At first sight, the Owl Cove seemed rather dark and desolate on Tuesday night.
The 25 or so people who had arrived sat quietly with nothing more than whispers and murmurs shared between them. Then Sean Carlin, host and comedian, grabbed the microphone.
As he announced the beginning of the game, the room sprung to life as nearly everyone in attendance bum-rushed the sign-up list to be picked as a contestant. The “Money Tree Game Show” was back at Temple.
First appearing at Temple last May at the Bell Tower, the Campus Program Board brought the show back for an encore presentation.
The game show that has toured major college campuses – Ohio State, Penn. State, and University of Massachusetts – and smaller community colleges, is a parody of other famous game shows.
The Money Tree Game Show is broken down into 3 rounds : “The Price is Rice,” “Leopardy,” and “Mowing for Dollars,” a parody of Comedy Central’s Bowling for Dollars.
For each round, four contestants were picked through a random selection process based upon a number designated to each contestant.
Each contestant who won a round stayed to compete in the following round.
Before each round began, Carlin started the money-hungry crowd off with teasers, such as finding a quarter with all odd numbers in the minted year, or to say the capital of Pennsylvania in the voice of any celebrity.
The contestant who won the latter did so by nobly attempting to mimic Bill Cosby as she shakingly uttered “Harrisburg.”
After appealing to the greedy nature of the crowd, the first round began. “The Price is Rice” consisted of three games that eliminated four contestants down to one.
The contestants had to first remove uncooked rice from one container into another by only using chopsticks.
Then, in a game called “Communist Architect,” the contestants had to build the tallest structure using Lincoln Logs.
The final game, in true “Price is Right” fashion, had the last two contestants match the prices of three major brands of rice.
The second round, “Leopardy,” consisted of races with cat themes.
The first game sought to see who could push a ball of yarn a certain distance with their nose the fastest.
The second race consisted of carrying five pieces of simulated cat feces (tootsie rolls in kitty litter) to a designated area by only using a small spatula.
The second round concluded with “Final Leopardy,” which asked the contestants to name one of the actresses who played Cat Woman.
The third round, “Mowing for Dollars,” had the contestants running around with an assortment of plastic toy gardening tools.
The final game led the contestants in a race with a miniature lawn mower around an obstacle course of cones, backwards.
The three rounds narrowed 10 contestants down to three.
As the grand pay-off finale, each of the three finalists had 20 seconds to grab as many $5 bills off a rotating plastic Christmas tree.
Touring colleges across the Midwest and Eastern Seaboard, the Money Tree Game Show provides a relaxing environment to let loose, have fun, and win some cash.
Carlin and his childhood friend Eric Washington, the production assistant, hit the road three to five times a week in search of college students willing to put their dignity in the backseat in the quest for cash.
Obaid Siddiqu can be reached at Osiddiqu@temple.edu