Thanks for Playing!

bird, new, square, twitter icon



Previous Columns
The Magnificent Marble Machine
The Better Sex
Hot Potato
The Challengers
Rhyme and Reason
Second Chance
Catch Phrase
Trump Card
Caesars Challenge
Just Men!
Hit Man
Wipeout (1988)
Strike It Rich
Break the Bank (1976)
(The New) Battlestars
All-Star Blitz
The Rich/Money List
I'm Telling!
The Chair
The Chamber
Your Number's Up
The Guinness Game
My Generation

Copyright Statement

No infringement of copyright is intended by these fan pages; production companies of shows this site covers retain all rights to the sounds, images, and information contained herein. No challenge to copyright is implied. 

Web design by Jason Elliott. Logo by Chico Alexander. 
Full Copyright Statement

Powered by 1&1 Internet

with Chris Wolvie
Materialism At Its Worst
April 20
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 Hardwick!

AIR DATES: February 14, 1994 to July 23, 1994
HOST: Chris Hardwick


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.

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 national television.

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.

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 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 questions himself

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's like he didn't want to even TRY.

I know I'm sounding like an old man here 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. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisWolvie and e-mail him at