Game Show Garbage: Johnny Arcade

Host: Video Power 1991-1992

Game shows based on video games are really hard to get right.  Quite honestly the only game show based off of video games that didn’t stink was the early eighties game show Starcade, hosted by this man…

The Consummate Pro

Geoff Edwards.  Now although his shows haven’t always had a long life, he was really good at what he did.  To prove himself, he took the time to play a ton of arcade games and get pretty decent at them so he’d know what he was talking about on the show.  For further evidence, he’s a massive Quake player to this date.  Sadly, this show aired at the time of the big Video Game Crash in 1984 and was cancelled that same year.  In 1990 a new show about video games would be made called Video Power, hosted by this man…

Charlie Sheen and Tom Cruise's love child apparently

His name is Johnny Arcade, but his real name is Stivi Paskoski.  When Video Power debuted it was a basic video game preview and tips show, mixed with a crappy cartoon show.  When Johnny did the previews, he’d normally dress up in an outfit and do crappy impersonations.  For example…

"Get up, Ya BUM!"

For the Punch-Out review, he dressed up as Rocky Balboa’s boxing coach, Mickey Goldmill and imitate him while doing the review.  To be fair, this was not only a bad imitation of his voice, but his look as well.  And if that wasn’t bad enough…

"And this is my impression of a man in a hat with burned hands!"

He also imitates Rocky as well afterwards.  Talk about pathetic.

Now, I know what you’re saying.  This is supposed to be a game show site, why are you talking about him on a video game show.  Patience grasshopper, I’m about to get to that.  After 1 season of this, the producers decided to change up the show and decide to turn Video Power into a game show.  With that, we get to Johnny’s hosting skills.  Or should I say, lack thereof.

Both Italy and Plumbers should sue in unison

Johnny Arcade decided to be hyper and act like another video game show host around that time in Phil Moore, except white.  Not only that, he seems to have left the rest of his abilities of hosting at the old studio or in the Rocky jacket.  So, he’s helped by these two guys…

The screencap may be blurry, but you just know these guys are irritating

Terry Lee Rotok and Steve Treccase.  Wait, that’s Steve Treccase?  Man, he must have had a rough time after Remote Control got cancelled.  Anyways, get used to Terry Lee Rotok as he does more hosting than Arcade.  So, what does Johnny do?

Sadly you can't turn off this picture in picture

He does what he did in the old show, he gave out tips to games.  And by the way, the tips that he gave are just basic moves in the game.  I think I remember him saying for one game, “You’ll be hitting the A button a lot.  It’s vital.”  Well, duh.  In most games, you’ll be hitting the A Button a lot.  Moron.  On certain shows, he’d do a “Hot Flash” and talk about a new game coming out.  I remember him going crazy about Space Harrier 2. Later on, he’d be fielded questions from the audience.

Johnny Arcade is: ERASERHEAD!

Oh, did I mention they ask him the easiest questions known to man, and when a hard question gets asked, he doesn’t even have a joke answer to give.  Then we get to what should be his wheelhouse: playing the games.  What does he do…

Pity it wasn't the plunger to detonate the broadcasting tower

He tells them what game they are playing and he presses this gigantoid button.  That’s it.  Terry does the commentary for the games to give the audience what’s going on, how many points they are, how far along in the game they are, etc.  So, as you have seen, Terry has done the bulk of the show right now.  Johnny’s hosted about 4 minutes of show, Terry’s done 7.

Family Fortunes anyone?

So, to bulk up Johnny’s time, He asks the 2 remaining contestants questions from games, mainly from the NES and Sega Genesis.  It also doesn’t help that he bobbles reading the questions quite a bit.  I guess if it’s not written in big white letters on black background via a teleprompter, he can’t read it properly.  So now that everything’s evened up, time wise that is, we have the final round of video gameplay.  So, what does Johnny do?

Again and again and again

That’s right, he hits the button and Terry does the bulk of the work.

Those kids really couldn't care less, could they?

After Terry’s performance, we have Johnny awarding the last points and that’s it for his performance as he bumbles his way through another day of hosting.  But before he calls it a day, he gives the loser a skateboard and a game while rambling incoherently.  I’m guessing he was starting to lose all the energy he had after drinking about 15 2-liters of Mountain Dew before the days taping.  So, to recap it all.

1. Doesn’t know anything about video games unless it’s from a prompter:         CHECK
2: Acts like the target audience for the show:                                                                  CHECK
3: Doesn’t even host the entire show, relying on other, more capable people: CHECK
4: Can’t even read one question correctly off of a regular card:                              CHECK

So, there ya have it.  4 signs of a bad video game game show host and he has all of those signs.  If Terry hosted the show instead of Johnny, then it would at least be tolerable.  But as it stands, it’s a passable show with a really hyper and horrible host.  Johnny Arcade was garbage.

Now after this, you’d think he’d be on the train to get a job at the nearest McDonalds, but he decided to lay off the Dew, take some acting lessons, changed his appearance and now has several roles under his belt on such shows as CSI, The West Wing and Brotherhood all by looking like this…


GOOD GOD!  Now that’s a radical appearance change.  And change is good.  He’s a fine actor now and I’m happy that he put down the NES controller and decided to make something of himself instead of relishing in his past glory…

Oh Damien, Damien, Damien...

Unlike some people.

Game Show Garbage can also be found at Robert Seidelman’s own site here

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