WATCH: US TV’s announcement of John McCain’s death takes a very unexpected turn 2 years ago

WATCH: US TV’s announcement of John McCain’s death takes a very unexpected turn

John McCain died on Saturday, aged 81

A titan of American politics, he was killed by an aggressive brain tumour for which his family announced he had stopped treatment on Friday.

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He made two runs at the presidency - losing out to George Bush in 2000, before securing the Republican nomination in 2008 only to meet a mercurial Barack Obama in the campaign.

McCain was a controversial figure, who provoked a wide range of reactions across the political spectrum, all of them strong. So his death was breaking national news, the sort of news they interrupt TV broadcasts for.

And that is exactly what happened on US network NBC. Their Saturday night schedule was interrupted for a brief, solemn bulletin, informing the nation of John McCain’s passing. It ended by letting viewers know they could turn to MSNBC for more updates.

And what happened next was… well, just watch.

NBC cut back to the already airing show - which happened to be a rerun of America's Got Talent. The act performing when the show returned were a comedy duo called 'The Japanese Belly Guys', who make noises out of everyday objects, and their bare torsos.

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The sketch on this episode involved the duo wearing dolphin masks and kissing. It was not what you would expect to follow an obituary for an important American political figure like John McCain.