Mike Adamle (1989–1996)
|John Harlan 1989–1991|
Van Earl Wright 2008
|Trans World International/Four Point Entertainment (1989–1996)|
FLOR-JON Films/Reveille Productions/Room 403 Productions (2008)
|The Samuel Goldwyn Company (1989–1996)|
MGM Television (2008)
American Gladiators was a competition television program that matched a cast of amateur athletes against each other, as well as against the show's own "gladiators", in contests of strength and agility.
Bob McElwee (1990)
Larry Thompson (1990–1996)
Al Kaplon (2008)
The American GladiatorsEdit
- Blaze – Sha-ri Pendleton (1990–1992) (once rumored to be dead, only to be confused with former contestant Cheryl Wilson, a heptathlete from LSU who competed in season four)
- Dallas – Shannon Hall (second half of season five) (returned with Zap to compete in alumni show in the final season)
- Diamond – Erika Andersch (1990–1993) (also competed in BOTH the Orlando and Lafayette Live Shows. She temporarily appeared as "Lightning" in the British Version of "Gladiators," but another woman with the same name didn't appreciate this, so she switched back to "Diamond")
- Elektra – Salina Bartunek (1992–1994) (competed part time after breaking her nose in 1993 Grand Championship, plus she can speak eight different languages and was the translator for the deaf Gladiator Siren.)
- Gold – Tonya Knight (1990–1992)
- Ice – Lori Fetrick (1990–1992, 1993–1996) (a rough and tough Gladiator with a warm heart; her biggest feud was against Denise Chase, who defeated Ice TWICE in the same event: The Joust)
- Jade – T.C. Corrin (1989) (competed in final episode of first half of season one as injury replacement for Sunny, never seen afterwards, due to an injury to herself) (A NEW Jade appeared in the Orlando Show, but she was quickly kicked off the show due to her extremely aggressive attitude)
- Jazz – Victoria Gay (1993–1996)
- Lace (1) – Marisa Pare (1989–1992)
- Lace (2) – Natalie Lennox (1992–1993 season) (competed in just two episodes) (In late 1992, Lennox reappeared in the British Version "Gladiators" as "Star")
- Siren (1) – Shelley Beattie (1992–1996) [the only deaf Gladiator (she attempted suicide and died in 2008 prior to the revival from hanging herself)]
- Sky – Shirley Eson-Korito (1992–19960 (the tallest female gladiator at 6'3") (Sky is also a chocoholic and possesses a very sweet attitude. Most fans, Gladiators and contenders loved Sky for that very reason)
- Storm – Debbie Clark (1991–1993) (started as an injury replacement for Gold) (Storm was powerful, but extremely aggressive. Especially in season four)
- Sunny – Cheryl Baldringer (1989) (left after being injured in semifinal round during Breakthrough and Conquer) (Sunny was "The All-American Woman" and the biggest of the three female Gladiators (Zap, Lace and Sunny). A rumor is flying around that Sunny is currently dating former Gladiator Malibu, but nothing is known for sure.)
Zap – Raye Hollitt (1989–1990, 1991–1995)
- Atlas – Philip Poteat (1992–1993 season)
- Bronco – Robert Bruce Campbell (1989) (competed in one episode as an injury replacement for Malibu, was never seen again.)
- Cyclone – Barry Turner (1992–1993 season) (competed in preliminary rounds but suffered with an injured arm and didn't return.)
- Gemini – Michael Horton (1989–1992)
- Havoc – Matt Williams (1992–1993 season) (part time Gladiator)
- Hawk – Lee Reherman (1993–1996)
- Laser – Jim Starr (1990–1996) (only Gladiator to appear on all seven seasons of the show.)
- Malibu – Deron McBee (1989)
- Nitro – Danny Lee Clark (1989–1992, 1994–1995) (returned as co-host during final season in its first run, coordinating producer of the 2008 revival.
- Rebel – Mark Tucker (1993–1994)
- Sabre – Lynn "Red" Williams (1992–1996)
- Tank – Ed Radcliffe (competed in three episodes of season five as an injury replacement for Laser.)
