Game shows are pretty inherently weird. You're sitting at home watching complete strangers answer questions, perform physical feats and eat bull testicles for money and prizes. But even by those standards of a game show, these following five game shows are pretty bizarre. Enjoy, and maybe you'll no longer wonder if that show you saw while channel-surfing at three in the morning was real or some kind of terrible, terrible nightmare.
"What Would You Do?" Nickelodeon in the 90s was home to lots of strange game shows, but none of them had that kind of kitchen-sink vibe that this one had. Hosted by Marc Summers, it only barely qualifies as a "game show" in that members of the audience were invited to participate in a sort of game, watching videos of bizarre situations and struggling to answer the titular question. The show also had some bizarre machinery, most famously including the "Pie Pod", where contestants strapped themselves into a chair to be pelted with pies.
"Russian Roulette". In case you never saw this Game Show Network oddity, don't worry-it's not the real Russian Roulette, you know, with guns. But the threat of physical jeopardy was very much a part of the fabric of this show, with contestants standing on top of trap doors on a large circular stage (shot from above to look like the barrels of a revolver). Every once in a while, a lever would be pulled and one of the doors would open. What was down there? Sharks? Lava? A really old couch? No one knows.
"Legends of the Hidden Temple". The "Indiana Jones" movies might seem like a weird reference point for a TV game show, but leave it to the mad geniuses of Nickelodeon to somehow make it work. The kids on the show had to go through a moat, a round of questioning, and some kind of physical challenge, but if they could make it through all that, they could get to the good stuff: the "Hidden Temple" of the title. Once there, they had to run around solving puzzles and avoiding dudes who looked like Comanche extras in a Randolph Scott movie. Told you this was a weird show.
"Glutton Bowl". This one-off eating competition on FOX is probably forgotten by most. It featured competitive eaters doing what they do best. Only one eater emerged victorious. According to Wikipedia, the winner was Takeru Kobayashi, who ate 31 hot dogs and nearly 15 pounds of cow brain. Also, there was a bear involved at some point. Why was this called "Glutton Bowl" again?
"Fear Factor". Probably the most popular bizarre game show of the other shows discussed, "Fear Factor" has contestants "conquering their fears" thanks to the helpful encouragement/bullying of host Joe Rogan. These fears are usually some kind of dangerous stunts mixed in with some disgusting eating (insects, testicles, insect testicles, etc). If you say you've never seen it, you're probably lying.