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The Scenario

Deep inside the corporate headquarters of the Fox Network...

"We're getting clobbered in the ratings!"

"I know, I know. People just aren't interested in our reality shows anymore. Thank you very much, Osama bin Spotlight-hog!"

"We could give up on these reality shows, and air some classic sitcoms. We just bought the rights to 'Family Ties', 'The Cosby Show', and 'Growing Pains'..."

"We're not that desperate. The 80's are over. We need to offer the audience something really sleazy."

"Who Wants to Marry a Fox Network Program Director?"

"Sleazier than that. Let's try another... 'Temptation Island'. Only this time, the competing couples should actually be married! Yeah! Nothing like destroying a few marriages to reel in those viewers."

"Yeah! In fact, why not find some really devoted couples. Couples who have children. People who embody family togetherness. Then, we'll separate them, and stick 'em on an island full of hot models who want to date them."

"Great idea... and the husband and wife team who can stay faithful will win! It will be a smash hit! But where are we going to find couples that the audience already *knows* are devoted to each other?"

An idea hits both executives at the same time, and their eyes meet.

"You book the models, I'll call central casting..."

A week later filming begins. Three couples on a remote Caribbean island, surrounded by dozens of gorgeous male and female models. A new date every night of the week. Only one couple will make it off the island still married.

So guys, which devoted duo will ditch their dates and maintain matrimony?

Steven Keaton and Elyse Keaton, Family Ties Cliff Huxtable and Clair Huxtable, The Cosby Show Jason Seaver and Maggie Seaver, Growing Pains

The Keatons vs. The Huxtables vs. The Seavers

The Commentary

DAVE: Hey, hey, hey! The Huxtables win this one easily. What's the number one reason married couples (who might otherwise be tempted) stay together? Survey says... For the sake of the children! The Keatons and the Seavers, by last count, had 4 kids each. For Cliff and Claire, this is child's play, so to speak. How many kids are running around the Huxtable Homestead at any given time? Sixteen? Seventeen? Also note that as the Seaver/Keaton children age, they move on with their lives. When a Huxtable child hits puberty, he or she is somehow replaced with a younger, cuter child. This is known as the Rudy Effect™ (Those of you interested in the Rudy Effect should also study the Huxtable Multiple Grandpa Theory). Because the Huxtables can never be free of family obligations, they won't give in to temptation.

Also, I doubt that anyone else on Temptation Island will even be interested in Cliff and Claire. Elyse Keaton comes across as a wild hippie chick whose carefree days may not be behind her. Maggie Seaver, as a TV reporter, is a minor celebrity. I think they will draw more attention than a stern, strong-willed lawyer who will probably end up suing the producers of the show. As for Cliff, well, I imagine his weird sound effects and incessant camera-mugging is rather off-putting to women.

Better face it, boys: The Huxtables were THE model of family togetherness for the 80's. The Seavers are probably just itching for a divorce, each side praying that the other will get custody of Kirk Cameron. I'm sure the Keatons are sick of each other. At the beginning of each episode, they even complain "I bet we've been together for a million years". What a drag. But after all is said and done, the other families will be wrenched apart, while the only problem the Huxtables will have is figuring out who ate all the Jell-O Pudding-Pops™.

BRENDAN: With the manipulative abilities inherent to a good psychiatrist and the shameless gossiping inherent to a sleazy reporter, there is no way the Seavers could lose this match, even if faced with sterner opponents than the Huxtables and the Keatons.

The Huxtables are right out. Cliff and Claire are from a different world: a world of jazz and long pointless anecdotes; a world where racial bigotry never appears and a senior partner at a major New York law firm can still spend all day at home with her family. They aren't ready for the world of Temptation Island and the culture shock will guarantee a quick loss. Claire will jump the first man not wearing some sort of godawful sweater who isn't Wally Shawn. And as soon as he's free from the power of the dreaded Rashad stare (I would be afraid to cheat on that women too, her stare could freeze the Nile), Cliff will realize he's a middle aged doctor and that if he's ever going to have that mid-life crisis it needs to be now.

The Keatons go next. Being former hippies, specifically former hippies who once lived in the People's Republic of Berkeley, they will be used to moral degeneracy and thus won't succumb to the culture shock that brings down the Huxtables. However, being former hippies they have their own special weakness: the fear that they sold out, that they've become part of the establishment. Like all former Hippies, Elyse and Steven will want to prove that they are still "with it" and "groovy." Which means they can't be bound by uptight square's bourgeois morality ideas like monogamy; the sixties demand free love. Little do they realize that the "Man" has turned their beautiful expression of universal love into greater profits for Rupert Murdock.

As for the Seavers, Jason is an experienced psychiatrist, Maggie a television reporter/candidate for Congress. Therefore they are used to filth and indecency and won't be affected by the Gomorrah like atmosphere of the island. And as far as Dr. Seaver is concerned, no woman can ever match the beauty of his own hair. You'll notice that he lived for years with a hot little nanny in his home and never even looked at her. (And its not like she would have been hard to get either, the girl's standards were so low she ended up hooking up with Kirk Cameron.) As long as Jason has a mirror and a comb, he'll be fine. And Maggie's certainly not going to risk her political career with some orgy related scandal. She's been on far too many Lifetime movies to think that the old boys network would ever let her get away with the things they get away with. Jason's self-infatuation and Maggie's ambition guarantee them the win, and if that doesn't sum up the 80s, I don't know what does.

