Muscles & Mayhem: An Unauthorized Story of American Gladiators (2023) s01e03 Episode Script

A Global Phenomenon

See this circle here?
This circle to me, it's like my home.
And there's no man that's gonna
walk in here and kick me outta my home.
Kind of a small apartment.
It's a small apartment.
Hey, no man can kick me outta there.
On American Gladiators,
every competition
was do or die.
- He gets double-teamed by Nitro
- Oh, what a shot!
But the contenders,
they were tough.
Look at this crowd.
They can't believe it!
And we were getting
the shit kicked out of us.
Look at that! He did it!
And I thought,
"I better take some more testosterone."
You know, to keep up with these guys.
Tremendous job by Nitro.
As an athlete, you gotta make the decision
what you're willing to do to perform.
For me, it meant going to Mexico
where you can buy roids
over the counter without a prescription.
I pull up into the inspection,
where the Border Patrol says,
"Hey, you need to pull over to secondary."
I'm like, "Oh shit.
I'm gonna get arrested."
Not only because I've got
the roids in the back,
but because I have a loaded handgun.
TV's reigning champions
are back in an all-new season.
We made enough mistakes
in season one to realize
how much we didn't know,
and how far we had to go
to make it into a compelling show.
I felt like that's what needed
to happen for it to to survive.
So, we were just trying to figure out,
"How do we make this work?"
which contenders are there?
- God, look how huge they are!
- Look! Look, they're huge!
Look how huge they are!
One of the questions
that I kept asking myself was,
"What would make me
as a viewer interested in engaging?"
And the one aspect
that I thought distanced me from the show
was looking at the kinds of contestants
that they cast.
The contenders
on the first season,
they brought in these guys
who, if you go back and you watch them,
you'll notice
a lot of them are Gladiator-size.
Which we weren't too thrilled about.
One in this event.
Oh, wow!
We were going against big boys.
They wanna, you know, stick it to us.
There was no differentiation
between the contestants, really,
and the Gladiators.
I wanted to feel
that I could go in and do that.
Randy, our pipe layer
from Hernando Beach, Florida.
5'8", 160 pounds.
Gotta like this guy, Larry.
It's not enough
just to say someone's a teacher,
if they show up
and they look like the Gladiator.
So, we very carefully
cast people who were fit
but they were not muscle-bound.
They were not 6'5".
They were not 210.
And making it more
of a David versus Goliath,
as opposed to a variation of Goliaths
who were battling it out among themselves.
The producers would publicize,
you know, the auditions.
We took out ads in all the local markets
that the show aired in.
Interviews on their local news.
But the guys you have to be quick
and have agility
to do the 40-yard dash
to do the Suicide Ladders,
and to play Powerball.
It's just not about being a big guy.
You're gonna like this story.
A, uh, major talent search
came to New York City today.
Hundreds of hopefuls turned out
for a chance to compete on the TV show,
American Gladiators.
The thing that I think intrigued people
was the fact that
it was the everyman theme.
That, you mean, I can actually compete
for money with the American Gladiators.
The men and the women weren't tiny,
but it became more of an underdog show.
And the contenders would come in
just for the pure athletic contest of it,
but there was also a mix of
you got on TV,
you got to be a little famous,
and then you could get paid.
We had teachers, we had lawyers,
we had accountants,
we had stay-at-home moms.
It's a male ego thing to do,
get out and compete.
Once you get outta high school,
there's no football.
From as far as
Hoboken and Hawaii
I'm here to dominate.
they've come to Hollywood
Gladiators are afraid of me.
determined to take on
the American Gladiators.
I'm a stud-ette!
The challenge is on!
Gladiators, you're done!
My name is Debbie Clark,
better known as Storm
from the American Gladiators.
I tried out to be a contender.
I get a call from Julie Resh.
She says, "Congratulations, we chose you."
"But to be a Gladiator."
She says, "If you don't mind,
we're gonna call you Storm
because you blew everybody away."
I don't get intimidated at all, but
there were a lot of women that were big,
blonde hair, had the look,
and I'm like, "Nah, there's no way."
