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No show goes lower than Joe Schmo (But None Is More HILARIOUS!!!)
National Post ^ | September 5, 2003 | Scott Feschuk

Posted on 09/09/2003 1:43:15 PM PDT by PJ-Comix

Matt was trying to explain how it felt to put his left hand on the naked right breast of a high-priced hooker.

"Instantly, I felt life come into me," he told the television camera, and when he said "me" he clearly meant "a very specific part of me." Matt recalled deploying the counter-measures: He thought of Rosie O'Donnell and of baseball, which is no longer the American pastime but still stands unchallenged as a gender's pre-eminent distracting mental image. He envisioned hitting a home run but, dang it all, when he rounded third he pictured that naked, high-priced hooker waiting for him at home plate. Summing up his attempt to remain at ease, Matt adopted a forlorn visage and remarked: "It didn't work too well."

At this point, you probably have questions. Who is Matt? Why did he have his left hand on the naked right breast of a high-priced hooker? And, more to the point, Rosie O'Donnell? A crisis of that magnitude -- hand, naked breast, high-priced hooker -- demanded the mental imagery of at least Bea Arthur, and quite possibly all three Golden Girls.

The meeting of Matt's left hand and the high-priced hooker's naked right breast occurred during the premiere episode of The Joe Schmo Show, a new series that airs Tuesdays on the U.S. cable channel Spike TV, which brands itself as the First Network for Men. And may I just say: It's about bloody time. For too long now all those other several hundred channels have catered exclusively to women, denying the unfairer sex the opportunity to regard chesty ingenues and live sporting events and chesty ingenues competing in live sporting events. Now, mercifully, there is at last a manly oasis where manly men can watch manly programs that are about, I can only assume, manliness. (Note to editor: Please place preceding three sentences in a special font -- sarcastics.)

Joe Schmo is a parody of reality shows. This sounds simple, but it's made more complex by the fact that during the past couple of years, reality shows have themselves become parodies of reality shows, which means that Joe Schmo is in fact parodying parodies. Spike TV also airs a lot of Star Trek: The Next Generation and I'd imagine that, were he called on to speculate, the android Data might warn that the parodying of parodies could prompt the television universe to collapse upon itself and cause a rupture in the space-time continuum, or at least the brain of a defenceless television critic. And then he'd probably go on about how he's fascinated by humanity and wishes to be more human and golly wouldn't it be interesting to have emotions and you'd have to kind of back slowly into the turbo lift, all the time thinking to yourself: "I should have just asked the freaking Klingon."

So here's the gimmick: The cast of The Joe Schmo Show is, with one exception, made up exclusively of actors. The exception is Matt Kennedy Gould, an amiable, twentywhatever law-school dropout from Pittsburgh who delivers pizza for a living and lives with his parents. Matt thinks he's on a show called Lap of Luxury, on which nine strangers must live together in an opulent mansion, with the victorious contestant winning US$100,000. But everyone else is actually playing a reality show stereotype: Among others, there's the gay guy, the conniving bitch, the virgin, the war veteran and the asshole, who is actually referred to on the show as The Asshole, a brash flaunting of profanity in prime time apparently being a hallmark of the First Network for Men.

The show is both repellent and fascinating, and there's every chance it's fascinating because it's so repellent. Matt is quite possibly the least annoying person ever to be cast on a reality series. He's a nice guy, principled, mannerly, a bit doughier than your typical reality-show mandroid. He's genuinely blown away by the presence of smoked salmon in the lunch buffet. When a fellow "contestant" brings up the topic of the show's jackpot, Matt immediately says he's not in it for the money. He then clarifies: "Getting that money will change my place in life. I've slacked off a lot and a lot of people my age are ahead of me, but ..."

Someone interjects: "So why ARE you here?"

Matt: "Because I have nothing else to do."

From that point on, anyone with even a reasonable facsimile of a heart is going to cringe as a massive, multi-million-dollar infrastructure is deployed for the sole purpose of exposing Matt to ridicule.

