Synopsis by Hal Erickson
In this wide-ranging spoof of reality shows, all of the contestants were professional actors -- except one. Chosen during a nationwide audition, Matthew Kennedy Gould was told that he was going to appear on a reality show titled "Lap of Luxury," in which he would live a sumptuous lifestyle with several other contestants, who would be "eliminated" from the 500,000-dollar-grand-prize sweepstakes at a rate of one person per show. What Gould didn't know was that his fellow players were all following a pre-determined scenario, all knew the outcome of the contest, and none was exactly whom he or she pretended to be. The phonies, all drawn from the reality-TV cliché factory, included The Hutch (David Hornsby), the resident hygiene-challenged jerk; Earl (Franklin Dennis Jones), the grizzled Special-Ops veteran; Kip (Lance Krall), the obligatory gay guy with a heart of gold; Ashleigh (Melissa Yvonne Lewis), the standard-issue "rich bitch"; Dr. Pat (Kristen Wiig), the advice-spouting counselor; Molly (Angela Dobson), the house virgin; Gina (Nikki Davis), the all-around backstabber; and Brian (Brian Keith Etheridge), everybody's best pal. Even the series' host, Ralph Garman, was putting on an act, pretending to be a preening egomaniac more concerned with advancing his career than going about his assigned duties. As the faux contestants were faced with challenges that were blatantly swiped from other series like Survivor and Fear Factor, the question was not whether poor, oblivious Matthew Kennedy Gould would make it to the final episode, but rather, how long it would be before he caught on to the charade. Created for the Spike TV cable service by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, The Joe Schmo Show first aired September 2, 2003.
actor, charade, competition, contest, mansion, reality-television, trick