The craziest game shows of all time

Nicole McKenzie  

In the lead up to Lost the Plot, EWF 2017’s live literary game show, Creative Producer Nicole McKenzie counts down the craziest, most absurd, and most worryingly problematic game shows of all time.

Candy not Candy

Country of origin: Japan

Celebrity contestants bite into what look like everyday objects to discover if they are made of chocolate/cake or are in fact the inedible objects that they appear to be.

The Intercept

Country of origin: Russia

The aim of the show is to drive a car reported as stolen through Moscow for 35mins without getting caught by police, if successful the contestant wins the car. The show was created by senior officers in the Russian police force in an attempt to reduce car theft (unfortunately it had the opposite effect).


Country of origin: U.S.A

Contestants have to answer questions about their own lives to win money. Questions may include the name of the street they grew up on, what wedding dress their wife wore, and what their mum’s shepherd’s pie tastes like (complete with a blindfolded taste test).

Brain Wall (Nōkabe)

Country of origin: Japan

Often referred to as ‘human tetris’ this game involves contestants maneuvering their bodies in an attempt to fit the cutouts in the wall that is coming towards them. If they fail to fit through the (often ridiculous) cutouts they are pushed into a pool of water.

Close up of Sleepy Faces

Country of origin: Japanese

Participants are sleeping women who are woken by the hosts and judged by how cutely they wake up; if a woman doesn’t wake up ‘cutely’ enough she receives a pie to her face. This show is inappropriate in more ways than can be addressed in this blog post.


Country of origin: U.S.A

Perhaps not so crazy as inappropriate, Identity involves contestants matching strangers with their identifying facts—such as their ages, languages spoken, jobs, and hobbies—based solely on their appearance. Let’s box everyone into stereotypes and make it a TV show!


Country of origin: Japan

In the strangest round of this game show contestants must complete a list of seven things in under 60 seconds questions to avoid being wrapped up like a mummy. Definitely not a game show for those who are claustrophobic.

Lost the Plot

Country of origin: Australia

Two teams of writers compete by answering questions about literature and the English language, however no valuable prize is on offer. The host sings songs about grammar and the whole event takes place in a pub in Melbourne.

You can book tickets here.