'Cause I was flat,
I was skinny, I'm gay,
you know, I'm biracial.
I was like, "Nah, the odds are stacked
against me. I'm not gonna do it."
I'm sure she figured
with her sports background,
she would clean up as a contender.
I came from the Olympic Training Center,
training on the European Olympic
handball team.
And I remember taking
one look at her and thinking,
"That is a Gladiator, if I ever saw one."
We're here at Universal Studios,
where they make hit movies.
They also make a bizarre TV show.
American Gladiators has ordinary folks
fighting against futuristic warriors.
Without the contenders,
the Gladiators would have been nothing.
The contestants were
an important part of what made them
the iconic heroes that they were
to the kids watching that show.
Elden Kidd of Riverside, California.
An adventure travel guide.
I've always considered myself
the king of the sucker punch,
and it's helped me a lot through my life.
My name is Elden Kidd,
and I'm known as the dirtiest competitor
on the American Gladiators.
Elden Kidd was tough and mean.
He was an older guy back then.
I was, what, 28?
He was probably 35, but he looked old.
At 36 years of age,
he's our oldest contender.
He's 37 years old, but he
Thirty-six. Excuse me.
I thought you had a birthday.
He was the oldest guy
He's older than me.
Elden has gotta be
in his mid-seventies right now.
Elden might be 80.
I'm 68 years old.
You can edit this if you want,
but I don't care about the show,
and I never did care about it.
I had five kids at home.
I had a very busy schedule.
You know, I just
It just wasn't really me.
I didn't care about it.
It was to please my father,
and he encouraged me to go to the tryouts.
The tryout line was probably 800 deep.
When I got up to the front,
they had us go through
this particular event
that looked like football.
And I said,
"Is this like a half-speed drill?"
"Is it full-speed?
What if he gets hurt? What if he bleeds?"
And the guy said,
"If he bleeds, you're on the show."
short of cash, I wanted to be on the show,
and I gave him an elbow to the nose.
And he bled and bled, and I was sorry,
somewhat, and they put me on the show.
He didn't give you the time of day,
he wouldn't shake your hand,
so I really didn't like the guy.
Uh, but keep in mind,
it wasn't the human being I didn't like.
It was just
I didn't like him as an athlete.
Yeah, of course,
I was slightly intimidated.
They were big, strong guys,
but then I had my family there.
I didn't want to be embarrassed,
and I thought,
"Well, this is gonna be fun."
"Maybe I'm gonna get knocked out
the first round here."
"But I'm gonna do my best."
Elden will be working
against Laser.
They were big and strong weightlifters.
I had never really been to a gym
or had that kind of background.
I'm on that little pedestal
with that little forearm shiver pad,
seeing this guy come barreling at me.
And he just demolishes us
like we're nothing.
If you go back and look at it,
I dominated pretty much
every event.
Elden Kidd comes in,
forearm first,
and clobbers Laser from the perch.
I'm not sure that that's legal,
but it was enough
to get Laser off the pedestal.
On the outside, he was the nicest guy.
He had this, you know, Oklahoma accent.
I didn't wanna look bad
in front of my kids.
"Hello there, sir. How ya doin'?"
Throw an elbow at you.
And he would go like,
"Oh, shucks. I hit you in the nuts."
"I'm so sorry, sir.
I didn't mean to do that."
If it shows up that I, um,
threw that forearm, I do apologize.
Elden Kidd going against Nitro.
Here they come.
Nitro no match for Elden Kidd.
I thought that Nitro
was so incredibly full of himself
that it was embarrassing.
Mike, it seems Nitro
is complaining about a forearm shiver.
What's the deal, Bob?
It came out on impact, Todd,
and it took him right off the platform.
And standing from here,
you could see it very clearly.
No question about it.
There was no explaining
of the rules.
They just kind of made that up
as they went along
because they were crying.
I think it was mainly
to appease the crybabies.
What's your reaction to that?
I certainly wasn't conscious
of my arm going out.
My There's an imprint
of my arm into my ribs.
