Asinine Gladiators

I absolutely loved the American Gladiators as a kid back in the ’90s, and was really excited when I heard they were bringing the show back. Thus, Ben & I signed up for tickets to see a taping of the NBC revival, scheduled for tomorrow evening. We even called our friend gameshowman to see if he was interested, and despite some trepidation regarding previous experiences with show tapings (particularly those that air in prime time), he decided to come with.

I just got my confirmation E-mail a few minutes ago, and you can imagine my disappointment when I read the following:

“Thank you for your ticket request to see American Gladiators Live! We are writing to confirm that your seats are reserved for Wednesday December 5 at 5pm.

HOWEVER PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS TAPING HAS BEEN SCHEDULED WITHOUT GAMES – WE ARE TAPING ALL OF THE INTRODUCTIONS TO HULK HOGAN, LAILA ALI, THE NEW CONTESTANTS AND THE NEW GLADIATORS — BUT YOU WILL NOT SEE ANY OF THE GAMES BEING PLAYED. IF YOU DO WANT TO SEE GAMES BEING PLAYED, WE ADVISE YOU TO SELECT ANOTHER DATE TO COME SEE THE SHOW AT http://www.americangladiatorstickets.com. There are still dates available for most tapings.”

What. The. Fuck.

No events? None? They can’t even lay down the Powerball tarp and just play one event a few times so we get to see some sort of action? Instead we just have to sit there – likely for an expanse of time of greater than 4 hours – watching the Glads get introduced over and over again? Are these people freaking serious? I mean, I’m fairly sure that when the original series taped, they didn’t tape an entire competition in its entirety, with each set-up and breakdown of each event; they likely taped all the Jousts at the same time, then all the Wall climbs, then all the Assault runs, et cetera. But I strongly doubt they devoted one entire taping to intros. Not only would that be incredibly boring, it would also be incredibly insulting to the spectators, who watch nonstop action on their TVs each week only to be treated to nothing but pointless ceremony when they see it live.

Far be it for me to suggest that the producers are hoping people don’t read that disclaimer and just show up at the studio completely unaware that they won’t get to see any of the events. But let’s think about this – if the website had mentioned up front that the taping would have no events scheduled, how many people do you think would sign up for tickets? I’m setting the over-under for that on about 10% of the average draw for the other, much more eventful tapings.

The hooded executioner referee from the show’s very beginnings clearly would not approve of this chicanery, that’s for sure.

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4 thoughts on “Asinine Gladiators

  1. mmxfan

    Agreed Loog.

    They could have at least done all of the intros in one day, then at least did 1 full show. The easiest way would to do the 6 simpliest events + Eliminator setup. Which more than likely means Powerball, Breakthrough and Conquer, The Wall, Joust, Gauntlet and Whiplash. Now that’s providing if we’re doing all old school events. Finally, the Eliminator and we’re all good to go. 1 show in the can, All of the intros done, and the rest of the tape dates to be devoted to hard, hitting action and the Semifinals/Finals introductions.

    Reply
  2. jiggery_pokery

    While I agree with you and would probably be disappointed to the point of cancellation myself in your position, I award them some credit for letting you know in advance that there won’t be any games played. It’s very easy to imagine that they could have done an intros-only taping without prior warning.

    One of my other Friends took (the first half of) a £35 return train journey only to discover at the door that the taping he had travelled 100+ miles to see was cancelled. He wasn’t impressed. I would have been litigious.

    Are you planning to cancel and reschedule? It might still be a sort of fun taping, and the performers might try a little harder to make it fun for the audience in person, knowing that the content won’t be so much fun to watch.

    Reply

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