Saturday, October 31, 2020
Friday, October 30, 2020
Thursday, October 29, 2020
Awoke to pouring rain and gritty gray skies as dark as evening. Livened up the morning with oatmeal for breakfast and an episode of Arthur. It's "Hic or Treat" as Arthur tries to figure out how he can scare his little sister D.W out of her annoying case of the hiccups. Buster's tired of Brain being "Mr. Alwaysright" after he insists that the hat he bought isn't right for his mother and sets out to find something Brain isn't right about.
Switched to writing after the cartoon ended. Re-wrote yesterday to have Gene just go to his dressing room instead of onboard the plane. He's packing when he switches on one of Los Angeles' local independent stations. As the Technicolor film The Spanish Main flashes across the screen, he imagines what it would like to be a pirate like Paul Henried's character and really stick it to Richard and his boss...
Broke for a quick lunch at 11. The Three Stooges are detectives who must find a young woman kidnapped by mad scientists, before they take her mind and put it in the body of a gorilla! The mad scientists try to use "Spooks!" to scare them off, but the Stooges fight back with a stack of cream pies.
Rain still fell heavily at 11:30. I ended up taking Uber to work and back. As you can probably guess, work wasn't that busy today. We got steady only during the lunch and dinner rush hours. There were a few grumpy customers, but otherwise, most people were in pretty decent moods considering the weather. I got off with enough time to grab bags of candy to give out at Halloween (Oaklyn is doing trick or treat from 2 to 6 on Saturday) and folders, glitter markers, and twistable crayons leftover from back to school last month on clearance.
As soon as I finally got home, I put on Phantom of the Paradise while turning the leftover chicken cutlets into Chicken-Pepper Stir-Fry. I go further into this rock and roll Faust story at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.
Ran the original 1932 version of The Mummy on TCM when I went online. The movie begins somewhat similarly to the remake, with the discovery of an unusual mummy (Boris Karloff) who was once an ancient high priest named Imhotep. This time, archeologist Sir Joseph Whemple (Arthur Byron) is the one who found him, his friend Dr. Muller (Edward Van Sloan) who warns about curses, and their assistant Ralph Norton (Bramwell Fletcher) who ignores it, reads "the Scroll of Thoth," and loses it when the Mummy comes to life.
This Imhotep doesn't need any help from devotees, thank you. He's figured out how to make himself up well enough to pass among humans. He shows Whemple's son Frank (David Manners) and Professor Pearson (Leonard Mudie) where to find the untouched tomb of the Princess Anck-su-namun. They donate the treasures to the Cairo Museum, further learning that Imhotep was buried alive because he tried to resurrect his lover the Princess. He thinks he's found her reincarnation in the form of half-Egyptian beauty Helen Grosvenor (Zita Johann) and wants to kill her. It may take an unusual form of divine intervention to save Helen from being buried with the walking mummy!
Not as pretty to look at as the 1959 version, but a tad bit creepier, with shadows around every corner. Karloff gives one of his better performances as the walking corpse determined to have his former love at any cost. Those who are looking for more action may want to check out the later 90's-2000's films, but fans of the classic Universal monster movies will find a lot to enjoy here.
Finished the night on YouTube after the Match Game syndicated premiere with an animated rarity from Ruby-Spears, The Trouble With Miss Switch. Miss Switch may be the best teacher Rupert and Amelia ever had, but the "trouble" is she's a witch. The truly wicked witch Saturna has taken over the Witch's Council with the help of her Computer Witch, who claims Miss Switch is too old-fashioned. She'll be banished to the Haunted Forest if she can't prove she's a very modern spell-caster. Rupert suggests working her magic on the big school football game, but Saturna interferes and makes the team lose. Now the kids and Miss Switch's cat Bathsheba have to prove their friend is more than a thoroughly modern witch - she's a truly fair and kind teacher.
For all the comedy with the mixed-up football game and the tense moments on Witch Mountain, this ended up being rather sweet. Too bad it's currently YouTube-only. I might have to check out the sequel, Miss Switch to the Rescue, there tomorrow.