Throughout the entire contest,
that's the hardest I've been hit so far.
Oh, I I lied. That was a lie.
I have an irreverent
sense of humor,
and that was a big fat lie.
What's your attitude
coming into the finals?
Oh, I'd really like to win this.
I'm the old man, and I feel like, uh
I'm making good showing for myself.
If I remember,
it was all filmed in four or five days.
So, you didn't really have
much rest time between.
And they said,
"Well, when you win or if you win,
you're gonna go ahead and go against
the last season's champion."
And I said, "No, that's not
You know, come on."
"Last season's champion
has been resting, and I'm all beat up."
"And I have to go against this guy?"
I said, "That's that's not gonna happen."
So, in the very end, they engineered
the rules to make sure that I didn't win
because I won
in every single thing by a large margin.
Elden Kidd now with
a 13-point lead over Lucian Anderson
as we head now to the men's Eliminator.
I didn't go around one of the cones.
He misses a cone.
Another five-second penalty.
That was the difference.
And they decided that
that would be worth a whole five points.
Which is, you know, a lot.
You know, one swing is worth a point,
and one ball is worth a point.
And that will get us just enough
to make the other guy win.
I know it's a business,
and they don't wanna pack it up
just because I'm tired and hurt.
I don't know.
It wasn't quite right, but what's right?
You know, what's right in life?
I'm I'm over it.
The contenders
were really important.
We personified the contender,
so you had more of a rooting interest.
They became more real.
Thank you, Odita,
our sales manager by day.
And in her other life? A track star.
My name is Peggy Odita-Hodel.
I was a track and field athlete.
That's what I ended up doing in college,
but I was also a basketball player.
I watched American Gladiators on TV,
like most people did
during the the '80s and '90s.
I thought I could do that.
Regular people are doing that.
I can do that.
They were advertising,
"Hey, if you want to be
on American Gladiators,
you can come to these locations."
They were looking for
some international people,
and because I have dual citizenship,
I'm Nigerian and American,
I didn't have to try out or anything.
Because finding
international people locally
was kind of difficult at the time,
and I ended up winning that way.
It is heavy, and it's beautiful.
Congratulations, you were terrific.
Thank you.
At the time, it was $25,000.
Back then,
25,000 was some good money.
I was really excited, but I thought,
"You know what? I wanted to try again."
And I got to the tryout,
and the guy looks up from his clipboard,
and he says, "Peggy,
what are you doing back here?"
You know, "We don't usually take people
who have been on the show before."
Later, I got a call, and they said,
"Hey, we want you back."
I remember competing
against all the female Gladiators,
but competing against Ice was tough.
She was always
coming out to keep her stats up.
You know,
she was not trying to lose to anyone.
Peggy, the number one seed,
with all Oh, did you see that?
Come on, Ice! Come on, Ice!
I don't think
most are brave enough to do that.
We battled quite a few times,
but she was insanely
She was good.
Nobody wanted to go against her.
Ice has never beaten Peg
in this event.
Ice making Oh, man!
Peggy tried to pull a one-way.
Ice thwarted that effort.
- Then changed direction.
- What can you do?
Slammed right into her.
She was like the epitome
of what the show should have been.
She was as good as it gets
as far as a contender on the show.
I was on the show five times.
I won two international shows,
two Champion of Champions shows,
and one main event show.
You look at our size difference
compared to their size difference.
They're smaller and quicker.
I had a respect for
all the Gladiators and their abilities.
To our credit, you know, being smaller,
not being juiced up, whatever,
we actually had an advantage
over them because they were big,
which meant that
they were slower.
If you were strong
and quick and could take a hit
you had an advantage.
Most of the Gladiators
were in the entertainment business.
They were trying to be actors or whatever.
So they were trying to make
the most of their opportunity,
taking advantage of the stuff.
I was just there competing.
This particular show,
Zap wanted more camera time, right?
I tried to do every single event.
Somebody wouldn't want to do an event
because they were either afraid,
or they weren't up for it.
I would I would take the event.
