The 20 Dumbest TV Shows Ever
HOLE IN THE WALL (Fox)
Playing human Tetris, contestants contort themselves to fit through cutouts in a foam wall...over and over again, while shrill hosts bray ''hole'' double entendres that rarely make sense. Oh, people also fall in the water. Yeah, that's it.
Chugging chili for cash? If only it stopped there. No, Hurlers are then forcibly manhandled into spewing it back up; last one to heave wins $1,000. The only things that make sense are the hazmat suits.
Proof that dumb doesn't always mean bad. Watching mud-caked office drones bounce face-first off giant kickballs strikes the part of the funny bone where dry wit can't reach.
I LOVE MONEY (VH1)
We fully endorse dumping witless Flavor of Love, I Love New York, and Rock of Love castoffs on foreign soil, but with two fixes: (1) Find the most egregious ones (where's the girl who pooped herself?), and (2) leave them there.
THE HILLS (MTV)
We can't fathom why these people are famous. We don't understand why none of them can string two cogent thoughts together. And we really don't know why we can't change the channel when they're on.
UNDER ONE ROOF (MyNetworkTV)
Flavor Flav was the least engaging yet most ridiculous thing on his own reality programs. So it stands to reason that MyNetworkTV's giving him a scripted series (especially a hacky Fresh Prince of Bel-Air rip-off) is unwise on its face — especially with these scripts (and that face).
AMERICA'S FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS (ABC)
The formula (groin + object = funny) is hardly advanced physics, but the unavoidable truth is that there isn't a comedian alive who wouldn't kill to make people laugh that hard.
PAM: GIRL ON THE LOOSE (E!)
Never mind that a 41-year-old still refers to herself as a girl. The lamest thing about Pammy's reality show is that for all her talk of revealing the ''real'' her, all we learn is that she really, really likes sex. Don't we already know that?
SECRET TALENTS OF THE STARS (CBS)
If the stars were any good at their secret talents, they wouldn't be secret. Thankfully, it took the network only one episode (and one country ditty from George Takei) to figure it out.
THE MOMENT OF TRUTH (Fox)
The game show in which people sit in a hot seat, submit to humiliating questions in front of loved ones, then lose cash by getting their own answers wrong. Dumbest thing ever? Only if you're dumb enough to go on it.
FEAR FACTOR (NBC)
We haggled and debated over NBC's competition series, but in the end we couldn't decide which part was the most ridiculous: the wet-your-pants stunts, Temple of Doom-style insect encounters, or host Joe Rogan.
TEMPTATION ISLAND (Fox)
Mark Walberg pulls a dumb twofer as the host of Fox's Moment of Truth and Island, in which couples subjected themselves to betrayal and humiliation as they cavorted with singles aiming to bust them up. Arguably evil, but he did it for money (which makes it okay).
CHAINS OF LOVE (UPN)
More like Chains of fools, Love's contestants were in a prison of their own making when they signed up to be shackled to strangers for up to four days on this UPN series. If only — just once — the burly Lockmaster had lost the key.
HOMEBOYS IN OUTER SPACE (UPN)
Ham-fisted writing, wooden acting, and cheesy interstellar travel — where have we seen that before? Oh right, the Muppets' delightful ''Pigs in Space.'' Only ''Pigs'' was smarter, funnier, and had better production values.
Why Jackass and not, say, The Tom Green Show? They both aimed for dumb, but Tom Green had a certain performance-art element to his inanity. The Jackass boys settled for rousing games of Nut Ball, pole-vaulting into fetid swamps, and chowing down on the ''vomit omelet.''
All kidding aside, the stabbing of host Joey Greco was horrible. But it did underscore one critical truth of reality television: The spot between the publicly shamed cheater and the TV camera isn't the smartest place to stand.
BEAVIS AND BUTT-HEAD (MTV)
Mike Judge's classic rumination on wasteoid kids stands out for being insipid, yet inspired. Beavis and Butt-head were willfully demented little pyromaniacs, but they were also potent symbols of suburban entropy. And they said ''penis'' a lot.
MAN VS. BEAST (Fox)
Oh Fox, you shameless hussies, here you are again. The beast specials degraded all involved by pitting, for example, an elephant against a cadre of little people to — actually, we're not even going to tell you what they did. It was that bad.
How insane was Aaron Spelling's short-lived nighttime soap? Picture the scene: Yasmine Bleeth walks down the aisle on her wedding day, escorted by ex-lover Casper Van Dien, to marry Casper's dad. Just as he's about to give her away, she whispers to him, ''I'm pregnant — and it's your baby.''
THE SWAN (Fox)
Why would Fox (the undisputed duke of dumb) build up its Franken-babes through extensive plastic surgery, then tear them down with a beauty pageant? Because there's nothing like carving up your face and body for a national audience, then being told you're still not pretty enough.
The 10 Dumbest TV Shows Ever
From Maxim.com. Kudos to them for being able to choose ten from thousands of candidates, although I don't think they picked the worst ten here. But hey, what do I know?
The Mind of Mencia
Thanks to Carlos Mencia's inimitable brand of racially- and ethnically-charged sketch comedy, we no longer see color anymore. Because we stabbed our eyeballs into mint jelly four minutes into the series opener.
Growing Up Gotti
If Italian-Americans were offended by The Sopranos, they must have been rolling in their pizza boxes over this reality show, which evidently examined how homosexuals have taken over the Mob.
Our nation's terror policy was once compelling and suspenseful, too. But when it started focusing more on John Ashcroft's love relationship with Condoleezza Rice, we lost interest in the war on terror, too.
Find the one-date format of shows like Elimidate too high-minded? Then watch the same person go on five dates. Not stupid enough? MTV drives all the potential suitors around in a bus until somebody gets Chlamydia.
Deal or No Deal
If you've ever quietly seethed while your girlfriend waffled for hours between two-dozen wallpaper patterns at Home Depot, you've beheld the skill required to win up to 20 years' salary on DND.
Walker, Texas Ranger
The stories were simpler than a Deal or No Deal contestant. Zero plot intricacy, even less character development — just Chuck Norris karate-kicking dudes toting uzi's. And it kicked ass.
Saved by the Bell
Just think what you could have made of your life had you not spent every Saturday morning as a kid watching this mindless high school "comedy" about a demographically engineered group of white kids and their vaguely ethnic friends.
ABC tried to pass off a sitcom featuring people dressed as a family of dinosaurs — complete with a baby who would brain his father with a frying pan while screaming "not the mama!" — as a satire of modern American society.
Who knows why NBC thought the weakest character on Friends could carry his own show. It couldn't have gone worse if his last name was Buttafuoco.
The War at Home
Michael Rappaport got his own family sitcom. Michael Rappaport is the real-life Joey.
Which ones did they miss?