‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’: What are the most cringey games?
The Ellen Degeneres Show is widely attributed with popularizing the use of games in a talk show format. Even contemporaries like Jimmy Fallon have gone on to implement games on their own talk shows. By turning it into a variety show, The Tonight Show became extremely popular once Jimmy Fallon became its host back in 2014.
Seeing as how game shows are a mainstay on television, it’s a no-brainer to incorporate games as some sort of segment on talk shows as well – and Ellen was the first to understand the appeal. The inclusion of games on The Ellen Degeneres Show added a dynamic element for celebrities & guests which proved entertaining for viewers everywhere.
The Ellen Degeneres Show features many games, ranging from simple trivia to more elaborate segments that even involve dropping contestants through a trapdoor. What are some games that are just plain awkward? Here are some of the games that just make us cringe.
“What Were They Thinking?”
This segment features various clips of audience members dancing, while also providing some voicework to convey the thoughts going through their heads while on screen.
The fact that we have to watch audience members failing at silly dance moves is bad enough, but “What Were They Thinking?”’s voiceovers are just painful, with insanely corny jokes. The segments go on forever.
Unless you’re an active participant – one of the voiceover actors or dancers making a fool of yourself – it’s hard to see why anyone would ever want to watch “What Were They Thinking?”. Seriously, what were they thinking?
“Know or Go”
One of Ellen’s most well-known games, “Know or Go” features her asking three audience members a couple of questions on a variety of topics. Whoever answers incorrectly falls through a trapdoor once Ellen presses the button to seal their fate.
While “Know or Go”’s premise isn’t terrible, the fact that these people are being humiliated on live TV for our entertainment is just embarrassing gladiator lite. And a lot of them seem to be genuinely scared of falling through the trapdoor while Ellen takes her sweet time pressing the button. It makes for an uncomfortable experience and is completely unnecessary.
“Who’s in My Bushes?”
This segment revolves around Ellen guessing which celebrity is hiding behind some decorative bushes placed in the studio. Ellen proceeds to ask the guest behind the bushes some questions in order to pinpoint their true identity.
But there’s actually no guessing involved, since Ellen already knows who the guest is. “Who’s in My Bushes” is supposed to be a treat for the audience, but the tongue-in-cheek joke just overstays its welcome.
“This Plus That”
In yet another segment that features a montage of audience members dancing, instead of voiceovers, “This Plus That”’s clips are accompanied by sounds ranging from stock sound effects to nonsensical noises. It’s just as cringey as “What Were They Thinking?”, if only to illustrate the show’s producers completely running out of ideas.
Much like “Know or Go”, this game focuses on watching audience members squirm for our entertainment. Two players take turns answering questions with answers that range from 0 to 5. If they answer with an incorrect number, the players must enter the “monster” and remove teeth based on how off they were from the correct number.
One of the teeth is set to close the monster’s mouth. So if a player pulls that one out, then they lose and are immediately “eaten” by the monster. While they don’t have to fall through a trap door, the players are visibly nervous each time they remove a tooth, since the monster’s mouth always moves as if it’s about to bite them.