Whenever America comes up with brilliant new inventions (America being the only country with the resources to invent anything, or so Conservapedia told us) foreigners steal it and add in goofy cultural idiosyncrasies.
Nothing demonstrates this more starkly than what they've done to our game shows, taking wholesome, innocent entertainment and turning it into shows like ...
6El Gran Juego de la Oca (Great Game of the Grey Goose)
Country of Origin:
How to Play:
No, this is not an elaborate drinking game based on French vodka. Rather, it is an elaborate board game based on geese. Yes, someone in Spain decided to create an entire game show around geese, natures most terrifying animal ... what with the hissing, and the biting, and the shitting, and the feathers flying, and our mothers screaming, and the sirens ... we would rather they go with the vodka.
The idea seems simple and harmless enough. A contestant earns money by rolling virtual dice and progressing along a giant, twisting 63-square board game while being cheered on by the host, studio audience and "chicas ocas" (goose girls, who are all in varying stages of undress, naturally). When the contestant lands on a square, he or she either wins a cash prize or has to complete a "stunt." Finally, the contestant who gets to the end of the board is given a reoca (final stunt) that they must complete within a week to win a new car. Easy enough, eh?
Why It's Insane:
Unfortunately the "stunts" involve pain, humiliation and being kissed by fat, messy Italian stereotypes. Even worse, it sometimes involves getting your feet licked by a goat.
What is it with Spaniards and incorporating farm animals into their game shows?
Here's a fun sample of a few of the squares one can land on:
Space No. 8: The "stunt" here must be completed in the mud. Usually this involves finding a key or some such object. Meanwhile a female mud wrestler is "inhibiting" the progress of the player. Inhibiting is a nice way of saying "hurling about and generally emasculating."
Space No. 47: The player is locked inside an acrylic glass prison filled only with sand and boa constrictors. His goal? Find the key in the sand, get out and not die of snake-related asphyxiation.
Space No. 57: Here, the contestant is asked questions by a sexy woman in a nurse outfit. He must answer questions right or have his leg hair waxed off. Also, he must keep his heart rate down to a minimum, a theme later turned into an American talk show where John McEnroe screamed at people for 30 minutes. Oh yeah, did we mention the nurse is stripteasing the whole time? Because she is, and she's nude, very nude.
Theoretically one could win 800,000 pesetas and a car, assuming the player doesn't die of crushing, burning or snake-related injuries. Or, that they didn't lose it all during the "Cruel Roulette" round, where the contestant is attached to a giant roulette wheel and spun around, and whatever percentage value their head lands at is the percentage of their winnings they lose. Need even more reason not to appear on the show? 800,000 pesetas is only equal to roughly $6,000, an amount we're pretty sure an actual goose could win on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.
5Downtown no Gaki no Tsukai ya Arahende!! (Downtown's "Not An Errand Boy!")
Country of Origin:
How to Play:
You may have seen clips from this show on the web (including this one where the contestants have to recited a tongue twister or else get smacked in the balls). If you don't know the background, the show appears to be a series of small, cruel challenges, none with an obvious reward for winning and all involving serious physical or psychological pain. You may speculate that the contestants are desperate commoners looking for prize money to pay for, say, an operation for a family member. This is fortunately not the case.
The contestants are comedians, attempting to launch themselves to stardom by receiving a spring-loaded lever blow to their groin. It's kind of like Saturday Night Live only instead of proving their comedic talent by creating characters and being funny, the comedians are tortured.
Each challenge is called a Batsu, or punishment game, which involves completing nearly impossible tasks like not laughing while watching other contestants suffer humiliation and excruciating pain, or dressing up as female comic book characters and ordering spaghetti. The punishment for not completing these tasks is usually a sound whipping, but occasionally a friendly spanking or nipple clamping is in order.
Why It's Insane:
If you watched that video and don't think it was self explanatory then you're either a robot, masochist, masochistic robot, creator of the show or the masochistic robot that created this show. If you are one of the above, or if you're afraid to watch Japanese videos at work (and rightfully so), then let us elaborate. This clip features forced nose hair removal, asphyxiation by "bad smell air," and a grown man sobbing like a little girl as an old man gums his ear.
What's worse is that the contestants have to be restrained while doing most of these tasks. Meanwhile, their comrades try not to laugh too loud at their friend's misfortune lest they find themselves on the business end of the slapping machine's whirling dervish of blows.
Adding to the humiliation is the fact that there doesn't seem to be any prize or goal other than survival, and another week of continued semi-fame in the world of Japanese comedy.