El gran juego de la oca

El gran juego de la oca

"El gran juego de la oca" (The Great Game of the Goose) was a TV game show produced in Madrid, Spain from 1993 through 1995 and again in 1998 as "El nuevo juego de la oca". It was a weekly show airing in a block of several hours on the Spanish channel Antena 3, and later Telecinco. The show was created by world-renowned television producer Jocelyn Hattab, and first premiered in Italy as "Il Grande Gioco Dell'Oca".


Four adult contestants, two men and two women, played a giant board game based on the centuries-old children's game, "Juego de la oca" (Game of the Goose). As they played the game, they competed in Hollywood-type stunts in a test of mind, body, and nerve to win money and prizes.


In season one, the hosts were Emilio Aragón, Lydia Bosch, and Patricia Perez.Hosts in season two were Pepe Navarro, Eugenia Santana and Yvonne Reyes.The 1998 season was hosted by Andrés Caparrós, Elsa Anka and Paloma Marín.


The set was a 63-space game board set up at the perimeter of a large arena. In addition to the main game path, there was a stage (two in the second season), a giant cage, a circular swimming pool in the middle of the set, and several large playing floors where the elaborate stunts were set up.


The main object was to get to space 63 by exact count. Contestants earned money along the way, which they used to bet on how well they could perform stunts. These stunts provided a secondary object to the game, and accounted for much of the show's popularity.


A contestant began the game with 100,000 "pesetas" (equivalent to roughly 800 American dollars). On a turn, he or she "rolled" the electronic "dice", and advanced the number of spaces rolled. Each space traveled was worth 10,000 "pesetas" (roughly 80 dollars). After landing on the designated space, the contestant was shown a stunt that he had to perform. After the host explained how to accomplish the task, the contestant wagered some or all of his money, depending on how confident he/she was that he/she could succeed. Successfully completing the stunt added the player's wager to his or her score, while a failed stunt deducted the wager.


Special spaces were distributed along the path, with the game generally getting more "dangerous" the further along a contestant moved. The special spaces included:
* "Ocas" (Geese): Landing on an "Oca" resulted in that player advancing to the next "Oca" and rolling again. "Ocas" were found at spaces 5, 9, 18, 27, 36, 45, and 54. (If a contestant landed on space #54, he advanced to space #63 and automatically won the game.): Traditionally, before a contestant took his second roll, he and the host recited a rhyme from the board game: "De oca a oca... tiro porque me toca" (From Goose to Goose, I roll because it's my turn.)

* Space #7 - "Dados" (Dice): "Dados" was a special shortcut that advanced the contestant to space number 20, at which point he rolled again. Before the second roll, another poem was recited: "De dado a dado... tiro porque me ha tocado." (From Die to Die, I roll because it's my turn.) This space was removed after the first season.

* Space #8 - Mud Wrestling: This space was next to a mud pit; landing here resulted in the contestant having to perform a stunt in the mud while being hindered by a female mud wrestler. For the second season, the mud pit was moved to space #31.

* Space #19 - "Restaurante chino" (Chinese Restaurant): In the second season, any contestant who landed on space #19 had to take a seat at the mock Chinese restaurant. The "waiter" brought out a disgusting food (such as a whole rat cooked in sweet and sour sauce), and the contestant had to take at least five full bites of it to avoid losing all his money.

*Space #31 - Watermelons: If a contestant landed here, his stunt was taking a machete and having to chop watermelons that rolled randomly out of a large tube. This was another space that was removed at the end of season 1.

*Space #34 - "Pintacuerpos" (Body Painting): Landing here resulted in the contestant having to spin a wheel to determine which part of his or her body got the show's goose head logo painted on it. The spaces on the wheel were arm, back, chest, stomach, and bottom.

*Space #47 - Snake Den: If someone landed here, he or she had to enter an acrylic glass pit filled with sand and boa constrictors. The door was locked behind the contestant, and he or she had a certain amount of time to find the key to the other side and get out. Doing so not only won the wager, but also allowed the player to stay at space #50, where the pit exited. This was moved in the second season to the entrance at #55 and the exit at #59.

*Space #51 - Castle Wall: The stunt at #51 was always scaling the adjacent castle wall in some manner and kissing the prince or princess (depending on the contestant's gender) waiting at the top.

*Space #52 - Haircut: A barber's chair was set up at #52 (48 in season 2), and the contestant had to answer three questions (the last of which was always impossible to answer in the five seconds allotted.) Getting any question wrong resulted in the player receiving a severe haircut by a deranged barber. Men were usually shaven bald, and women had their hair chopped down to a man's hairstyle.

*Space #57 - Cage Match: Landing on #57 resulted in a stunt inside the large cage. The contestant would be given a task, and the gladiator-type stunt people inside would try to hinder his or her progress. The entrance to the cage was placed at #43 during the second season.