So on one hand, you feel just awful for the guy. The other hand, alas, is more likely than not to be wiping away tears of laughter. This is a very funny show. To their credit, the producers have not made it easy on themselves, nor their cast. The conventions of the reality genre are mocked so lustily that there are moments you simply cannot believe that Matt doesn't catch on.

There's the whole Hands on a High-Priced Hooker game, for one. That might have got some folks to suspecting -- although, as we learned, Matt's mind was otherwise occupied at the time. There's the Lord of the Manor Immunity Showdown, on which contestants compete for the right to wear the Pimped Out Immunity Robe. And let's not forget the Riches to Rags Eviction Ceremony, during which the show's host solemnly remarks of the evening's ousted contestant: "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, (contestant's name), you're dead to us." At which point he hurls a commemorative plate bearing the contestant's image into a fireplace. Yes, these are what folks in the detective business like to call "clues."

I can't say with any certainty how it will get there, but I think I have a good sense where this program will end up. Given the premise of the series, it seems implausible that the producers would decide on a cash prize of only US$100,000, which is a pittance compared to the Survivor windfall. It's fake money, so why not say the winner gets a million bucks, or two million, or five? I'd wager the reason is that at the end, after the secret is revealed and the abject humiliation captured, they're going to give Matt the money.

And should Matt ever again find his left hand on the naked right breast of a high-priced hooker, and suddenly feel life come into him, he can simply think back on how he felt the minute he found out he was Joe Schmo. A naked Bea Arthur would be positively arousing by comparison


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: joeschmo
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So on one hand, you feel just awful for the guy. The other hand, alas, is more likely than not to be wiping away tears of laughter. This is a very funny show. To their credit, the producers have not made it easy on themselves, nor their cast. The conventions of the reality genre are mocked so lustily that there are moments you simply cannot believe that Matt doesn't catch on.

True! This show is the FUNNIEST show on the air.

There's the Lord of the Manor Immunity Showdown, on which contestants compete for the right to wear the Pimped Out Immunity Robe.

That outrageous pimp-looking Immunity Robe is HILARIOUS!!! This show is a MUST-SEE. You will feel guilty about laughing at Joe Schmo but you will still be laughing so hard you will have tears in your eyes. It's on Spike TV again tonight with a NEW episode. Any other Joe Schmo fans out there?

1 posted on 09/09/2003 1:43:16 PM PDT by PJ-Comix
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To: PJ-Comix
Never seen it, but I'll check it out.
2 posted on 09/09/2003 1:44:11 PM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: PJ-Comix
Spike TV? I don't know if I get it or not. But the show sounds hilarious.
3 posted on 09/09/2003 1:49:14 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn’t be, in its eyes, a slave.)
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To: Blood of Tyrants
It is the newly revised TNN.
4 posted on 09/09/2003 1:50:59 PM PDT by mattdono
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To: Blood of Tyrants
Spike TV use to be TNN
5 posted on 09/09/2003 1:51:01 PM PDT by truthandlife
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To: PJ-Comix
It's on Spike

Here in Milwaukee, Spike TV is about one week old and is the old TNN station.

If JS is nearly as funny as Extreme Elimination on Spike, I'll watch it.

On Sunday they had back-to-back episodes of EE. The American commentators are the funniest. Those with a healthy sense of humor would find EE really stupid but really funny.

Jo Schmo kind of sounds like The Truman Show with Jim Carey.

6 posted on 09/09/2003 1:53:36 PM PDT by MotleyGirl70
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To: MotleyGirl70
Extreme Elimination is a show that reveals how great American TV could be if personal injury lawyers did not exist. Much pain, very little gain.