So, there was a list on the side
where you would know
what events you're in for the day
'cause we'd take, like, four shows a day,
but they didn't know what I knew, right?
They didn't know that they were gonna
go up against Wendy Brown.
Please welcome Wendy Brown
of East Palo Alto, California,
a member of the 1988 US Olympic team.
She was an Olympic athlete. I'm like,
"I know her." From my college years.
Welcome to the
Olympic Stadium, where in the second heat
of the 100 meters
is Wendy Brown of the United States.
And I'm like,
"Okay, you guys want to do The Joust?"
"Oh, fine. You can do the Joust."
"You're good, just take me off of that.
You can do The Joust."
You don't want to do it?
They wanted more screen time, right?
So they were happy.
Zap, she goes up. Wendy goes up.
I'm like, "She's in for a rude awakening."
"She doesn't know
what's gonna happen to her."
And Wendy and Zap
has come to be a pretty good grudge match.
Wendy just pummeled her right in the head.
Great competition!
Zap, you're only
gonna get clobbered that way.
She said she hit her so hard,
she peed her pants, but that's
Oh! Shot to the head there.
Look at this Oh my goodness,
they are really going at it.
Taking some definite blows.
Wendy trying to find
where to get on the head.
Just I'm like, well,
in my mind, I'm saying to myself,
"That's what you get."
So yeah, she knocked her silly.
I wasn't sure with Wendy Brown,
what her problem was with me,
but then we got in this Conquer Ring.
I'm a lot shorter,
so I stayed low to the ground.
The wrestling.
Wendy Brown pulled up my top.
Boobies are hanging out.
And so, here I am
wrestling around with my boobs.
Zap doing a good job
in the middle.
And I just laid back,
and I kicked her in the butt.
In the middle, kicking, pulling,
tugging, do whatever she can if
Oh! Kicks her in the buttocks!
She went flying.
I don't know how legal that was.
I think Zap took exception to the fact
that her top was grabbed.
That's just part of it. Fighting. Right?
Tops will be ripped off. Right?
So, as we came back
into season three especially
is really when we start to hit our stride.
We realized that the contenders,
in addition to the game development,
really started to build on itself.
Then they cleaned up
a lot of the events,
a lot of the games.
We kept building the first few seasons.
We, you know, every year came back
with bigger, crazier, better events.
We tried to build on it season to season.
Finally, we had the formula right.
And the ratings
really started to take off.
The ratings were good.
That was the bellwether of success
because that defined
how long we were going to stay on the air.
I felt the shift happen
when people who I knew told me
how much they loved the show.
My dentist. I couldn't believe
my dentist watched the show.
So, we started booking
all these appearances.
We'll be right back
with AmericanMuscle.
Electronic show here. A car show here.
I may be able to lift
my own grandfather clock,
but Ye Olde Clock Shoppe
insists on free delivery and setup.
But we started to feel famous fast.
I'm one full-sized adult,
so, naturally, I'm big on nutrition.
But there's something inside of me
that still gets
really pumped about frosting.
I drove out
of my little apartment on Arch Drive.
And there's this huge billboard of me
that says American Gladiators.
And that was my,
you know, first inkling of fame.
It just kept getting bigger and bigger.
Samuel Goldwyn began
merchandising the show.
We were doing
autograph signings at a mall.
The line was out the door.
Thousands of people.
The show took off.
It was the biggest phenomenon.
Once we learned how to do it,
it wasn't
a very expensive show to produce.
We would shoot
the entire season in two weeks.
It grossed a lot of money.
The show is a massive hit.
We had our posters on walls.
We were on the cover of magazines.
We're meeting presidents.
Americans are tired
of people in Washington,
acting like they're candidates
for the next episode
of American Gladiators.
Everything was going amazing.
And I realized right then
that we probably had
something pretty special on that TV show.
Bob Levy said, "Hey, Diamond,
I just got back from Washington, DC."
"Bill leaned over to me and said,
'So tell me. What's Diamond like?'"
I'm Erica Andersch, and I played Diamond
on American Gladiators.
