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Loving 'Barmageddon'? Check Out These Other Unique Game Shows
From "Supermarket Sweep" to "Snake In The Grass," USA Network's "Barmageddon" is hardly the strangest game show premise out there.
“Barmageddon” is reinventing not only classic bar games, but the game show format itself. However, despite its incredibly unique premise, it’s far from the first competition series to break the mold when it comes to what people expect from the genre.
While Blake Shelton, Carson Daly, and Nikki Bella get their celebrity friends to join them at Ole Red in Nashville for a series of cuckoo games, there is a bevy of wild, gamified premises that have come before them on different shows that all asked the question, “What’s the strangest way in which people can compete on TV?"
For fans of “Barmageddon” looking to get more wacky games in their TV diet, here are some of the most unique game show premises throughout television history.
Like “Barmageddon,” this game show gave everyday people a chance to be great by using skills that almost any adult has learned while shopping at the grocery store. Originally broadcast in the 1960s, “Supermarket Sweep” took three teams of two and sent them on a wild ride of trivia questions, all-out shopping spree sprints, and even some wild games all designed to test people’s knowledge of smart grocery shopping and let them walk away with some much-needed items and cash.
The game, which pretty much remained the same once the show was revived in the early 1990s and again in 2020, is broken up into three rounds. First, contestants are asked a slew of trivia questions centered on the prices and brands of items one would find in the average grocery store. Next, they are given clues to an item in the store and then have to send a runner to find it within mere seconds.
The teams earned precious time for winning, and they used it during one final big sweep in which they could earn money by finding select items as well as filling their carts with up to five of any item that they would then keep. The winning team then had a chance to do one more sweep for $5,000.
Who hasn't wanted to run amuck in their grocery store for free?
This is literally the fastest trivia show ever and it only goes about 30 miles per hour at best.
Comedian Benjamin Bailey picks up unsuspecting passengers who are simply hailing a cab in New York City. However, once they get in the back seat of Bailey’s yellow taxi, they discover they're in the famous Cash Cab.
The host asks the contestants a series of increasingly difficult trivia questions and gives them cash if they get them right. However, if they miss three, he kicks them out at wherever they happen to be in New York City along the route to their destination.
Luckily for those who aren't great at trivia, contestants have a lifeline. Each team or solo player gets a shout-out, allowing them to get the advice of someone on the street. If they manage to reach their destination with some prize money, Bailey offers them a difficult choice: Leave with what they earned or risk it all on a very difficult video bonus question for double the money.
It’s hard to imagine getting in a cab and leaving with more money than you started with, but for a handful of New Yorkers, that’s exactly what happened.
"American Ninja Warrior"
While “Barmageddon” celebrates the kind of games everyday people can play, “American Ninja Warrior” seeks to find top-tier athletes to complete one of the hardest challenges in television.
Originally adapted from a Japanese competition called “Sasuke,” this show is not your average remake. In each episode, athletes from all walks of life show off the training they’ve done to complete this incredibly difficult obstacle course that tests their strength, agility, and conditioning. Since the show started in 2009, only 3 people (Drew Drechsel, Isaac Caldiero and Brent Steffensen) have actually fully completed the many rounds and obstacle courses it takes to claim ultimate victory. Still, it’s a blast to watch each person step up to the course and do their best.
This 1990s Nickelodeon classic was fun for the whole family. Each episode, host Marc Summers led two teams through the messiest game show on TV.
The competition is a mix of classic trivia questions centered around pop culture and physical challenges. Now, the term “physical challenges” is a bit of a cheat in that the games were not designed to test someone’s prowess or athleticism. Realistically, they were designed to create the biggest mess possible, as made evident by the highlight clip above.
Each episode ended with the team that had the highest score getting to run the obstacle course which is, you guessed it, also designed to give the studio’s janitors a giant headache. It was essentially a relay race in which contestants had to either retrieve or find an orange flag before passing it off to the next participant.
The game was fun, wild, and messy, which was perfect for game show fans of all ages to enjoy.
"Snake In The Grass"
Sharing the network with “Barmageddon” is a show that combines wilderness survival with outright lying to people who trust you.
“Snake In The Grass” premiered just before “Barmageddon” on USA Network in 2022. It takes four survivalists to the wilds of Costa Rica to compete in a series of intense physical challenges amid a 72-hour stay in the outdoors. Among the four contestants is a snake, AKA a saboteur — someone who is actively trying to ruin their chances of success to win the entire $100,000 prize pool for themselves. However, if they fail and the other three figure them out, the other members get to split the prize money between the three of them.
It’s a game of deception and intrigue as both the contestants and the audience attempt to figure out who they believe the Snake to be.
You can catch some of these shoes and more game show content on Peacock right now.