Come on Down!

Come on Down!


That’s right! Come on down for this week’s edition of Junkiosity – The Pod! We spoke about old and new game shows, highlights of some of our favorites, and even some controversies surrounding them!

Michael Larson was “busted” for supposedly cheating on the game show, Press Your Luck. In reality he basically spent months watching previous shows he taped on his VCR(!) and memorizing the boards during the “press your luck” portion of the show. He found a pattern that allowed him to hit the button at the precise moment to win the big prizes on the board. His appearance spanned 2 episodes and CBS initially refused to pay out his winnings. Eventually the relented since he didn’t do anything illegal according to the rules or the contract he signed. The winnings cap, however, was limited to a maximum of $125,000 until 2006 because of his appearance. New computer software was created to make sure that this NEVER happened again…

Arthur Chu has been nicknamed the “Jeopardy! Villain” because of his aggressive style of playing. He studied game theory, watched hours of previous shows, and ended up being the 3rd highest Jeopardy! winnings champion of all time. He would do what some would consider “unsportsmanlike” things such as hunt for the Daily Doubles and intentionally get the answer wrong so the other contestants couldn’t get them and wagered his Final Jeopardy amounts to tie with another player, forcing the show to have both on again.

Ken Jennings is probably the most famous game show winner of all time, winning 74 consecutive episodes of Jeopardy with a mind-numbing $3.2 million in cash & prizes. He noticed a few things that gave him an advantage (which were later changed) such as longer time getting familiar with the buzzer signaling system and the familiarity with the original manager of the buzzer system (continuing contestants got familiar with the consistency of the signaling).  Ken has a Guinness World Record for most cash won on a game show.

Twenty One was one of the first game show scandals that revealed the entire show was rigged, it sounds more like it was the first “reality” show to hit the airwaves because contestants were basically acting, given direction of what to wear, what to say, what questions to miss, even when to mop their brow while in the “isolation booth”. It came to a head when good-looking professor Charles Van Doren beat reigning champion Herbert Stempel, with Stempel upset that he was told to “take a dive”. Federal authorities got involved and the entire show went down in flames. The controversy was made into 1994’s “Quiz Show” with Ralph Fiennes as Charles Van Doren and John Tuturro as Stempel…

Here is the Family Feud clip about passing a joint & Rick Harrison (from the show “Pawn Stars”) with hair in an Insomniac episode…

There have been some bloopers, one that had been denied by even the game show host. Bob Eubanks, host of the game show The Newlywed Game, denied for years that one woman’s answer to the question of “Where is the weirdest place where you have ever had the urge to make whoopee?” was “In the butt, Bob”. In reality, the contestant said “In the a*s” (the answer her husband gave was “In the car on the freeway”) and the clip was recovered…

Here are some other game show mistakes for a few giggles and forehead slaps…




Until next week, Junkies!



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