2/12/13

The Boob Tube #36: Game Shows


In honor of the fact that my wife is actually going to be on The Price Is Right today (2/12/13), I figured it would be appropriate to feature a game show post. I've pretty much said everything I can say about game shows (see previous post); however, I've learned to never say never on Retrospace - there seems to always be more to say.

So, let me start by saying I hated Name That Tune.  I was a musical encyclopedio - I could and still can identify a musical obscurity by just a few notes....... and yet I was an abysmal failure at Name That Tune. The reason, of course, is that they never played anything by Seals & Crofts, Kiss or David Bowie.  It was crap like "Little Brown Jug".  Old standards that were foreign to a Gen-xer like me. I'd watch the show with my family and my dad could kick royal ass at naming a track from Around the World in 80 Days or a Glen Miller tune. And there I sat on the shag carpet, disgraced, eating my Frankenberry in shame.




Back when most women were home during the day, game shows ruled the airwaves alongside soaps.  And if there's one thing these ladies loved, it was Mr. Bert Convy.  Love that 'fro.

My favorite game shows of the era were Make Me Laugh and The Gong Show.  Although, I must admit a secret passion for Jokers Wild.  Don't tell anyone.


Was there anything worse than a man dressed as Raggedy Andy forsake a wad of cash in favor of a farm animal? I always wondered whether the contestants actually took home the goat or was that just a put-on.


The beauty of The Match Game was the sexually suggestive questions - where "BLANK" could often be inserted with a variety of lewd words.  Some real examples:

The cave man said, "I just went to a very unusual wedding. A dinosaur BLANKED the bride."

"Judy and George were the strangest couple on the dance floor. Everyone else was dancing cheek to cheek, but they were dancing BLANK to BLANK."

"I just came from New York. They've got a new type of men's room there. If you try to sneak in under the door without putting in a dime, it BLANKS you."

"On the airplane, Stephanie said to Jessica, "I don't have much confidence in this airline. I just saw the pilot and he had a BLANK sticking out of his pocket."

"Weird Sylvester was thrown out of the department store when they caught him BLANKING the mannequins."


 I, for one, have no recollection of GO.  Here's a few more game shows that vaguely ring a bell, but have since passed from my long term memory...

  • You Don't Say
  • Whew!
  • Second Chance
  • Rhyme and Reason
  • Now You See It
  • Gambit
  • The Big Showdown

... and Almost Anything Goes.....


Although, I do seem to recall a dirty little game show called Anything Goes Including Your Clothes.  Anyone remember that?  I'm too lazy to Google it right now.


 Who were my favorite game show hosts you ask?  My all time favorite is Allen Ludden.  Nevermind the fact that he was married to Betty White, the dude was one cool customer.  I picture him having cigarettes and highballs at every commercial break.

I liked Bill Cullen and Jack Barry as well because they were just so damn old school.  Nothing cheesy or "wacky" about these guys.  They'd eat Wink Martindale for breakfast.

Here's a few more TV Guide pages with game show ads....




"We'll be back in 2 and 2!"
 

21 comments:

  1. In the UK, our version of The Match Game was called Blankety Blank.

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  2. I remember most of these, except for GO and those other obscure shows. What I really loved here was browsing the old TV Guide pages. Nostalgia... sigh.

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  3. Around here Make Me Laugh was on late at night. I loved that show.

    Match Game is my all-time favorite though. Funny, reading the questions like you have them here is almost offensive, but on the show, they're hilarious.

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    1. The most offensive part of the show wasn't the questions, but rather the lecherous behavior of Gene and (later) the worst offender McLean Stephenson. Watch in awe as McLean gropes, fondles, and invades the personal space of every young female on stage with him.

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    2. I remember Gene Rayburn gleefully kissing every female contestant. Like Richard Dawson on Family Feud only creepier. I'm pretty sure I remember him getting the breath spray out. I always thought that he looked like he needed that breath spray!

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    3. I remember when Matchgame '74 became Matchgame '75 and I couldn't understand why they changed the name. Okay, I was in kindergarten, give me a break. Actually, I'm surprised my mom let me watch it given the suggestive questions. But I never caught any of that while watching it back then. I still enjoy watching them on GSN now.

