July 25, 2001: Nickelodeon game shows
The best part about game shows is when the host consults a mysterious panel of judges. For example, Alex Trebek will read his little clue card and one of the contestants will give their response, but then, instead of Alex saying that their answer was right or wrong, there’s this awkward silence. At this point, nobody knows what to do, and Alex starts looking around the studio real nervously because he’s so confused. Then he’s like, “… Judges?” Somehow, these judges know the answer to everything you could ever want to know. They’re never actually shown or heard, presumably because they prefer to have their identity be kept in secrecy, and they’re almost never needed. I want to know exactly how much they get paid for doing this, because being a game show judge has got to be the easiest job you could ever have. “Uh, yeah, we’re going to need you to sit on this chair for a half hour and, when Alex is unsure of the validity of a response, give him the old thumbs up or thumbs down.” Hey, if you know the answer to every question in the world, you could probably do something more productive in your life than ensuring that Jeopardy is run democratically. These people know the cure for cancer and they’re just sitting around working for a dumbass game show.
Personally, I don’t really watch games shows due to their inherent retardedness. I’ve been spoiled by all of the Nickelodeon games shows that I used to watch back in the ‘80s. Double Dare may have seemed like a normal trivia show on the surface, but you never knew when the host would make the contestants dig around in a giant cream pie to find some sort of red flag. But the most interesting thing about Double Dare is that it was hosted by a man named Marc Summers, who was later revealed to have been diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which caused him to have an unhealthy fixation with cleanliness. This makes me question his career choice. If you’re worried about not getting dirty, perhaps it might not be that wise of a move to host a game show where it is routine for a participant to jump in a vat of pudding. In fact, that’s perhaps the second worst job you could ever have in such a situation. The worst job, of course, would be to host a show called What Would You Do?, which Marc Summers also did. For somebody who likes to keep clean, this guy certainly picked a fascinating profession. I’m not knocking his disease, but if I was afraid of heights, I’m probably not going to want to become a goddamned tightrope walker.
What Would You Do? was another Nickelodeon game show, only when you did something wrong on this one, you would be strapped down to a contraption that simultaneously hit you with four cream pies. It was a little thing known as the Pie Pod, and, depending on your opinion of pies, it was either one of the worst or one of the best things that could ever happen to you.
The other Nickelodeon game show that I used to watch was called Wild & Crazy Kids, which is actually pretty self-explanatory. If you’re looking for a show where kids do wild and crazy things, most of which involve cream pies, look no further. As a change of pace, this show wasn’t hosted by Marc Summers; rather, those duties were fulfilled by the three dullest people Nickelodeon could fine. Compared to them, playing T-ball would probably seem pretty wild and crazy. Especially if, instead of hitting softballs, they hit cream pies. Leave it to Nickelodeon to figure out every possible way to make use of those things. I’m not sure where they ordered them from, but you can imagine the pie company’s bafflement when Nickelodeon first figured out that lots of cream pies equals good ratings. “What’s that? Nickelodeon wants to order another 15,000 cream pies? But they just ordered 10,000 last week! What the hell are they going to do with all those cream pies?”
“You don’t want to know.”