7 posted on 09/09/2003 1:56:11 PM PDT by MalcolmS (Service Guarantees Citizenship. Citizenship guarantees opportunity. After that, it's up to you!)
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To: truthandlife
Got it.
8 posted on 09/09/2003 1:56:25 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn’t be, in its eyes, a slave.)
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To: PJ-Comix
I watched MXC on Sunday night on Spike TV; this show is from Japan, and is absolutely hilarious! It's a program where the contestants have to do silly stunts to try to win. All of the talking is voice-overs that make it look like a Grade B movie. Be careful with children watching it though, lots of double entendre as well as blatant risque stuff. But even just to watch the stunts is funny.
9 posted on 09/09/2003 1:57:26 PM PDT by Born Conservative
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To: Blood of Tyrants
Spike TV? I don't know if I get it or not. But the show sounds hilarious.

SPIKE TV is on the same cable channel as the old TNN.

10 posted on 09/09/2003 1:57:52 PM PDT by PJ-Comix
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To: PJ-Comix
The Joe Schmo Show, a new series that airs Tuesdays

So episode 2 is tonight? I despise these reality shows - only time I watch them is for about ten seconds whilst channel surfing - but your description makes this one sound worth watching - if at least only for the stereotype characters. Thanks for the review. I'll try to catch it.

11 posted on 09/09/2003 1:58:49 PM PDT by Xthe17th (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/repeal17)
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To: PJ-Comix
I'm with you. I decided to check this out after reading a three-star review in the NY Post that read like Linda Stasi was too embarrassed to give it the four-stars it deserved.

It is mean and hysterically funny at the same time. "Joe" is really such a schlub. But you know they have to give him the $100,000 in the end, just so he doesn't sue their asses.

Part of the fun is watching and rating the actors. The Virgin stinks. So does The Veteran. And the Black Chick.

The Gay Cuban is absolutely hysterical. And The Asshole is really good too.

This show is very very funny. Too bad it will only work once.

12 posted on 09/09/2003 2:00:42 PM PDT by dead (Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead!)
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To: MalcolmS
I agree!

I'm laughing just thinking about EE.

Those Japanese people are so little too. The women are all for it and don't seem to mind to "go for it".

My favorite are the logs, some of those falls look painful, but with the American commentating you can't help but laugh.

13 posted on 09/09/2003 2:01:04 PM PDT by MotleyGirl70
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To: MotleyGirl70
I, too, love Most Extreme Elimination Challenge, which follows Max Exposure (Max X). If it's anything like those two, call me a fan.
14 posted on 09/09/2003 2:02:44 PM PDT by Lance Romance
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To: Xthe17th
So episode 2 is tonight? I despise these reality shows - only time I watch them is for about ten seconds whilst channel surfing - but your description makes this one sound worth watching - if at least only for the stereotype characters. Thanks for the review. I'll try to catch it.

Yes, episode 2 is on tonight. There are two main elements that makes Joe Schmo HILARIOUS. One is the clueless Joe Schmo himself who despite a plethora of clues can't figure out that it's all a put-on. The second element is the parody of Reality Shoes, especially the super-serious smarmy host. Also the show is filled with the stock Reality Show characters such as a gay guy, a military-like older guy, a super-religious virgin chick, an annoying guy, a slob, a scheming chick, etc..

15 posted on 09/09/2003 2:02:49 PM PDT by PJ-Comix
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To: PJ-Comix
I thought it was kinda funny that the EDITED show had Matt recognize the high priced hooker only AFTER she removed her top, exlaiming, "Tawny Roberts? YES".

Typical twentysomething man. He knew the hooker was a looker. He even studied her rump versus her chest for a dollar bill, for his predestined "right hand on left breast" sentence.

According to the EDITED show, He didn't put 2 + 2 together until she removed her bikini top.

Good editing on the part of the producers. Twist the moment for maximum effect, humor, and humiliation.

Tell us Matt - you're a lurker - aren't you?

Was holding the breast of Tawny worth the humiliation? Since you're a law screwl drop-out, did you even bother to read the contract?

