Friday, June 7, 2019

Whatever Happened to Johnny Arcade?

In 1990 I was introduced to the show Video Power! I remember the show aired early in the mornings on weekdays on either WWOR or WPIX. The show was originally split into 2 segments. The first would be 15 minutes of pure video game bliss as the show's host Johnny Arcade would give us tips, hints & cheats on our favorite games for all of our favorite systems. Johnny would also do sneak peaks of upcoming games and reviews of current ones. 
He would do this all from the comfort of his AMAZING hangout/room. This place was total nirvana for any young video game fan at the time. If you would have asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up during these years, I would have said "Johnny Arcade"! The guy got paid to play video games! It was amazing. He was a role model to us all.
The second part of the show was a cartoon called "The Power Team". It featured the Acclaim video game heroes Kuros from Wizards & Warriors, Max Force from NARC, Tyrone from Arch Rivals, Bigfoot and Kwirk. They fought the bad guys Mr. Big and Malkil in order to save the world.
Occasionally Johnny Arcade would be seen in cartoon form in order to assist the Power Team in their exploits to defeat the forces of evil. The cartoon lasted for 33 episodes during season 1 of Video Power.
Then during season 2 of Video Power the cartoon was dropped in favor of a game show segment! The game started off with 4 contestants picked from the audience as they played a video game in order to get the high score within the 2:02 time limit. The top 2 scorers would move on to the Quiz round. Players were asked video game related questions and had to identify games based on the music. Each right answer gained them points. Finally it was on to the final head to head game play challenge. Whoever had the highest score after playing the game earned 50 points. 
The player with the most points at the end earned the right to go to the prize round where they would grab prizes like games, accessories and consoles. They were only given 41 seconds to make it through the course and velcro as many prizes to their vests and helmets as they could handle. 
Whatever they had, they won and Johnny Arcade would help identify each prize on camera. After season 2 ended in 1992 Video Power was not renewed for another year. So what happened to the Video Game icon Johnny Arcade?
Johnny Arcade was played by actor Stivi Paskoski. After his starring role on Video Power, Paskoski went on to act in shows like Franny's Turn (1992), Homicide: Life on the Street (1993) and the movie PCU (1994). Then after taking almost 10 years off, he returned to the screen in Third Watch (2003) and has had a steady acting career since then. Highlights include his role as Charles Bell in Law & Order and Lead SVR Agent in Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Who would have thought that Johnny Arcade would become a member of the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

2 comments:

  1. Dude, this was one of my favorite game shows as a kid. I loved watching kids grab all those great games as they ran through the obstacle!

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    1. Loved it too! Always got frustrated at the kids who wasted time to stop and look over the games wasting time being choosy with their selections. If it was me, I would just grab anything that got in my way!!!

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