In this game show, contestants answer trivia questions and then compete in a timed race through the supermarket. The team that has the most valuable items in their shopping cart at the end of the race wins.
Contestants were asked questions about how 100 people answered a poll question then played a card game where they tried to guess whether the next card drawn from a deck in a sequence would be higher or lower.
"America's Funniest Home Videos" was inspired by a series of successful TV specials, where home viewers were invited to send in videotapes of their "funniest" moments. In "AFHV," host Saget provided commentary to the home videos which often showed wedding and sports bloopers, children and pets either being themselves or getting into trouble, furniture or other objects giving way (usually contributing to someone's fall) and "comical" reactions to getting inadvertently hit (usually in the groin). Sometimes, certain videos were grouped into themes, such as Christmas or a summer vacation, or had sentimental value to them, such as a marriage proposal; other times, videos were set to classic rock tunes. The top three videos of the week as selected by the producers were eligible for each week's $10,000 top prize; the audience would electronically vote for their one favorite video. Weekly winners got to compete in a later special for a $100,000 top prize. Written by
Brian Rathjen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This was TV's first true "reality show," and boy, was it a doozy! It must have been a revolutionary concept at the time; but now, twelve years later, it's become lodged in our cultural consciousness.
But enough content analysis. This show was great! Where else could people win thousands of dollars for sharing their embarrassing moments with the entire country? And host Bob Saget was the icing on the cake. The video clips just wouldn't have been as funny without his zany voiceovers, in which he imitated everybody from Jerry Lewis to Sylvester Stallone. We usually saw him as "straight man" Danny Tanner on "Full House," so it was cool to see him be goofy for a change.
Many people have condemned this show for being mean-spirited and exploitative. That is a very unfair accusation. Obviously the producers at ABC got permission to use the tapes sent in by the people in them, and you could tell from the audience's reaction that it was always in good fun. And if you can't laugh at yourself getting whacked in the crotch by a golf club, how are you supposed to laugh at the antics of the Three Stooges or Itchy and Scratchy?
Kudos to this show, which proved once and for all that real life could be more hilarious than any Hollywood comedy. I just wish that Bob hadn't turned the reins over to Daisy Fuentes and John Fugelsang.
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