The show emulated television newsmagazine shows (such as 60 Minutes, or Moore's own previous show, TV Nation) in that it comprised a series of documentary segments. For the first season the format involved presenting them to a studio audience (the second season moved to Times Square), often accompanied by a coda and commentary by Moore as to what happened after the segment was first filmed. The show focused on exposing problems in American government, business, and society. It often used outlandish sketches and stunts to point out the inherent absurdity of a situation and hint at potential solutions. At times, the show's sometimes humiliating tactics drew enough attention to cause corporations involved to rethink their policies. For example, after initially denying a man coverage for a pancreas transplant, Humana agreed to pay for it.
After legislation to display the Ten Commandments in public schools, Moore interviews the bill's co-signers and asks them what the eighth commandment is; most cannot answer the question correctly. Dave Weldon does suggest "thou shalt not steal," which is correct for most Protestants, but Michael was using the Roman Catholic/Lutheran list (Moore is Catholic). Nobody (including Moore) identifies the actual eighth commandment from Exodus 34:25 (see Exodus 34:27-28 for reference).
Moore creates an "African American Wallet Exchange" in Harlem, in response to four NYPD officers who fired on and killed Amadou Diallo, because they thought his wallet was a gun. Once all the wallets are exchanged, Moore deposited them in front of the NYPD headquarters.
Staging a mock funeral outside of Humana's corporate headquarters when a health care policyholder is denied a claim to fund a potentially life-saving pancreastransplant. This segment became the inspiration for Moore's sixth feature film, Sicko, released by The Weinstein Company on 29 June 2007. Moore's original plan for Sicko was to stage ten 'stunts' like the mock funeral in front of health-care agencies, but eventually decided to scrap the idea.
A group clad in Colonial clothing behaving in a manner reminiscent of the Salem Witch Trials in protest of Kenneth Starr, and his tactics during President Bill Clinton's impeachment trial, with the idea that colonials know how to conduct an economical witch trial. They also read parts of Starr's report on Clinton while Starr was head of the Office of the Independent Counsel, and also highlight certain high-profile politicians own 'anti-moralistic' behavior (in particular Newt Gingrich's affair and subsequent divorce).
The Sodomobile, a pink van loaded with homosexual men and women, traveling across the country to U.S. states that have on-the-books sodomy laws, to fight for gay rights. At one point they encounter Pastor Fred Phelps, infamous for picketing during funerals of homosexual men.
An election special where a Ficus tree was run against the otherwise unopposed Republican incumbent Rodney Frelinghuysen for a seat in Congress. In total 23 plants ran as write-in candidates for House seats. The Ficus write-in votes were later refused to be counted by the election committee, but the ones that were shown the Ficus having a 4-1 lead over Frelinghuysen.
A visit to Philip Morris (now Altria) headquarters, where a group of lung and throat cancer victims used their electronic voice boxes to sing Christmas tunes.