It's been two decades since Ryan Murphy first put his signature stamp on the small screen.
Though it may have been short-lived, the arrival of Popular, which ran for two seasons on the WB after debuting on September 29, 1999, helped kickstart one of the most prolific, groundbreaking careers in television. His experience as a first-time, openly gay showrunner with a unique set of sensibilities may remain such a painful one for him that when he was honored by the Producers Guild of America with the Norman Lear Achievement Award in 2017, he didn't include the show on the placard listing his productions--"I don't think they understood who they had on their hands," Leslie Grossman, who starred on the show and has since returned to the Murphy fold as a recent addition to his American Horror Story family, told The New Yorker last year--but it also served to introduce the world to a true visionary.
From there, he went on to create Nip/Tuck, Glee, the aforementioned American Horror Story, American Crime Story, Feud, Scream Queens, 9-1-1, Pose and The Politician, the first series in his upcoming slate at Netflix, which just dropped on the streaming service on Friday, Sept. 27. With each successive series, Ryan has challenged the very idea of what television could be, not to mention what it can get away with, while delivering some of the most jaw-dropping moments the medium has ever seen.
"Baroque is a sensibility I can get behind," he told The New Yorker, bristling at the idea that his work falls into camp. "Baroque is a maximalist approach to storytelling that I've always liked. Baroque is a choice. And everything I do is an absolute choice."
In honor of 20 years of Ryan Murphy, we're taking a look at the 20 absolute craziest moments to ever grace the small screen courtesy of the auteur's choices. And before you ask, no, not every one of his shows is represented on the list. First of all, we only had so much time. And second of all, not all of his shows lend themselves to the theme so easily. You know the ones, his more elevated fare. They're wonderful, yes. But crazy? When compared to the likes of American Horror Story and Glee, not so much.
Without much further ado, the list!
Thanks for the memories, Ryan. Here's to 20 more years!