- Thunder – Billy Smith (1990–1992)
- Titan (1) – David Nelson (1990)
- Tower – Steve Henneberry (1991–1994) (started as an injury replacement for Turbo.)
- Turbo – Galen Tomlinson (1990–1996)
- Viper – Scott Berlinger (1992–1993) (debuted at 1992 Grand Championship.)
- Crush – Gina Carano
- Fury – Jamie Reed (Season 1) (Related to Gladiator Toa)
- Hellga – Robin Coleman
- Jet – Monica Carlson (Season 2) (Season 1 Champ)
- Panther – Corinne van Ryck de Groot (Season 2)
- Phoenix – Jennifer Widerstrom (Season 2)
- Siren (2) – Valerie Waugaman
- Stealth – Tanji Johnson (Season 1)
- Steel – Erin Toughill (Season 2)
- Venom – Beth Horn
- Beast – Matt Morgan (Season 2)
- Hurricane – Breaux Greer (Season 2)
- Justice – Jesse Justice Smith, Jr.
- Militia – Alex Castro
- Mayhem – Romeo Williams (Season 1)
- Rocket – Evan Dollard (Season 2) (Season 1 Champ)
- Titan (2) – Mike O'Hearn (was once a warrior on Battle Dome)
- Toa – Tanoai Reed (Related to Gladiator Fury)
- Wolf – Don "Hollywood" Yates
- Zen – Xin Wuku
Four amateur athletes (two men & two women) face off in a series of events against not only each other, but also the force of the American Gladiators. There were two match-ups per show, one for the men & one for the women so there would always be a man & woman champion.
- Assault (entire run) – The contenders had to fire a series of five weapons to hit a target at one end of the playing field. A Gladiator used a cannon to shoot tennis balls at 100 miles per hour at the contenders. The weapons used by the contenders were a Rocket Launcher, a Cannon, a Pistol, Grenades, a Crossbow, a Push-Gun, and softballs. The weapons changed from season to season with the weapons being used in an exact order. Hitting the inner rim above the Gladiator earned the contender 100 points, 60 points (later 75 points) for hitting the outer rim, and 30 points, if the 4th weapon was fired and if the contender remained at the final station until time ran out. During the second half of the first season, hitting the target was now worth only seven points, hitting the bulls-eye was only worth ten points, and four points for crossing the finish line.
- From the third season to the rest of the run, hitting the target period was now worth ten points. If s/he was unable to hit the target, s/he received one point for each weapon fired, and one bonus point for crossing the finish line within 60 seconds.
- In the original, should the contender hit the target, the gladiator was blasted with a smoke screen effect. But in the 2008 revival, should the contender hit the target, the gladiator was blasted and dunked into the pool.
- Breakthrough & Conquer (entire run) – In the Breakthrough part, a contender had to carry a football 15 yards to an end zone against one Gladiator. In the Conquer part, a contender had to wrestle a different Gladiator out of the ring within ten seconds (15 seconds in the fourth season). Each successful part was worth 30 points (later 40 points) and winning the whole event was worth 100 points.
- During the second half of the first season to the rest of the run, three to five points were for each successful part of the event.
- Joust (entire run) – A Contender and a Gladiator competed in a pugil stick battle, each trying to knock his/her opponent off a wooden bridge. 30 points was awarded for competing in the event, five points was awarded for every five seconds (up to 75 points), the contender stayed on the bridge, and a win was worth 100 points. In the second half of the season on, the bridge was replaced with podiums.
- Powerball (entire run) – Contenders compete against three gladiators. The contenders grabbed a colored ball from a bin and had to deposit it into one of five scoring cylinders on the floor within 45 seconds. If a Gladiator tackled or knock a contender out of bounds, the contender had to get another ball and try again. Contenders received 15 points for each score. During the second half of the first season, contenders received one point for outside cylinder goals and two points for center cylinder goals.
- From the second season to the rest of the run, contenders received one, two or three points for outside cylinder and three, four or five points for center (depending on the round number).
- Human Cannonball (1989–1990, 1992–1993) – Contenders stood on a raised platform and a Gladiator stood on a lower platform. Contenders had to swing on a rope to knock the Gladiator off the pedestal. A contender had to knock down three Gladiators (later two Gladiators). Each successful swing was worth 30 points (three points in the second half of season one) with ten bonus points (one bonus point in the second half of Season 1) for three successful swings. In the second season, each contender only got two chances and each successful swing was worth five points. This event returned for the fourth season before it was axed for good due to safety reasons.
