Plinko? Old news. Daily Double? Who needs it! The future of game show television boils down to a busted shopping cart, some money-hungry New Yorkers and a budget so slight it would make Tiny Tim feel like J.D. Rockefeller.
"Broke A$$ Game Show," which premieres Thursday, February 5 at 11/10c, will follow comedians Derek Gaines and David Magidoff as they travel around The Big Apple and challenge passersby to do insane stuff. Spooning strangers while dressed in a bear suit? That's on the agenda, and so is paying off construction workers to twerk in small, yellow skivvies. Might be time to wave the white flag, "Family Feud"...
Gaines and Magidoff recently told MTV News all about what it was like filming the cash-strapped goodness and gave viewers plenty to look forward to (ass-shaped piñata, anyone?). Check out what they had to say, peep a hilarious "Jacket Off" sneak peek and hang tight for the first episode in just a couple of weeks!
How is "Broke A$$" different from the typical game show?
Derek Gaines: It's a comedy show that just happens to have games on it. We're joking with each other, we're joking with contestants, we're joking in the intro and we're joking in the outro. And it's positive -- it's giving back to the ninety-nine percent, and MTV has made us its proud interracial Robin Hood duo. It's "Cash Cab"-funny, "Fear Factor"-intense and old-school Nickelodeon-goofy.
David Magidoff: If He-Man rode on a unicorn and was faster than lightning through New York City, but then the unicorn broke down, He-Man lost his sword and the lightning turned into, like, an earthquake -- that's it. Things break, and you just start laughing at it. It's a comedy show with games in the most electric city in the world, meeting every character you could possibly meet from the old man with 10 pigeons on him to the lawyer walking to the courthouse in Brooklyn who stops and plays a game where she has to eat chili peppers with a giant sombrero on her head and no water. It's a blast. And it's not at the contestants' expense -- we're all having a good time.
How is your approach to comedy different?
DG: David has a really good spirit, man, and I guess my spirit ain't too bad. He's very bubbly. My approach to comedy is man-boy opinionated, smart angle of observation. I'm a black kid from the suburbs with a potty mouth. I'm not saying stupid stuff, but I'm using stupid words to describe smart things. My cynical angle and David's innocent angle, it works out.
DM: Derek's very straight-laced and just a super-funny guy, but we're such an odd couple. He's street smart, and I have a lot to learn from him. He cracks me up, and he has such a distinct way of seeing the world. We're as different as Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney, but it's fun to be with someone who keeps you on your toes. He's so fun.
What's the most bizarre moment you remember from filming?
DG: We got heckled by so many bums on wheelchairs -- a few rolled right into the shot and were like, "If y'all giving away money, give me $10. I ain't goin' no-damn-where unless you give me $50. I'm the baddest panhandler in the land."
Once, we played this game called "Big Ass Piñata," in which me and David roll up onto a baseball field with a big piñata hanging off of a golf cart -- it's an actual ass, like Nicki Minaj, but it's a piñata. Before I could finish the directions, these dudes' eyes went sharp black. They got evil, and the way they chased us down to get this money out of the piñata...I thought I was gonna die that night.
DM: We did this fun thing where we put a metal detector on the sidewalk in the Upper East Side, and Derek and I dressed up in security outfits with big, stupid sunglasses and black hats. He had a gray dish, and I had one of those beep-beep-beep wands. And we just asked people, like, to walk through this detector. Some people just skirted it and were like, "Screw you guys," but some older people would walk through, and, like, God bless them.
This one lady went through -- she did the whole thing -- and at the end, after we gave her $20, she goes, "How dare you!" We were just like, We're having some fun. She was yelling at everyone -- probably the angriest person we've ever interacted with. Just, "You cannot do this! You cannot do this to people!" Then she'd start warning people, "They're doing a show! It's not right, don't walk through it! I'm gonna shut this down!" She threatened to call the police. But she still has the $20 the whole time...
My attitude was just to always roll with it, no matter what's going on. That thing that you think could be wrong is now all of a sudden the best thing ever -- that's the whole point of the show, to not be perfect. It's broke ass all around. We're broke, they're broke, the games break down all the time.
Is there anything the show has taught you about the average person in public?
DG: In New York City, when people see cameras, it's showtime. You've got every street hustler, every bum -- they're all thinking, This is my ticket to fame. And women talk to you a whole lot faster. Like, get the f*** out of here! If the camera wasn't here, you wouldn't give two damns about what I was doing.
And there are a lot of grateful and ungrateful people. Some motherf***ers win prizes and be like, "I want more." They'll overact to get noticed. People are f***ing insane. But I'm glad we saw more good people than assh***s.
DM: People are really up for it and more game than you think they are. The nature of New York City brings something out of people to say yes to things. People want to talk to you. People want to be heard. There are some curmudgeons, but I'd just be like, "This would make such a fun story over lunch!" We've had a nurse play a game, a lawyer stop for one, and you just wouldn't get that in other cities.
Would you willingly be a contestant?
DG: Being a lighthearted guy, when it comes down to funny stuff, I'm for it, as long as the gag works. Have a chuckle and walk away.
But there are some I wouldn't do if the tables had been turned. Once, we approached these college kids, and they didn't know what they were getting into. We were like, "Wanna make $200? You like cotton candy?" So we go and take this one guy, strip him down to his drawers, douse him in honey and then stick cotton candy all over his body. We called it "Cotton Candy Sasquatch." Then we were like, "Hey, friends, y'all have to clear this man of cotton candy in three minutes." It was the nastiest sh** I've ever seen. They was lickin' and attackin' him. Girls on his neck and back. Chewing on his legs. Awful situation.
DM: Every game, I was always like, Would I play this? If a guy like me came up to me, probably. Like, if Host David came up to Civilian David, then Civilian David would say, "First off, you're a very handsome man." But I probably would also say, "Sure, you're charming and you've won me over." I grew up on "The Price Is Right." I love the "$25,000 Pyramid" and seeing people hit whammies on "Press Your Luck," and I think I would love to play games. But would I put an octopus on my head like one guy did? No -- I would run screaming down the street.