I did consider myself the Marilyn Monroe
of the American Gladiators.
I dated Diamond a little bit.
Didn't get anywhere.
She was a lot of fun.
Bob Levy said he and I dated?
Probably should've tried harder.
I'm trying to think like, "Wow, if we sat
at a table together during lunchtime,
is that a date?"
Tell her I blushed thinking about her.
Sorry, Bob.
The only problem is
that going into season three,
it became very obvious
that the Gladiators were putting on weight
and muscle very quickly.
Lace bigger this year, Larry.
- She's put on some bulk.
- Not just bulk.
She's put on some real muscle,
and she's using it
on some of these contenders.
And we came to the conclusion
that there was some steroid use involved.
I was concerned because you never know
what's going to happen.
There is no doubt in my mind
that there is such a thing as roid rage,
where there is anger.
And I've had situations
where, you know, I've lost my cool.
There was one time
where we were in Palm Springs,
celebrating the spoils of our success.
And Dan had this red Jeep.
Loved this red Jeep.
And we had the top off,
and it was like the warm summer air
was blowing in our face.
And we're listening to music.
And he had some funky song on.
I like big butts and I cannot lie ♪
You other brothers can't deny ♪
And I didn't like the song.
So, what I did, I turned the channel
and put it on country.
The general rule is whoever's driving,
that's the guy who controls the music.
And he changed the channel,
and put it on his.
I changed the channel and put it on mine.
Next thing you know,
we're pulling at each other.
I slapped his arm, and he slapped my arm.
And I slapped him in the face.
And I looked at him and said,
"You wanna go?"
He's like, "Let's go."
He slammed on that break.
And we about went through the windshield.
And we both got out.
And we're both 240 pounds.
And we got into it.
I've got Laser, like, in a headlock.
And he's right here.
His face is right next to me right here.
And I'm about to just, you know,
whack, hit the light out of him.
And then I hear the strangest sound.
And the next thing I feel,
these teeth sink right into my cheek.
My best friend, my fellow Gladiator,
he's biting me in the face.
It just happened.
You know, it was one of those things
where you do what you have to do.
He finally lets go, and I'm like,
"What the fuck was that?"
I remember I get up first,
and now it was kinda like
the fight's over. The adrenaline's gone.
And he bends down
to reach for my hand to pick me up.
Like, "Truce. Hey, help me up, bro."
And I just said, "There's no biting
in fighting." And I went, boom!
I hit him as hard as I could again,
right in the forehead, and dropped him.
And I said, "That was for biting me."
And my eye just went
He did say he whooped your ass.
Is that true?
I I don't know who won that fight.
But I do remember that after that,
you know, we kinda hugged it out.
You know, "Hey, bro, you know, sorry, man.
Sorry, bro. I love you, man. I love you."
And then we decided to go
to this really popular restaurant.
We get out and we see
our reflection in the glass.
And I've got my shirt torn.
I've got, you know,
blood leaking out of my face.
Laser, he's got this huge lump
on his eye, where I hit him.
And Laser says, "Dan, there's no way
they're gonna let us in."
And I said,
"We're Gladiators. They'll let us in."
And we walked in, you know, full of youth,
full of roids, full of alcohol.
We didn't take a moment's hesitation.
We kept on partying.
That's what rage can do.
That's what roids can do.
They can take you from a normal situation
with someone who's,
you know, your best friend,
and it can turn on a dime into that.
I mean, we were very concerned
about steroid use.
Which we really
didn't think about initially.
But the show was originally designed
for men, 18 to 34.
And then it got younger. It got 12 to 17.
And it all of a sudden
became a kids' audience.
And I think a lot of little kids
really looked up to these strong athletes,
both male and female.
They had really become
role models for these young kids.
I went home to Great Falls, Montana,
and I was asked
to come speak to the entire school.
And I remember just being in front of
the little audience that I had,
the the young kids.
And all the kids
were just looking up at me,
and it was the first time that I thought,
"Wow, I think I might be a role model
for all these kids in the gymnasium."
We felt we had a responsibility
to kids watching the show.
