Top 3 Game Show Formats to Make Republican Presidential Debates more Interesting


The first Republican presidential debate was an explosive juggernaut of political mishmash. And we loved it. The program nabbed 24 million viewers, not including dogs and cats.

But that’s not to say the next one couldn’t be better.

The folks in charge could boost ratings and add excitement by implementing a game-show format. Here are my top three to make the next GOP debate a night to remember.

Wheel of Conservatism

Do Americans want their next president to be determined by the spin of a giant wheel? You bet your life!

Candidates could win a spot in the Republican primary by solving a hangman-style word puzzle. Categories would include GOP favorites such as:

• Obamacare Rhyme Time
• Wage Inequality Thing
• Ronald Reagan Film Title

Debaters who guess correct letters would advance in the standing while simultaneously adding money to their super PAC.

But it’s not all mirth and merriment, as spots on the wheel would include pressing questions on Planned Parenthood, immigration, and birth certificate authenticity.

Landing on “Bankrupt” would require candidates to map out a plan to save Social Security.

Of course the audience may expect a letter-turner and wouldn’t be disappointed. Sarah Palin would reveal the vowels and consonants, after which she’d relate a fun fact about Alaska.

Tell me you wouldn’t watch.

Who Wants to Be the President?

Forget about being a millionaire, these candidates long to rule the free world.

And what better way to narrow the field than a series of multiple-choice questions.

Start out easy. Get more difficult. And be sure to add an “all of the above” and “none of the above” just to make participants sweat.

Of course they’d have lifelines.

Debaters uncertain of an answer could “Phone-a-Friend.” The call, lasting no more than 30 seconds, could deliver an insightful solution to a complex problem. Or veer off into a booze-fueled rant.

Either way the studio audience would win, as each member would receive a $25 Sprint gift card.

A “50:50” lifeline would offer further assistance by eliminating all but two acceptable answers. The candidates would have to choose wisely or watch Twitter light up with unflattering memes of them wearing a dunce cap while riding an elephant.

As a last resort, debaters could “Ask-The-Audience,” a risky venture, as some in the gallery could already be bored and searching “Fantastic Four” showtimes on Moviefone .

The GOP Squares

The most entertaining debate could be a Tic-Tac-Toe variety. Celebrity Republicans would sit in vertically stacked cubes and field debate questions. The candidates would then either agree or disagree to complete a silly “xxx/ooo” pattern.

My all-star celebrity panel would include:

• Chuck Norris (supported Huckabee in 2008)
• Rob Schneider (avid Rick Perry fan)
• LL Cool J (McCain advocate in 2004)
• Susan Lucci (Went years without winning Emmy)
• Gene Simmons (KISS guy)
• Clint Eastwood (Gunslinger who talks to empty chairs)

To get the crowd laughing, the celebrity would reel off “Hee Haw” inspired quips before giving a legitimate answer.

The whole thing could lead to a mumble-jumble debate where opinions fly scattered in the wind and policy remains nothing more than wishful thinking.

And if that’s the case, we’d be no worse than where we started.

Stay tuned.

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