16 posted on 09/09/2003 2:03:17 PM PDT by PokeyJoe (Don't talk about my armchair unless you know how to pull the recliner lever.)
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To: MotleyGirl70
I agree about Extreme Elimination (MXC). See post #9.
17 posted on 09/09/2003 2:03:42 PM PDT by Born Conservative
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To: Born Conservative
Lots of halarious sexual innuendoes.
18 posted on 09/09/2003 2:04:01 PM PDT by MotleyGirl70
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To: dead
This show is very very funny. Too bad it will only work once.

Yup! They won't be able to do this again. BTW, this might spell the death knell of all Reality Shows. The contestants won't know if it is real or not.

19 posted on 09/09/2003 2:04:40 PM PDT by PJ-Comix
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To: PJ-Comix
OK, you guys have convinced me. I read an article about it in the paper's TV page last week and it sounded awful.

Reading these posts, it sounds like it's so awful it's funny, like some of those real bad horror flicks that came out in the 80's like "Slumber Party Massacre."

I'll give it a shot tonight.

20 posted on 09/09/2003 2:04:58 PM PDT by Allegra
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To: PJ-Comix
http://www.spiketv.com/shows/joe_schmo/
21 posted on 09/09/2003 2:05:03 PM PDT by evets (Warning: graphic images.)
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To: Lance Romance
I love the top 10 count down at the end. On some of them they keep doing really fast instant replays which always has me rolling.
22 posted on 09/09/2003 2:06:39 PM PDT by MotleyGirl70
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To: PJ-Comix
I watched it last night. Pretty good!

I have to wonder though...Their format is a direct rip-off of Survivor (Even if it's all fixed). I wonder how they swung that??

And I was amazed at how unprofessional some of the actors were. The old guy forgetting those were his boxers?? inexcusable. And a few other things seemed like they weren't very prepared.
23 posted on 09/09/2003 2:06:58 PM PDT by A Broken Glass Republican
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To: Allegra
Reading these posts, it sounds like it's so awful it's funny, like some of those real bad horror flicks that came out in the 80's like "Slumber Party Massacre."

Snobby reviewers feel like they need to put the Joe Schmo Show down. Yes, you will feel guilty about laughing at Joe Schmo but....you will laugh so hard tears will be streaming from your eyes. Definitely the FUNNIEST show in years!

24 posted on 09/09/2003 2:08:16 PM PDT by PJ-Comix
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To: Born Conservative
Did you happen to see where they were on roller skates with those horse things on and they had to go over those obsticles? LOL! Funny stuff there I tell ya.
25 posted on 09/09/2003 2:09:56 PM PDT by MotleyGirl70
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To: All
The show is great. I think you can see the replay of ep 1 from 10-1 tonight
26 posted on 09/09/2003 2:21:53 PM PDT by luckydevi
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To: Born Conservative
Be careful with children watching it though,

Yes. Because of #18

27 posted on 09/09/2003 2:23:49 PM PDT by MotleyGirl70
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To: MotleyGirl70
I saw Extreme Elimination this past Sunday, and couldn't stop laughing. I had to stop when my four year old came into the room and wanted to know what was funny about watching the lady fall into the mud... :-)
28 posted on 09/09/2003 2:24:01 PM PDT by egarvue (Martin Sheen is not my president...)
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To: PJ-Comix
the first 2 hour show is replaying after tonights 2nd episode, a must see for sure...as a reality junkie this is the best one yet!
29 posted on 09/09/2003 2:33:11 PM PDT by orbitboy
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To: Born Conservative
Agree--our child loves it, but we turn down the sound because of the chit chat and often have to flip over when a commercial comes on, especially when "Striperella" was being launched.
30 posted on 09/09/2003 5:56:04 PM PDT by glory
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To: PJ-Comix
You just remided me I missed the show. I hope they replay it. I caught the first episode and it was damn funny.
31 posted on 09/09/2003 5:58:15 PM PDT by dc27
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To: dc27
You just remided me I missed the show. I hope they replay it. I caught the first episode and it was damn funny.

