Everyone knows classic game shows like Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, Family Feud and Match Game. But I’ve been watching one of my old favorites on YouTube the past couple of days to pass the time. And keep my sanity, haha. But one thing is clear: I feel the need for Greed!
Greed was an old game show that ran from November 1999 to July 2000. And I feel it never got the respect or love it deserved. It could’ve been a household name. But for some reason, it only ran for one season. Everything about the show was great, though! A funny, likable host in Chuck Woolery, an announcer with a big booming voice in Mark Thompson, suspenseful, tense music, teamwork between players, and MASSIVE stakes!
Teams of five players led by a team captain determined by a qualifying round, would answer progressively harder questions, starting at $25,000, and progressing toward $2 Million (or in special episodes of Super Greed, $4 Million). They’d climb the Tower of Greed!
Questions would start out with one right answer out of four possibilities. Only one person would have to answer. Easy enough, right? Well, if a team made it to the $100,000 question, the questions would not only get tougher, the team would have to provide more right answers, with each team member giving one of the answers. The questions would start out with one right answer out of four, then four out of six, then four out of seven, and eventually four out of eight.
As the game progressed far enough, things would get tougher and more tense. And teammates would have the option to turn on each other, steal each other’s money, and eliminate each other from the game. Cue one of my childhood nightmares: The Terminator! I know Arnold Schwarzenegger was scary as THE Terminator, but I don’t even think he would scare me as much as this used to, haha. The music from this part of the game scared the hell out of me as an eight-year old kid! Take a listen for yourself:
Whenever it was time to shake up the game and bring the Terminator into play, usually a music cue would play, and Chuck Woolery would press a button, activating a sort of Roulette style machine that eventually chose one of the players. There was already a tense situation and suspenseful, scary music. This took things up a notch. Plus Chuck would always say the classic phrase: “The Terminator has chosen YOU.” That always gave me chills!
At this point, the chosen player would have the option to challenge one of their teammates for their money, and eliminate them from the game if they could buzz in and quickly and correctly answer a trivia question. If in the case the team captain was challenged and eliminated, the person who won the challenge would assume the captain role, and become the new team leader.
The captain’s role in the game was an intriguing one. The captain would decide how far the team would go, and whether or not to risk moving on to the next question. They’d have to trust their that their teammates gave the correct answer. It would probably be tough to trust complete strangers to know the right answer…as well as not stab you in the back! If they didn’t trust an answer, they could veto it, and replace it with one of their own.
No one ever won the top $2 Million prize on Greed. Although one man came tantalizingly close…losing all his money and the game on the absolute final answer he gave. I couldn’t imagine losing that kind of money in the blink of an eye. Some of my friends would say I’m crazy at times. And I would’ve been a riverboat gambler on Greed if I thought I could go far. But even I would chicken out on that one! I would’ve taken $200,00 or $400,000 and ran!
If I had to venture a guess as to why Greed was canceled, it’s probably because no one was ever crazy, smart and lucky enough to win the $2 Million or $4 Million grand prize. Sure, it shouldn’t be easy to win it all in big game shows like that. But perhaps the show would’ve continued, and players would’ve been more aggressive, if they saw it was indeed possible to win the whole thing. If Greed were ever revived, I think it would be a big hit, and much better than most of the stuff on TV today. A good chunk of people probably love action, suspense and high stakes. Although I think it will stay right where it is, unfortunately: On YouTube, in the vault, and in my nostalgic memories.
What are some of your favorite classic game shows that are no longer around? Hit me with ’em in the comments!