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Series: Distraction
"To buzz-in in this round, you have to do a little wee."

A Game Show that originated in Great Britain whose premise was to ask "How much humiliation will you endure to win some amazing prizes?" Hosted by brash comedian Jimmy Carr, contestants were required to answer rather simple questions while being distracted in various ways, such as being thrown around by wrestlers, having live geese eat feed off your body while lying face up in your underwear, and buzzing-in by sticking your fingers in mousetraps, stopping a fan with your face, or even urinating in a toilet onstage. Make it through three rounds of this (and non-stop harassment by Carr) and you win some lovely prizes! However, the game doesn't stop there... Carr asks you one more set of questions, and for each one you get wrong, one of your prizes gets destroyed (or, in case you've won a car, some part of said car gets vandalized).

Lasted two seasons in the United Kingdom, then two more in the United States on Comedy Central (also hosted by Carr, but toned down a bit), and has spawned several foreign versions.

Game Show Tropes in use:

  • All or Nothing: Losers leave with nothing, as is made quite clear by Jimmy. Sometimes the winner does, too, if he wipes out in the "Bonus Round".
    Jimmy Carr: "You don't leave empty-handed... well, actually you do..."
  • Bonus Round: Inverted big time; you get the prizes up front, but must answer questions to keep them from being damaged or destroyed.
  • Bonus Space: Some challenges awarded points to the contestant who did the most of something during a round (putting clothespins or rubber bands on his or her face, for example).
  • Carried by the Host: Jimmy Carr's heckling and blatant sadism toward the suffering contestants is pretty much the point of the show.
  • Consolation Prize: One version of the "Bonus Round" featured a stereotypical one, such as Rice-A-Roni, as one of the available prizes. Other than that, none.
  • Covered in Gunge: The "Catapult" round in the American version, as well as one where the contestants had to smash eggs on their foreheads to buzz in; the Italian version had its gungey contests as well.
  • Deadly Game: Comes damn near close, and treated in-show as a running joke, especially in such rounds as "Bed Of Nails".
    Jimmy: "The questions in this round are about dead people, because that's what you might be if anything goes wrong."
  • Eject The Loser: Employed on occasion in the rounds involving wrestlers, roller girls or flabby nudists; the wrestlers carried the loser off, while the nudists conga'd the loser away.
  • Home Game: A "Distraction Quiz Book" released in the United Kingdom, with questions and ideas on how to make some of the distractions at home.
  • Personnel:
  • Think Music: Especially during the "Bonus Round". In the UK it was a reprise of the Theme Tune.
  • Zonk: What your legitimate prizes were turned into if you sucked at the "Bonus Round".

Tropes specifically played with during the "Bonus Round":

  • Anvil On Head: Subverted in the "Rope Burn" game; the anvils fall on your prizes instead. In the US version, a 1,000-pound barrel of cement was occasionally used as well.
  • Carry a Big Stick / Drop the Hammer: The losers do, if you win a car.
  • Conveyor Belt-O-Doom: A wrecking ball awaits at the end if your prize gets there before you answer the question.
  • Forced to Watch: The entire point. Naturally, the first missed question will almost always result in an Oh Crap.
  • Generic Graffiti: Applied to your car, and usually pointing out one of the things you revealed to everyone at the beginning of the show.
  • Money to Burn: If the prize is 5,000 cash, 1,000 gets thrown on a wildly-burning fire if you miss a question. An alternate version has the money placed in toasters (see below).
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Your prizes, at random, via Plunger Detonator.
  • Unwinnable by Design: This endgame, in which your opponent started shoveling your 5,000 into the cement mixer immediately upon the round beginning, thus making it impossible to save your entire prize.
    • A similar round required you to answer five questions, each of which allowed you to save 1,000 from a toaster before it went up in flames. The first toaster turned on represented the last question you were asked - even if you breezed through the first four with no problem, the money in this toaster was likely half gone by the final question.

This show contains examples of:

  • Catch Phrase: "I'm guessing you were a little bit distracted!"
  • Deadpan Snarker / The Mean Brit: Jimmy.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Played with, naturally - most directly in a game where the male contestants answered questions while in bed, with each correct answer earning a scantily clad woman to join that contestant.
  • Don't Try This at Home: "...come to our studio and try it here for everyone's enjoyment."
  • Eat That: Shots of (supposedly) Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce. Done much more extensively in England, with maggots, snails, lambs' testicles, and the contestant's own urine.
  • Electric Torture: "Blinking Electrocution", where you had to answer questions while strapped into an electric chair and were shocked every time you blinked. To make life interesting, Jimmy's assistants would light up cigars and blow smoke in the players' eyes.
  • Epic Fail: The guy that answered all three questions wrong in the "Bonus Round" and subsequently left with nothing. One of his questions was about SpongeBob SquarePants, and Jimmy all but gave him the answer.
  • Fanservice: Jimmy's female assistants and several games featuring scantily-clad women. Inverted with the grotesque nudists.
  • Flawless Victory: A grand total of three contestants left with either an unblemished car or all their prizes intact in the US. One of these was due to the spray-painter casually walking to the car instead of running after time expiring, then the contestant immediately getting the question right. It never happened in the UK.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: Played two different ways. One game required contestants to buzz in by hitting themselves over the head with a bottle, then halfway through begin hitting the player next to him. The other featured contestants buzzing in normally, but every time they got an answer right, a stunt person would hit them over the head with a bottle, then progress to larger objects such as vases and finally break a chair across the player's back.
  • Half Hour Comedy
  • Made of Iron: One round had the "buzz-in" being to beat an old woman arm-wrestling... at which point her bodybuilder "son" zapped you with a cattle prod. One guy did not react to the prod. (He won, obviously.)
    Jimmy: What are you made of?!?
    Contestant: The Midwest...
  • Mouse Trap: Rat traps were used as buzzers both in the US and the UK. At least one contestant received a broken finger.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Especially when stuffed down your see-through pants.
  • Scary Black Man: "Tiny" in the US, who was supposedly the "son" of one of the arm-wrestling old ladies mentioned above, and threatened destruction of the winner's car in the first taped episode (although he didn't get to do any work thanks to a Flawless Victory).
  • Shout-Out: To Pimp My Ride, normally when a contestant's brand-new car got covered in paint. Also, routine question categories about Kevin Bacon.
  • Slap Stick: Tons. Lampshaded directly on at least one occasion, right before a "bar fight" game in the US.
  • Take That: Many of Carr's jokes, especially in the bits from his routine monologue he uses to start the show.

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alternative title(s): Distraction
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