I was thinking the other day as I’m prone to do every now and then when I’m home alone and the power goes out and, do you know what I figured out? The best game show of all time is Press Your Luck. It took a few hours before I verified my findings with myself, but it’s true. Press Your Luck is the greatest game show in the history of the entire known universe.

Do you want to know why I love this game so much? One reason: it punished greed! The Whammy was karma incarnate and if you messed with the Whammy and tempted fate all in the name of getting just a few dollars more… just a couple of more prizes you didn’t need, it was going to take everything you had and humiliate you in the process.

How perfect is that? Today, we have shows that reward back-stabbing, double-dealing, and lying and it’s called “entertainment” when back in the 80’s, someone got it right and decided that vices should be punished by little red crudely animated devils.

We need more of that today.

To those of you who have never heard of this game, let me break it down to you. First, you answer a series of questions and get “spins” on the “big board.” The board was filled with all kinds of cash and prizes, but it was also filled with Whammies, little red guys with dollar signs on their chest like some kind of perverted version of Superman. If you landed on one of these little guys, all of your money and all of your prizes were taken away and exploded in a puff of smoke. So sorry, player.

This is the thing, though, you could STOP spinning at any time and GIVE your spins to someone else. Those who chose not to do this and win just a little bit of extra money or perhaps that Pontiac Fierro (hey, it was the 80’s!) ran the risk of loosing it all. Those that gave, kept what they had. Punish greed, reward giving.

With the kajillion dollar bailout of Wall Street and the US automakers, I think we should get all of these CEOs who are continually putting the screw to us all and have them play a gigantic game of Press Your Luck with those multi-million dollar bonuses of theirs at stake. Give them spins and see how long it takes them to give rather than take – I’m thinking it wouldn’t be too long.

I would be willing to get the lives of a dozen orphans that they would spin and spin and spin in a greedy frenzy, the likes of which we’ve witnessed year after year after year… The Whammy not a possibility, but an inevitability.

My only stipulation is that the Whammy would be played by Jason Statham and he would have a board with a nail in it.

Ratings gold.

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Written by Jason Gaston

Father, teacher, writer, photographer, artist, actor, male model, and inventor of the semicolon.

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