Game shows just aren't what they used to be. These days, the most we have to look forward to either involves Howie Mandel and some ladies with suitcases or a group of big-chested females vying for the heart of some a dude from an '80s band who never takes his bandana off. In a fit of reminiscence, then, we took a stroll down memory lane and handpicked some of the best game shows that never should have gone away.
1. American Gladiators (1989-1996)
Call us purists, but this just isn't American Gladiators. Back in the day, Malibu, Zap, Blaze and the other original
gladiators muscled their way into our living rooms in red, white and
blue spandex, giving us our fill of dark, greasy tans, big hair and rippling muscles each week. They battled contestants that ranged from karate black belts to former college fullbacks. And though the contestants were pretty athletic, they oftentimes ended up looking like shlubs next to those who were part of the elite rank of the gladiators.
2. Supermarket Sweep (1990-1995)
Who doesn't dream of sprinting down the aisles of the supermarket and grabbing everything in sight? That fantasy, combined with the challenge of pushing a cart full of monster wedges of cheese (worth around $26/each) and host David Ruprecht's sunny personality, make for a game show of legend.
3. Legends of the Hidden Temple (1993-1995)
Legends, hosted by Kirk Fogg, was a staple during the great era of game shows for kids on Nickelodeon. The Blue Barracudas, Green Monkeys, Red Jaguars, and so on competed against each other in ancient Mayan-themed physical competitions to win prizes like slap bracelets or a sweet Huffy. Kids who were lucky enough to make it across the moat in the first round and eventually make it to the temple to compete in the final challenge never let the audience down; failure was always inevitable. Too bad, kids. Nickelodeon didn't really want to give you that free Carnival cruise.
4. Guts (1992-1995)
Guts was the ultimate '90s kid challenge. Every young person wanted to be on this show. In what was essentially an American
Gladiators for the pre-teen, kids competed for a
piece of the coveted "Agro Crag." And even those who just weren't quite good enough to reach the peak first at least got a medal. So even if you lose, you win!
In other news, it has been rumored that Michael Phelps won the Agro Crag. So that's the secret to gold-medal glory!
5. Win Ben Stein's Money (1997-2002)
In this gem of a game show, contestants faced off with Ben Stein and his monotone voice to try to win $5,000 worth of his cash stash. And with Jimmy Kimmel as the co-host, the banter on the show was consistently borderline inappropriate.