The Terrifying Show That Inspired ‘Fear Factor’

In 2001 Fear Factor was officially launched. The groundbreaking reality TV series challenged contestants to face their fears while beating out their components.

Over the course of the seven seasons that the show ran, Joe Rogan and then Ludacris took on the hosting responsibilities. The series incorporated such vigorous and bold stunts that all of the participants had to go through a physical screening.

Take a look back at some of the show’s most memorable moments and find out which terrifying show was the inspiration behind Fear Factor.

A look back at some of the most unforgettable moments on ‘Fear Factor’

'Fear Factor' Host Joe Rogan
‘Fear Factor’ Host Joe Rogan | Michael Weaver/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

The title of the series said it all. Participants who came on to the set of this competition-based reality television show had to be prepared to encounter just about anything. For instance, the episode that challenged each pair to go bobbing for rats. One challenge even required the contestants to participate in public nudity. 

The series was also well-known for challenging the guests to consume some of the grossest food items known to mankind. Sheep eyes and buffalo testicles are just two of the many things participants have eaten on Fear Factor.

There was one episode that was so vile that it never even made it on the air. In “Hee Haw! Hee Haw!” the contestants were challenged to drinking urine and semen that came from donkeys. Luckily, producers had enough sense to realize this task went too far. It makes sense as to why so many people became hooked on the peculiar show.

The terrifying show that inspired another

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Fear Factor became such a hit, but many of the show’s viewers and fans may have been surprised to learn that they actually didn’t come up with the concept of the show.

According to Screen Rant, Now or Neverland was the terrifying show that was the inspiration behind Fear Factor. Now or Neverland was a show that was developed in the Netherlands.

Endemol Entertainment was the company behind its creation, and after having much success in the European market Fear Factor found its roots in America. With the help of Rogan, the series successfully took off.

The unfortunate demise of ‘Fear Factor’

After several seasons of success for Fear Factor, ratings and viewers started to drop off. American Idol launched shortly after Fear Factor, and the two reality television shows came on the air in the same window frame. As American Idol continued to grow in popularity, Fear Factor struggled to compete. 

Some of the fans and viewers of the series thought it had more to do with than just American Idol. This Reddit thread captured some of the many thoughts and complaints viewers had when it came to series ending. One individual commented, “Yeah, I always thought it should have been called “Gross Factor” because that’s all it was. Also, the physical challenge stuff wasn’t really scary either – I mean, it was difficult, but the chances of a contestant getting hurt was about 0% when you factor in all the harnesses and padding they were strapped into. I think WipeOut is more dangerous than Fear Factor ever was.”

However, not everyone in the discussion felt this way. 

Another comment read, “They were doing everything within the rules to further their chances of winning $50,000. You’d be an idiot not to do everything within the rules to further your chances of winning, especially if you just drank 24 ounces of donkey cum.”

It was clear that many people were still upset over the disgusting donkey challenge, but, nevertheless, many people continue to stand by the show and its concept.