If you’ve been to any of our weekly nights the last few weeks, you’ve seen people waving hand fans, playing with pens that have mazes in them, drinking from possibly insulting pint glasses, or sporting t-shirts with some big bloke’s head on them. (If you haven’t been to any of our weekly nights lately, come back! We miss you.)
That’s the work of The Chase, a show on the Game Show Network hosted by Brooke Burns and starring Mark “The Beast” Labbett, an eclipse of a man (6’7″ or so, I’m guessing close to 400 pounds) who knows an awful lot of things about an awful lot of things. He’s English, which gives him a natural advantage when it comes to sounding authoritative about everything he talks about, and he’s a former rugby player, which means he’s not really one for retreat. (Out of character, he’s a great guy, but in character, well, he’s beatable, even if I’m just typing that to piss him off when he Googles his name.)
The premise is fairly simple: three contestants (in the American version; four in the U.K. original edition) work together to amass a pot against the Chaser. If he catches you in any of the show’s segments, you go home empty handed. But if not, well, there have been prizes into the six figures for some players, which is pretty solid for a basic cable game show. Labbett wins about two thirds of the time. (There’s an app, where you can play along and get a feel for the game.) And the last five minutes of the show, the Final Chase, is always absolutely riveting television.
This week, they debuted a the puppet version of The Beast, which is slightly less intimidating than the real deal, but that’s probably not the worst thing. Check it out:
Host Jamie & I both went over to London to shoot the pilot a couple of years ago, and I’d like to think that’s why The Chase is now one of GSN’s big hit shows. (They’re currently casting for their fourth season. They’ll be in NYC on September 20. Go sign up, fergodsake. It’s free money.) It’s certainly helped our little outfit become the titanic trivia operation it’s become.
Anyway. Thanks to GSN and to the nice people at The Chase for being so great and for fighting the good fight against dumb television. Watch it every Tuesday at 8pm ET (7 Central). It’s ace.