Joe Schmo Show – #99 (Counting Down 100 Top Hoaxes)

99. The Joe Schmo Show

Have you ever had one of those days where you feel like you’re the only onejoe schmo show who’s not in the joke?

Spike TV took that idea and ran with it. They created a reality show called Lap of Luxury, in the vein of Big Brother and Survivor, where all of the contestants, as well as the host, were actors. That is, all but one contestant, and the joke was on him. The show was actually called The Joe Schmo Show, and the competitions and eliminations were rigged so that Matt Gould, the Schmo, would win the $100,000 prize. Shortly after he was told that he won the show, the hoax was revealed.

His line upon discovering the show was a hoax was priceless: click here.

From the Pittsburgh Post Gazette:

“We searched all over America to find the warmest, kindest, most genuine man we could,” said host Ralph Garman.

Gould, the butt of this extended practical joke, never ceased to be the genuine, slightly goofy, considerate guy he was throughout the show’s run. He even apologized to the people who’d deceived him: “It’s so amazing. I feel bad if I did anything wrong.”

As he was preparing to run a gantlet of interviews today, Gould said he had no regrets about signing onto the show.

He still has difficulty expressing the mix of emotins he felt when it was revealed that he was the star.

“I was so utterly shocked and surprised and very happy at the same time,” Gould said. “But yet, I was still kind of mad, like, what’s going on? … It was overwhelming and confusing and touching and emotional to realize that although everybody thought you’re the schmo, they saw something in me…. Not that I needed a reality show to validate me by any means, but a compliment of that nature is always welcome in my world.”

Gould was interviewed by Garman in last night’s finale. The interview was taped in August, two months after production on “Joe Schmo” concluded and before Gould saw any of the episodes. In that interview, he expressed some hesitancy about building friendships with the co-stars who deceived him.

“It’s not that I had hard feelings, it’s just that it’s a tough pill to swallow,” Gould said yesterday. “You live under the guise of this world I was in, and these actors, while some of them were doing their best during the day to make me hate them, were crying at night about the fact they loved me.

“So when the show is over and I’m blown away and I learn she’s not Ashley, she’s [an actress named] Melissa, that’s a totally different girl. I don’t know Melissa. … And it’s weird, because I might not like the real people once I get to know them. We might not jibe. I think it will be interesting to see. They’re definitely great people.”

And for anyone who thinks Gould should have figured out what was going on, he says few people would have guessed.

“If they wanted me to stand up and say, ‘This whole show is fake and these are actors,’ few people in the country could do that. If you’re saying, ‘How did you not know something was up?’ well, I thought I was on the weirdest reality show in history of mankind. I thought, this show is going to be a flop. You have naked women, but there’s nothing going on. … I had all the pieces to the puzzle, I just didn’t have the picture on the back. You just chalk everything up to the oddities of reality television.”


See a list of the hoaxes counted down so far after the jump.

100.  Bridezilla Freaks Out About Her Hairdo
99. The Joe Schmo Show

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