Let’s paint a familiar picture, shall we? You’re out at a bar, or sitting at your off-campus place of residence, when you get a text from one of the younger guys back at the house. He says half the fraternity is randomly fucked up on Adderall, bagged wine, and Rumpleminz, and decided to start raining hell on the pledges. It’s already beyond hilarious, and the pledges are losing their minds.
You, however, are too drunk, or too lazy, or both, to get your ass to the house and partake. “Next time,” you think. After all, they’re pledges, they get messed with every day. Surely there will be another opportunity.
The next day you come by the house after your first class to grab some lunch, and that’s when you’re completely filled in on the details of the night before, and you realize that you did, in fact, miss out on a truly grand, once-in-a-semester, night of pledge torment.
The pledges were totally mind fucked, you learn. What they thought was (an already meager) reality came crashing down around them. The small one lost his shit and started trying to tunnel out of the basement with his bare hands. He ended up losing a fingernail and inhaling twelve ounces of asbestos. The big pledge broke down crying and admitted to everyone that he secretly meant to paralyze that rival high school running back during district finals because he has rage issues, and that he still runs over turtles with his F-150. Another pledge swears he saw the mentally deranged sophomore, Crazy Steve, go black in the eyes like some sort of pledge trainer demon. None of the other pledges want to talk about what happened. You go downstairs to survey the scene of the crime. The basement is eerily silent, and it smells like innocence died.
And you fucking missed it.
To me, nothing is funnier than mind fucking the pledges. 18-year-olds are already morons, and to warp their minds for your delight is both gratifying and wildly entertaining. Maybe I’m sick (I am), but pushing things as far as you can until they wonder how what’s happening can even be real, and then somehow altering their reality to the point that they have no choice but to believe that all the outrageousness is real, is at the height of hilarity.
If there were ever a TV show that could be declared an expert at the mind fuck, it would be The Joe Schmo Show.
If you’re unfamiliar with the premise of The Joe Schmo Show, it’s simple. Take some unwitting asshole who wants to be on reality TV, put him in a situation so unbelievable that you’d have to be incomprehensibly stupid to believe it, surround him with actors who have a twisted sense of humor, and mind fuck him for an entire season.
If there was ever a type of TV personality that deserved to be treated like a pledge and endlessly mind fucked (besides MSNBC pundits) it would the budding reality TV star. Generally, I despise reality TV. Yes, you can argue that other shows torment their contestants like they’re pledges as well, but leave eating bugs and whoring yourself to Jesse Palmer to the other idiots. Besides, they know what’s going on.
What I love about The Joe Schmo Show is that it takes the genre and rips it apart, along with the sanity of its lone real contestant. The premiss is absolutely ridiculous. The “contestant” is competing against his “housemates” to become the next big TV bounty hunter. Yes, you read that correctly, he’s competing to become a bounty hunter.
From the golden bullet proof vest of immunity, to the sacred torch lit via flamethrower, to the Dog the Bounty Hunter-esque host who adorns “his mansion,” which the contestants are all living in, with a giant painting of himself and his trophy wife standing nude with a Bengal tiger. The challenges are absurd and this douchebag’s housemates are outrageous.
My personal favorite “housemate” is the “asshole” character, played by the actor Michael Weaver, who you may recognize as the red headed Spurbury police officer from Super Troopers.
How in the hell does an aspiring law enforcer not recognize an actor from Super Troopers? I may watch more movies than most people, but it took me all of three seconds to pick the guy out. This guys cluelessness is as exciting as it is unbelievable.
That’s just a small taste of the hilarious, mind fucking absurdity that is The Joe Schmo Show. If you aren’t watching, you’re missing out.
Catch The Joe Schmo Show tonight, Tuesdays, on Spike at 10/9 CST.