A few weeks ago, my friend Noah told me about a memorable moment in game show history. During Family Feud, when asked to name a crime you'd think of committing if you knew you'd get away with it, a father cried "Rape."
This seemed like fertile ground for a Top Ten.
There were two ways to approach this. I could, of course, do all the research myself. Sure, that'd be rewarding and all. But I have access to one of the world's most prominent game show experts. My co-worker Gordon Pepper is a contributor to the award-winning* GameShowNewsNet.com. Gordon rattled off ten great moments that I never would have found.
So let me turn things over to him. As for me, I'll go back to my corner, seething over my Sprint debacle.
• One-Show Wonders - Only three game shows in the modern television era have only lasted for one episode - You're in the Picture, starring Jackie Gleason; The Will, a show that CBS was so convinced would blow chunks that they put it on in the dead zone that is Saturday night; and The Rich List, a 2006 clunker from FOX. You're in the Picture was so bad that Jackie Gleason came out the next week and apologized about putting it on the air. If only we could have that refreshing honesty from the others...
• We get the first of two moments of infamy from the television show Greed, which featured teams of five people answering trivia questions to win a two-million-dollar jackpot. The first moment comes on a 'TV Edition' with certified 'Television Experts.' The team's first question to start the game - What show did Chuck Woolery not host? Wheel of Fortune, Scrabble, Singled Out or Love Connection. The team's answer is Wheel of Fortune. The Right answer: Singled Out. What makes this an infamous moment is that Woolery is ALSO the HOST of Greed. And I quote from Woolery himself, 'Congratulations! The first team in the history of Greed to lose on the first question, and it's on MY question! We'll come back and hopefully find a team that knows more about me after the break.'
• "Name a crime that you would think of committing if you knew you could get away with it." Already a loaded question on Family Feud, but it's even more so when the head of the household replied "Rape." Way to be a strong role model for the kids. Other moments of strangeness included this Fast Money gem - Name an animal with 3 letters. The 2 answers given - Frog and Alligator. (No, the family didn't win Fast Money.)
• Let's not leave out reality shows. In Project Runway 3, there were not one, but TWO people accused of cheating. One of them was booted out of the competition. The other person was cleared - and wound up winning the competition. Oops.
• Have you ever heard someone 'llamaing'? It means to leave a game show with no money (or to exit really early). The origin of that comes from Who Wants To Be a Millionaire, where Robby Roseman is the first American contestant to get eliminated on the very first question of the show. The $100 Question - What animal did Hannibal use to cross the alps? After using a 50/50, there are two choices left - Llamas and Elephants. The right answer, of course, is elephants. Roseman's answer? Llamas, and hence the moment of infamy. Don't feel too bad for Roseman though, as he would bounce back big time by finishing in 23rd place in the 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event and taking home $494,797 - or almost what he would have gotten should he have answered 14 Millionaire questions correctly.
• Who doesn't love a good love story? If you're Bachelorette Jen Schefft and you're trying to decide between 25 men, you must love the position that you are in, especially when a charming young man named Fabrice is one of your 25 men. Only one little problem here - Fabrice is gay. Not only was he outed at a Chicago Pride Rally, it was claimed that he had a profile at a popular gay dating site. Fabrice got all the way to the final 6, but fortunately for Jen, he dropped out of the competition before she could select him for her Final Four.
• The first person to ever win the million on Who Wants to be a Millionaire was John Carpenter. Everyone knew that he was cocky, but he cemented it when on the final question, he used his Phone-A-Friend Lifeline to call his dad and tell him that he won the million dollars.
• "Where was the strangest place you made whoopie?" "In the butt." That's been an urban legend for years, but it actually happened, as they have shown that Newlywed Game clip on a number of occasions on Game Show Network.
• Then there was this little gem from Big Brother 2. After imbibing way too much alcohol, contestant Justin Sebik thought that it would be great fun to hold a knife under the throat of fellow contestant Krista Stegall. Of course this could be edited out for broadcast, but since the premise of the show is that anyone can watch at any time what anyone on the show was doing via the internet, this little scene was viewed live by around 8 million people online - which ballooned once the images and video hit many, many sites. Thanks to the footage, Sebik got tossed after 10 days in the Big Brother house. He's not the only person to be ejected from the House - Scott Weintraub gets the boot after only 2 episodes in Season 4 after throwing furniture around the house when it's revealed that he has genital warts.
BONUS ENTRY: We can add this in as a late entry - in Top Chef 2, contestant Cliff Crooks decides to give Marcel Vigneron a crewcut - by waking him up in the middle of the night and pinning him down. Fortunately for Marcel, he doesn't get clipped. Unfortunately for Cliff, he gets thrown out, and what makes this even more painful is that he was in the final 5 and forfeited a trip to Hawaii and a chance to compete in the Finals. Marcel finishes in second and loses to a contestant named Ilan, who ironically gave Cliff the idea to shave off Marcel's hair. D'oh!
• We go back to Greed for 'The Two Million Dollar Moment.' Dan Avila is the only person on his team to proceed to the final question. A correct answer would give him over two million dollars, while an incorrect answer would cost him all of the money that he had accumulated on the show so far - $200,000. The question - Based on a Yale University study, which four of the 9 odors were the most recognizable? The choices - Baby Powder, Moth Balls, Coffee, Chocolate, Vicks VapoRub, Peanut Butter, Tuna, Dried Cat Food and Cinnamon. Dan's choices were Vaporub (Right), Coffee (Right), Peanut Butter (Right) and Tuna...which was wrong. The final right answer was chocolate. Instead of winning two million dollars, Dan lost $200,000 and walked off the stage with nothing. Dan would later recoup a small portion by winning $100,000 on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.
Thanks, Gordon. For more game show commentary, history, trivia and news, visit GameShowNewsNet.com.
*I'm not positive about the award-winning part.