Game shows are an excellent form of entertainment, if only for the fact that they combine the possibility for anyone to be part of them with the chance to win incredible prizes. You might be familiar with names such as Family Feud or The Price is Right, for example, but even this industry has its dark sides that are better left unexplored. Some have managed to stand out in a variety of unfortunate ways though the point that they all have in common is a high probability of leaving the viewers weirded out or slightly traumatized. Without further ado, here are the 6 Most Insane Game Shows Ever Made.
1. Human Tetris
Do you love Tetris? Great! Then, become Tetris! This game show format is known by many names, such as Hole in the Wall or Human Tetris. It first aired in Japan, though it quickly spread out in many other countries and became a worldwide phenomenon.
The premise involves gearing up contestants with protection helmets, knee pads, and elbow pads, then forcing them into a wall moving towards them. Well, to be fair, the wall does have openings in it. However, they’re shaped like extremely strange and awkward human frames that contestants need to correctly imitate if they wish to survive. Shortly put, if you’re not flexible enough, you’re doomed.
A game show that aired in the UK for the first and last time in 2003, Distraction is basically the steroid version of every common trivia quiz show. The concept is simple: contestants are lined up behind some big buttons, asked questions, and required to answer them correctly before their adversaries.
But since this show really wanted to take trivia to an extreme level, it introduced distractions. Whether it was naked people running around, electric shocks or tattoo needles, they were all meant to get the players’ heads out of the game and intensify their experience. I’d say they definitely nailed what they tried to do, but the show ended up getting canceled, so was it really worth it? Maybe next time they should just stick to hitting contestants in the face with whipped cream.
3. The Marshmallow Game
Featured on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, this game made its debut on Japanese television. It had a fairly simple premise: tie people’s faces with an elastic to a wall, then have them struggle to go towards a marshmallow hanging from the ceiling. The goal? Eat your marshmallow and win the race. This game is silly in many ways, but, at least, it doesn’t involve any electricity and needles. Overall, it’s pretty harmless. Unless, of course, you don’t mind having your dignity torn out of your body and smashed to pieces, all on national TV.
Let’s all just take a moment and be grateful that Japan has offered us so many wonderful game shows to fill up this list with. Their creativity knows no bounds. This can either be a good thing or a bad thing but in the case of Tore!… it’s definitely the latter.
Another trivia game show taken to extremes, this is pretty much Saw with a TV audience and less gore. In the initial stage, contestants need to answer questions while being slowly wrapped from head to toe, with every wrong answer gradually turning them into mummies. Once your head is completely wrapped too, you might be tempted to think that it can’t get any worse than this, but if you still manage to give a wrong answer, then you are also stuffed into a sarcophagus. Hey, I didn’t look further into this game show in fear of getting more disturbed, but does anyone know if these contestants are ever taken out of the sarcophagus?
5. Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush
Ever since its debut on British television, this game show has been adapted in over fourteen countries, with a good reason too. If you wanted to be part of the audience, you were promptly requested to bring with you a packed luggage, and to take the following week off.
This is because, while essentially a simple quiz show, the glamorous part was that all contestants were randomly chosen from the audience. The big prize was always a vacation, which the winner was supposed to go on immediately. This concept is as crazy as it is thrilling, something the creators were definitely aiming for. There’s just this sense of adventure that you get out of carrying on with your normal chores, then all of sudden flying to Bora Bora only a couple of hours later. There’s obviously the downside of not winning and realizing you just took a week off for nothing, though.
6. The Intercept
Brought to us by Russia, the country that gave us the most viral videos of half-naked guys jumping in frozen lakes, this game show is so crazy it should be illegal. Actually, no, scratch that; it already is illegal.
Contestants are offered the chance to win a car, without even needing to answer trivia questions or to eat dead insects. How do you win that car then, you wonder? Eh, you just have to steal it. Players are given thirty-five minutes to try and steal a real car, and if they manage to successfully complete the ordeal, they need to figure out a way to get rid of the also very real police officers chasing them. “What’s the worst that could happen, though? It’s just a game show!” You’ll get arrested. For real. People are put into proper jail for this. Actually, this is starting to sound less like a game show, and more like the idea of a mob master mind, who’s trying to trick people into stealing cars for him.
Plenty of us would probably be eager to sign up for an opportunity like this, especially since most game shows are entertaining and you can have a grand ole’ time as a contestant. However, these 6 Most Insane Game Shows Ever Made are enough to make us ask ourselves the eternal question: what wouldn’t you do for a copious amount of money?