Last night I broke down from all the cultural and social pressure (jk, there is none) and watched The Secret Millionaire, the new show where rich people pose as poor people in order to meet worthy poor people to give their money to. The show is well-meaning, but fundamentally flawed, because, I’m sorry, if two homeless men showed up at your house, would you then proceed to introduce them to your little daughter who has cancer and tell them in great detail about your financial problems? No, you would not. But you might if there was a camera crew following them. And before you say, sarcastically, “Are you trying to say that reality shows aren’t REAL? Oh my god! No!”, I’m saying that on this show it’s particularly a problem that everyone is acting differently than they would in real life, because the whole conceit of the show is to suss out the worthiest poor people through natural interaction. And also for rich people to complain about roaches after showing us their cars. ANYway, I was looking for a clip from last night’s show, when I found this instead: this guy is EXTREMELY excited about his discovery that the same paper check was used twice on the show that he immediately took to YouTube to painstakingly walk us through this gigantic conspiracy. Somehow it ends up being more charming than the show itself, especially at the end when he invites his dog to join him in YouTube “fame”:

It’s going to be the 9/11 Was An Inside Job of reality TV! Anyway, The Secret Millionaire may not be real, but if you’re feeling sorry for yourself and looking for something to cry about, it’s the best prime-time option around now that the election is over. And it really is fun to watch rich people complain about roaches.

Comments (18)
  1. That 6 looks like a 5, but the carmera is wobbly and the TV flickering.

  2. Jenn  |   Posted on Dec 4th, 2008 +1

    They could easily say it’s a fake show check (like the big Publisher’s Clearing House checks) and they get the REAL check after the show. I’m sure it gets paid by the network and not ACTUALLY the rich person, if it gets paid at all.

  3. You know what, the first “2776″ check DID look like it said “2775″…I think. Anyway, I watched this show last night and bawled my eyes out. I suck.

  4. chip  |   Posted on Dec 5th, 2008 -1

    When you look at the amount of money the “millionares” (people like you and me except for they have more money) gave to the needy, it was peanuts compared to what they can afford. I was hoping they would give $100,000 to everyone, and quite frankly I was hoping they would give one million to everyone. It came from their own pockets after all. They could have done that. This show is pathetically sad. It humiliates and exploits the needy for ratings. The amount of money the needy got is NOT going to “CHANGE THEIR LIVES”. How sad to use hurting people to be humiliated. If anything, I think it would have been better to end the show with someone like a producer showing up and givintg them a check and telling them the truth. It was horrible when the man who flies around in a jet showed up looking like a prince in his fancy suit. How degrading. I would never watch this show again and didn’t watch the one with the couple who owned the chicken place. I turned that off midway. This is using defenseless people for ratings. What if they didn’t want it aired? Were they given that chance but allowed to keep the money? I am sickened by this. It reminds me of people who make calendars of kittens and puppies and other animals. People look at the pictures and think “aw, how cute” but those baby animals didn’t want to pose with santa caps on and sunglassed and other odd things they do to them to make for a cute calendar. These poor people didn’t want to have thier life story shown on TV. This is television at it’s worst and morality at it’s worst. The millionares were cheap. They could have given much more. Horrible, awful exploitation.

  5. Greg  |   Posted on Dec 6th, 2008 -1

    If you watch the second part of this show (with the rich couple in Louisiana) you will notice at least one check was dated 4/31/2008. Rich people obviously don’t know there are only 30 days in April.

  6. Gloria  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2008 +6

    its called a prop check idiot. They’re not going to use a real check so people can rip off the guys bank account. you act like you discovered penicillin or something. get a life

  7. john  |   Posted on Dec 10th, 2008 +1

    What do they tell all these people is going on woth the television crew?

  8. Frank  |   Posted on Dec 11th, 2008 +2

    Just loved Gloria’s comment re the prop check. Some people can’t see past their noses.

  9. Andrew  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2008 -1

    Ok the checks they use on the show is fake! I would know my mom was about to be on that show but my grandmother passed away and unfortunately she couldn’t make it for the 6 days. Also for the people that say the date is from way back they started filming the first episode about 9 months ago so there.
    Thanks for reading and if they make an add on and my mom can d it look for me ANDREW and my mom is LETICIA.

  10. Andrew  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2008 -1

    Ok the checks they use on the show is fake! I would know my mom was about to be on that show but my grandmother passed away and unfortunately she couldn’t make it for the 6 days. Also for the people that say the date is from way back they started filming the first episode about 9 months ago so there.
    Thanks for reading and if they make an add on and my mom can d it look for me ANDREW and my mom is LETICIA.

  11. Andrew  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2008 -1

    Ok the checks they use on the show is fake! I would know my mom was about to be on that show but my grandmother passed away and unfortunately she couldn’t make it for the 6 days. Also for the people that say the date is from way back they started filming the first episode about 9 months ago so there.
    Thanks for reading and if they make an add on and my mom can d it look for me ANDREW and my mom is LETICIA.

