“Sit down, shut up, and if you move I’m going to hit you with this stick” is what most kids hear these days when they’re wild and crazy. But back in 1990 these children were treated differently. There was a place where they could go and be themselves. It was a little show on Nickelodeon called Wild & Crazy Kids.
(Nice image coloration…was it done with paint by number?)
Hosted by Donnie Jeffcoat who “was also in a movie called Night of the demons” (that’s an actual quote from his Wikipedia page, demons lower-cased), Cuba Gooding’s brother Omar, and two chicks because one left after the first season, Wild & Crazy Kids was a fun game show that nearly inspired me to have a food fight for my birthday one year. I never did because food tastes too damn good.
The show had random people nobody cared about or got to know competing in different whacky games. These included the Dizzy Bat Home Run Derby, Three Legged Soccer, Splash Football, Bumper Boat Lacrosse, and Donkey Basketball. All of these were very self-explanatory. Dizzy Bat involved spinning, three-legged soccer involved a giant penis, splash football involved diving off a diving board and catching a football, bumper boat lacrosse was just that, and donkey basketball was kids playing basketballs while riding donkeys. Any kid could do these at home pretty easily and get hurt. Except for the three-legged soccer thing. Kids tend to be poorly hung until puberty.
(The show’s hosts Donnie, Omar, and Annette going in order of how likely they are to become president)
A few other games they played were a giant Simon Says, Red Pie/Green Pie which was Red Light/Green Light but you get hit with pies, Cops and Robbers which was filmed on the set of Miami Vice (every child’s favorite show), and tug of war against professional wrestlers. There were lamer games like a massive Twister game, Human Battleship, and Human Space Invaders. Basically this show was Wipe Out without hot chicks or people getting hurt.
As with everything Nickelodeon, it was a big commercial at times filled with guest stars. Johnathon Taylor Thomas, the kid from Roseanne, and Tobey Maguire (way before he was famous) dropped in to hype things up. I don’t think a kid would watch something for the sake of seeing a recognizable face. Kids are dumb enough to not understand how one show character can be a real person who makes appearances on other shows. I know I was. They also had pro athletes Scott Bailes, Bruce Hurst, and Rodney Peete participate in some of the games. Yeah, I’m a big sports fan and I barely know who they are.
(They couldn’t get these kids shirts that fit? How do we even know they’re wearing underwear?)
In 2002 they tried to revive the show. The only good guest they got were the kids from the Spy Kids movie. I remember once my mom asked me and my sister if we wanted to see Spy Kids. My sister really didn’t want to see it so we sat at home doing nothing. Another time my mom took us to see Tarzan. Some cool kids were hanging outside the auditorium and as we walked in my sister looked at the marque then at them staring at us then said “We’re not seeing Tarzan!” We walked in there anyway so clearly we were.
The best part of this whole show’s epic run was a Root Beer drinking contest. Children were lined up at a picnic bench and each had to drink a giant pitcher of Root Beer and move down along the line. I blame this for obesity in America because I dreamed about drinking a pitcher of Root Beer ever since.
Wild & Crazy Kids was a great fun show. I’m not sure how well it would work today because there are so many shows like it with their weird competitive games. It only lasted for 3 seasons but like most things on Nickelodeon, they showed it forever.