I've absolutely played "bad games" on purpose. For as cynical as I can be sometimes (and I think you've guys have heard me at my most cynical, RE: MW2), my honest opinion on this topic is that no matter what, every game has something to offer you. Whether it's a unique gameplay mechanic that just didn't pan out, an interesting artistic direction or, in the case of something like Big Rigs, complete and utter programming lunacy, there's always something worth discovering. Besides, if no one bothered playing those Zelda CD-I games, most would never have seen those awesome cinematics ;)
This was definitely one of my favorite episodes of the Nerd. He's clearly a very bright guy and knows a ton about the history of games and I'd really like to see more episodes like this in-between this usual, hilarious hijinks. I remember flipping through some of those awesome Atari promo catalogues when I was a kid and reading all about the completely insane Swordquest contest. I also remember feeling cheated that I hadn't been born 2-3 years earlier!
I'd also like to see someone try another wacky contest like this but there never seems to be any real follow through. Anyone else remember the ill-fated Advent Rising? The GiantBomb page doesn't mention it (a disturbing trend!) but Majesco originally planned a $1,000,000 (yes, one million) dollar giveaway to the first person who could find a certain, hidden symbol in the game. It was ultimately scrapped due to poor sales and of course, the game being a hot mess of glitches.
Without question, Zangief is my favorite character. Not only do I love everything about his design and how he's evolved over the years (He's a gigantic, bear-wrestling, Russian gay with the most powerful moves in fighting games. Too good.), but he's also the reason why I started taking SF2 seriously when I was a kid. All my friends would play just Ken and Ryu but when I went looking for competition, I saw every character in the roster and realized that I could play whoever I wanted, and thus began a decade+ of practically non-stop Zangief play. Everyone knows I love the dude ... my girlfriend made me a custom Gief toy and I even had him etched into my iPhone.
Runners-up? Hugo from SF3: 3rd Strike comes to mind immediately, not only because I have a certain affinity for the giant grapplers, but because I love all his ridiculous animations. Makoto, also from 3rd Strike is up there mainly because her sprite work is probably Capcom's best. Every frame of her attacks is filled with so much energy and emotion that it's hard not to get excited watching her fight.