TBS’ new game show The Misery Index, inspired by the card game Sh*t Happens, is predicated on the idea that everyone is messed up and life is horrible but it could be worse, participants told TV critics at TCA.
The show features The Tenderloins comedy troupe, stars of TBS sibling truTV’s Impractical Jokers: Brian “Q” Quinn, James “Murr” Murray, Joe Gatto and Sal Vulcano, who will be featured as recurring panelists.
The game show features two teams, each of which includes one contestant and two Tenderloins. Teams will compete against each other by attempting to rate real-life misery situations on a scale of 1-100, based on the “Misery Index” ranking system created by a team of therapists.
Jameela Jamil, who is hosting, said it’s a good way to learn “who’s a sociopath.” Sounding dangerously just-a-paycheck-y, she said she had not met any of The Tenderloins until the first day of shooting.
TV critics seemed not to notice; they were most focused on learning more of the misery stories that would be featured in the first batch of episodes. That after seeing a clip featuring a faceoff between the kid who got left alone in the woods after eating a Pop Tart without permission and the kid who finally got weaned off breastfeeding — at age 9.
The Tenderloins and Jamil were happy to oblige:
There’s the woman who suffers explosive diarrhea every time she has an orgasm. “Raise your hand if that happens to you,” Jamil told TV critics.
Then there was the person who goes digging round in a guy’s nose and pulls out a two-inch leech that still is alive.
Sounds bad, we admit, but that one got totally out-Misery Indexed by the guy who, while plunging his clogged toilet, encountered a python coming up the pipe.
How about the guy delivering someone’s eulogy while holding a dove he intended to set loose when he stopped talking, only he accidentally killed the bird in process.
The producers made sure no human ever gets seriously hurt, or dies, in the incidents turned into comedy fodder for the show, critics were assured.
That said, there is a guy who had to have a leg amputated and – you know it’s coming – the doctor removed the wrong leg. But, there is a happy ending: the patient eventually got the sick leg removed.
But Jamil’s favorite is the woman who found out her husband was unfaithful, so she chopped off his penis. A doctor re-attached it, so she snuck into the hospital and lopped it off again — this time tossing it out the window, where it was picked up and carried off by a raccoon.
“We’re trying to sell a show here and we just told a story about a racoon stealing a man’s penis,” wailed one of The Tenderloins.