Monday, February 28, 2022

History and Games

Began a beautiful morning with Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. Super Daniel and Firefighter Katerina Margaret's baby rattle to alert people when they're going to save the day, but Margaret wants it back. Mrs. Tiger shows them how to make their own rattle. "Daniel Makes the Neighborhood" when he, Miss Elaina, and Prince Wednesday build their houses from ordinary household items Lady Elaine has on hand..

Went downstairs for a quick breakfast next, then headed out. I had a couple of errands to run, starting with a quick trip to PNC Bank. Needed to take out money for my neighbor Brittany. I borrowed cash from her to pay the movers on Saturday. I also got a bit turned around going back to Oaklyn, but at least it was a nice day for a ride. It was windy and chilly, but also bright and sunny, and warm when you could get out of the blustery air. 

Rode around to Dollar General next. Couldn't find my dry erase markers, so I bought another pack. Gave Coke Starlight another chance after I picked up the Zero the other day. Not bad. Sort of a weird; fruity note; kind of like Birch Coke. (It's even reddish in color.) Went across the street to deliver the money to my neighbor, but only heard her dogs, not her. I'll try again tomorrow or later in the week. 

Got home, set up my schedule for a week, and spent the next hour going through boxes and moving furniture. I can start setting up the back room. I moved my two narrow and low Ikea shelves to the back wall for dolls and large books. 

Watched Match Game '74 while I worked. The first episode featured a joke about a sequel to Blazing Saddles involving exotic dancers; later, the panel made jokes about Charles' answer to "Brand __" in the Audience Match. Gene made his entrance rolling down the shag-carpeted steps in the second episode!

Had a quick lunch of a leftover chicken dish. I'll probably buy my own cereal, since she's carb-free, but I'll use another container for it. The container I've used for years is getting old and grimy. She has her own sugar and flour, so once that's gone, I'll use one container for cereal and put the others in storage.

Headed off to work after lunch. Between the nice day, this being the last day of the month, and us being between holidays again, we were dead for a lot of the afternoon. It got mildly steady around rush hour. Otherwise, I did a lot of standing around. At least we aren't required to wear masks anymore (for now), and I was able to work on story notes and write down what I needed to do tonight and tomorrow.

Went straight into the shower when I got home, then went upstairs and online. Since I missed the African-American Greats marathon on Buzzr Saturday, I held my own tonight. What's My Line knew no color barrier. Their Mystery Guests could be anyone famous from any industry. I went with the Supremes at the height of their fame in 1967 and legendary vocalist Ella Fitzgerald in 1962

Comedy knows no color barrier, either. Match Game frequently made use of popular and prominent African-American comedians and TV actors, like Isobel Sanford at the start of The Jeffersons' long run. In 1976, she helped a sweet young woman with the Head-to-Head match, and even heard Charles and Marvin Hamlisch write and impromptu song for her. 

Given the ultra-cool vibe Richard Dawson exuded, most of you probably won't be surprised to hear he was friends with members of the Rat Pack. Sammy Davis Jr. appeared on an episode of Family Feud in 1979 to greet his buddy and ask the first question. He did quite well, too, even being almost as charming with the ladies as Richard. I don't know who had more fun, Sammy asking the contestants the first question, or Richard laughing like crazy watching him.

Davis Jr wouldn't be the last African-American to host a game show. "Poet Laureate of Television" Nipsey Russell had his only shot at hosting with Your Number's Up in 1985. After Nipsey's opening poems, three contestants spin a wheel. It lands on two numbers that go up on a board. They choose one of two phrases with initials on it. They guess the initials to gain diamonds. The numbers allow for calling random audience members to the stage to play for their own prizes. Nipsey and the winner then award another audience member prize money before doing the bonus round, which has the contestant guessing initials on a push-button phone board to win a car.

Very strange and complicated show. Even Nipsey and his poems can't do much with this one. It's kind of like a cross between Whew, Jeopardy, and a numbers-based Wheel of Fortune. Between the trivia, the spinning wheel, and the audience getting to play along, there's just too much going on. Audiences at the time agreed; the show only lasted a few months. 

Former football star Ahmad Rashad didn't have much more luck with Caesar's Challenge in 1993. Too bad, because this game was fun, kind of like a Vegas Lingo. A man in a gladiator's costume pulls a lever to send letters into slot machines. The contestants had to guess the scrambled words to win the round. It was fun to play and to try to unscramble the words, but game shows not called The Price Is Right were vanishing from daytime. This would be NBC's last crack at a daytime game show to date and would be the last new daytime game show to debut on a network for 16 years. 

CBS revived Let's Make a Deal in 2009. Popular comedian Wayne Brady took over hosting from Monty Hall. Even in the very first episode, he's already running with the zonks and the people in their crazy costumes. He continues to host Deal on CBS to this day. 

Celebrate African Americans on television with these pieces of history! (Look for the original commercials on many of these posts, too.)

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