PAUL: Yes, the Keatons were Flower Children, immersed in the culture of Free Love, "mind-expanding" drugs and tie-dye fashions. (Now that I think about it, I think that just might explain why anyone thought the 70s was a good idea.) And contrary to these beliefs, they settled down, found respectable jobs and had a family reminiscent of the 50s. Then in the 80s, while much of the hippie generation had become overly materialistic, trading in their "old balls and chains" for younger models with better buns, the Keatons look forward to another "million years" of togetherness. Clearly, these are people who refuse to follow the crowd. Put them on Temptation Island where dental floss is a legitimate outfit and they'll refuse to be tempted. Instead of snuggling with the models, they'll be their weird selves. Elyse will be giving advice on organic sun-tan lotion to protect their bronzed skin from the ill effects of the thinning ozone layer while Steven is recounting his public TV documentary on Bikini Island. Given that the average Temptation Island inhabitant has no attention span for anything that doesn't involve doing Tequila shots from someone else's navel, it'll take about 10 seconds before the models flee leaving the Keatons thoroughly untempted.

Then there is the matter of the Keaton children who would no doubt ruin any efforts to break-up their family. Alex, the ultimate capitalist, and his sidekick Andy will do anything (and I mean anything - the Archconservative once pretended to be a feminist to get a date) to secure that prize money. Mallory will do just about anything for a date and will be drawing the men away from her Mom, not to mention hoarding the island cosmetics, reducing the tempting power of the females. As for Jennifer, I predict that any threat of a divorce will bring about a tearful outburst accompanied by a Very Special Episode (tm), bringing the family together stronger than ever. Either that or she'll be collecting other contestants' heads in the freezer. Considering child star Tina Yothers' career, you just know it's coming.

Plus the Keatons went to Woodstock. Considering that Temptation Island is television on bad acid, there is no one better qualified to deal with it.

The Results

The Huxtables (1669 - 63.1%)


The Keatons (533 - 20.2%)


The Seavers (442 - 16.7%)

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Voter Comments


"Think of the children!"

Alright. Let's look at the eldest male children (much as they did in Biblical times) of each couple then and now to discern who would be more likely to win.

THE SEAVER FAMILY: Mike Seaver (Kirk Cameron)
THEN: An early Zach Morris. Coolest kid in school, thumbed his nose at authority, but never got into any real trouble. His best friends were a guy named "Boner" (played by Ensign Chekov's son) and a "before-he-was-a-star" Leo DiCaprio (which is either a pro or a con, depending upon your gender).
NOW: Known as "Candace Cameron's big brother". Is also known for his failures in Hollywood, such as the short-lived series "Kirk," Disney's remake of "The Comupter Wore Tennis Shoes," and "Left Behind: The Movie".

THE HUXTABLE FAMILY: Theo Huxtable (Malcolm-Jamal Warner)
THEN: A straight-laced kid. He minded his parents (unless the plot called for the occasnal disobedience) and never really got a chance to be a rebel. He also wore sweaters that resembled his father's a bit too often...
NOW: Having tried to break free from the "straight-laced" image of Theo, M-J starred for an unprecedented four years on his UPN sitcom "Malcolm and Eddie," which he shared with "comedian" Eddie Griffin. He's also found himself filling in a box on "Hollywood Squares" and will soon see himself back on the small screen playing opposite Luke Perry in "Jeremiah," the new post-apocalyptic TV series.

THE KEATON FAMILY: Alex Keaton (Michael J. Fox)
THEN: A capitalist for the Gen-Xers to aspire to. With Reagan on one side of his bed and Nixon on the other, he was a budding entreprenuer with many prospects and a little bit of business saavy to go along with it. If it said "profit," he was all over it.
NOW: Career highlights include a time-traveler, a werewolf, the President's speech writer, a doctor, a child actor grown up, a mouse, a dog, a scientist, a TV reporter, a psychic investigator, the deputy mayor of New York City... the list goes on and on. The entrepreneur spirit of Alex Keaton lives on...

Now, for the sake of their children (the ones who will carry on the family name, that is), it is quite obvious that the Keatons have the most reason to stay together. If the Keatons split, then Alex's ambitions will be squelched and he will never make the money to make his parents proud.

So, not only do the Keatons win the "Temptation Island" kiddy, but all the cash from Alex's success lets them retire to a sunny tropical island of their own...

- Mr. Potato Head

Silver Grudgie ROTW Silver Medal GrudgieTM

No one wins - as it turns out, all three couples were never legally married. According to the six o’clock news, the priest that married them was actually a con artist PRETENDING to be a priest. I’m afraid the executives will have to wait for the obligatory “I don’t know you because you’re not my husband” scenario, the “I’m going to live the bachelor life again” scenario, the “I miss my spouse and I’d do anything to get him/her back” scenario, and finally, the “the news accidentally misread the name of the con artist so we were married the whole time” scenario.

By this time, “Temptation Island” will have given up on these couples and moved onto Ward and June Cleaver. Unfortunately, the worst marriage pressure that could possibly happen to them is forgetting to pick up Beaver from school. Predictably, ratings suffer. FOX will have to rely on old “Simpsons” reruns to recover - it shouldn’t take more than six months or so...