  12. Bernice  |   Posted on Dec 14th, 2008 -1

    I couldn’t wait to see the program. It really made the rich people seem human and come out of their box. I didn’t really believe the spanish couple couldn’t believe that people lived that way. The guy said that he was a self-made millionair and that they were not alway well to do. Anyway, I’ve worked since I was 8 years old. Helping my families. I’m 47 years old now, but I feel like I’m 67. I still have a child to send to college. It’s nobody’s fault, it’s just the way it is. I’ve always been the one everyone comes to and every now and then I even need help. Now that my health is failing. I would like to just see my daughter go to college, then my job will be done. My children can carry on the torch of giving. It’s just so hard to say no and see others in need and hurting if you can do something about it. God Bless you and I just hope that all who do watch the show get something REAL out of it and remember to help your fellow man and give when and what you can, because everyone needs help sometimes just to get over that hump. No one wants a hand out, just a helping hand. Remember, Jesus is the reason for the season.

  13. Monique  |   Posted on Dec 18th, 2008 +2

    I think the show is ok the problem i have is they are looking for people to help that are in need. Well one of the first places I would go is to the homeless shelter I might donate something to the shelter but I would help the individuals that stay in the shelter and I would go to the Welfare office I am pretty sure there is someone there that would love some help. I live in the projects for those of you that dont know what the projects are they are for poor people. I would love for someone to walk thru here and knock on my door or anyones door and give them a helping hand I myself would love to get out the projects and buy a $10,000 house for me and my children. I have read the comments alot of comments say the show is fake well I think they might be right. All I’m saying is that I would like for the millionares to help out individuals I know the group organzations needs help too. But I think that young lady at the grocery store using the bridgecard and counting her pennies might need a break too.

  14. The truth  |   Posted on Dec 19th, 2008 -2

    I have been angry for years as I watch the rich get rich while the poor get poorer. I watch these celebrities and rich buy their mansions, cars, rims, clothes, and diamonds or bling that they get from poor consumers supporting their product and never give anything back to the poor. While Non-profits get money from Foundations, Private Prilanthropist, Government Grants, Corporations, The Rich and Wealthy and Entertainers or Athletes, the poor never get to see this money. Some of them have been giving to Non-profits since forever but people still suffer in poverty. How is that? Where is all of this money to non-profits going? I will tell you where, in the pockets of the Execs and their employees who are now making over 6 figures while the community the serve still suffer. I served on the board of a non-profit and worked for non-profits for a lifetime and watch the Executive Directors invite their friends to serve on the board so they would have no-one to be held accountable to and would take private donations and do whatever they wanted to do with the money. So imagine what happened during Hurrican Katrina, once people started giving to the Red Cross, every non-profit wanted a piece of the pie and alot of money never reached the people who actually needed it. Then you have celebrities who start their own non-profits and filter/donate their money to these non-profits so they can get a tax write -off but the money goes right back in their pockets.

    Now While Bush is bailing out the rich before he leaves the office by giving away money that poor tax payers are forced to pay, 750 billion, 350 billion and more then invest 41 billion in the very company he bailed out, nobody is fighting to bail out the poor. So finally you have a show where the rich is finally starting to realize how useful they can be to impoverished communities. You have Exiled on MTV where rich spoiled kids are seeing what life is like without their riches and you have the face of television gradually changing for the better and that is a work of GOD. I personally created 43 reality shows in hopes that it would spark rich people to think about someone other than themselves and to change lives for the better and Secret Millionaire is an exact replica of one of the shows that I created. So if this show ignites the fire and compassion to give back to the poor and needy and motivates other rich to get involved then my mission is accomplished. TO GOD BE THE GLORY

    There are at least 20 other reality shows or derivatives on TV or scheduled to air that I created and haven’t been paid a dime while I was left in poverty by some of the richest and wealthiest corporations and celebrities in the Entertainment Business. But if I could help change the life of one person or open the eyes of one rich man to give to the poor and needy then my job is done.

    See other shows I created that were stolen like

    G’s to Gents
    Queen Bees
    Redemption Song and more

  15. Maria E  |   Posted on Feb 26th, 2009 +3

    I am one of the most skeptical people I know. but I can honestly say that this show was absolutely real. I personally know one of the recipients that was on the show. Her name is Mayisha and she is the founder of the Compton Junior Posse.. She received money to help her non profit organization. Mayisha does alot of great things through this organization. SHe is dedicated to helping kids stay off the street and out of trouble. Kids that other people just write off. You can check out her website at I know Mayisha through work, SHe works part time at the hospital I work at. If I didnt know Mayisha personally. I would not believe that this show was for real, but because I know her personally.. I am a believer

  16. the original series from the uk was authentic and the concept worked great,,but im afraid the american series does have a feel that it is set up to speed the episodes production up and its lost all of that authentic drama of the real world as usual with those brits to come up with a fantastic idea and make it better the first time round.
    i am just watchin an episode where an ageing blond cheerleader and her mother are in a poor neighbouhood,and for the first two days instead of getting a few groceries with the money they have to keep them going for what is less than a week and getting on with the important task at hand seeking out the needy in order to help them, they only seemed concerned with finding a job to rase money for food for themselves.(this is not supposed to be a fun camping trip)
    all in all this whole episode sounds pre scripted and false.

  17. does it relieve their conciences?to go on national tv,why couldnt they do the same thing without the cameras?i tell you why, because theyre a egomainiacs,oh look what a guardian angel i am.Well i wonder how many continue to work with the people and make along term comitment,like they do in the uk series.NOT ONE!!!!!

  18. what if, just what if, the show made a difference?

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