Sunday, December 06, 2020

Tic Tac Holidays

Began a sunny, very windy morning with chocolate chip pancakes and holiday kid records. Holi Daze is a quartet of four Looney Tunes stories with Christmas themes. The title story has Granny and Bugs stranded in Arizona when Sheriff Yosemite Sam mistakes them for bandits. They ultimately help him catch the real crooks shortly before Christmas. "Bugs, the Red-Nosed Bunny" brings his friends along to help Santa when Rudolph has a cold. Millionaire Elmer believes he has "Santa Claustrophobia" can can't stop giving away his dough. Bugs and Daffy pose as a psychiatrist and his nurse in order to get the reward he promises to anyone who can cure him. "'Twas a Sight Before Christmas" as Bugs interviews the other Toons about Santa in order to convince his nephew that the jolly man in red is real.

The Care Bears also await Santa in The Care Bears' Christmas. When he doesn't appear, they think he's forgotten them. He really has a big surprise for all of them at the end.

Rose called while I was finishing breakfast. I finally called her back while the Care Bears were running. She sent Craig and Khai over to try to fix my bike; they should have already been there. I called Uber for a ride and went to talk to them.

They were, indeed, trying to get the tire off when I came out. Even with the right wrench, Craig still didn't have any more luck than I did. I just stripped the bolt too much trying to get it with my wrench. He and Rose will take it to the bike shop in Cherry Hill or see if they can find the right bolt at Home Depot. 

My Uber rides were smooth sailing both ways, with little trouble. To my surprise, so was work. We were off-and-on steady all afternoon, with plenty of help. By the time it started getting busier, I was just about done. One of the managers pulled me with a half-hour left to sweep the store, as the bagger on duty had been assigned to help with dairy stocking. Other than that, there were no major problems.

Went straight online once I got home. Captain Kennedy knows his brother Jack Nartz is alive because he alone knew where a treasure he'd stolen from an English ship was buried. Goodson wants to return that treasure to Spain for the reward money. Tom has friends who'll help them rescue the others, friends who have their own beef with Goodson...

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Had leftovers while listening to more records. The Pac Man Christmas Album takes us to Pacville as Pac Man, Mrs. Pac Man, and Baby Pac are about to celebrate a season of magical surprises and "Snowflakes and Frozen Lakes." In order to do one good deed to make their holiday complete, they invite the ghosts over to celebrate Christmas Eve. The ghosts think they want to be chased, and are more than a little surprised when they're offered presents and friendship instead.

Dickens' Christmas Carol is the original LP version of Mickey's Christmas Carol. There's a few things that are different here, starting with the addition of 8 original songs. Most of them are pretty bland, though I do like the delicious "Money" for Scrooge and Mickey Cratchit. Merlin from The Sword In the Stone is the Ghost of Christmas Past; the wicked queen in hag mode from Snow White is the Ghost of Christmas Future. 

Finished the night on YouTube after a shower with the next Match Game '90 premiere and more vintage game shows. Tonight, I honored beloved host Wink Martindale, whose birthday was yesterday. After a string of flops, Martindale's first big hit was Gambit. Inspired by blackjack, two married couples answered questions to earn cards. Whomever got closest to 21 first without going over earned the chance to check out the Bonus Round and flip cards over on a big board to win prizes. Sadly, though it ran from 1972 to 1976, only five episodes remain today, including this one.

The show was revived in 1980 as Las Vegas Gambit. The first half with the cards and the questions remained the same. The Bonus Round, however, is very different. This time, contestants roll dice rather than flip cards. It's more like High Rollers than blackjack, but just as effective. The couple on the episode I watched won all the prizes on the board, including a gorgeous fur coat for the grateful lady, and became the show's all-time winners with over 50,000.

My personal favorite Martindale show has always been Tic Tac Dough. I loved watching that on USA and in syndication in the 80's and early 90's. It was fun to answer trivia and see how far the contestants could get before hitting the infamous dragon. The episodes I chose are the first shows from the network and syndicated run respectively, both from 1978. (Interestingly, the syndicated run far outstripped the CBS network version, which barely lasted the summer.)

I have some fond memories of the 1985 show Headline Chasers from its USA Network run. Martindale posted a very different pilot on his own YouTube channel. The set and gameplay are entirely different, there's no bonus round, and the first round gets more into the use of famous historical faces and clips. 

High Rollers was another favorite of mine during the late 80's. I had no idea the Alex Trebek versions even existed until I ran into them on YouTube. Wink's version is more-or-less the same as the late 70's Alex show. We get another all-time winner here, the show's biggest with over 40,000 in prizes. 

Trivial Pursuit from 1993 is a new one on me...and seems to have been a new concept for the time. We had our cable turned off a year before The Family Channel started Wink's "interactive games." The first half of the game has nine contestants answering trivia questions, before being whittled down for the main game. That has three contestants answering questions from a rainbow pie. The person who can get closest to the whole pie wins the game and gets to answer more questions in the bonus round. The "interactive" part seems to have been a series of questions asked during "playbreaks" that you could call and answer. The "interactive" idea is kind of complicated, but the rest of the show is more of a typical, albeit enjoyable, trivia game.

Hope you enjoy this dive into the past with this former disc-jockey-turned beloved host, with Las Vegas Gambit and Headline Chasers coming from his own "vault" channel. (And look for the original commercials on several episodes!)

Oh, and the Eagles still can't catch a break. They lost to the Packers 30-16.

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