By Sydney Hedley, Entertainment Editor
NEW YORK – How tough could this be? That’s what Fox reality show guru Mike Darnell thought when he first heard of the concept for a game show called “Are You Smarter than a Retard?”
But less than eight weeks after the idea was born, “Are You Smarter than a Retard?” premiered last week drawing a record 23 million viewers.
The breakaway new show promises to humiliate countless contestants with normal intelligence and make retards across the country feel smug.
Each episode pits a cast of mentally handicapped dummies, schizophrenics and mongoloids against regular adults trying to answer appallingly simple questions for big money.
Contestants try to answer skill-testing questions such as “Which way is up?” and “What color is an orange?” while real retards stand by to offer help. The results are frightening yet hilarious: During the premiere show, retards guffawed heartily from the sidelines as the contestant was unable to identify where on her body her head was located.
“The show is based on the shameful reality that in many cases the average Joe does not possess even the most basic knowledge of the world around them,” Darnell said speaking before journalists.
“Sad as this truth may be, it makes for a highly entertaining battle of dimwits.”
Contestants are allowed, at times, to “cheat” and sneak a peak in a dictionary which is provided for them. However, this option is often of limited value since many of the contestants don’t remember the order of the letters of the alphabet.
On last night’s show, contestant Dan Stillman was stumped on the question “What number comes after 2?” His inability to provide the correct answer cost him $50,000. Asked his reaction to the humiliating defeat, Stillman grumbled, “What do I look like, a rocket scientist?”
The show is expected to be very popular among Europeans given their well-known love for making fun of Americans.
Jason Clem, 31
Waiter at Elway’s Restaurant
Leonard King, 92-year-old with dementia and paranoid schitzophrenia
Which way is up?
“This question really stumped me. When I first heard it, I knew this would blow my chances to win big. I decided to check the dictionary, but I ran out of time before finding where “u” was.”
Julie Krantz, 45
Stay-at-home mother of three, with a diploma in accounting from DeVry
Alex Edison, Village Idiot
What country are you in?
“It seemed like a simple question, but you second-guess yourself…I was nervous and I panicked. I had never been on a TV show before, I was in the spotlight, it was really a struggle.”