adBlockCheck

Russian Television Scores Hit With New Game Show Who Wants To Eat A Meal?

Top Headlines

Recent News

Fact-Checking The First Presidential Debate

Addressing issues ranging from national security to trade to their personal controversies, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump squared off in the first presidential debate Monday. The Onion takes a look at the validity of their bolder claims:

Viewers Impressed By How Male Trump Looked During Debate

HEMPSTEAD, NY—Saying the Republican nominee exhibited just the qualities they were looking for in the country’s next leader, viewers throughout the nation reported Monday night that they were impressed by how male Donald Trump appeared throughout the first debate.

Poll: 89% Of Debate Viewers Tuning In Solely To See Whether Roof Collapses

HEMPSTEAD, NY—Explaining that the American people showed relatively little interest in learning more about the nominees’ economic, counterterrorism, or immigration policies, a new Quinnipiac University poll revealed that 89 percent of viewers were tuning into Monday night’s presidential debate solely to see whether the roof collapses on the two candidates.

New Study Finds Solving Every Single Personal Problem Reduces Anxiety

SEATTLE—Explaining that participants left the clinical trial feeling calmer and more positive, a study published Monday by psychologists at the University of Washington has determined that people can significantly reduce their anxiety by solving every single one of their personal problems.

Trump Planning To Throw Lie About Immigrant Crime Rate Out There Early In Debate To Gauge How Much He Can Get Away With

HEMPSTEAD, NY—Saying he would probably introduce the falsehood in his opening statement or perhaps during his response to the night’s first question, Republican nominee Donald Trump reported Monday he was planning to throw out a blatant lie about the level of crime committed by immigrants early in the first presidential debate to gauge how much he’d be allowed to get away with.

Rest Of Nation To Penn State: ‘Something Is Very Wrong With All Of You’

WASHINGTON—Stating they felt deeply unnerved by the community’s unwavering and impassioned defense of a football program and administration that enabled child sexual abuse over the course of several decades, the rest of the country informed Penn State University Friday that there is clearly something very wrong with all of them.

Strongside/Weakside: Lamar Jackson

After passing for eight touchdowns and rushing for another 10 in just the first three weeks of the season, Louisville Cardinals sophomore quarterback Lamar Jackson has quickly become the frontrunner to win the Heisman Trophy. Is he any good?
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next

Russian Television Scores Hit With New Game Show Who Wants To Eat A Meal?

MOSCOW–The program has only been on the air for three weeks, but Russian citizens from Voronezh to Srednekolymsk are already swept up in the thrill of the nation's biggest runaway-hit game show, Who Wants To Eat A Meal?

Host Anatoly Ivaskevich (left) asks contestant Sergei Stoyanov to name the author of <I>War And Peace</I> for a once-in-a-lifetime chance at a plate of beans.

Hosted by popular Russian TV personality Anatoly Ivaskevich, Who Wants To Eat A Meal? gives hungry contestants the chance to answer general-knowledge questions to win food items. Since its Oct. 26 premiere, it has quickly become the nation's most popular program, drawing even more viewers than the top-rated Let's Look At Food, in which images of food are displayed on screen.

"I would love to eat a meal," said devoted Who Wants viewer Sergei Kirasov, an unemployed Novgorod machinist who has submitted his name to the producers more than 600 times in hopes of becoming a contestant. "That is truly the Russian Dream."

Russian citizens are already well acquainted with the show's format: Every night at 8, cameras circle a sumptuous banquet table as announcer Leonid Pustovoitenko asks the studio audience, "Who... wants... to eat a meal?" Bayonet-wielding members of the Russian army then move in to protect the table from rioting audience members, who often storm the set with crude handmade weapons in a desperate attempt to seize a beet.

Once order is restored, 10 lucky Russians–who are brought to Moscow, courtesy of the show, by ox-cart--face off in a "fastest finger" round to determine who will sit in the "hot seat" in front of Ivaskevich to compete for the nutrient-containing jackpot. The advancing contestant is asked a series of increasingly difficult questions, each carrying a larger food prize, from a scrap of rotting cabbage to the grand prize of a one-course dinner for one. Stumped contestants can use one of three "lifelines"–polling the audience, writing a letter to a friend for help, or ingesting a packet of glucose syrup if they are losing consciousness due to hunger.

Though no contestant has yet won the top prize of a slice of boiled beef, an uncooked red potato and a scrap of bread, viewers have thrilled to the awarding of lesser prizes to contestants finishing partway up the prize ladder. Last Friday's installment drew blockbuster ratings as Nikolai Puchin, a 33-year-old Novokuznetsk-area peasant, walked away with a chicken bone after correctly identifying Sergei Eisenstein as the director of The Battleship Potemkin.

The grand prize.

"Viewers are absolutely captivated by the show," said executive producer Oleg Medvedev. "To watch people get up there and have a chance at eating, it's a thrilling fantasy."

Still, some viewers complain that the questions are too easy.

"I watched the other day, and they ask the man to name year Trotsky is assassinated," said Svetlana Tretiak, an 83-year-old retired seamstress from Orsk, a tiny village in the Ural Mountains. "This is ridiculous. If food is on the line, I expect questions are more difficult than this."

Grigor Krupskaya of St. Petersburg agreed. "I know not where they get these contestants," he said. "So dumb. Friday, on show, they ask a man what Soviet gymnast win three gold medals in 1972 Olympics. And he needs lifeline to answer!"

"It is not so easy as it looks," said contestant Alexei Popovich, a 40-year-old Kursk farmer who quit the game with a bowl of borscht rather than risking it to win a larger prize. "I am sure it seems easy to people sitting at home, but when you are up there under the lights, and you know food is on the line, it is very different. You get very nervous: Your palms sweat, your stomach quivers, and your teeth fall out due to malnourishment and scurvy."

WATCH VIDEO FROM THE ONION

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close