With two former wrestlers like Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan handling announcing duties for years in the WWF, constantly at odds, don’t you find it odd that they never squared off in the ring to settle their differences? Why, Michael Cole was barely a year into his insufferable jerk persona before he and Jerry Lawler had a series of pay-per-view matches. Fortunately, someone at Nickelodeon was on the ball in the late 1980s, pitting the Gorilla and the Weasel against each other in that ultimate test of valor and ingenuity…
And not just any Double Dare, but Super Sloppy Double Dare!
And not just any Super Sloppy Double Dare, but Super-Slop-O-Mania!
And not just any Super-Slop-O-Mania, but Super-Slop-O-Mania I!
If you’ve ever wondered where Vince McMahon had heard of being slimed, here’s your answer. Let’s take a look back at the greatest slime-fueled spectacle on the grandest sound stage of them all.
During the introductions, our host Marc Summers details Gorilla Monsoon’s education, which includes a degree in English and physical therapy. Suddenly, the constant references to the external occipital protuberance and the solar plexus make so much more sense (although Monsoon’s claims of literally exploding arenas and fans hanging from the rafters are all the more puzzling given his Bachelor’s in English).
Right away, this 1989 episode shows its age, with Gorilla impersonating Mikhail Gorbachev. Either that, or some chocolate sauce remains from the show’s first challenge.
Monsoon is paired up with a young lady who happens to be African-American on a team unfortunately named, “The Gorillas.” At least the girl isn’t teamed up with Little Beaver.
Their opponents are “The Brains,” made up of Bobby Heenan and a white boy. Fortunately, Wayne Ferris wasn’t available as the kid’s partner, lest they be dubbed, “The Honkies.”
The show’s prize? A big gold belt. Obviously, not the Big Gold Belt, but don’t be surprised if WWE tries tracing its legacy back to Frank Gotch.
The trivia portion of the show begins, and at first, the questions are easy.
Then, things get real obscure in a hurry.
Monsoon’s team gets a question about the infundibulum, which Monsoon seems to know pretty well based on his typical anatomical jargon, but a dare and a double-dare later, and it’s apparent he doesn’t know the answer. (Trivia tip: whenever there’s a question about glands, it’s always the pituitary.)
Fortunately, in the mandatory physical challenge, Monsoon’s partner successfully shakes bananas out of a tree, mashes them together with cream, and smashes them in his face while he sits in a gorilla suit. This show doesn’t make nearly as much sense as I thought it did as a kid.
The Brains regain the lead because Monsoon’s team doesn’t know their Frank Zappa trivia.
Throughout the show, Harvey the announcer keeps dressing up as a wrestler, only for our host to expose the ruse. Four years later, WWF would use this same schtick with Bobby Heenan trying to sneak into the first Raw.
Speaking of the WWF stealing Double Dare’s ideas, in the next round, both teams are dressed in silly costumes and compete to take off their clothes and dump mud on themselves. Stacy Carter would not have even had a career without this show’s writers.
(Actually, it’s not mud, but, and I quote, “some sort of mud-like substance.” No word on whether it’s a smelly mess)
And talk about Best Buns!
Bobby scores about a 7 on the Muta scale en route to a 220-50 victory for The Brains, earning them the belt and a whopping $110 apiece. I’m sure Double Dare could afford to fork over some extra cash and give it to a charity of the winners’ choice, but wouldn’t the Weasel we all know and love rather have petty cash than help out a bunch of needy humanoids? Kudos to Nickelodeon for keeping kayfabe.
Obviously, $110 is a much better prize in 1989 than it would be now, much like these radical skateboards with built-in radios. I’m sure Bobby Heenan is just itching to ride one of those out of studio, but sadly, the prize is just for his partner, Dave. In fact, there is a whole set of prizes for both partners…
…providing they can complete the wacky obstacle course, a la NXT season one.
Things are going swimmingly for the team until Monsoon captures Bobby’s partner and ends up tossing Heenan over his shoulder like it’s the Royal Rumble…
…with The Brain face-planting in another mud-like substance for a memorable Super-Slop-O-Mania moment.
Marc Summers calls Gorilla’s interference a “foul,” which somehow awards the two kids on opposing teams matching grand prizes while screwing Heenan out of his share of the prizes (and, no doubt, the winner’s share of the purse money). That’s a miscarriage of justice if I ever saw one!
Summers himself ends up in the brown goop, which, given his real-life Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and fixation on neatness, no doubt eats away at his fragile psyche. He does, however, bring himself to feign excitement for the upcoming Super-Slop-O-Mania II.
Rumors that the show would be held at three separate venues with Elvira and Susan St. James on commentary proved false. It would, however, feature Mr. Perfect vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan, each with their respective partners. Let’s take a look at Super-Slop-O-Mania II: Sloppy Seconds.
Perfect shows up not in his usual singlet, but a Speedo, which, along with the towel in his hand, brings back bad memories of the Wrestlerock Rumble video.
And the show is rated TV-Y!
Hosting the show again is Marc Summers, whose real name is Marc Berkowitz. Any guesses as to why he changed it?
Perfect’s team wins the opening physical challenge, which appears to be some sort of Carmen Miranda lookalike contest.
What a pineapple-head!
In the trivia portion, The Hacksaws blow it when they answer “Detroit” as the U.S. state where Wrestlemania III was held. Michigan is the state, not Detroit. Did Duggan forget where he was when he saved B. Brian Blair from certain violation by the Iron Sheik?
The Perfects score by successfully naming the WWF Superstars of Wrestling ice cream bars, but the real story is that they are manufactured by a company called Gold Bond. And here I thought they just made foot powder.
Mr. Perfect is going to slime the world, because he is none other than “The Slimemaster”! His team loses the physical challenge, though, when he fails to fall on his face while breaking through the studio wall.
On the Hacksaws’ physical challenge, Jim gets a giant bong placed on his head.
Later, the maxi-pad-shaped mud pit from last episode’s obstacle course makes another appearance. Funny, in the commercials it’s always filled with a blue liquid.
Hacksaw puts on a blindfold and searches the mud(-like substance) for Hulk Hogan figures. If the doll is of anyone other than the Hulkster, it is to be immediately discarded. Shockingly, the name “Terry Bollea” appears nowhere in the production credits.
Mr. Perfect’s team wins, with the kid getting all the money this time.
However, Marc makes up some excuse about Mr. Perfect stalling for time, so he promises Hacksaw’s teammate the same prizes that the Perfects will win in the obstacle course.
Perfect and the kid fail to complete the obstacle course, but in the end, we’re all losers, as no Super-Slop-O-Mania III is announced.
Have no fear, though, because the coming decades would provide many more opportunities for the superstars to make complete asses of themselves on game shows.
And it doesn’t need to be an October holiday for us to give thanks for that!