gibson's insane phone call freakout became an explosive mash-up

In 2010, Gibson's freakout was immaculately stitched together with Christian Bale's and the Internet gobbled it up

By Colin Gorenstein

Published July 11, 2015 3:00PM (EDT)

Actor Mel Gibson watches the Los Angeles Lakers play the Chicago Bulls in their NBA basketball game in Los Angeles November 18, 2007.  (© Lucy Nicholson / Reuters)
Actor Mel Gibson watches the Los Angeles Lakers play the Chicago Bulls in their NBA basketball game in Los Angeles November 18, 2007. (© Lucy Nicholson / Reuters)

You held out for as long as you could, but one day — against your better judgment — you clicked on a viral video. A song about chocolate rain. A man going full-psycho over double rainbows. Rebecca. Effing. Black. You didn’t feel great about it, but you just couldn’t help it.

We may never have a hard-and-fast gauge on what makes something go viral — something to do with wisdom tooth extraction meds? — but we can still, retroactively, attempt to make sense of some of it. That’s why every week we’ll be taking a look back at the things that went viral exactly five years prior.

Here’s what was buzzing around the Internet for the week of July 12, 2010: 

If you've recently thought to yourself, "Wow, life feels so breezy and conflict-free," you might be either (a) a crazy person or (b) someone who has forgotten about Mel Gibson, the Oscar-winning actor who fell from grace back in 2006 and has existed on this earth since then almost exclusively to spew hatred into the world.

There was the police record that detailed Gibson saying “Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.” There was the obtained audio of him screaming at Oksana Grigorieva, the mother of his 8-month-old daughter, and calling her a "gold-digger" (among many other profane things). Then there was the other obtained audio recording, two years later, of him screaming at his screenwriting partner Joe Eszterhas and 15-year-old son. This is a guy you definitely didn't want at your dinner party in 2007.

Today, Gibson is on his best behavior. He's convinced the court of it, too, winning custody over his daughter, Lucia, and getting the thumbs-up on bringing her to Australia for his next movie project. Whether it's his new 24-year-old "equestrian champion-turned-hot screenwriter" girlfriend (via People), or just some good ol' common sense kicking back in, we have something to thank.

Maybe it's memes. The memeification -- and soundbiting -- of Gibson was something inescapable and widespread in the 2000s and it's something the actor has actively tried to distance himself from since becoming the subject of online ridicule. To trace it back to its beginning: The Mel Gibson/Christian Bale Freakout Mash-up.

Maybe you remember the one. Released five years ago today, the viral video -- which has since raked in over 1 million views -- immaculately stitched together Gibson's phone call freak-out with Christian Bale's equally iconic "We're fucking done, professionally" one from 2009.

Watch the video courtesy of YouTuber Nick Bosworth below. Following it, a transcript of Christian Bale's appalling freak-out as a refresher, courtesy of Daily Mail.

BALE: ... kick your f*****' a*s! I want you off the f*****' set, you p****!
HURLBUT: I'm sorry.
BALE: No, don't just be sorry! Think for one f*****' second! What the f*** are you doing? Are you professional or not?
HURLBUT: Yes, I am.
BALE: Do I f*****' walk around and rip down - no, shut the f*** up, Bruce! Do I walk - no! Nnno! Don't shut me up!
BALE: Am I gonna walk around and rip your f*****' lights down? In the middle of a scene? Then why the f*** are you walkin' right through? 'Oh, dah-dah, dah-dah,' like this in the background. What the f*** is it with you? What don't you f*****' understand? You got any f*****' idea about, hey, it's f*****' distracting having somebody walkin' up behind Bryce in the middle of the f*****' scene? Gimme a f*****' answer! What don't you get about it?
HURLBUT: I was looking at the light.
BALE: Ohhhhh, goooood for you! And how was it? I hope it was f*****' good, because it's useless now, isn't it?
BALE: F***'s sake, man, you're amateur. McG, you have f*****' somethin' to say to this *****?
DIRECTOR JOSEPH 'McG' McGINTY NICHOL: I didn't see it happen.
BALE: Well, somebody should be f*****' watchin' him and keepin' an eye on him.
McG: Fair enough.
BALE: It's the second time that he doesn't give a f*** about what is goin' on in front of the camera. All right? I'm tryin' to f*****' do a scene here and I'm goin': 'Why the f*** is Shane walkin' in there? What is he doin' there?' Do you understand, my mind is not in the scene if you're doin' that.
HURLBUT: I absolutely apologise. I'm sorry, I did not mean anything by it.
BALE: Stay off the f*****' set, man. For f***'s sake. Right, let's go again. No, let's not take a f*****' minute, let's go again! And let's not have you f*****' walkin' in! Can I have Tom put this on, please?
McG: Tom, wardrobe, please. Can I have Tom, wardrobe?
BALE: You're unbelievable, man. You're un-f*****'-believable. Number of times you're strollin' around in the background. I've never had a DP behave like this. Ahhhhh, you don't f*****' understand what it's like workin' with actors, that's what that is.
HURLBUT: No, that's not.
BALE: That's what that is, man, I'm tellin' you! I'm not askin', I'm tellin' you. You wouldn't have done that otherwise.
HURLBUT: No, what it is, is looking at the light, and making sure that you were. . .
BALE: [sound of something being knocked over] I'm gonna f*****' kick your f*****' a*s if you don't shut up for a second, alright?
VARIOUS VOICES: Christian, Christian, Christian, Christian, it's cool, it's cool.
BALE: I'm gonna go, you want me to f*****' trash your lights? Do you want me to f*****' trash 'em? Then why are you trashin' my scene?
HURLBUT: I'm not tryin' to trash.
BALE: You are trashin' my scene! You do it one more f*****' time, and I ain't walkin' on this set if you're still hired. I'm f*****' serious. You're a nice guy! You're a nice guy! But that don't f*****' cut it when you're ***********' and ******' around like this on set!
McG: I got it, I know, I get it.
BALE: Yeah, you might get it, he doesn't f*****' get it! You might. He! Does! Not! Get it!
McG: I know. Good adjustments, OK? For real. Honestly. I get it. Just walk for five seconds, just for five seconds.
BALE: No, I don't need any f*****' walkin'! He needs to stop walkin'!
McG: I get that!
BALE: I ain't the one walkin'! Let's get Tom and put this back on, let's go again. Seriously, man, you and me, we're f*****' done professionally. F*****' a*s.

Colin Gorenstein

Colin Gorenstein is Salon's assistant editor of internet and viral content. Follow @colingorenstein or email

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