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Began a gloomy gray morning with banana pancakes and The Monkees. The groovy 60's boy band had some pretty strange adventures during their second season, but "Monstrous Monkee Mash" may be one of the weirdest. Davy Jones is lured to a spooky house by a comely vampire, who turns out to be Dracula's niece. Her uncle wants to use Peter Tork's brain to bring his monster to life! It's up to Mike Nesmith to rescue his bandmates and get them all out of this house of horrors alive.
Worked on writing for an hour after I ate. Goodson admits that he and Gene are stalemated. They both think they're doing what's best for the show. He'll let Gene go for now, but he really does want him to tone the schtick down. I have Gene watching the pirate movie that goes into the fantasy sequence on the plane, but I think I may re-write that tomorrow...
Broke for lunch and getting organized around 11. Watched the Halloween episode of Happy Days while I ate. Richie Cunningham is nervous about his buddy Ralph Malph holding his annual Halloween party in a reputedly "Haunted" house. Joanie's friend told her that anyone who goes into the house loses their head! Fonzie reminds Richie that there's nothing to fear but fear itself...and the possibility of the party being invaded by a gang that's upset they weren't invited.
Spent the entire afternoon at work pushing carts and sweeping...and I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else. We were pretty darn busy this afternoon, with long lines by rush hour. Thankfully, they had enough help for me to stick to bagging. Thankfully had help all day, from a bakery worker recruited to push carts early-on and a new and very competent young man later.
Went straight home as soon as work ended. Passed Jodie chatting with the neighbors next-door as I made my way down Hillcrest. She confirmed what Rose told me yesterday about her going to St. Augustine, Florida for two weeks. She claims she won't be in any place with people. She just wants to visit the places she and Dad went to. The neighbors will water the plants and bring in the mail. I can leave the rent for her before she comes back and am welcome to use the laundry room while she's gone.
Arrived home just in time for the start of Match Game '74. Had sliced chicken on tomatoes and salad greens as Richard found Brett's lost earring and Allen Ludden was frequently teased for a strange answer he gave earlier in the week. Charles and Gene settled on the steps together to answer a question during Match Game PM.
Sale of the Century switched to their "End of the Summer Bash" week, with high schoolers playing and prizes tailored accordingly. An apple-cheeked Latin Club vice president gave a young water polo player a run for his money, but he just made it past her in the Speed Round. Poor kid messed up on the second-to-last Bonus Round puzzle and did miss that money.
Ended the night on YouTube after a shower. Since I've had luck finding vintage variety shows there for Christmas, I thought I'd see if I could find one for Halloween. Came up with a dilly - The Paul Lynde Halloween Special from 1976. And boy, is it from 1976. Guests include Roz Kelly from Happy Days and Tim Conway joining Lynde in a sketch spoofing the trucker craze of the mid-late 70's, Billie Hayes and Margaret Hamilton in their Witchiepoo and Wicked Witch alter egos respectively, Florence Henderson in another skit with her as a frosty British beauty avoiding the advances of Sheik Lynde, Betty White as a ghostly beauty pageant winner, the Osmonds, and KISS performing their huge hit ballad "Beth." If you loved Lynde on Hollywood Squares or sitcoms in the 60's and 70's, or are a fan of KISS or anyone involved, you owe it to yourself to check this one out.
Skipped ahead a decade and a half for another rare Halloween special featuring a Golden Girl. Rue McClanahan appeared in The Wickedest Witch in 1989. She's a none-too-happy witch who's been banished underground with a group of particularly dumb lizard-like creatures who are obsessed with game shows. When she learns that forcing a child to do a hateful act will release her from the spell that keeps her there on Halloween night, she has one of the creatures go to Earth to find a child. What he comes up with is a little boy who is obsessed with magic...and while he's happy with the spells the witch teaches him, he can't bring himself to hurt his new lizard buddies, no matter how silly they act.
Check both of these out on YouTube for a major blast of spooky nostalgia!
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Began the morning with breakfast, another misty day, and Halloween Is Grinch Night. Thanks to a sour sweet wind, the Grinch is making his way down to Whoville in the hope of terrifying the community with his bizarre Paraphernalia Wagon. It's up to one inquisitive young Who that's lost in the mountains to keep the Grinch from making it down the mountain and reaching the town.