- Atlasphere (1990–1994) – Contenders were in large metal cage-like spheres, rolling them towards scoring pods, but the Gladiators had their own spheres to keep the contenders from scoring. The contenders had to score as much points in 60 seconds. Scoring pods were worth 1-3 points.
- Hang Tough (1990–1996) – A contender stood on a raised platform and a gladiator stood on another. The contender had 60 seconds to swing to the gladiator's platform through a 55 foot field without being pulled off by the gladiator. Contenders received ten points for swinging to the Gladiator's platform, five points for a draw, or seven points if a contender was in the red ring area for draw (this was eliminated after the second season).
- The Wall (1990–1996) – The Contenders had two minutes (later 60 seconds) to climb up the top of the wall. The men were given a ten-second head start and the women were given a 15-second head start. The first contender to make it to the top received ten points and the second contender to make to the top received five points. During the first two seasons of this event, each contender received five points if they failed to reach the top. In the third season, all head starts were ten seconds. In the fifth season, head starts were dropped.
- The Maze (1991–1993) – The Contenders had 45 seconds to run through the maze trying to find the exit with four Gladiators preventing them from finding it. There were actually two ways out of the maze and it didn't matter if both contenders came out of the same one or not. The first contender to find the exit received ten points and the second contender to find it received five points.
- Swingshot (1991–1996) – The Contenders competed against three Gladiators (later two Gladiators) and had 60 seconds to grab as many colored balls hanging in the air connected to bungee cords. They leaped off designated platforms, grabbed colored balls and put them in their baskets. When time ran out, only the colored balls that were in the baskets counted. Red balls were worth five points (later three points), Blue balls were worth three points (later two points), and Yellow balls were worth one point.
- Sky Track (1992–1995) – Contenders were suspended by a harness and would race upside-down on a track from the ceiling of the arena. The first contender to reach to the finish line received ten points and the second contender to do it received five points.
- Super Powerball (1992–1993) – Same as regular Powerball, but with only three cylinders. The outer cylinders were worth three points and the center cylinder was worth five points.
- Gauntlet (1993–1996) – Contenders had 25 seconds (later 20 seconds) to run through a chute and past five Gladiators (later four Gladiators) with pads to try to stop the contenders' progress. Passing all the Gladiators was worth five points, but if s/he passed all the Gladiators with more than five seconds left, s/he received ten points.
- Pyramid (1993–1996) – The Contenders had 45 seconds to climb up a 42 foot pyramid of red and blue mats to reach the top and press a button to receive points. Two Gladiators were at the top to keep them from reaching it. The first contender to reach the top received ten points and the second contender to reach the top received five points.
- Tug-O-War (1993–1996) – A contender and a gladiator each stood on a platform and pulling a rope. The contender had 30 seconds to pull the gladiator off of his/her platform for ten points or five points for more than 30 seconds.
- Whiplash (1994–1996) – A contender and a gladiator each grasped at one-half of a double-triangle shaped item called "The Bone" and had 30 seconds to pull the bone out of his/her opponent's grasp. If the contender pulled the bone out of the gladiator's grasp, s/he received ten points or five points for a draw.
- Snapback (1994–1996) – The Contenders and two Gladiators were attached by a bungee cord and had 45 seconds to grab as many colored markers as s/he could and deposit them in a bin. S/he received three points for each blue marker and two points for each red marker. Later in the run, blue markers were only two points and red markers were only worth one point.
- Earthquake – A contender and a gladiator stood on a suspended ring held by three wires and over the pool (crash mat in the 1st season). The contender had 30 seconds to take the gladiator off the ring (even if they get taken off) earning ten points in the process. Five points were awarded if both the gladiator and the contender stayed on when time was up.
- Hit & Run – One contender faced four Gladiators, two on each side of the bridge, and had to traverse (cross) the bridge as many times as possible during the next 60 seconds. Two points were awarded each time that feat was accomplished. The gladiators tried to knock the contender off the bridge by swinging their demolition balls at him/her. The game would end when either the time limit expired or when the contender was knocked off the bridge.
