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New Series Review: 1 vs 100 (NBC)

A saggier Bob Saget isn't hitchhiking. He's hosting.

Premiering: Friday night (Oct. 13), 8 central, 9 eastern, NBC
Hosted by: Bob Saget
Produced by: Scott St. John


From the producers of Deal or No Deal, here's another NBC big-money game show that really should be titled Dumb or Super-Dumb. How else to gauge the candle power required to answer the show's opening question: "The 2003 movie Seabiscuit featured what kind of animal?"

Your three choices are: One with fins or one with paws or one with hooves. So it behooves one to ask, "Is this the easiest money to be made anywhere on the planet?" Yes, it is, at least in the present. On TV's vintage You Bet Your Life, Groucho Marx used to ask questions like "What color is the yellow of an egg?" But that was just at the very end, and only of contestants who hadn't won a dime yet. Groucho liked to at least see his foils walk away with cab fare.

OK, so the real name of the newcomer is 1 vs 100, hosted by Bob Saget from Full House and America's Funniest Home Videos. Bob had been soiling his clean-cut rep for a while in the dirty joke movie The Aristocrats and as a dope-smoking prostitute monger on HBO's Entourage. But now he's got his Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval mojo working again after seeing what Deal or No Deal did for the likes of Howie Mandel. Next thing you know we'll see Andrew Dice Clay hosting Chutes and Ladders.

1 vs. 100 pits a lone contestant against "The Mob," which starts out 100 strong. The Mob's don on opening night is all-time Jeopardy! champ Ken Jennings, who didn't miss that opening Seabiscuit question if you must know.

"You're a very smart man, and you intimidate me tremendously," Saget quips, even though he must know that Jennings could answer these types of elementary questions from the grave. Actually, a rutabaga might get pretty far in this game, or so you'd think. But eight members of "The Mob" actually punch in the wrong answer to the question, "What Hawaiian appetizer is often found on Asian cuisine menus?"

Their choices were pu-pu platter, ka-ka combo or du-du delight. No, seriously.

The first contestant, a bar bouncer named Brian, manages to eliminate more than half of The Mob. This causes his prize money to escalate, with Brian asked each time whether he wants to take his cash and run or bet that he'll know something that some members of The Mob won't.

Unlike Deal or No Deal, you need more than dumb luck to win big. But like Deal or No Deal, you can be dumb as a fence post and still know what comedian walked away from a $150 million deal with Comedy Central.

One of the three possible answers is not Bob Saget. No way he'd be that dumb. In an odd sort of way, that's why the poor guy's hosting this.

Prospects: It actually might have a shot on an overall weak night, particularly after moving to its regular 7 p.m. slot next Friday.

Grade: C-minus