- Charge Man

Bronze Grudgie ROTW Bronze Medal GrudgieTM

Of the sitcom couples selected for the Temptation Island Grudge Match, all of the participants are Baby Boomers except for Bill Cosby. Therefore, Bill Cosby is the only competitor with any real advantage. I submit to you the following observations:

On the Beatles:

  • Baby Boomers screamed at The Beatles.
  • The Beatles -- all pre-Baby Boom.
On Counterculture:
  • WWII ex-GI's became the bikers and beat poets that invented counterculture.
  • Baby Boom Hippies took credit for counterculture and became the whiney, protesting, commercial demographic that keeps Sounds of the Sixties in business.
On Sex:
  • Baby Boomers took credit for revolutionizing sex.
  • Pre-Boomers sired the Goddamn Baby Boom.
On Television:
  • The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson -- 30 years.
  • The Chevy Chase Show -- two weeks.
On Tolkien:
  • Baby Boomers turned Tolkien into kid-friendly cartoons.
  • Ian McKellan reclaimed Gandalf -- folk songs no longer required to enjoy Tolkien.
Not only will Claire stick with Cliff, but Elyse and Maggie will be hard pressed not to join them in Brooklyn.

- Mike Leung

Romance among middle-aged folk and young models? No contest: CBS buys this from FOX in half a minute.

- Zoelef

This happened in 1998 with the Clintons. Try to keep up with current affairs.

- Rainwoman

THE KEATONS: Elyse and Steven have both been tempted by co- workers, and they resisted (though the woman who went after Steven was played by Judith Light from Who's the Boss, which isn't much of a temptation). Besides, they'll never be on camera long enough to experience any serious temptation: Is this the first season of Family Ties, when the show was about the parents? If not, then most of the time will be taken up by the Wacky Arch-Capitalistic Adventures of Alex, with Steven and Elyse being around only to deliver a couple of lame '60s references and a hug at the end. And if Alex wants the prize money, he has an ace in the hole: UBU (tm), the most ferocious production-company logo since the MTM Kitten. Don't be fooled by Ubu's frisbee-catching pose: That guy who told him to "sit" was found in a dozen pieces soon afterwards. Any model who gets within smooching distance of Alex's parents will find his or her tanned, silicon-filled body parts scattered all over the island. Good dog.

HUXTABLES: If we are to assume that the kids will be on the island as well, then the Huxtables are safely out of harm's way. One point in their favour is that Cosby Show episodes have no plot (that was, in fact the rule Cosby set down for his writers: "No plot, and no conflict," he said. That's entertainment!), so something as plot-heavy as adulterous temptation couldn't enter into their "This week: Another goldfish dies" world. Then there's the Theo Factor (tm). Think of how much psychological abuse Theo has taken from his parents over the years. Most episodes of The Cosby Show went like this: Theo wants something, or does something sort of dumb, and his father then talks at him for half the episode, telling him not only that he can't have what he wants, but making fun of him, rolling his eyes at him, treating him like an idiot. With Theo on an island of hot, blow-dried models, Cliff and Clair are going to spend all their time lecturing him when he wants an extra $2.50 to take a bikini babe out for a soda pop, laughing at him when he tries and fails to score, and generally emasculating him some more -- leaving them with no time for temptation. Finally, there's the Sondra Factor (tm). When the show started, the Huxtables had four children. They specifically said that they had only four children. Then a couple of years later, we learned that they had a fifth child, Sondra, who was coming home from college. There is only one explanation: Sondra is a "Key" (tm), like Dawn on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and any other continuity-interrupting kid. With supernatural forces intervening in their family, how can the Huxtables possibly fear being broken up?

SEAVERS: The Keatons and Huxtables come from a powerhouse NBC Thursday lineup (one that also included "Night Court" and "Cheers"), while the Seavers come from ABC, home of cheap-ass family crap. So nobody's going to be trying very hard to nail the Seavers anyway; they're the lower-class peasants in this company. Also, Alan Thicke wrote the theme songs for Diff'rent Strokes and The Facts of Life. When the female models find this out, none of them will want to be in the same room with him, much less have sex with him. And Maggie, well, if she could put up with this simian subhuman all those years without a) Cheating or b) Shooting him, then she must have a will of iron. Either that or she's a female eunuch. Anyway, she won't cheat. Finally, remember that this is a couple that willingly gave aid and shelter to Leonardo DiCaprio. They deserve each other and their ugly, ugly children.

So there you have it. All three couples remain faithful. Nothing happens. Who wins? All three of them. Who loses? The Fox network. Temptation Island's ratings sink under the weight of all this monogamy. The show is cancelled. And there is much rejoicing!

- Captain Corcoran

If there was enough money at stake, Alex Keaton might find some way to rig it, probably by poisening his parents so that they're too sick to cheat.

- aleks

The Huxtables all the way
On the male side; The guy's an obstratition, he has looked unto the dark abyss of feminity continously. All cliff is thinking of is a vacation from looking at any part of the female anatomy. Add in that he's married to a high level lawyer and the guy wont be looking at anybody else (Can you say massive cash settlement)
On the female side; She's a lawyer, having sold her soul already she's immune to temptation
Final point; the huxtables are both grandparents. that means that temptation and them should not be mentioned in the same sentance.

- D.Merzel

From the few reruns of the Cosby show I have seen, I would guess that Mrs. Huxtable would happily castrate her husband with a fishing knife if he even LOOKED at another woman.