- Rocketball – Both contenders faced two gladiators (one gladiator per contender). They all started at the corner of the playing field marked by four posts with a button on top of them. Near each Contender's button was a bucket filled with balls of their color. The buckets and balls were the same ones used in Powerball. In the center of the arena, 20 feet off the ground, was a pole with two baskets attached, Red on top, Yellow on the bottom. The event itself was played similar to Swingshot. The contenders had 60 seconds to place their respective colored balls into their baskets above the arena floor. Contenders were launched into the air towards the scoring buckets by pressing the button at their posts.
- Sideswipe – The contender had 60 seconds to work his/her way across five platforms twelve feet above the water and throwing balls at targets located on the ends. The contender had 60 seconds to play and he/she scored one point for each ball in the target. It wasn't easy because three gladiators positioned at platforms in front of the wall swung across on ropes in an attempt to knock the contender off the platform(s).
- Tilt – This was based on the event Tug-O-War from the original version, only here the contender & gladiator each stood at tilting platforms and they were standing over water. The contender had 30 seconds to pull the gladiator off his/her platform for ten points or five points for more than 30 seconds.
- Vertigo – A contender and Gladiator raced across separate courses of tall swaying poles spread across the arena floor with a hoop at the end. The first participant to reach the end and grab the hoop won; the contender received ten points for the completed work.
The competition always ended with "The Eliminator", an obstacle course that decided the winner.
As time went on, the Gladiators had a minor role in operating the course, up to the point where the Gladiators were removed from the course altogether.
Originally, The Eliminator was played to time (originally 60 seconds for all contestants, later 75 seconds for the women & 90 seconds for the men) and every second leftover awarded points (originally 5, later 2) for contenders who finished the course. Falls, damages or violations incurs penalties. The contender with the most points won the competition, which meant that the trailing player would have to win by a certain amount of time to win. Ties were broken by the fastest time. But after the second season, The Eliminator was simply made a race to the finish; the player in the lead was given a 1/2 second head start times the difference between his/her score and opponent's score. Naturally, the first player to cross the finish line won the competition.
List of Eliminator ObstaclesEdit
|1||Weighted Ball Push||Balance Beam||Commando Lines||Swing for Life||Cone Slalom||Wall of Gladiators Finish|
|2||Treadmill||Hand Bike||Balance Beam||Cargo Net||Zipline||Two Hurdles|
|3||Treadmill||Hand Bike||Spinning Cylinder||Cargo Net||Zipline||Eight-foot wall||Medicine Ball Gauntlet/Second Eight-foot Wall||Corridor Sprint||Final Hurdle to Finish Line|
|4||Treadmill||Hand Bike||Spinning Cylinder||Cargo Net||Zipline||Plexiglass Wall||Blocking Dummy Gauntlet||Final Hurdle and Race through Finish|
|5-6||Versaclimber||Slide||Hand Bike||Treadmill||Rope Swing Finish|
|1||Eight-foot wall||Swim under Fiery Surface (20 Feet)||Cargo Net||Barrel Roll||Hand Bike||Balance Beam||Pyramid||Zipline||Travelator (The Treadmill)||Steps||Finish Blocks|
|2||Swim under Fiery Surface (40 feet)||Cargo Net||Rope Swing||Tightropes||Hand Bike||Ball Pit||Inclined Spinning Cylinder||Zipline||Teeter Totter||Rope Swing Finish|
Each of the first four seasons featured two half-season tournaments every year with each tournament winner competing in the Grand Championship. During the first two seasons, each half-season featured five preliminary matches and the winners from each match along with the three highest scorering runners-up from each gender competing in the quarterfinals. Each winning quarter-finalist advanced into the semifinals and each winning semifinalist advanced into the finals match with each semifinal runner-up taking home $2,500. Each winning finalist won $10,000 and competed in the Grand Championship at the end of the season, with each runner-up finalist taking home $5,000.
During Seasons 3–4, each half-season consisted of six preliminary matches. The quarterfinals consisted of three matches and each gender's three winning quarter-finalists and highest-scoring runner-up advanced to the semifinals.
