More evidence supporting the theory that the Japanese
are one of the strangest ethnic group
s in the modern world. This screwball Japanese game show
(formally known as "America Ooudan Ultra Quiz", or "The Trans-America Ultra Quiz") took contestants (often by the thousand) across the United States. The journey began in Japan, where contestants participated in a massively multiplayer trivia game
. They were given a multiple choice trivia question to answer, and had to stand in a square corresponding to their answer. Those who were standing in the correct square moved on, those who weren't had to stay home.
Those who survived to make it to the States were given outrageous physical stunts to perform before they could answer their next question. Samples include battling with professional wrestlers on floating platforms over shark-infested waters, mass games of roshambo (as in rock paper scissors, not the game from South Park), and playing "anti-strip poker" (they had to put on extra clothing if they lost a hand) in the desert.
Contestants who were unsuccessful were not only eliminated, but had to play "the loser's game" by performing a bizzare, frequently embarassing stunt. Examples include eating a whole chicken, or standing on a street corner and yelling "I am a loser" at the top of their lungs.
During the 1980s, there was an American version, known as "The All-American Ultra Quiz", hosted by Dan Rowan and Dean Martin (of "Rowan and Martin's Laugh In" fame). There were also several Ultra Quiz video games made in Japan for various Nintendo Systems, including the Famicom (Nintendo Entertainment System), Game Boy, and Super Famicom (Super Nintendo).