Anyone who spends any significant amount of time with me will tell you that my love of television borders on slightly fanatical. And considering the fact that I grew up in what was unarguably the best decade for TV shows, my obsession makes perfect sense. While I still need my weekly fix of Gossip Girl and trashy Bravo reality, the fact is that TV just isnt what it used to be back in the ’90s. Im not just talking about your weekly ’90s sitcoms, which were legendary in their own right (Saved By The Bell anyone?); Im talking about the era of the game show.
Long before the Kardashians and Real Housewives started bombarding your television screens, game shows ruled the airwaves. If you have ever heard of Gak or watched Jenny McCarthy on Singled Out, then you know exactly what Im talking about. Check out some clips from the ’90s game shows that made me the avid television watcher I am today.
1. Legends of the Hidden Temple
Of all the ’90s Nickelodeon game shows (and there were a lot), this one was by far my favorite. Teams competed in elimination rounds to make it to the final round, which took place in a Mayan Temple. Grand prizes included items like Sketcher sneakers or portable Discmans, both of which were classic ‘90s staples. In retrospect, the prizes were pretty mediocre, but back then all I wantedwas to be a blue barracuda and win myself a pair of those Sketchers!
2. Singled Out
I can’t imagine the world of trouble I would’ve been in if my parents ever found me watching Singled Out or any other MTV show for that matter. To be honest, I was probably too young to even know what was actually going on, but I knew it was one of the forbidden TV shows (along with Married With Children) that I just had to watch. How can you ever go wrong with vintage Jenny McCarthy?
3. Double Dare
Marc Summers hosted what was arguably the messiest game show that has ever been on television. The best part was watching the contestants run through an obstacle course that would inevitably end with a bucket of green slime (a.k.a. gak) getting dumped on their heads. I’m sure it looked like torture to adults, but to every ‘90s kid I know, it looked like the best time in the world.
I was by no means a coordinated child, so it is a bit of a shocker that Guts was one of my favorite game shows to watch on a Saturday morning. Maybe I was living vicariously through the contestants, who competed in extremely athletic challenges in order to win a piece of the coveted Aggro Crag. The best part is that even if you didn’t win 1st place, you still got a metal.
5. Supermarket Sweep
What’s not to like about a show that involves running a shopping cart through the aisles of a supermarket while trying to grab as many groceries as you possibly can? If you’ve never seen the show, then you need to check out the clip above the excitement is almost too much to bear!
6. What Would You Do?
The best part of this show was the giant whipped cream pie slide in the above clip. Marc Summers was the king of Nickelodeon back in the day, simultaneously hosting both What Would You Do and Double Dare. And if he looks familiar, that’s because you may recognize him from the Food Network show Unwrapped.
7. The Price Is Right (With Bob Barker)
Any kid who ever faked sick in order to stay home from school knows the wonder that is The Price Is Right. I have to admit, I haven’t watched the new Drew Carey version of the show, but I already know it can’t compare to the Bob Barker era. Take a look at this clip of my favorite The Price Is Right game, Plinko.
8. Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?
It was a daily challenge to find a show that my parents and I both agreed on, but Carmen Sandiego was our compromise. Since my parents were really big on geography and travel,I was allowed to watch this one to my heart’s content. I always thought Carmen was one stylish villain!