#71: Supermarket Sweep's
Lifetime: (Mid 1990-Early 1991)
If there's one game show that almost everybody remembers from their childhood, it's Supermarket Sweep. Who didn't want to run wild through those aisles, filling up their carts with tons of meat, cheese, big containers of Bertolli Olive Oil, Big cans of coffee, even getting live lobsters out of a tank and putting them into your cart. It's simple, goofy excitement. It's what helped Supermarket Sweep become the big hit that it was in the 1990s and into the first few years of the new millennium.
But back in the early days of Supermarket Sweep, while it was in its infancy, the producers thought that it would be a neat idea for there to be creatures inhabiting the supermarket, trying to scare off the shoppers. I don't know what they were thinking, but apparently it's one of the few small blemishes on this great show's legacy. So, let's get ready to run into the supermarket and meet up with the monsters.
The first one is Mr. Yuk. I mean, that's what they called him. Not those toxic stickers that you got from the health department to put on chemicals to warn your kids that they are bad for you. To be honest he looks like my 4th grade teacher Ms. Castillo if she didn't shower for a month. There are other monsters, but they seemed to use Mr. Yuk more often than the others. Maybe it's because he looked more menacing than the others.
Quite simply what would happen is that at the beginning, David would warn the shoppers that he was lurking in the supermarket and that he's quite dangerous, so they should just turn around. I mean, if I saw a dangerous monster and my cart was loaded to the brim with turkeys and cheese, I'm pretty sure I can charge right into him and cause some major damage to him. But hey, if that's the way they want to play it, then be my guest. So when the sweep starts we see our monster trying to act menacing and all that good junk.
And basically all he does is just roam the aisles and when he sees a shopper, he'll run towards them and scare them away. Now while that might sound bad, it basically is. I mean, you would be stocking up on garden hoses, pots and pans and coffee percolators in the Housewares section and then...
BOOM! That butt ugly looking thing that looks like the bastard love child of Nancy Grace and Ed Schultz comes charging towards you and you have to waste precious seconds going to another section that at least pays off decently, like the Diaper section or the home and beauty aisle. Or hell, you could even be starting off in the market, going down the aisles to the Deli section. But then.....
BOOM! There he his and now you have to waste so much time going back and down another aisle, pretty much sealing your fate and losing the game. He's pretty much nothing more than a gigantic pain in the ass. We enjoy seeing these people lugging Huggies and big hunks of Cheese and whatnot around, not seeing the monsters. Well, he wasn't the only one used. Apparently, there was a Frankenstein's Monster, a giant gorilla, the big Mr. Yuk symbol, The Gobbledy Gooker.
No, I'm not kidding. I'm being dead serious here.
Well, he looks like the Gobbledy Gooker. But his real name is Big Dave. Yes, a centurion Turkey. I think that's all I need to say about him.
The monsters we're all sent back to central casting when the 2nd season started in 1991, when they really started to hit their stride with the adding of new games, the mini-sweep, and adding better stuff to the Big Sweep such as the Shopping List, the Coffee among other things. Now, while this blocking of shoppers was a bad idea, I've kicked around an idea of how the blockade could work. I mean, let's say that you could make up some story that a jar of spaghetti sauce fell off the shelves in a cross section and they can't go that way until it's cleaned up, which would be one minute into the sweep. It would normally be where the Housewares or the Health and Beauty Aid aisle is in the market. But even then, it would be a reach.
Well, next week we start UK Month and I wonder what the first item is.
Oh dear god.
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