The Hangover Games



Matt Richardson


Ken Cheng


Little Gem for E4, 26 February to 1 May 2019 (10 episodes in 1 series)


The Hangover Games takes a group of friends, and sends them on a night out. They're filmed drinking, dancing, drunk-dancing, often snogging unexpected people, perhaps a late-night kebab, and eventually back to their rooms. All this is done on the pretence of filming an E4 reality series Our Night Out.

Except it's a fib. Early the next morning, Matt Richardson wakes them up, and gets everyone dressed and awake.

The Hangover GamesMatt flashes the cash to get his players.

Each episode has a different selection of challenges, following a similar template. After we meet the team, Matt joins them in a street somewhere. He asks them to walk to the pop-up studio, but in an unconventional way. In "Walk of Shame", the group might be blindfolded, or wearing five-inch heels, or just be chased by club bouncers.

The Hangover GamesThis team were out on the town last night.

Round two is usually on the theme of, "So, what did happen last night". A discussion quiz if we're unlucky, but hopefully a game where they re-create the dancing moves they performed last night.

After the break, there's a physical challenge. It might be drinking the liquefied contents of the kebabs they ate last night. Bleeugh.

What happened next is the next round. A test of memory, it might ask the team to remember what was unusual about their takeaway, such as a whipped cream kebab served by someone off of The Only Way is Essex. Or they might show some footage from last night, stop it, and ask what came next?

"Hangover Hell" is the final round, during which one of the team undergoes a nasty forfeit while the others answer questions.

The Hangover GamesMatt Richardson and Ken Cheng.

As is established practice, Matt doesn't host alone. His co-host is Ken Cheng, a comedian and nerd stereotype. Ken keeps all the answers, ignores the physical tomfoolery, and keeps score. It is a contest, they do hand out money – £200 for winning each of the first four challenges, £20 per question in the final game.

This show is not for children, not for those who dislike electric shocks, not for those allergic to drinking. It is a show where existing relationships are tested in unorthodox and imaginative ways. This show is sympathetic to its participants: their guilt at getting hammered is assuaged through good works. It's all done in a friendly manner, Matt clearly wants the teams to win as much as they can, and this positivity lifts the mood.


Not to be confused with The Hungover Games, a 2014 parody movie that's not worth your while.

E4's inability to have a settled schedule worked against this show. Four episodes went out on Tuesday at 10, then one on Tuesday at 10.30, with the final five episodes shifting to Wednesday around 11.

Web links

Channel 4 programme page

See also

Weaver's Week review


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