In Season 5, each half-season featured four preliminary matches and each gender's eight competitors were seeded based on their performance before the single-elimination tournament began.
Each of the first five Grand Championships awarded $15,000 to each gender's Grand Champion and $10,000 to each runner-up. In addition during the first four seasons, each Grand Champion also won a car (a Chevrolet automobile of the contender's choice for Seasons 1–2, a Chevrolet Blazer during Season 3 and a Suzuki Sidekick in Season 4). Each of the first four Grand Championships also awarded a Club Med vacation to each runner-up. The fifth annual Grand Championship only awarded cash.
Seasons 6–7 each featured a season-long tournament which awarded $2,500 to each preliminary winner. The four top scorers at the end of each season competed in the semifinals for an additional $10,000 and a berth in the Grand Championship. Each Grand Champion from the sixth season won $15,000 and each Grand Champion from season seven won $10,000 and the right to compete in International Gladiators 2.
In the first season of the 2008 revival, each of the six preliminary matches featured four events being played prior to the Eliminator. In each semifinal as well as the finals match, five events and the Eliminator would be played. The four fastest winners from each gender competed in the semifinals.
In Season 2, six events would be played, except for the first two shows, each of which featured two events before the Eliminator. Twenty of each gender competed in the quarterfinals and the six fastest Eliminator winners in each gender competed in the semifinals with the two fastest winners from the three semifinals competing in the Grand Championship.
Each Grand Champion won $100,000 and a Toyota Sequoia. The first Grand Champions also participated as American Gladiators during the second season.
In 2014, some news reports said that a reboot of the show was in the works with Arthur Smith of A. Smith & Co. Productions.According to Smith, he says that "It's a little darker, more intense and more serious." he also mentions that "It's a little less red, white & blue. And there's no spandex." claiming that "Spandex has left the building". The reboot would also incorporate elements that were inspired by the popular film franchise The Hunger Games along with mixed martial arts saying that "Times have changed" as "It's more post apocalyptic, but it's the same spirit". Development for the reboot was made for the past several months and was shopped to broadcast and cable networks in the coming weeks. However, the planned reboot has backfired since then.
Online, on Tour and Into AnimationEdit
Since 2008, MGM franchised American Gladiators as a Broadband Website, a Tour and as a potential cartoon.
On January 28, the studio will launch a broadband website that will pay homage to the original series, americangladiators.com where the site will feature clips of the original series which have all been re-digitalized as clips will reintroduce original Gladiators and give fans an update on where they are today. Feature segments will also include "Best Hits" and stunts performed on the vintage show.
On the heels of the website launch, MGM, Reveille and Flor-Jon, Films Inc. will unveil a special American Gladiators U.S. cross-country tour.
MGM along with Johnny Ferraro, owner of Flor-Jon, Films Inc. have put into development a cartoon series based on the franchise but has never aired on television since then.
In 2009, Johnny Ferraro creator of American Gladiators once wanted to bring a live-action version of the show as a film based on it. Former Legendary Pictures chief marketing officer Scott Mednick was producing the film where the goal was to create an action story that takes place inside the world Ferraro created. In addition, the series was originally conceived as a film. But has never be made.
Debbie "Storm" ClarkEdit
In 2011, news reports said that one of the female gladiators from the original series named Debbie Clark ("Storm") made only $1,500 a day. since that time, she and her 10-year-old son Crayton have been homeless in San Diego for more than two years after fleeing from a domestic violence situation in South Carolina. Clark was also in pain from knee injuries as she has to deal with her son's food allergies and ADHD. However, in the same year, comedienne, talk show hostess and former host of The Newlywed Game, Sherri Shepherd helped get back on her feet by promising to pay six months' of rent, gas and electrical costs.
Alex "Militia" CastroEdit
In 2007, according to The New York Postone of the "Gladiators" from the short-lived 2008 NBC version named Alex Castro ("Militia") claimed that he was a "gay porn star" as various naked pictures along with a film of Castro have turned up on gay porn sites and were first reported last week by the Internet Gossiper himself named Perez Hilton.
