The Spanish Inquisition was a jovial TV quiz show between 1950-1955. One of the first successful television shows, contestants had to answer a series of questions in order to win $12.34 in cash. Oftentimes a man dressed in a bear costume would run out and tickle contestants randomly. It was canceled in October 1955 when an audience member opened fire, coincidentally assassinating JFK.
Each show opened with three contestants climbing a wall while cream pies were thrown at them. The two to not sustain brain damage continued to the next round.
The host would then enter on a hang glider, yelling obscenities in Spanish. He would then deliver 14 rapid-fire questions which either contestant could answer. The contestant to answer the most answers correct would be shot with a crossbow. If he survived, he would then move on to a round in which a panel of celebrities would try to fool the contestant into believing that they were that guy from Hootie and the Blowfish. Since this round went exactly the same way each time, the contestant always won the money.
Despite its lack of excitement the show was the highest-rated of all three shows on the air.
The show went through a plethora of hosts. In chronological order:
- Ricky Ricardo
- Ricki Lake
- George Lopez
- Pope Sixtus IV
- Chuck Woolery
- Pablo Martinez Sanchez Berroa
- Chuck Woolery (again)
Several remakes of the show have hit airwaves, with none of them successful. "Family Spanish Inquisition" with Louie Anderson garnered the most lawsuits of any show of all time, and "Spanish Inquisition EXTREME" with Joe Rogan was deemed "the worst show of all time" when it was on UPN, which prompted FOX to immediately order 21 shows.
- The Spanish Inquisition show was replaced on the network by Star Wars. Nobody expected it.