Nickelodeon GUTS!

A view from the top.
With the Olympics now in full-swing (me being heavily invested in the US Women's Volleyball team for reasons that have almost everything to do with their athleticism), it slowly got me thinking about Nickelodeon's own Olympics-like show in the 90s..."The action sports show that's gonna make you sweat!" You know, the one that proved bright yellow helmets actually do match perfectly with any color climbing gear. The one where they were constantly bouncing around on bungy chords and climbing up stuff and having stuff thrown at them.

"Do-do-do do you have it?" You know... GUTS!

It sure has been a while since Nick had a show that could inflict serious injury on a kid. And for that reason there was always that part of me thinking, "wow that's neat what they just did there,"  and another part thinking, "sure glad it ain't me!" But with a constant theme that sounded like something from Michael Jackson's Dangerous album mixed with random "GUTS!" chants, this show was designed to activate your inner testosterone devil... which is both exactly why they told us not to imitate any of the stunts, and exactly why I ignored that part.

00's kids, this is what you missed.
GUTS was like, gym class on steroids. You had this "in your face" jock named Mike doing a lot of fist-pumping in the middle of this massive stadium, surrounded by all these ropes, tramps, and wide assortments of stackable gym cushions, and you'd quickly feel like he'd have you dropping to give him twenty if you failed it. And just like a gym teacher, this guy was just constantly "on it." Watching it felt like those moments in gym class where you'd look around at all the scary equipment and wonder what death-defying things the teacher might wimp-call you into doing that day. But what made it better than gym class for a dork like me was that all the sports rounds were short. I sucked at every sport there was, so a 30 second time limit would've spared me a lot of pain and embarrassment then, not to mention push-ups.

Then there was that British girl named Moe for some reason who always wore that jail-stripe Nike commercial jersey and wailed on that whistle, calling my name and saying "Go" every couple minutes (at least I kind of wish she was calling my name...). And in general there was also a lot of yellow teeth guards, eye guards, elbow pads, knee pads, butt pads... every kind of pad and jock strap around, and somehow the kids wearing them got points along the way from the all-knowing "Leaderboard" that Moe would read from.

Behold, the Aggro-Crag.
And after these kid Olympians swam, bounced, hurdled, biked, and threw a lot of tennis balls at sticky targets, they were suddenly transformed into American Gladiators for the last five minutes, and forced to face the all-intimidating Aggro-Crag! Each player would have to ascend a jumble of fake, jagged rocks just oozing with smoke and lights and dropping fake boulders and snow down on them, and they'd have to hit certain targets, or "actuators"... lights that buzzed and spun when pressed. This thing looked like Godzilla's mountaintop, I swear, and it was nothing, because eventually they moved on to the Mega-Crag!, and then the Super-Aggro!.

But for all they built that Aggro-Crag! up to be, the kids always seemed to climb it with little trouble. It was mostly facade, but if it was scary looking enough to make them suddenly stupid and unable to hit their own actuators, then it must've been something indeed. In the end it didn't matter, because all I wanted was one of those awesome glowing green crystal rock chunks they gave away to the winners. Supposedly hewn from the rock itself, or from the Emerald City, they all looked exactly the same, and heavy! Totally tubular.

Go Team USA!

1 comment:

  1. D-D-Do you have it!?! GUTS!

    I don't know if it was just me and my sisters, but we always chose a person and pretended that was us in EVERY episode! Then, when one of "us" one, we'd jump up and down and laugh at the other two. =P

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