Over Thanksgiving Weekend TruTv premiered the unimaginably stupid and cruel Killer Karaoke. The Steve-O hosted show, in which contestants compete for cash and prizes by attempting to sing Karaoke while being subjected to what can only be described as physical torture, seemed to represent a new nadir for televisual entertainment. I still can’t really accept that it’s real.
It seems so much like something that people would be shown watching in some dystopian science fiction film directed by Terry Gilliam to portray how dumbed down, cruel, and consumerist the world is. (In fact I think there is a scene where people are shown watching a similar TV show in “Time Bandits” isn’t there?) It of course also reminded many people of “Ow my Balls!” the number one hit television show in the dumbed down dystopia portrayed in Mike Judge’s cult classic science fiction satire “Idiocracy.”
Steve-O’s former partner in Jackass, Bam Margera, now wants to move into the game shows that hurt genre too. According to Deadline, TBS is greenlighting a game show starring Margera, under the ingenious title Bam’s Bad Ass Game Show, in which contestants will “vie for $10,000 by facing off against each other in demented, potentially dangerous and occasionally painful challenges, like answering trivia questions while dangling above a pool of trash-filled water or dropping a watermelon on a target after being shot out of a cannon.” To be fair, according to Deadline “Bam’s friend and cohorts” will design and demonstrate the challenges themselves. So, at least they’ll be subjecting themselves to pain as well. One of the things I find most unseemly about Killer Karaoke is the former Jackass uber-masochist Steve-O maniacally cackling at other peoples’ pain without putting his body on the line as well.
None of these shows are to be confused with MTV’s Ridiculousness, the show in which Rob Dyrdek narrates/laughs at YouTube videos of guys getting hit in the balls.