Mr. Huxtable: "I was jus gonna go over to say 'Hullo' to Mrs. Seaver, she seemed kinda lonely and-AAAUUUGGGHHHH!!"
Mrs. Huxtable: "All right Honey, why don't you take your bloody, severed testicles over as a housewarming gift?"

The Huxtables have this one, easy. While the Seavers and Keatons are swingin and shakin, the Huxtables will be miserably entrenched in wedded nonbliss.

- sPeciAL eD

Last match, and several before, I have attempted to earn the coveted "Response of the Week" award through long hours of difficult research, only to find out in five minutes after I write my insanely long commentary that my research turned up a completely false lead (ex. Last match I mistakenly assumed Vincent shot himself and neglected to mention that John McClane = Butch, coolest Pulp character).

Well no MORE!

I hereby and forthwith withdraw any attempt at getting a Grudgie. HAHAHA! And therefore, I shall saddle you with a completely random selection...let's see...

In my analysis, black persons have approximately a 2 to 1 chance of winning a Grudge Match when it comes down to "White people vs black people". This was determined by painstakingly counting out the number of successful matches, which included such victories as Refridgerator Perry vs. Madden, Vader vs. Kenobi (yeah, try and tell me Vader ain't black. Anakin's white, but Vader's a black mutha-@#$%a), and of course, Mr T. vs. Mr. Clean. Upsets were usually fated by the universe and necessary to prevent holes from collapsing the space-time continuum, such as Whoopi Goldberg's loss or the Oprah twins' defeat by the Elvii. And, obviously, Urkel's dismemberment by Tattoo. Seeing as I cannot determine a reason in the universe that the Huxtables MUST lose, they win.

Heh heh heh. No one's gonna get a logical, thought-out answer out of ME again. Maybe I'll go switch my major to Philosophy.

...Wait a minute...did that all just require research? DAMNIT ALL TO HELL! [walks away to a corner, sobbing and convulsing] I can't do it. I CAN'T DO IT!

- Kannyn

rather than decide who is the clear winner on this one, i decided to go insane. the Cosby Show? Growing Pains? that Other one? those shows are so bad! even being reminded that i watched such tings as sent me into a frenzy the likes of which Parkinsons-ridden Michael J. Fox hasn't even seen! and how did they get away with calling that kid Boner anyway? i mean Alan Thick, master of evil, even called him that! Didn't anyone know what that meant? I mean come on! I'm still trying to get over that one sitcom with Sandy Duncan in it! and Full House! and My Two Dads! It's all flooding back to me in one horrid orgy of blood and screams and terror! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

- the mysterious "jimmy"

Where's the "Everybody participates in a massive orgy and is the happier for it" button?

- G da P.

You guys forgot a major X-Factor in this match. Do you wonder why you don't see Kirk Cameron much these days? It's because he's a born-again Christian, and refuses to do any projects that don't show good Christian values. His most prominent work since Growing Pains was the godawful (pardon the pun) straight-to-video Christian stinker "Left Behind".

Think about that. Kirk Cameron gave up his career and every shred of self-respect he could possibly have for God. I'd say that the Almighty owes him a pretty big favor, and Kirk will cash it in here.

Basically, what will happen is that the Seavers will be delayed by mysterious circumstances while the other two couples, and the models, go to the island. Once they are there, God will hit the whole island with a heaping helping of divine wrath, killing them all and sinking Temptation Island™ into the ocean, not only making the Seavers the winners by default (since they're the only ones left), but instantly earning thousands of new converts by saving the American public from yet another crappy "reality" show.

- (ir)Reverend HeartBurn Kid

The prospect of Michael Gross or Alan Thicke filmed with their shirts off ... yeeech ... uh oh ... MUST RID MIND OF MENTAL IMAGE!

- El Lobo Loco y Tonto

Hmm... let's think here, Bill Cosby is a genius when it comes to the funny. But if the models heads explode after spending an entire week listening him talk about Puddin' Pops (TM) and Kodak Film(TM), the Huxtables will be a lock. And if that doesn't work, just remember the new Cosby show, that one on CBS (TM) without the kids. (If you don't remember, be glad, be very, very glad)

- Tom the Enchanter

Careful analysis of this contest will reveal that under Temtation Island Conditions(TM), NONE of the afore mentioned couples can be broken up. Let us take a look at the field:

Huxtables: This one should be obvious, as this couple is as unbreakable as Bruce Willis:
Clair Huxtable: SHE'S A FRICKIN' LAWYER PEOPLE!!!! If Dr. Cliff did anything at all that even LOOKED like infidelity, Clair would drop a lawsuit on his ass so hard he'd be begging them to bring back The New Coke(TM) just so he'd get more ad time to pay for the crushing tidal wave of legal fees and final settlements he'd be forced to pay if he even so much as LOOKED at another woman. Everyone remembers The Huxtable family motto: Dad is Mom's Bitch, and don't you forget it! Besides that, Cliff's a doctor, an OBGYN to be exact, and in NYC no less. The man is no stranger to VD and other nasty things that creep in the cootchies of young skanks that will do anything for a buck. This is Temptation Island, populated by only the skankiest of skanks who will do anything for a buck. Cliff knows better and will probably open a sucessfull Free Clinic on the island, treating these young skanks with penicilan and a hearty dose of common sense on the side.