Dan Carr and John Ferraro
Gladiators 2000 - a children's spinoff of American Gladiators
This show also aired dubbed in the Spanish language on Telemundo as Gladiadores Americanos. The only major difference was the change of the title logo, though the main logo on the stage remained unchanged.
In Popular CultureEdit
In the 1991 comedy film Livin' Large!, a brief promo for the show can be seen and heard in the studio TV of News 4 prior to Dexter Jackson's (played by Terrence "T.C." Carson) first on-the-air broadcast job.
In the sitcom Family Matters, a September 18, 1992 episode called "Surely You Joust", Steve Urkel (played by Jaleel White) & Carl Winslow (played by Reginald Vel Johnson) competed in a episode of American Gladiators.
In a December 1992 issue of MAD magazine, American Gladiators was spoofed as American Radiators.
In the 1993 parody film Hot Shots! Part Deux both Ramada Thompson and Michelle Rodham Huddleston (played by Valeria Golino and Brenda Bakke respectively) competed in challenges from American Gladiators some of them were for example: The Eliminator and Joust.
A June 23, 1993 episode of Beavis and Butt-Head called "Babes R Us" both Beavis & Butt-Head are watching American Gladiators at the their house.
A 1994 episode of Taz-Mania called "The Not So Gladiators", both Taz and Jean watch an episode of Grub Gladiators and then compete on the show.
In the sitcom Ellen, a March 1, 1995 episode somewhat appropriately titled "Gladiators" the titular character Ellen Morgan (played by Ellen DeGeneres) was a contender for the show. While preparing for the show, she fell in love with Dan "Nitro" Clark, (one of the "Gladiators") but love turn to hate when female gladiator Lori "Ice" Fetrick tried to mess it up. So when Ellen learned that she'll face Ice in "Joust", that's what gave her the opportunity to "cream" Ice for butting in. Nitro tried to forgive Ellen, but he got whacked by her with the "pugil stick" too. Ellen was later disqualified, but she got an American Gladiators hat as a souvenir.
A 1996 episode of Animaniacs spoofs the show as Amazing Gladiators.
In the 2002 Looney Tunes video game Taz: Wanted, a boss battle against Daffy Duck plays out very similarly to the Atlasphere game.
in 2005, American Gladiators was mentioned and shown as part of a 1992 episode on VH1's I Love the 90s: Part Deux.
In the 2008 spoof film flop Disaster Movie, the short-lived NBC version was briefly spoofed where in the year 10,001 B.C., a caveman named Will (played by Matt Lanter) runs away from a predator through a plain and immediately gets into a fight with Wolf (played by Ike Barinholtz of MAD TV fame) and defeating him.
In a February 1, 2009 episode of Robot Chicken called "But Not in That Way" the short-lived 2008 NBC revival was briefly spoofed as American Gladiators: Crossing the Boarder where the gladiators are heading to Mexico.
In a April 26, 2009 episode of Sonny With a Chance called "Sonny and the Studio Brat" one of the posters called "Tween Gladiators" was a spoof of the short-lived 2008 NBC revival.
ADDITIONAL NOTE: There was also a spoof of the poster for Deal or No Deal called Meal or no Meal.
A 2011 episode of Tosh.0 called "Foul Ball Couple", the couple named Bo "the Bailer" Wyble and his Ex Sara Saco-Vertiz competed on American Gladiators during their web redemption.
In the 2012 comedy-drama film Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, a brief clip of American Gladiators can be seen on TV.
The 2014 episode of Workaholics called "Friendship Anniversary", American Gladiators was briefly spoofed as a backyard game called American Gladia-Ders.
- ↑ Exclusive: Revived American Gladiators To Get Modern Makeover
- ↑ MGM Takes 'American Gladiators' Online, on Tour and Into Animation
- ↑ American Gladiators: The Movie is Coming - Not a Joke
- ↑ Former American Gladiator Is Now Homeless
- ↑ 'View' Host Offers Help To Homeless Ex-'American Gladiator'
- ↑ THE BARE FACTS
- ↑ American Flatulators (1996)
- Official Site
- Official Website of the short-lived 2008 revival (courtesy of "Internet Archive")
- Josh Rebich's American Gladiators Rule Sheet