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    4. i love watching Match Game with my kids and grandkids and seeing the difference in what we might answer if we were on the show now compared to what they said then. some of the pop culture references of that era are completely lost on the young'uns lol and of course, if we watch enough of it, there is always the chance we will get to see the halloween episode when CNR dressed up as a fairy lol there will never be another Charles Nelson Reilly ...

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  4. ALMOST ANYTHING GOES was a Saturday (or Sunday) morning staple around 1976, coming on around 7am! It was a great, wacky game show, kinda like a mix of TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES and today's HOLE IN THE WALL! It was later modified for adults as a prime-time show, I think...

    Anyone else recall when WHEEL OF FORTUNE premiered around 1976? Chuck Woolery was its host for years then!

    Al Bigley

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  5. I suddenly realized how much I miss the damn TV guide!

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  6. I remember when Pat Sajak started his talk show and gave up the AM version of WOF and former NFL kicker Rolf Benirschke.

    Back then I had a soft spot for Tic-Tac-Dough and The Joker's Wild.

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    1. Rolf Benirschke replaced Pat.

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  7. Match Game was my absolute favorite as a kid....we even had the board game! Hollywood Squares was a pretty stupid game, but Paul Lynde made it awesome! Good memories. I forgot about some of these shows and it was nice to see them on the vintage pages of the TV Guide.

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  8. There was a blurb at the end of "Let's Make a Deal" that said to the effect of "Contestants are offered reasonable facsimiles of ZONK prizes." The story I got was, yes they keep the goat or the oversized rocking chair, but nobody ever did, since they really didn't want it, and they'd have to pay taxes on it anyway. What do you suppose they got instead? Rice-a-Roni? Creamettes? Lee Press-on Nails?

    2 Great books on this stuff: Come on Down!!! : The TV Game Show Book. Graham, 1988 (Abbeville Press) and The Encyclopedia of TV Game Shows, (Schwartz/Ryan/Westbrock), 1995 (Facts on File Publishing

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  9. Almost Anything Goes - now there's a blast from the past. There TV Guide pages are really cool, Gilligan.

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  10. Yes, contestants on LET'S MAKE A DEAL were offered alternatives for their Zonks. In a few cases, on episodes where the winners were sparse, people with Zonks got to trade them for a shot at the Big Deal (the grand finale for those who don't know the program) and in one case that person won the big prize.

    But that was nothing compared to the old days...the original PRICE IS RIGHT was known for offbeat bonus prizes given away when a contestant won something. A man with a new piano got an elephant, in case he needed some extra ivory. They planned to give him a cash award of $4000 (in 50's money) instead--but like Bart Simpson, he wanted the pachyderm. However, he owned a ranch in Texas with other exotic animals, so it was no problem on his end. The winner of a barbeque grille got a live steer thrown in...as he was a doctor in Brooklyn, he sold it to a meat packer.

    But the topper is what happened on CONCENTRATION. Their matches included goofy "prizes" as well as serious ones--useful strategically if you got a Forfeit. Then one day someone won a brick wall--that person made the show build a brick wall around their home. From then on they made sure the fun gifts couldn't boomerang on them.

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    1. My name did not go through correctly...

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  11. Don't know why $1.98 Beauty Show never lasted as long as Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy.

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  12. I planned my evening around Wink Martindale and Tic Tac Dough. That dragon on the big board scared me.

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  13. I became a fan of Bill Cullen back when GSN was still running their Sunday Night in Black & White game shows featuring What's My Line, The Name's the Same, and I've Got a Secret which featured Bill on the panel.

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  14. as i sit here in a nostalgic haze i gallantly flip from one channel to the next in a desperate attempt to find something remotely interesting to watch, i gaze at the above tv guide clippings. as i do so my heart begins to race as my mind wonders - "will tv ever be as good as it was back in the 70s and 80s?" then to my dismay i see the audience insulting reality shows, horrible, poorly written sitcoms, and unfunny commercials dominating the airwaves and my answer comes right away - "nope, it won't."

    i then i begin to weep for my kids....

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    1. Your kids are okay, and usually do find something to watch-it's just not what YOU can get into, though.

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