Even for a brief moment, we’ve all secretly wanted to appear on a gameshow. Whether it’s opening the £250,000 box in front of Noel Edmonds’ manic eyes or shaking Chris Tarrant’s hand to the tune of a million big ones, who hasn’t dreamt of getting rich on live telly? Or at the very least, who hasn’t imagined winning a washing machine on Family Fortunes? It’s the dream.
But for every daytime TV success story, there’s always room for monumental cock-ups. The kind which live with you for the rest of your life. A mistake so costly and ridiculously stupid that you’re forever immortalised on the Internet, known to strangers as “that guy who guessed ‘A Streetcar Naked Desire’ on Wheel of Fortune”.
This is what happened last week when Kevin – god bless him, poor Kevin, with his false optimism and slightly shabby suit – shamed himself on the US show. Kevin had the gameshow in the palm of his hand. He had Wheel of Fortune on the ropes. Just one letter separated him from victory. He simply had to fill in the blank from “A STREETCAR NA-ED DESIRE.” Easy, Kevin thought. So he went for it. “K”. The letter flew out his mouth without the slightest hint of hesitation. A short silence fell, followed by a deathly buzzer and gasps of shock from the audience, as if Kevin had offended an entire nation. Host David Greene let out a very precise, elongated “nooooo”. Kevin knew. He’d well and truly ballsed it. Head hung in shame as the correct answer (“A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE,” not “A STREETCAR NAKED DESIRE”) flashed on the screen, this was the sight of a man who knew he would never live to forget this.
But spare a thought for Kevin, because he’s not the only one. Below are some of the biggest fails in gameshow history. So bad, you wonder if these contestants lost their dignity for a dare.
Name something a doctor might pull out of a person – “gerbils”
Survey says… WHAT? On US show Family Feud – the equivalent to Family Fortunes for us Brits – contestant Darci immediately suggested that above anything else, gerbils are regularly pulled out from people’s insides. Two things make this moment more priceless than the answer itself: host Steve Harvey’s look of complete disgust, and fellow contestant Manny’s reaction of gut-wrenching laughter. In the end, Manny goes for the more sensible option – “a baby,” while Darci claims “I heard about something like that… once.” What a moment.
Who wrote the song ‘Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)’?
Ah yes, that old classic. Which genius hip-hop entrepreneur reinterpreted the Annie theme into a smash hit? Simple, really. Enter Kevin (there seems to be a pattern between gameshow clangers and blokes named Kevin), a Jeopardy! contestant here to provide the answer. “What is LMFAO?” Kevin, please.
The world’s least successful Who Wants To Be A Millionaire contestant
The above clip should one day be exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art. It takes serious skill to make yourself look this silly. And there’s something in college junior Chase Sampson’s mannerisms that suggests this whole ordeal might be a prank. The way he smirks when introduced on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire – he’s up to something. The way he boasts about being “up pretty late, mostly,” like he’s a 24/7 party person with no limits. “I’m kind of an insomniac, I guess. But I’m feeling good.” 30 seconds later and he’s messed up the $100 question. Chase’s financial, err, chase ended at the first hurdle.
“The worst Chase player I’ve ever played against”
From one Chase to another, self-professed Elvis fan and primary school teacher Caz has a status of being The Chase’s worst ever contestant. Fortunately, she had national treasure Bradley Walsh by her side, encouraging her as she botched every question. In The Chaser’s seat, Paul Sinha wasn’t holding back: “And now I have the answer to who’s the worst player I’ve ever played against!” Paul, have some decency. Caz did her best. Who’s to know that Ireland isn’t a part of the United Kingdom? It’s a modern mystery!