Front Game Rules (Fun House)
|Two teams of two kids competed. A total of three rounds were played, each with one stunt and one question. First they would play a stunt involving one or both members of each team. As one might surmise, these stunts were big on mess and slop. Whoever won the stunt picked up 25 points. Then the other team members tried to answer a toss-up question about the stunt for an extra 25 points.|
|After three stunts and three questions, the teams would take part in the "Fun House Grand Prix Race." This was a race along a track that stretched out the entire perimeter of the set. Most often, one person would be riding while the other pushed. Along the way, the team would have to perform some sort of task (usually dumping something on the passenger) before they could move on. Scattered along the track were tokens worth 10 or 25 points. After the first lap, the teams switched lanes and roles, and the first team to cross the finish line won an extra 25 points.|
|After the race, the tokens were counted up and the team with the highest score won the right to enter the Fun House. If there was a tie, a sudden death toss-up question was asked.|
Front Game Rules (College Mad House)
|Two teams of four college students competed. Play was similar to the kids' version. The race was replaced with the "College Mad House Finals," which was a series of rapid-fire toss-up questions asked to one member of each team (who would then go back to the end of the line). Answering a question won 25 points as well as earned the right to slam a pie into your opponent's face. The team that was in the lead after the Finals went the the Fun... er, Mad House.|
End Game Rules (Fun House)
The winning team now had two minutes to run through the Fun House and grab as many tags, each bearing cash or a prize, as possible. One person would run in and grab three tags, come out and tag his/her partner, who would run back in for three more tags. Any tags held after the buzzer still counted; any tags grabbed beyond the third were negated. One tag won the "Power Prize" for the day, which was a trip to some resort. When the show went to FOX, a "Glop Clock" was added which gave the team an extra 15 seconds to search upon discovery.
End Game Rules (Fun House)
|Since it was obvious that three tags per person wouldn't work for four people, the rules were tweaked so that each person had 30 seconds to run in and get as many tags as possible. There were 13 tags total in the Mad House, and if they found all of them they won the trip.|
The Fun House underwent a constant evolution as the show progressed. A year into the run, a full-sized pool was added into the FH, complete with water slide. Some front game stunts even took place in the pool. Upon the move to FOX, Fun House campaigns started at the slide (although the clock wouldn't start until they hit the bottom). At the end of each show, both teams got to have one more ride down the slide.
Fun House was produced by Scott Stone, who would later join up with David Stanley to form Stone-Stanley productions. Their forays into kids' shows have been moderately successful; Fun House lasted for three years and the Nickelodeon show "Legends of the Hidden Temple" won a CableACE award in 1995. Their shows for grown-ups, however, have been less than spectacular, from the goofy "Shop 'Til You Drop" to the dismally cheap "Quicksilver." Their latest game show was the CBS flop "Winning Lines," which caused a stir when many champions failed to receive their checks within the time specified.
Hard to believe this show lasted a mere three years; I always thought it ran for a lot longer. The stunts were certainly more outrageous than those performed on Double Dare, and I really liked the colorful sets in each run. The rule about grabbing three tags per trip, however, really slowed down the winning teams. Very rarely would someone catch on and grab the three closest tags, and as a result most teams who didn't get the Power Prize didn't leave with a whole lot. JD Roth's hosting performance seemed a bit over the top, as well.
College Mad House is probably the show that inspired Scott Stone to create other downright stupid shows such as "Shop 'Til You Drop" and "Free 4 All." Stunt shows are OK when you've got kids around, but when adults (even college students) do it, it looks really tacky. Greg Kinnear seemed to distance himself from the show a bit, as well.
Gameplay: 2 pts.
Host: 2 pts.
Presentation: 2 pts.
Execution: 1 pt.
Total Score: 7 pts.
Gameplay: 1 pt.
Host: 1 pt.
Presentation: 1 pt.
Execution: 1 pt.
Total Score: 4 pts.