Internet Points Out That LeBron’s New Game Show ‘The Wall’ Is A Big Ripoff Of ‘Plinko’

Internet Points Out That LeBron’s New Game Show ‘The Wall’ Is A Big Ripoff Of ‘Plinko’
  • Rick Chandler

Some have said that if it wasn’t for basketball, LeBron James would be the world’s tallest Uber driver. There’s no real way to know if that’s true, but one thing’s for certain — he wouldn’t be foisting game shows on the public.

Bronny, through the production company that he co-owns, SpringHill Entertainment, in conjunction with Warner Bros. and NBC, is proud to present The Wall — a game show that makes its official debut tonight, although the soft launch debut episode aired two weeks ago.

I watched that episode. Here are my impressions.

Um, Did No One Discuss The Political Implications Here?

Trump has been touting his stupid wall since he announced his candidacy — presumably way before LeBron thought up this show. When you alienate a large hunk of your potential audience, among them most of the Hispanic population, you’re courting failure in a huge way. BONUS: In many markets, The Wall follows Celebrity Apprentice.

It’s A Ripoff Of Pachinko

Well, “ripoff” is a strong word I guess. Pachinko was invented in Japan around 1930, and is the Far East equivalent to slot machines. It’s pretty fun, as mindless entertainment goes. But I wouldn’t call it appointment television — even if you add glowing balls and trivia questions.

Another Game Show Has Already Done This

LeBron, who claims that he thought up the game, says Pachinko was his inspiration. But it also helps that a Pachinko knock-off, Plinko, has been tried on another game show, The Price Is Right. LeBron never mentioned that.

The Problem With Chris Hardwick

Your host of The Wall is the elfin Chris Hardwick, who built his reputation as a comedy writer, podcast host and captain of another game show, Comedy Central’s @Midnight. The latter exhibits all of his best traits: he’s irreverent, quick, funny, and profane in a suburban, we’re-all-playing-Dungeons-And-Dragons-later sort of way.

But in The Wall we get the Comcast-Xfinity Chris Hardwick, who just got married and will do anything for cash. You know, the Chris Hardwick who acts blown away by every episode of The Walking Dead, even the ones that suck. Watching Hardwick act excited about The Wall is achingly painful, because you know in his mind he’s filtering out a thousand ways to mock it. It’s like observing a sea otter forced to wear a tuxedo and eat with silverware.

He’s also kind of thin-skinned:

Is It Rigged?

The first episode, which aired Dec. 22, just happened to feature an Akron-area couple who won $1.3 million. LeBron himself delivered the money to their home. That’s great publicity for a nascent game show … a little too great.

Jeopardy It Ain’t

These questions, though …


Remember 1 Vs. 100? The large, grand game show hosted by Bob Saget? The Wall will join it in the Great Beyond very soon.