The Seavers: No way folks, and here's why:
Maggie Seaver is what? A journalist and writer. Yeah, Jason can make his move, but if he scores, Maggie will write a tell all exposing him for years of psychological abuse that resulted in severe learning disabilities in their eldest son, an eating disorder in their eldest daughter, gerneral oddity in their youngest son, and a cute factor that borders on Satanic(TM) in their youngest daughter. It'd wreck his life and carreer as a practicing psychiatrist. Being a psychiatrist, Jason would be desperate to find out why all these young hootchies would exploit their sexuality for the sake of someone elses entertainment, and would probably become the chief counsiler at the newly formed Huxtable & Seaver Free Clinic (TM).

The Keatons: Here's where the final pins fall and Ruppert Murdoch is brought to his knees faster than you can say " Monica Lewinsky(TM) ". Who are the Keatons? They're activists, maybe not as much as they used to, but never ones to back down when they truly believe in something, in this case, the sacred bonds of marriage. Elise would take one look around her at the shameless pimping of the youth of America for the entertainment and the depreaved concept of breaking up a marriage for the same sake and grab a megaphone faster than you can say " Action Jackson (TM) ". Soon, with help from the biggest, meanest mouth on the planet, Clair Huxtable, Elsie will have rallied all participants in this twisted excuse for enertainment to her cause and will take over the island, in affect, shutting down the show. Steven Keaton will then take over production and re-channel the satalite feeds to broadcast live on PBS, his employer as you recall, with the help of ace reporter Maggie Malone-Seaver conducting indepth interviews from the Huxtable & Seaver Clinic(TM), revealing to the world the TRUE FACE(TM) of the sludge Mr. Murdoch is peddling to the world.

Within weeks, a public out cry calls for investigations, celebrities from across the country are taking up the cause of the Huxtable & Seaver Clinic(TM), raising millions of dollars in funding, Clair Huxtable has filed several class action lawsuits against Fox Networks (TM), and even the most depraved corperate magnates are reviling Fox Networks(TM) refusing to do buisness with " those types of people ". Somewhere, the highly evolved amongst us shed a silent tear of joy.

- Ronin

Family Ties vs. Growing Pains? Sound like wrestling maneuvers. I vote the Huxtables.

- Boba Foot

Fact #1: The average model of Temptation Island has an IQ of a gnat's digestive tract.
Fact #2: Anyone with the aforementioned IQ will have difficulty saying big words.
Fact #3: Seaver and Keaton both have two syllables each. Huxtable has three. Thus, the equally minute attention span of the models will have no choice but to be drawn to the names that are easier to say. Huxtables win by default.

- Ilsoap

Mark: Well Clarie, you and Cliff have resisted temptation and are the only married coulpe left.
Claire: Well it was hard but now all I want to do is see my husband.
Mark: Well here he is.
Cliff: I have missed you so much, just like I've missed this Jello pudden pop. Cuss jello is the most abibin and aboopin and a zippin and azoppin...
(Claire jumps off the island cliff)
Mark: I've never seen that before.
Cliff: Thats Kodak moment there.
Ending: Cliff and Claire win but Claire kills self when she realizes that she gave up 10 models for a walking ad campain.

- Mr. A of New Lothrop

Reality TV meets Happy Unreality TV; who will keep their Moral Fiber? When the line is blurred between real and unreal only one family will keep it in their pants: The is why.

Unreal: The Huxtables; Real: Bill Cosby. Cosby has cheated on "Real" wife Camile, and will be jello *TM* wrestling Svetlanna and Buffy, the models in the time it takes to make the stuff... after all there's always room for jello-wrestling!

Unreal: The Seavers; Real: Alan "Bring-em Young" Thicke. This dude went from Family Sitcom to Host of The New Threes a'Crowd, where Husbands pretty much admit to screwing their secretaries on Camera in-front of their wives...WHO DON'T CARE! He has also been on Son of the Beach and Married with Children. Before you can remember Kirk Cameron's name, Mr. Seaver is getting his "Growing Pain" serviced by two "barely 18's" while Joanna Kerns, (Maggie) video tapes.

Unreal: The Keatons; Real: Meredith "Lifetime" Baxter. Yes on the show they were activists and 60's hip, cool, and luded up; but this is "Reality". Michael Gross has been in 1, 2, 3 Tremors movies, no babe would touch him even if he wanted to throw fidelity out the window. Then we have Meredith Baxter, star of endless Made-for-Lifetime (the male castration network) movies about the agonies of Breast Cancer and how Men Suck. So unless some of those models are Lesbians: The Keatons will win!

- Hayt the Gholaman

After several days of mistaken identities, confusion, overheard conversations and other bad plot devices which keep anything from happening the entire island paradise is incinerated in thermonuclear fire.

A spokesman for the French goverment was reported to say, "Weeel, nu- one was liking them anyways, and we moost teest ouur boombs."

- dworkin

It will be an non-issue. All of the female models will kill themselves when they realize they have to choose between Mike Gross, Alan Thicke, and Bill Cosby.

- Oxymoron ("Mike's gross, Alan's thick, and Bill is... Bill Cosby")

The stare, it's all in the stare. Felicia Rishad's icy gaze could melt diamond. All she'll have to do is train her steely gaze on the models and Playboy centerfold-wannabees, and they'll immediately move away from her and her her husband. The Huxtables win it.

- Matt L., "Nem"

The Huxtables can't win this. You have no idea how erotic Jello is.

