Friday, September 04, 2020

Invasion of the Game Shows and Non-Zombies

Started off the morning with breakfast and Split Second. Two women and a man battled it out today...but once again, one lady left the other two in the dust. She beat them handily in the Countdown Round and easily said she'd return when she didn't get the car. The gentleman kept right on rolling through Blockbusters, beating a pair of twin firemen and getting every question in the Gold Rush round correct. He was half-way through a game with a mother-daughter pair as the show ended.

Headed out to run errands shortly after the show ended. Decided to give the bike a break and walked with the push cart. My first stop was the laundromat. It wasn't busy, allowing me to get a washer quickly. Family Dollar wasn't busy, either. They didn't have any bath rugs I liked, so I was in and out of there quickly. Ended up at WaWa for a Pumpkin Smoothie (which tasted more like a Vanilla Spice Smoothie), a bottle of blood orange sparkling water for later, and a pretzel. Sat outside on a breezy, sunny, humid day and worked on story notes and sipped my sparkling water.

I hadn't been to The House of Fun in ages. I was going to . It's on the White Horse Pike as I walked home, so I thought I'd stop in. The last time I wanted to stop there was St. Patrick's Day, but everything closed here the day before. The owners used the down time to re-arrange the Star Wars toys and collectible items. The boxes of dolls were now way up on a ceiling shelf where I couldn't reach, and the loose dolls were in boxes.

I ended up buying DVDs instead. Zombies of the Stratosphere is a Republic sci-fi serial from 1952. Phantom of the Paradise is a rock-and-roll take on Phantom of the Opera and will be the Halloween review on my musical blog this year.

Went straight into lunch and Zombies of the Stratosphere after I got home and folded the clothes. Relaxed and drowsed on the couch after I ate. Zombies is the rather odd tale of a group of Martians who wish to improve the atmosphere on their planet by setting atomic bombs that will knock Earth out of its orbit and move Mars there. Larry Martin (Judd Holdren), a prototype Rocketeer in a jet pack and jumpsuit, flies into action to stop the Martian trio. The villainous aliens (including a very young Leonard Nemoy) are aided by gangsters and a robot they can control remotely. Larry only has his pals Sue (Aline Towne) and Bob (Wilson Wood) on his side.

Hoo boy. Marvin the Martian came up with better plots to destroy the Earth than this. For one thing, the title's a cheat. There's no zombies to be found, and I don't think they ever make it into the stratosphere. I only got about half-way through before switching to Tattletales. We'll see what the rest is like tomorrow.

Was awake enough to crochet while Tattletales was on. I have no idea who Steve and Cris Forest are, but Nancy Sinatra appeared on the show with her husband Hugh Lambert before, and Gene Rayburn and his knowing wife Helen were there as well. I don't blame Nancy for staying with Hugh until his death in 1985 - he was handsome, soft-spoken (especially compared to hammy Gene), and very smart. They got every question right and won hands-down.

Two ladies and a man battled it out on Press Your Luck. No one did terribly well in the first round, with only one lady finishing with money. Things picked up during the second round. One lady Whammied out, but the man just barely got past the other woman on his last turn.

Worked on writing for a couple of hours. To everyone's horror, Malade grows and grows into her true form...a gigantic demon with huge, leathery wings. She first attacks the frog, throwing him hard into a wall. Brett challenges her, claiming she's not afraid and doesn't care who has what magic. She knew all along she was a demon and will take her on anyway. But Malade still has another hostage...

Broke for the last of the leftover chicken soup at 6:30. I came in just in time for the last Match Game episode of the day on Buzzr. Proud dad Richard Dawson, who was a doting single father to two pre-teen boys in 1974, discussed his Hawaiian vacation (and how he got so tan) and showed a picture his son Gary took dancing with a native girl. The young man champ on Sale of the Century didn't blow everyone away quite as much as previously, but he still bought an Instant Bargain and just barely won the Speed Round. He picked up a trip to Jamaica on the "match the prize board" this time.

Finished the night with two rarer game show episodes on YouTube after a shower. Winning Streak was the replacement for Three On a Match, but it lasted less than a year during 1974 and 1975. Two contestants have to make words relating to a theme, like "what you eat for breakfast," on a board. Whomever comes up with the letters to form a word is the winner. The bonus round is forming words from letters chosen on a board. The set is nifty, but the game play may be a little too hard for most folks to follow, and I can kind of see why this didn't last long. The only reason the episode on YouTube exists is it was pre-empted by President Nixon's resignation and never aired. (Which may explain why it's in pretty good shape as well, missing only the commercials.)

Gambit with Wink Martindale proved to be far more popular, running from 1972 to 1976. It's kind of a cross between Card Sharks and Sale of the Century. Here, the game is blackjack. Couples answer questions (sometimes ridiculously easy ones) to earn cards. The first couple who gets to 21 wins and gets a chance at the board, where they can choose either parts of checks under cards, or find a prize like a cruise. If they get to 21, they get a car. In fact, a couple got the car on this episode from 1974, to the absolute delight of the female half! Evidently, she really needed a new car.

Here's these two rarities on YouTube! (And check Wink's Vault for even more rare game show episodes and pilots!)

Winning Streak
Gambit (from Wink's Vault)

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