Rappin' Wink Martindale
GSN Commercial: (Early-Mid 2010)
It seems to me that there are but a few constants in the realm of game shows. One is that having Bill Cullen hosting your show makes it watchable. Another good one is that anytime Nickelodeon switches hosts after the first season, then the show will be cancelled after season two is finished airing. And the Game Show Garbage constant is that anytime we have a Rap/Game Show crossover, it's bound to suck. I've already talked about Chuck Woolery's Rap Endeavors.
Yes, I'm still trying to get that image out of my head.
And yes, we all know about the Rapping Dragon from TTD 90. And no, I won't subject you to that again. There's plenty of Youtube clips of TTD 90 out there with the rapping.
But to the meat of the matter. In 2010, when GSN was feeling the ill-effects of having the sagging ratings of Carnie Wilson: Unintelligable and Hidden Agenda, they decided what they needed was another Hidden Camera show, but with a better emcee than Debi Guttierez. So, they brought in a real ringer in Wink Martindale and a better format. What they needed was a commercial to hype it all. So, they went back to the archives and used what they did for Chuck Woolery and Naturally Stoned. Let's Make Wink Rap!
The first thing I want to talk about here is this outfit. They went from ripping off LL Cool J's outfits in the Chuck Woolery commercial and now it looks like Wink is ripping off the wardrobe of Heavy D. Now while Heavy's outfits at least made him like something, sure sometimes it made him like the Kool-Aid Man, this just makes Wink look like a badly created glass of Orange Juice. Now, while they may have put some money in Heavy D's outfit, it looks like they just got an orange felt jogging suit and poorly stitched " wink" into the front of it and decided that was "Hip" for Wink. Not only does it look cheap, it looks god-awful. I mean, the message would have been perfect if he came out in one of his classic outfits that he wore on either Gambit or the first couple seasons of Tic Tac Dough, but this looked god-awful and made the message more like a joke.
Next to dissect is the lyrics of this commercial. The commercial starts off innocently enough with "Remember Me, I'm Wink Emcee. A game show legend since seventy-three." Now, I'm not a big fan of this lyric, but it gets the job done. You could go back farther into the 50s and 60s when he started hosting shows, but he didn't get to be as well known as he was until 73 when Gambit took off. He continues by saying, "Now I'm back on your TV, with a game to test your memory." As a positive, this isn't as disjointed as Chuck's rap, but it's still pretty bad.
He continues to saying "See, playas gotta memorize what my spies devise before their eyes, and then surprise, they realize, that it's all a game show in disguise." And that's basically the end of the rap. While the rap was about the same length as a Whose Line hoedown, it wasn't as good. It just sounds like a jumbled mess and I know if Wink was allowed to write a rap, then this commercial would have been much better. But the lyrics we got now are about as terrible as one can get. If he had done a rap to the Tic Tac Dough theme instead of stock rap music #352359, then it would have truly fit with the motif, but unfortunately it's about as painful as taking an enema every day.
The commercial ends with Wink without glasses or anything doing all these weird hand gestures. I guess this is supposed to emulate some of the gangsta signs that got thrown up in the early 90s Rap videos like in the N.W.A. and the Public Enemy or the Furious Five. Now we're just getting sad. This isn't Wink or anything like Wink. I mean, just look at him. You can see it in his eyes that this is a joke and he'd rather be back on the Tonight Show, trying to get his dogs to sing. I don't know what was more painful to watch: This or the Great Getaway Game that he put together many moons ago for Travel Channel.
The commercial and Wink rapping would turn out dismal to watch and the show, while not as bad as the previous shows that were on the network, dismally failed in the ratings and went off the air after all the episodes aired and maybe a couple more were reran afterwards when it was moved to Fridays. This would also further cement another theory that was put together by one of the best wrestling managers in the world, Jim Cornette. The theory being that if an idea is older than 7 years ago, it would have been forgotten by the general public and it could be reused. Sadly, this was the case, and also proving his theory, it usually will still suck.
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