Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire? (found Fox reality TV special; 2000)
The logo for Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?.
Date found: 21 Oct 2023
Found by: Rivers Cuomo Funko Pop
Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire? was a TV special that aired on Fox on February 15th, 2000. In the special, women from all around the US would compete in a beauty pageant in order to marry an un-named multi-millionaire.
Despite being a ratings success, the special faced controversy right off the bat due to Rick Rockwell (the un-named millionaire) having a less than stellar past and having lied about his career as a standup comedian and was not as rich as he claimed to be. This revelation would cause an investigation by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) due to false advertising. Due to the amount of backlash Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire? faced, the special was pulled from future re-runs and no new specials of the same premise would be made. The special had not fully surfaced for over twenty years.
Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire? was structured like a beauty pageant. In the pageant, women from all fifty US states would compete in order to win the chance to marry a multi-millionaire. Contestants would compete in swimwear and a question-and-answer portion in order to narrow down the number of competitors. The eventual winner was Darva Conger who, on top of marrying Rick Rockwell on the spot, won a diamond ring, and $100,000 in multiple prizes..
The special ran into controversy as soon as it was done airing. Almost immediately, many questioned if Rick Rockwell was as rich as he claimed to be. It was soon revealed that Rick Rockwell had a net worth of $2 million but $750,000 of it was in liquid assets. Rick Rockwell (who was a comedian) claimed to have quit comedy in 1990 in order to be a motivational speaker, but he appeared as recently as 1998 doing stand-up comedy at local venues. On February 19th, 2000 an article was released that showed a restraining order filed against Rick by his then-girlfriend in 1991 over domestic abuse.
After the honeymoon to Barbados, Darva Conger filed for divorce from Rick Rockwell in March of 2000. Due to the amount of controversy that Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire? brought, Fox agreed never to air the special again and would not make any future specials of Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?.
Due to the amount of controversy brought by Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire? and almost breaking FCC guidelines, Fox agreed to never show re-runs of the Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?. Only small clips from a promo, an Entertainment Tonight report on the winner of the special, and an episode of E! True Hollywood Story have surfaced.
On April 22nd, 2022, 69 minutes of the special was uploaded to the Internet Archive by user "Extreme Reality Television" after the user purchased a VHS tape on eBay containing the uploaded contents. The rest of the special has yet to surface prior to October 2023.
On October 21st, 2023, YouTube user Rivers Cuomo Funko Pop uploaded the full 90-minute special on the Internet Archive and YouTube, sourced from their personal tape dating back to February 15th, 2000, rendering the entire special found.
Promos and Clips
- Huffingpost article with 11 seconds from the special. Retrieved 22 Oct 20
- The Daily Show With Jon Stewart report on the special with clips from the special. Retrieved 22 Oct 20
- People's magazine archive of Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?. Retrieved 12 Sep '20
- An Entertainment Weekly article on the whole controversy surrounding the special. Retrieved 12 Sep '20
- The Smoking Gun article on Rick's restraining order. Retrieved 12 Sep '20