OPINION: Remember the sonic and visual assault of Fun House?
Vats of neon green or purple gunge, fog horns, go-karts, balloons, cheerleading twins and an earworm theme tune. Fun House was anything but, writes JOANNE SAVAGE
If you are of a certain vintage surely you remember that godawful, massively irritating show Fun House (‘a whole lotta fun, prizes to be won!’) with a fresh-faced Pat Sharp at the helm and cheerleaders Melanie and Martina in their satin ra-ra skirts waving pompoms in the air as that terrible theme tune blasted and gullible children lined up to be dunked in gunge of all kinds of colours, or made their way through various assault courses that would possibly best the Marines if they had to deal with that much gunk in their eyes mid-challenge, and then rammed go-karts around unexpected chicanes as fog horns blasted or passed balloons deftly behind their backs and stupid prizes like rulers and Fun House bomber jackets (remember those quilted horrors of the 80s and 90s that more usually pictured Charlene and Jason from Neighbours?) were doled out to excited cheers (the Power Prize was something else though, and even once entailed a trip to Niagra Falls, although having been there I do find Canada possibly as irredeemably dull as this best forgotten children’s TV flop that yet improbably used to smash Saturday night ratings).
Thankfully children seem to have reclaimed their sanity and would certainly demur at such basic high jinx these days, probably because they are now all watching aggressive rappers or influencers flaunting anorexic frames in bikinis on TikTok. Children screamed like mad amid the rainbow of colours, and the whole set was a massively overblown collision of nets and circuits and vats of neon green or purple gunge, and God knows what was in it, probably chemically altered custard high on E numbers to keep the children high-energy, hyperactive and hysterically compliant amid the hectic imbroglio. My brother used to watch this stupidity with mouth agog while imbibing copious amounts of Mountain Dew and Cidonia while we munched Chewits and Skittles, while I looked on with a face like thunder incredulous that such inanity passed for entertainment rather than sonic and visual assault (obviously I preferred Newsnight). Fun House? Oh, it was about as much fun as Tom and Jerry. Stupid, tiresome, high-decibel nonsense. You couldn’t have paid me to complete the Fun House crazy circuit as a child.