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Dumb Or Really Dumb?
Have you seen that show Deal or No Deal? It's incredible. And by "incredible" I mean "incredible it wasn't canceled seven minutes into the pilot." Seinfeld fancied itself "a show about nothing," but, man, these guys really walk the walk.
A contestant comes on and is given an amount of money between one cent and a million bucks. That's it. That's the entire program. Everything else is suspenseful music and reaction shots.
The other day I saw a woman at Target buying a copy of the Deal Or No Deal board game. Yes, the only thing that could make that formula more exciting is if you took the money and the models out of the equation. Man, throw in a six-pack of nonalcoholic beer and your evening will be off the hook!
Of course, the real weakness of Deal Or No Deal is that the show is all carrot and no stick -- I mean, even a "loser" still walks away a penny richer. That's why I'm currently pitching an even better show to ABC called "Ten Grand Or Tennis Ball To The Nuts?"
Here's how it works. A contestant comes on stage, and a tennis ball cannon is aimed at his privates. A giant digital stopwatch begins counting down backwards from 30 seconds; when it reaches zero, the player either receives a check for $10,000 or an incapacitating groin injury. Sometimes, in the latter case, the ball is fired with such velocity that it bursts, whereupon children rush on stage to collect the candies that spill out.
Hypothetically the contestant would have a 50% chance of receiving the money. But, because I know what the American people want (i.e., "to see people roll around on a stage while groaning in agony"), we'd rig it so only 3 out of any 10 players walk away with cash, while the rest don't walk anywhere for a fortnight.
Best of all, the scenes of Testicular Trauma can be repackaged and aired again later in the week as part of "America's Funniest Home Videos." And 70% of the people stupid enough to go on my program would be unable to reproduce thereafter. ITS WIN-WIN-WIN!Posted on January 18, 2007 to Great Ideas