These are our teams...and these are
their possessions they hope won't get trashed! Now, here's the host and
the self-styled leader of these steaming horde of freaks, Chris
AIR DATES: February 14, 1994 to July 23, 1994
HOST: Chris Hardwick
WATCH IT AT: YouTube
Ah, Chris Hardwick. We all know home has the host of the VERY popular
pseudo-game show "@midnight", as well as half of the group Hard 'n'
Phirm and co-founder of Nerdist. But WAY before that, he was stuck on
MTV as they slowly transitioned from music video channel to...not so
much. His second outing, "Singled Out", did considerably better than his
first, "Trashed". Not that it was HIS fault, mind; the show itself,
while interesting, was all over the place. The idea was interesting,
though: not only were contestants play FOR prizes...but they were ALSO
playing to keep THEIR prized possessions intact. It was just the
playthrough that...ahem, trashed this show.
HOW WAS IT PLAYED?
Two teams of two play. Each person has brought three of their most
prized possessions and have put them on the line. The host starts with a
toss-up question. The team that gets it right gets to choose the first
item on the opponents' side that gets put on the line.
During the first round, a category is given and up to three toss-up
questions are asked. Each question is worth 50 points for a right
answer, no points penalty if their wrong. The category ends when the
team with an item on the line either a) answers two questions right or
b) cannot do so with the questions remaining. In the case of a), their
item is save and they get to choose one of the other team's items for
the next category. In the case of b), though, they get to see their item
destroyed ("trashed") in some violent (and often hilarious) way...and
the other team gets to choose ANOTHER item to be put on the line for the
next category. After three categories (or if time expires), the round
ends. The second round is exactly like the first, save it's 100 points
for a right answer.
The Lightning Round has one member of each team "imprisoned" in the back
while the other members answer toss-up questions for 39 seconds at 150
points apiece. The team with more points are that day's
champions...while the other team's "imprisoned" player gets "trashed"
themselves by being publicly humiliated in some way.
The players sut opposite each other like on "Pyramid" and are given a
certain amout of time to play a "Remote Control"-style bonus game. Each
player views three monitors that the other player cannot see. On each
monitor will be a music video. Each player must get their partner to
guess the artist of each video with mentioning names, band members or
album or song titles and without humming, whistling or singing any songs
by said artist. The amount of time they have is 30 seconds plus five
more for each possession not "trashed" (60 seconds maximum). The players
go back and forth, one with odd-numbered screens, one with
even-numbered. If they guess all six artists in the time alloted, they
win a tropical vacation. Otherwise, they get some consolation
prizes...and the fact that they risked their possessions just to be on
The set was appropriate for the show; it looked kinda like the junkyard
that Fat Albert and the gang hung out in. Hey, this was MTV; the kids
didn't care that the set looked ugly. And every part of it looked like
it was just slapped together haphazardly and could fall to pieces at any
time. Even the scoreboards looked like a mad scientist raided a trash
heap and wired it in such a way that could explode in anyone's face.
Chris Hardwick hasn't changed much in over twenty years. He may not be
as energetic in his mid-40s as he was in his ealry-20s...but that's age
for ya (and maybe a BIT of maturity? Maybe?). But he always seem to
straddle the line between someone who knows what he's doing...and
someone who needs to be hit with a "clue-by-four". He does it well here
and he's still doing it well on Comedy Central.
WHAT DIDN'T WORK?
If you don't watch it at least a dozen times, the rules were more than a
touch confusing. Oh, I got it after a few run-throughs...but not
everyone is like me and learns all he can about game shows they watch.
Many were obviously confused over why a category suddenly ended when
neither of two questions were answered correctly. And, y'know, it was
entirely possible for both teams to have ZERO points going into the
lightning round. And THAT...is just not cricket!
This show was even more heavily skit-based than "Remote Control" and "My
Generation". Again, not saying the comedians who did the skits didn't do
their jobs right, but it again seemed to be crammed into the show. We
could've seen a LOT more demolition if Hardwick had just given the
Which brings me to said demolition. Oh, they were entertaining, no
doubt. But The Trasher, Mark Fite, seemed a bit one-dimensional for my
tastes. Yeah, yeah, I know...destroying the stuff WAS his "one dimesion".
But that's the thing. Others on the show - Hardwick, Brian Posehn, Doug
Benson, David Anthony Higgins - went on to bigger and better things.
Fite? Bit parts on sitcoms and comedy films. Sure, it's good he's still
WORKING but...it's like he didn't want to even TRY.
WOULD IT WORK TODAY?
I know I'm sounding like an old man here but...kids these days have no
sentimental attachment to much these days. If an iPod stops working,
they junk it and buy another one (or, more appropriately, badger their
parents into buying another one). In the Era of Millenials, this show
would not fly in the least. Let's just be glad those who worked on it
are still working and that most of them are quite successful.
NEXT TIME: I
can name that visual representation of a tune in...
Chris Wolvie still has Playboys from 1996.
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