- Infraggable Krunk

Mr. and Mrs. Keaton managed to slip a plea to the outside world of their true condition via the "Family Ties" first-season theme. Their song officially runs, "What would we do, baby, without us?", but until I researched this scenario I grew up believing the lyrics were, "What will we do, baby, with our lust?" And it's not just me, either; the producers caught this trick and ordered a second rendition for later seasons (when it just sounded like "with our love"). But, listen for yourself. What, indeed.

My interpretation is further supported by the reason the show went off the air: the actors who played Steven and Elyse disliked how their characters were being handled. A specific gripe that came out in an interview with Meredith Baxter was that the writers didn't provide them with any friends. Even Skippy was given comrades, but Mr. and Mrs. Keaton remain isolated. And they can't turn to one another, either, as each blames the other for raising Alex to be a Reagonomicist. This is a lonely couple, so lonely that they feel the need to reach out to others on the lowest level, thus they'll be easy pickings for the "Temptation Island" bimbos.

Cliff Huxtable would be a little harder, but not by much. More than any of the other five characters he is based upon his actor, and Bill Cosby apparently is the illegitimate father of Autumn Jackson. Getting intimate with Bill inevitably makes one the butt of a comic monologue, making most people keep their distance, but Temptation Island is populated with show-biz wannabes so craving for publicity that they'll sign on to be swimsuit-wearing, adulturing, quasi-prostitutes on network TV. (For you ivory-tower academician readers more familiar with university life than Hollywood, this is the rough equivalent of a grad. student writing in to WWWF in hopes of "getting published.") Even if Clair is not a fan of "How Stella Got Her Groove Back," Cliff is bound to fall.

As for the Seavers, one commentator made a cheap-shot at Kirk Cameron, but remember that he was a teen heart-throb for years. Yet, with all that charm and attractiveness carrying over, did trouble-loving Mike ever succomb into any situtations worse than PG? Well, yes, there was one exception. During a Very Special Episode he and his chums stumbled upon a drug party, but when a hot sexpot tried to lure him into the bathroom to snort cocaine, Mike Just Said No and fled (even leaving his companions). Where do you think he learned such morals, maturity, and willpower? Not from Nancy Reagan's simplistic slogans. Nor from his hapless peers, especially ones who went by apt nicknames like "Boner." Nay, the apple does not fall far from the tree. Mike's parents raised him up right, and the teachers are greater than the student. Maggie will resist the most ardent advances, with hysterics if necessary, and those wishing to seduce Jason will have to content themselves with mere fantasies while watching re-runs of "Animal Crack-ups."

- Matt Bricker ("Sit, Ubu, sit. Good dog." "Ruff!")

This match is too even when considering the entire concept of Temptation Island. Temptation Island is about homewrecking $2 hos infiltrating in a good relationship. It's about wild, outrageous sexual positions that even the Kama Sutra doesn't list. It's about testing the forgiveness of spouses after seeing tapes of "dates" that would make porno movies look G-rated. I doubt that these couples know more than two sexual positions. This contest will be decided by one factor and one factor only... THE MAN!(TM) Rupert and his henchmen have done everything possible to let the Seavers win outside of slipping Mickeys in the other couples' drinks. It is THE MAN's (TM) job to keep "brothas" and "sistas" down. THE MAN(TM) knew that the 60s hippies that gave him trouble would be in his control. THE MAN(TM) is already in control of the reality shows. The Huxtables are already outgunned. Remember the black couple on the first Temptation Island? They were booted after Fox found out that they were married. Boot Camp? The "sista" quit after three days and the "brotha" was "mercifully" discharged. As for the hippies, they are on their own. Alex will not be there to save them, and THE MAN (TM) will want to exact that payment on the trouble the hippies caused. The Seavers win thanks in part to THE MAN(TM)!

- Wolf Fang Fist

The only reason any young, hardbodied, aspiring TV celebrity would try to hit on a gentleman of Cosby's age and reputation is to extort a 100 million dollar paternity suit - and he's already proven that juries laugh at those.

- Lee Bridges

The Seavers and Keatons both had the same bizarre occurrence: a newborn infant leapfrogs to six years old over one summer. What in the vile noxious hell happened during this summer? Say what you will about the Huxtables’ regular delivery of precocious six-year olds, at least those kids were five the year before. How did these two kids age so quickly?

There’s one answer. Somewhere in suburbia, with nexus points in Ohio and Long Island, is a temporal anomaly. Babies crawl inadvertently into shiny glowing portals, and pop out instantly as first graders. Energy cannot be created or destroyed: this accelerated youth growth has a negative effect in the town of Springfield, where babies have the tendency to stay babies for a dozen years at a time. Related nexus points keep honors students in high school for five years (Head of the Class), the Korean War going for eleven years (M*A*S*H), and stunts the physical growth of other children (Webster, Diff'rent Strokes). The anomaly also occasionally spits out doppelgangers (Bewitched).

Who created this anomaly? Q, of course. It’s yet another test of human worthiness in the Crayola 64-pack of the universe. If sitcoms can face the challenge of successfully ignoring five years of their children’s life at a clip, they can successfully ignore any more realistic problems, such as being thrown onto an island and having paint-clad models lure them into infidelity.

This would indicate that the Seavers and Keatons are both set to win this Grudge Match, since their kids' inherent freakshow nature was never once mentioned. But the Huxtables will undoubtedly win. Why? Either way the Q test goes, the existence of this anomaly links both Growing Pains and Family Ties into the Star Trek universe. And, as outlined in the Treaty of Ghent, Star Trek must lose.