Second episode was HILARIOUS too. And the preview of the next episode looks even more funny. It showed Joe Schmo crying like a baby...most likely over the eviction of (I'm guessing) Molly.

32 posted on 09/10/2003 6:07:07 AM PDT by PJ-Comix
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To: truthandlife
Which used to be The Nashville Network, before they changed it to The National Network.
33 posted on 09/10/2003 6:37:42 AM PDT by savedbygrace
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To: PJ-Comix
Last night's episode was very good. The gay guy's tantrum was priceless. He is definitely the best actor on the show, funny as hell. He even walks gay!

The really hot brunette is starting to crack. She's feeling really really guilty about the whole thing. When she was in the hot tub, I thought she was going to cry.

34 posted on 09/10/2003 6:37:49 AM PDT by dead (Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead!)
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To: PJ-Comix
OK, so I tried it last night based on your post and realized that Matt is truly a nice guy and it's easy to feel sorry for him. The others were pretty funny but at the end when Earl went and Matt took it so hard, well, the fun went and it was hard to watch.

Afterwards they replayed the second episode and I think I would have enjoyed seeing that one first.

35 posted on 09/17/2003 8:38:28 AM PDT by pbear8 ( sed libera nos a malo)
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To: LurkerNoMore!
My goodness - don't you have something better to do with your time?!
36 posted on 09/23/2003 7:00:23 PM PDT by Senator Pardek
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To: Senator Pardek
This is the most fun I've had watching television in years.

You need cable, dude.
37 posted on 09/23/2003 7:07:24 PM PDT by LurkerNoMore!
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To: LurkerNoMore!; Senator Pardek
This is definitely the greatest television show to come along in years.

I don't know why I find witnessing the mental hazing of some loser so incredibly interesting but I can't help it.

I can't believe they kicked off Dr. Pat though! She was my second favorite (her marital abuse puppet show was the funniest thing I've seen on tv in years), after the hysterical gay dude (he even walks and claps gay!)

I want them to get rid of Molly. She's an idiot who can't ad lib and can't adjust to any deviation from the plan. She's a lummox.

38 posted on 09/24/2003 6:28:36 AM PDT by dead (All that is not mandatory is prohibited.)
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To: dead
Heads Up! The funniest TV show to come along in years has a new episode tonight followed by a rerun of last week's episode. I got a laugh at last week's episode when the contestants wore those incredibly dopey looking Sumo/Samururai outfits. The actors made hilarious growling sounds and Matt took it seriously and gave a fearsome growl in turn. Then he SLAMMED Dr. Pat bigtime and sent her to the hospital. What was going thru his mind? Did he think he had to hit her with overwhelming force?

When this show is over I expect the actors playing the Gay Guy and Hutch the Jerk as well as smarmy Ralph should get great acting gigs. How the guy playing the smarmy host keeps a straight face I don't know but I give him credit for just not breaking out laughing in the middle of delivering his smarmy host lines.

39 posted on 09/30/2003 4:35:41 PM PDT by PJ-Comix (A Stitch In Time Won't Save You A Dime But At Least It Makes This Dopey Saying Rhyme.)
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To: LurkerNoMore!
Tonight's show was HILARIOUS. Especially the part when Matt, handcuffed to Molly, had to listen in total embarrassment while Molly and her super straight boyfriend had a fight over her wearing a bikini and being handcuffed to a guy. Also smarmy host Ralph throwing a fit over having to wear a dopey bumblebee outfit.

However, did any of you notice next week's preview? Even though Hutch was booted out I saw scenes of Hutch back in the mansion. I imagine they brought him back to piss off Matt (Joe Schmo). There was also a scene of Matt speaking to a producer and I imagine it has something to do with Hutch coming back. It looks like next week's show will be funny too!