That was part of the realization that
maybe steroids were a problem.
I think one thing that,
you know, really drove me
was those little kid wounds
that never had a chance to heal.
You know, as a little kid,
my dad comes home
and he asked my mom for a divorce.
And he tells her,
"Look, I get the two boys."
I remember getting on the plane
looking through the window
and seeing my mom on the tarmac, weeping.
And I was just crying uncontrollably
because you're you know, you're
You're taking me from my mom.
And then I remember,
there was a guy behind me
who said, "Hey, hey, hey, look."
He said, "Let me see your muscle."
And I took up my little arm,
you know, at four years old,
and up popped this little muscle.
And the guy said,
"Hey, look, you got a muscle."
And he said, "You're a big boy,
and big boys don't cry."
And I remembered that.
And then when I was ten years old,
my brother died tragically.
You know, and and if
that could happen to him
You know
And I remember that guy's voice.
Kept playing in my head,
"Big boys don't cry. Big boys don't cry."
And I wouldn't allow myself to cry.
I felt as long as I had that muscle,
I was gonna be okay.
For me,
I always wanted to be like my dad.
Just tough.
I used to look at pictures
when I was little.
And he was a boxer.
And I just thought, "Wow."
I always tried
to get my dad's attention.
I just wanted him to be proud of me.
I just wanted him to put his arm
around me and say, "Good job, son."
And my dad never did that.
It kind of took its toll on me mentally.
And I started to build up
this angry disposition about myself.
And I think
that's where the toughness started.
That mentality, uh,
carried over into sports.
To create a body that you have
as a vision in your head,
that what you wanna look like,
it became apparent that,
"Yes, I could take anabolic steroids."
Anabolic steroids
are powerful, muscle-building,
performance-enhancing drugs.
Regular exercise plus steroids
can transform a 98-pound weakling
into a He-Man
within just a few short months.
Despite physical
advantages, steroids have been linked
with heart and liver disease,
problems with bone growth,
and decreased fertility.
We're talking about
the single most dangerous group
of prescription drugs.
Steroids was the thing back then.
They were happening.
Baseball. That's when baseball
It really hit baseball hard.
You could grow
taking steroids quickly, overnight.
We're actually doing more
than just taking drugs.
We're also setting a terrible example
for kids that are gonna think,
"Hey, that's the right thing to do,"
because if they don't get caught,
it isn't wrong.
We used to see Hulk Hogan a lot.
Train, say your prayers,
eat your vitamins.
- Be true to yourself, true to your country.
- Be a real American.
All these guys, you can only imagine
what these guys were doing.
Many former wrestlers
say it wasn't prayers and vitamins
that made Hulk Hogan
a giant in the eyes of kids.
He took steroids
like he drank water.
You're never gonna grow up
to be 300 pounds
with 24-inch arms
unless you take steroids.
That was one of the first,
you know, big public awakenings
to what steroids were about,
and how prevalent they were
in the athletic world.
I know the Gladiator girls,
I-I can almost be positive
a lot of them were not doing steroids
during the Gladiator time.
I can't speak for all of them.
- I believe Yep, that's her.
- That's Diamond.
I didn't recognize her
with such few threads on.
I've never seen anyone
use anything on the show.
Of course there was always talk about it.
Most of the women
that I know who've taken steroids,
most of them look like dudes.
'Cause it's testosterone.
I've never done that.
All of the power,
all of the muscle,
Raye Hollitt makes it look so easy.
But a lot of hard work goes into keeping
this American Gladiator in shape,
and she says,
"Pumping iron is not enough."
If I didn't take the supplements,
don't think I'd be where I am.
I don't think I'd have the muscle growth.
Some dietary supplements
are being sold today
as a safe alternative
to anabolic steroids.
You're trained to
make your body bigger.
If it's steroids, let's be honest,
or doing growth hormone.
Which technically is a synthetic steroid.
So you can say you're not doing steroids,
but you can be doing growth hormone,
and you're not lying.
When somebody says they're not taking
steroids, they're on something else.