- Kilgore Trout

Sigh. Much as I hate to admit it the Huxtables have this one in the bag for one simple reason. T.L.A.R.C.
Total Lack of Anything Resembling a Clue.
They lived in a world where all the hard problems didn't exist. Racism, Hatred, Poverty, Greed, Violence, Sex, Work. None of this existed for them. Their children never turned into adults. Nothing in thier house ever broke down or got set on fire (let's face it everyone of us has set something on fire at some point in our youth). They never talked about anything outside of thier house like current events or even a single death. Come to think of it they never left their house all that much either, which makes me wonder how they made any money at all since no one ever went to work. They lived in a cozey pipe-dream of thier own making! With this in mind they wont notice temptation when it rubs its well oiled limbs against them and that is if they bother to leave thier rooms.

Now if you want to have fun take the losers in a special follow up and put them on the Jerry Springer show and let us vote on who will survive the resulting fist fight!

- Spamboy(I'm Pink Therefore I'm Spam)

Let's take a look at the husbands:

CLIFF HUXTABLE: Bill Cosby is an adulterer, but he doesn't play one on TV. Being a medical professional, Cliff has seen many photos of what the more exotic social diseases would do to his, um..."pudding pop." Besides, hell hath no fury like a female lawyer scorned.
JASON SEAVER: Also medically trained, also wants to preserve his pudding pop.
STEVEN KEATON: Imagine for a moment that you have fathered the children that this man has. Would you scatter your seed around with nubile, possibly fertile twenty-somethings or stick with your wife who has by now left her child-bearing years behind? Elects to do the planet a favor and keeps it zipped.

Come to think of it, that last reason fits the other two men as well. I'd let you know how things turned out with the wives, but halfway through the show I got bored and switched over to

- Mr. Silverback- nothing could tempt me away from the luscious Rambette.

The Huxtables are right out, since Bill Cosby very publicly flunked the fidelity test years ago in real life, when he admitted to an affair with some woman named after a season. Somehow, I doubt that his habit of weaving real-life incidents into his stand-up routines will extend that far. (Though if it did, we might find out what he calls his member: "Fat Albert" and "Weird Harold" are the leading candidates.)

One must also be skeptical of the Keatons' fidelity, especially if Alex is working to insure its preservation. Poor Alex is the exaggerated stereotype of the series, the figure of fun, the laughed-at. If he hatches a scheme, the laws of television physics all but require it to fail.

Besides, you can't out-resist the Seavers for one reason--one "very special" reason: that whole season where they took in a homeless Leonardo DiCaprio. I'm sorry, but that experience would leave Madonna or Hugh Hefner withered and impotent, in that order. The Seavers can't commit adultery because they've had the very ability drained from them in a paroxysm of earnestness and ratings-grabbing. Might as well challenge supermodels to a fasting contest.

- Call me Shane

There is one major concept that everyone missed here, which really surprises me since I read about this concept in the WWWF Newsletter (tm): Shared Reality, aka Television Universes. The concept is simple: if the Jeffersons and Archie Bunker can meet they are part of the same reality (or same "television universe"); if Archie Bunker watches "Gilligan's Island" on TV, they are not part of the same universe.

In the scenario, you guys created a universe consisting of desperate and unscrupulous Fox programmers (not much of a stretch, I'll grant you that) that openly acknowledge "Family Ties", "The Cosby Show" and "Growing Pains" as television shows. Thus, even in this alternate reality you have created, all of the contestants are fictional. Fox execs can't book these three couples -- I could just as soon have a beer with Shrek. Unless there is some kind of Last Action Hero screen-jumping thing going on, but I saw no mention of that. The best they can do is hire the actors, which they of course will do being that they are desperate and unscrupulous. Plus, this makes it "Celebrity Temptation Island", which is even cheesier and therefore more marketable than anything else to date.

Of course, the actors aren't really committed to each other, but they can pretend, especially under the vague promise of donations to a pet project charity you've never heard of and will never hear of again. Plus, while they may have no commitment to each other, they may be committed to someone else, and can't afford to go around committing things on national TV.

Oddly enough, one and only one member of each couple is happily married. Bill Cosby (over 30 years), Michael Gross (15 years) and Joanna Kerns are all currently experiencing Marital Bliss (tm). So these 3 will behave themselves. Kerns would ruin her Lifetime movie career by cheating on TV, and Cosby and Gross have passed the dreaded 12 year mark: where fear of getting caught by your spouse doing anything remotely wrong controls every action of your life.

This leaves the 3 "singles". One would think the twice divorced Alan Thicke would be the first to go because he's a man, but not so fast! Both Phylicia Rashad and Meredith Baxter are recently coming off their third divorce, so they won't be looking for anything serious anytime soon, and they're in their early 50s, so they may be looking to prove they're still pretty... do I need to draw you a map? "Mid-life crisis" ring a bell? Put some hidden cameras in the bungalows and you can take it straight to video, folks.

