Before They Were Stars: Stephen Merchant as a Game Show Contestant

I was doing a Community-themed “Before They Were Stars” this week, but I had to take a brief hiatus from it because it’s Stephen Merchant’s birthday today and I need to showcase this footage of him from 1997 when he appeared as a contestant on a popular British game show called Blockbusters. Ironically, the British version of Blockbusters was based on an American game show of the same name that ran for only a couple of seasons in the early eighties, but the British version had a much longer shelf life and is still airing to this day after almost thirty years. Anyway, Merchant’s winnings here include a grand total of 15 pounds and an official Blockbusters fountain pen and it’s amusing to hear the host say to him at the end: “I know you’re a writer and I wish you luck in your film career and all those artistic things”. Here’s the same clip featuring an hilarious running commentary from Merchant from his radio show where he talks about the experience of being on Blockbusters and he also has a phone conversation with one of his opponents on the show.

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