See, it's the the wording, right?
Semantics they're playing with, right?
I have used growth hormone.
Which is non-detectable.
But growth hormone
heals the the joints and the tendons.
Give me an R. Give me an O.
Give me an I. Give me a D. Give me an S.
What's that spell? Gladiator.
No, no.
I mean, we all knew, you know,
there were some that were "juicing."
People don't usually get
that big that quickly.
Sylvester Stallone takes his shirt off
and makes a hundred million dollars.
You know, I Or Arnold Schwarzenegger.
People wanna see muscle.
My voice is much deeper 'cause I took
much more drugs than she does.
I'm not as deep as Lori yet, but
Oh, please.
My experience with steroids,
it started back when I was bodybuilding.
I did just enough to compete.
And yes, I won some shows.
And I could totally see the difference.
This woman is huge.
Man, she gonna give somebody hell.
I was never on anabolic steroids
while I was filming the show.
I did a cycle
on the off-season just to maintain.
Everybody did steroids.
That was the thing.
And they also got
boob enhancements, right?
When females take the steroid,
they lose breast tissue.
And so, you gonna be big,
but then you have tennis balls up there.
Just didn't look right. Aesthetically.
Men, they experience
a number of short-term cosmetic changes.
They can include
severe acne on the back, gynecomastia,
the accumulation of fat under the nipples,
causing the breasts to swell,
and even testicular atrophy,
the shrinking of the testicles
to half their normal size.
When you're taking testosterone,
your body compensates
by producing estrogen.
And estrogen is exact opposite
of what you want
when you're tryin' to get buff.
I started to, like, get,
you know, little lumps here.
And I was horrified.
So, I remember going to see a doctor,
a plastic surgeon, about it.
It's not a fun surgery.
They actually cut a slice in your nipple,
pull open the nipple,
and pull out that little bit of tissue.
You can have everything you want,
but you can't have anything you want.
You know what I mean?
Just don't animate me having the tit.
I'll find you guys in Utah.
Did it change your moods? Yeah, it did.
Your patience gets very thin.
I remember one time,
being in the grocery store.
The person in front of me,
I felt they were taking too long,
so I was super impatient.
My foot was tapping.
I was making sure that they could hear me.
"Come on!" You know, just having that fit.
That doesn't mean you walk around
punching people in the face for no reason.
But I will say, it means your temper
becomes a bit more of a hair trigger.
What annoyed you before
will really piss you off.
And what pisses you off before
will send you into a blind fury.
People don't understand.
You put a camera
in front of somebody's face
and if they're doing roids,
and they're angry already,
and they're competing,
and it's their persona
it can get scary.
It's like
that incident with Titan.
We kinda knew he was takin' something.
What? We didn't know.
And here they come.
What a shot Elden laid on Titan.
That switch just flipped.
And it didn't surprise me
because we talked about the juice before.
We talked about rage.
I just remember him jumping down
and chasing after the referee.
It was really scary.
I don't know
if that's anything to do with roid rage.
I've heard that could be a possibility.
It was frightening for everybody
that that happened.
And it was part of what made us realize
we needed to do something.
And then, I was walking
into the dressing room
that the Gladiators used.
I saw syringes lying around.
People had been, you know,
doing their their roids there.
And, you know, obviously
he had to put a stop to that.
The responsibility, or the sense
of the responsibility, on my part,
it was a lot more consequential.
I did not see
any paraphernalia, uh, lying around.
Now, was it spoken of?
I know the game, right?
Looking at you, I see zits on your back,
or what have you.
And I think
there was a real concern
about, you know,
if the show was gonna get busted or not.
'Cause if the show got busted,
the show would be off the air.
It concerned us from a lot of levels.
Number one, the brand.
I mean, merchandising
is typically driven by a kids' audience.
And by that point,
the American Gladiators
had a big kid following.
We had to protect
our brand and also our people
and and the Gladiators themselves.
And the media,
they started stating things
as if all of us were on anabolic steroids
and, "How could they be
this big and ripped?"
There are kids out there
right now who are thinking
Oh yeah.