So all 3 will cave -- the only question is who holds out the longest. Who will be the least tempted? Well, now Thicke really is out of the running because he's a man. He'll be lucky to get off the boat. But who holds out longer between Rashad and Baxter? If we look at Rashad's past, we see she's been married to a former NFL player and the lead singer of the Village People. Put simply, there ain't anything those boys on the island have that she hasn't already seen. She may need to seek the help of a professional to fully resolve her issues. The relatively sheltered Baxter will cave first due to a mix of excitement and curiosity. Give credit to Baxter, though... she "pulls a Rosie" and offers to donate the lost money to her charity right after boffing her first buck.

Of course, because it's still celebrities (all be them minor) trying to get it on on camera, and because we, the mindless viewing public, can't help ourselves, ratings will still be good enough to save the execs' jobs. Not knowing better, they then plan a "Love Cruise 2" starring Rachel Greene, Phoebe Buffay, Jerry Seinfeld, and George Costanza, apparently having no idea that this involves using married actors that merely played single characters. They get strung up shortly thereafter.

- Shaggy

The Huxtables can't lose.

Mrs. Huxtable will be too busy trying to impress the locals with her knowledge of their language to be unfaithful.
Mr. Huxtable will find that every time he even flirts with anyone, a voice will boom from across the island: "LET THE RECORD SHOW ... "

- Mark Wentz

This match is sick, very, very sick. Thanks guys

- Darth Brooks, Prowling at large

Sigh. Yet another namby-pamby boring SAFE grudge match. I'm really disapointed wiht you guys. Is this how we carry on the tradition of Mr. T? (whatever that is) We want violence in our grudge matches, not silly people who have some "goal" that must be accomplished to win. So what if these people date Hot Models(tm)!

And so, in the interests of innordinate bloodshed, I will predict that the Cleavers go on a rampge with the cleavers, hacking the Keatons, the Huxtables, the Hot Models, and the Fox Executives(tm) into bloody shreds.

And there was much rejoicing.(tm)

- Antidisestablishmentairianism

The three couples never get to the island on account of the fact that they never receive their invitations. Theo Huxtable, Mike Seaver, and Alex Keaton intercept the letters and go instead.

- For the lack of an "All fired and permantly cancelled button" - The Brainchild
The winning couple will be decided by which man in the couple can remain faithful, because everyone knows women never cheat. Don't pee yourself laughing. It's embarrasing. I was just kidding. Seriously:

On the men's side, Cliff Huxtable will get caught with a girl who is, oh, let's just say she's tasting his personal Jello(tm) Pudding Pop. Claire, in a sudden breakdown of her Republican Conservative attorney speech patterns, will break down into full ghetto diatribe, laced with such phrases as, "Sister, I ain't trying to hear that!", and "My man does not respect me! I'm a proud African American princess! I DEMAND my props!" She will then proceed to go on a 2 week streak of booty calls.

The Seavers will also be doomed. Upon hearing that a Seaver is coming to the island, girls will be flocking to the former ace pitcher and Hall of Famer. Jason, while getting a lap dance from a hot Asian model in a schoolgirl outfit, will start to brag about how he is a 3-time Cy Young award winner and struck out 3,640 batters. Maggie, deciding not to "pull a Hillary" and stay with her cheating husband, will divorce him the minute they are back in America. Besides: she's sick of that house and all those 15-year-old Tiger Beat magazines lying around offering her born-again Christian son out on a dream date.

The Keatons will win. You think the hippies would lose, but remember the cardinal rule of hippies:
Drugs before sex.

The Keatons both want to cheat of course, but the amount of pot, crank, shrooms and LSD that will "appear" on the first night from their travel bags will put everyone into a coma for months. Everyone will be laying there for weeks, whispering how they can see the trails and how the blue fisherman wants the ladybugs back. The Keatons will just shrug their shoulders, shake their heads at the lightweights, and walk off in marital bliss.

... and then eventually Alex P. Keaton will buy up the island and develop it into a combination Tropical Resort/Nike "screw the human rights" child labor factory.

- Budo

Are you kidding? Mr. Huxtable, aka Bill Cosby, went on to host "Kids Say the Darndest Things"! Is that the kind of man who runs off with the women of Temptation Island? I don't think so.

Of course, I never thought the TV execs would be stupid enough to remake the dang show, either.

- The Phantom

You guys forgot one all-powerful factor: the E! Untold Story Factor (TM pending).

Per the above documentary program, both the Seaver and Keaton families were anything but the humble, lovable, awww-I-feel-all-so- warm-and-squishy-inside happy families they tried so hard to portray. In reality, they were greedy, bulimic, anemic, depressed, drugged-out freaks who eventually either started hitting 7-Elevens at night just so they could support their habits or joining some weird apocalyptic cult out near Roswell.

I have yet to see the Huxtables on this little expose program. Besides, Cliff's too old and goofy for the models, and the men would run, hide, tremble, and cower from The Claire Stare(TM pending). Just the thought of crossing a high-powered LAWYER like Claire with any kind of a relationship makes the Death Star look like a ping-pong ball by comparison. Cliff and Claire are temptation-proof and will win the day.

* Hopefully Claire won't sue me for using her favorite line.....

- The Genius Formerly (and Still) Known as Eddie

Who in God's name are these people?

- Austin Ross


Oh Paul, Brendan... Childish Commentators Say the Darndest Things, don't they?

- Monkeydog
"Uh, Lord ... What's a cubit?"

If you liked this match, check out these other past matches:

The "Survivor" Grudge Match
The "Big Brother" Grudge Match
The "Newlywed Game" Grudge Match

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ETA: Monday, January 14th, 2002

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