40 posted on 09/30/2003 7:36:44 PM PDT by PJ-Comix (A Stitch In Time Won't Save You A Dime But At Least It Makes This Dopey Saying Rhyme.)
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To: PJ-Comix
Last night was a good show. Molly's boyfriend was perfect as the dweeb from bible camp.

Did you notice that they didn't tape what Hutch said to Kip last night? And did you hear that they are kicking two people off next week?

I'm betting the story will be that Hutch hires a lawyer and threatens to sue everybody because nobody heard him threaten Kip in that incident. They're going to let him back, claiming that his lawyer has threatened to shut down production, then he'll win immunity before they have to throw two people out to get back on track.

It seems to me that they were doing everything they could to make it seem that Hutch barely escapes getting kicked out again and again. They're just doing it to piss off Schmoe. They'll be the last two left.

Besides, I'm still waiting for Hutch to throw Kip in the pool!

I really hate Molly. She is the worst actress. And they need to drop that boring "love triangle" plot. It's just dull. The Kip/Hutch fight is much more fun.

And "Brian the Buddy" is pretty pointless to the plot, but I don't think he's going anywhere next week, since he's the head writer.

41 posted on 10/01/2003 6:40:03 AM PDT by dead (Valerie Plame is a spy. Pass it on.)
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To: MotleyGirl70
MXC Competition Names:

Sinkers and Floaters

Log Drop

Little Man in the Boat

Sticky Stuff of Love

Brass Balls

and ya' gotta love Kenny Blankenships Painful Eliminations of the Day!

42 posted on 10/01/2003 7:10:34 AM PDT by AngryJawa (Just JDAM!!!)
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To: AngryJawa
The Nasty Uncle!
43 posted on 10/01/2003 8:13:51 AM PDT by MotleyGirl70
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To: AngryJawa
Those replays are to die for....in slow motion.
44 posted on 10/01/2003 8:15:06 AM PDT by MotleyGirl70
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To: AngryJawa
Don't even start with what their "occupations" are. Those are hilarious to start with.
45 posted on 10/01/2003 8:17:07 AM PDT by MotleyGirl70
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To: All
Wouldn't it be a hoot if "Shmoe" was another actor, fooling the actors?
Haha!

Yeah, good episode as usuall. Haha!! Joe gagging!! Was it the chocolate? ...or the girl...? Hmmmmm.....
46 posted on 10/01/2003 8:21:47 AM PDT by CygnusXI (Where's that dang Meteor already?)
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To: dead
I hate to steal the line that one of the big three networks uses, but Joe Schmo really is "must see TV." I'm convinced, however, that Joe Schmo is really an actor who has been told that the others are real contestants, and the others are, in fact, actors who believe that Joe Schmo is really a contestant. The other possibility is that Joe Schmo is really an actor and knows the score and is playing a part to turn the tale on the other actors who think that Joe Schmo is really a contestant. I just don't think that Joe Schmo is some guy they yanked off the street. No one can be that naive, goofy, and gullible, can they?
47 posted on 10/01/2003 8:25:34 AM PDT by Labyrinthos
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To: Labyrinthos
I've read that they interviewed thousands of potential "Schmos" and had them undergo psychological tests just to find the perfectly gullible dupe.

If he's an actor, and really not just a good-natured boob, we have found this generation's DeNiro, Duvall, and Olivier all rolled up into one.

Besides, there would have been legal implications if they actually wrote that part where he launched an unsuspecting actress six feet into the air!

48 posted on 10/01/2003 8:33:10 AM PDT by dead (Valerie Plame is a spy. Pass it on.)
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To: dead
I'm still waiting for Joe to give someone a nuggy and/or wedgy. If he's not an actor than I bet he got beat up a lot as a kid.
49 posted on 10/01/2003 8:36:33 AM PDT by Labyrinthos
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To: PJ-Comix
"...Then again I'm from Pittsburg."

Comedy gold.
50 posted on 10/01/2003 9:02:14 AM PDT by MattAMiller
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