In Praise of Dumb Gameshow Answers

Not so smart turns out to be surprisingly entertaining, as well as reassuring

Allen Therisa
2 min readJan 10, 2024
Think carefully now

Well, what is there to say about this video, apart from that it’s amusing and at times very rude.

Also, is there anything more reassuring than watching people (just like us) making complete fools of themselves on television?

What’s interesting about this selection of gameshow clips from over the decades is that most of them are from unintellectual, responsive format TV shows that invite their contestants to vocalise what immediately appears in their minds.

Cue dumb, unfiltered and, at times, absurd comments made innocently by people with the best of intentions.

The fact that so many of these examples are sexual speaks to what we are as people underneath the carefully presented surface normality most of us do our best to maintain. Is it really the case that most of the time we are thinking about sex, even if only as a background hum without much heat or serious intent?

On the evidence here, very possibly it is.

The other striking feature that this at times very funny selection demonstrates is how impulsive and (let’s be honest about this) stupid human reasoning can be when it is unrestrained. As a result, it is comforting to be a party to the silliness on offer here (the couple struggling to spell “mosquitos” is a particular joy).

It is reassuring, which is probably why the audience(s) in these clips take such pleasure in what they are hearing. It is a celebration of our commonality, of how dumb beneath the surface we actually are.

There are no rocket scientists on display here, just people just like us.

Rather encouragingly.



Allen Therisa

Author and writer, etc. fascinated with culture, politics and history. Check out my new novel Adventures About To Begin at all good book stores & online.