"I wanna grow up
to be American Gladiator."
We're getting a lot of pressure
from our advertisers,
from different stations,
from the people who are making the toys,
to have us drug-tested.
I think Samuel Goldwyn
got a lot of heat from the media,
and so what they decided to do
was test each and every one of us
for anabolic steroids.
And I called a meeting.
When I called the meeting,
I'm five-six-and-a-half.
They are towering over me,
all of them, both in stature and size.
I'd essentially told everyone
that there was gonna be
a zero-tolerance policy here,
and we were going to start testing.
And if the tests came back positive,
that person would be fired.
We did our very best
to contain it by, essentially,
firing people,
which we had to do in one case.
Titan chasing the ref into the stand,
they fired him and let him go.
There was mostly silence.
No one really responded.
I mean, for me,
not only was I taking roids,
I was a young guy in Hollywood.
I mean, I was, you know, partying,
I was doing other things.
I mean, this, you know,
could be the end for me.
When they did come in
and said we had to be tested,
I had no problem with that,
'cause I never took anything
to make me bigger.
Now, the other substances were a problem.
Good thing they didn't test me for that.
So, we implemented testing
right away.
We took it actually from the NFL.
We mimicked them, but it wasn't perfect.
The next day,
production calls us in for the drug test.
The Gladiators, we all shuffle into
this room over on the lot.
You know, the executive gets up there,
and then I'm looking
for the nurses and the little pee cups,
and I don't see any.
So, I'm thinking,
"This is odd. What's goin' on?"
Then, the Gladiator brass gets up
and they said, "Okay."
"You're gonna be tested in six weeks."
A little light bulb
just went off in my head is that
they want us to succeed.
I said, "Oh, you're gonna give us
six weeks before you drug-test us."
"Wink, wink. You're gonna give us
a little bit of time to get clean."
We did test them all,
but I'm not sure
if we were entirely successful.
But we certainly mitigated it.
The most interesting thing of all,
they never told us
the results of the drug test.
It was just to tell the advertisers,
"Yes, we drug-tested
the American Gladiators."
Let's have a big round of applause,
ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls.
Derek, you're blocking my light, man.
Key light. Talent. I'm just
For me,
I wanted the juice
because I wanted
and needed to put on that muscle,
so I could become somebody.
And that's when I decided to go to Mexico
to get roids.
I pull up into the inspection,
and I've got the roids in the back,
and I've got a loaded handgun
because I was shooting
at the range with my buddy.
And I pulled the car over,
and I took my hands
behind my head and I put my feet out,
and I said, "Officer, there's something
I have to tell you."
"I've got a loaded handgun
inside the Jeep."
Then all of a sudden, he was like,
"Get out of the car, get down!"
They're ripping me out of the car,
got guns pointed at the back of my head.
I feel like a a dead man walking.
The next thing I know,
I'm over in a detention cell,
and he says, "We found steroids."
And he said, "What are these?
Are you a dealer?" And I said, "No, sir."
I said, um, "I do a TV show
called, you know, Gladiators."
"And my doctor was out,
and I just came across here to get some."
I said, um, "I got a son
who lives in Orange County as well,
and I was gonna stop by and see them."
And he just looked at me for a long time.
And he says,
"You know, I've got a son too."
And he says, "I'm gonna write you a ticket
for having a loaded handgun."
And he says, "I'm gonna take these roids."
"I'm just gonna throw 'em away
because it's for personal use."
He let me go.
You wonder how far someone will go
just to compete.
For me, it was having guns
pointed at the back of my head.
And I was just like,
"What kind of fricking guy am I?"
You know, "What am I doing?"
And then we got a call from our agent.
And he said, "What's it gonna take
to get you guys to go
on the road for 50 weeks, 130 cities?"
The American Gladiators
are coming to battle your city's best.
Local celebrities,
your area's top athletes,
and your favorite American Gladiators
competing in those special games of skill.
The American Gladiators Live Tour.
My biggest question was,
"Where in the hell
am I gonna pack 120 syringes?"
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