Todd Harley: I’m with Stupid | AspenTimes.com
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Todd Harley: I’m with Stupid

Todd Hartley
Aspen, CO Colorado

In the history of game shows, there is one, and only one, greatest answer ever.

On “The Newlywed Game” in 1977, a woman named Olga was asked to guess where her husband would say was the weirdest place she’d ever gotten the urge to make whoopee. Olga answered, “In the ass?”

For obvious reasons, that particular line will probably never be topped.

Fortunately, game shows continue to mine the deep pool of imbeciles out there for our entertainment. They know “Jeopardy” gets boring for the people watching when we never know the answers. They understand that we need to see people even denser than us make asses of themselves. (I include myself in the pool of imbeciles, mind you. I once told a friend shushing me at a memorial service, jokingly, of course, “Who died and made you pope?” Honestly, it was something I would have said to her at any gathering. I just forgot where I was. I’m stupid.)

To see what I mean about the game shows, check out the hit show “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?” which gets kudos for actively recruiting people who quite obviously aren’t.

This is the show that gave us a guy who, when asked what he would do with a million dollars, said he’d take his wife on a shopping spree and then buy himself that Lamborghini he’d always wanted and give it a camouflage paint job, with “Class of ’94” in big type on the side.

“Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?” hasn’t offered up a line as great as “In the ass?” yet, and likely never will, but there have been a couple of truly inspired stupid moments.

On a special celebrity version of the show, “American Idol” finalist and alleged “celebrity” Kellie Pickler was asked the third-grade world geography question: “Budapest is the capital of what European country?”

Pickler, a bubbly young singer from the South, looked dumbfounded for a while and finally said, “I thought Europe was a country.”

She then went on to say, “I know they speak French there. Is France a country?” just in case we might not have understood from her initial response that she wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Now, I don’t want to give Ms. Pickler a hard time for not knowing the answer. It wasn’t all that easy a question ” lots of people would get it wrong. But if she had read the question, or heard host Jeff Foxworthy ask it, assuming she can’t read, she should have known that Europe, which apparently has countries in it, can’t itself be a country. So why would she even give voice to that thought?

I figured that was about as dumb as it got. I mean, that’s pretty spectacularly dim-witted right there. But then I saw a clip from a different “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?” episode that may have Ms. Pickler’s beat.

A woman with the apparent IQ of paint is asked, in the category of second-grade measurements, “If Jacob stands on Spencer’s shoulders, they are 21⁄2 yards high. How many feet is that?”

The befuddled woman stammers out something about the length of a football field and how she should know the answer because she once took a chemistry class, and then suddenly blurts out, “There’s 352 feet in a yard!”

The disbelieving looks on the fifth-graders are priceless.

By that woman’s calculation, Jacob and Spencer would each have an average height of 440 feet. Since the woman was standing no more than 20 feet or so from both boys, and she wasn’t staring straight at their ankles, that should have been the first clue right there that neither child was Godzilla size. Sadly, she failed to make that connection.

Her partner, one of the fifth-grade girls, had written down “78” as the answer, sending the woman home with zero dollars in winnings. Kellie Pickler’s partner, on the other hand, correctly answered “Hungary,” bringing the Southern belle’s winnings up to $25,000.

Twenty-five grand? I should be so stupid.

Wait a minute. Who am I kidding? I am so stupid. I’d be great on a game show. I can make as big an ass of myself as anyone.

Well, except maybe for the woman who actually said, “In the ass?” on national TV. She’s pretty tough to beat.


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