Katie Couric loved to kill FMV bad guys in the 1990s.
A poster over on YouTube has uncovered a piece The Today Show did on American Laser Games’ Mad Dog McCree sometime in the early 1990s. In the segment, Katie Couric, current anchor of CBS Evening News, shows off her skill at the game, and does pretty well at that. Mad Dog McCree was one of the first live-action laserdisc games that had players use a lightgun to take out opponents in the Wild West.
This segment in hindsight is pretty funny, particularly when Katie’s co-host calls refers to Pong as “Poing,” but he’s got such a happy energy that you can’t hate him for his ignorance. They say that Mad Dog McCree was at one time “the hottest game in the arcades,” and though possible, I’m not sure that was really true. I do personally remember trying Mad Dog McCree and thinking it was fun (at the time), but it was more expensive than other games and was also really hard.
If Couric didn’t play a few games of Mad Dog before this piece was shot, she’s got to be a natural because she tears through a couple parts of the game pretty well. Her co-host doesn’t even get past one guy, but something about him really makes me want to be his friend.
What I like most about this piece is how it was designed to highlight the fun of Mad Dog McCree and not to vilify it in any way. Today, we would probably never see a game that involves guns on a morning show, except perhaps to point out how it was destroying society. Strangely enough, American Laser Games was eventually spun off into Her Interactive, which now makes Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys games.