*Space #57 - Nurse: In the second season, this square had a hospital bed and a woman dressed as a nurse standing next to it. One game here involved the nurse doing a striptease for the male contestant, who had to keep his heart rate down; another game was where a male contestant was asked five questions, with each incorrect answer resulting in part of his leg hair being waxed off; three correct answers won the challenge.

*Space #58 - Death: This space was marked by a skull and crossbones; landing here resulted in the contestant being sent back to start (however, he kept his money.) This space was featured on the original board game; however, on the show, it too was exclusive to the first season.

*Space #61 - "Ruleta cruel" (Cruel Roulette): If a player landed here, he had to spin the adjacent wheel and lost whatever percentage of money it landed on. In the second season, the player was strapped to a large version of the wheel and spun around rapidly. The pointer was above his head, and again the contestant lost the percentage of money on which it stopped.

Characters and Personalities

Regular characters and/or personalities on the show included:
*Oquettes - an eight member dance team that "sung" the theme song, escorted contestants to certain spaces, and participated in some of the challenges
*Chicos/chicas oca - random male and female cast members that participated in the workings of some of the challenges
*Guest hosts - every week, a celebrity from Spain came on the show as a guest host
*Romy - the mudwrestler in Season 1
*Marvel - the mudwrestler in Season 2
*"Calzoncillo Man" ("Underwear Man") - an anti-superhero dressed in pink pajamas who hindered the contestants' progress on several episodes
*Maxtor - a muscular African male dressed as a warrior, who competed against contestants in later episodes
*Promotional Characters - Super Mario (representing Nintendo), a cow (representing milk), and elves (representing Boskys cereal) appeared to promote their products; usually, the game involved their product as well
*Flequi (pronounced "FLEH-kee") - the barber during the first season; he became quite popular with the show's fans and got more involved in other parts of the show (especially final stunts) as the season progressed
*Rizotín - the barber during the second season; he gave wilder haircuts to men than did Flequi and had a much more flamboyant personality (vaguely resembling Salvador Dalí).
*Danny - the offstage judge who made decisions on close calls during Season 1
*Fernando ("el mimoso pringoso") - a disgusting, fat, smelly man who ate spaghetti like a two-year-old; a Q&A game was played in which correct answers resulted in him kissing the female host, and incorrect answers resulted in him kissing the contestant
*"Besucona" ("Kissing lady") - an ugly hag who played a kissing game similar to Fernando's, this time involving a male contestant and Emilio
*Sound guys - played the background music and inserted sound effects for comic relief.
*Monsters - goofy monsters who wore shredded Sunday clothes and only appeared on very early episodes of the show
*Alberto Murroni - a world-famous knife thrower who appeared with his assistant Vesna on all episodes of the show including the Italian version. After a brief demonstration, the contestant was usually asked to guess the outcome of another, or successfully perform a stunt with Murroni.
*Martin the Magician - performed magic tricks during the second season
*Undertakers - escorted a contestant off the stage after landing on Death
*Ocas - live geese that were allowed to roam freely around the stage


* "Beso o Tortazo" (Kiss or Slap): A male contestant landing here was presented with a (usually sexy) conversation by one of the Oquettes. That conversation was left incomplete. He was presented with the option to say that the outcome was a kiss or a slap. In order to win, the contestant had to guess at least five out of the eight Oquettes' responses correctly. No matter if the guess was right, the contestant received the kiss or slap anyway. If the contestant was female, the host received the kiss/slap; however, on the final episode of the first season, the in-house judge was brought out and he received the kisses and slaps.

Final Stunt

A contestant who reached space 63 won the game; however, he then was given until the taping of the next show (one week) to perform a "reoca", an additional stunt attempted outside the studio, in order to win a car. The whole thing was taped and watched at the beginning of the next episode; the participating player was then informed whether or not he won the automobile. This feature was removed in the second season.


After 32 standard games had been played (excluding celebrity episodes), a lottery was held to determine who would be invited back to participate in the Tournament of Champions. The names of all winning male contestants were placed into one hopper, while the names of the winning female contestants were placed into another. Eight names were drawn from each, and these were divided up into four semifinal games with two men and two women each. The four semifinal winners competed in a final episode to determine the Grand Champion for that season.

In the second season, all finalists began the game with 250,000 pesetas (equivalent to approximately $2,000) instead of 100,000.


The entire first season of this show was aired in the United States on Telemundo in the 1994-1995 television year, exactly one year after airing in Spain. Episodes from the second and third seasons have yet to be shown in the US.

Many of the stunts on "El gran juego de la oca" involved fire, explosions, underwater perils and animals; while these types of challenges would be featured later in the United States on shows such as "Fear Factor" and "Dog Eat Dog", they were considered revolutionary at the time, especially to US audiences.

External links

* [http://www.elgranjuegodelaoca.tk Official web site (in Spanish)]
* [http://members.fortunecity.com/srwood/oca.html "Oca" fan site]
* [http://www.jocelyn.tv Official website of show creator Jocelyn Hattab]

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