Briefly went to the garage to try to fix my bike. Jodie pulled up just as I rolled it out on the driveway. She handed me latex gloves to keep from getting too greasy. In the end, getting the chain back on the gear took all of three minutes. I really need to tighten the chain, but I also need to find the right wrench to do it. That's going to have to wait a while. And of course, just as I went inside, the sun came out and it got warmer.
Worked on writing for a while after I got back inside. Mark Goodson, Gene's boss, really wishes he'd stay in one place, like Bill Cullen or Allen Ludden or the Nartz brothers. Gene reminds him that Bill Cullen has a lame leg and can't move around, Allen Ludden's dealing with a stronger format on Password, and Jack Nartz will be out of a job when the syndicated Concentration ends that fall.
Mark points out an expensive painting he purchased at an auction in Beverly Hills depicting a fight onboard ships between US Naval officers and pirates. Now there were people who knew how to keep law and order, he tells Gene. Those officers did everything they could to cut down those ruthless marauders and save hundreds of innocent lives, he insists. They were men who knew how to play the game. Gene relates more to the pirates, who may have been bloodthirsty cutthroats, but were also normal people doing their (admittedly dirty) jobs.
Broke for a quick lunch at noon. Went with the real Match Game '77 while I ate. Orson Bean's sporting a beard all this week, as he, goofy Joyce Builfant, and blonde bombshell Lynda Day George joined Gene and the regulars in trying to help the contestant answer "___ Hill" on the Audience Match.
Rose called me shortly after I finished lunch. She and Craig were taking their kids to Hershey Park's Halloween festivities this weekend and wanted to know if I could feed their cats on Friday. Sure! They'd leave everything on the table for me. I just had to put it out for the kitties. (Kitties actually being around optional. They like to hide. Kelsey apparently will be staying with Craig's parents.)
She also told me Jodie's going away for the next two weeks starting Friday to St. Augustine, Florida! Is she crazy? She and Dad did that every fall for years, but this is not the time to relive fond memories. If she must go to Florida to close up things for Dad, she should at least do it in the late winter or spring, when travel is hopefully better.
Headed out shortly after it ended. Thankfully, there were no problems whatsoever this time. I got to and from work with absolutely no fuss. Work was on-and-off busy, a little bit more than yesterday thanks to this being the day of our 5% off Senior Discount. It slowed down enough by quarter of 7 for me to shut down without a relief.
Arrived home in time for most of Match Game PM. Changed and had scrambled eggs with Italian cheese, spinach, and mushrooms while David Doyle tried to figure out "___ Stadium" for a very southern contestant and everyone argued with the producer over the difference between sawdust and wood chips. The younger bowler challenger was ahead for most of Sale of the Century. While the woman put in a good showing towards the end, the champ just barely came back in the speed round and won. He didn't do nearly as well in the bonus round this time, though.
Finished the night online with the 1943 version of The Phantom of the Opera. I go further into the only musical in the Universal monster series at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.
Monday, October 26, 2020
Sunday, October 25, 2020
Began a cloudy, windy morning with breakfast and the Tiny Toon Adventures horror-themed episode "Horror of Slumber Party Mountain" from the third season. Elmyra parodies Elvira as she shows a short spoof of the type of schlocky camp fests the real Elvira joked about on her show. Buster, Hampton, and Plucky dress as frightening local legend "One Eyed Jack" to bring a few scares to Babs, Shirley, and Fifi's slumber party. Things get much scarier than any of the kids anticipated when the monster turns out to be real...and picks them off one by one!
Dashed off to work shortly after the show ended. Though it wasn't bad when I got in, it picked up as early as 10:30 and stayed busy for the rest of the day. Though the Eagles played on Thursday (and won), there were other local games going on and the weather wasn't really appropriate for much else. Though I was tired and often not up to the long line, the crowds did make the time go faster. We had plenty of help this time, too. The crowds slowed enough by 3:30 that I was able to leave slightly early without a relief.
Took the long way home down Nicholson Road. Despite the chilly wind and gloomy gray skies, I wanted some time outside. I work too late to do this the rest of the week. Everyone must have been at home, watching football. There was almost no traffic on the road, not even around the mall and the Hispanic church on Nicholson. At least it really felt like fall. Most of the trees are finally starting to turn colors here; gardens overflow with mums, asters, and late roses.
Changed, had a snack, and went into writing as soon as I got home. Richard snidely suggests that Gene appear on Family Feud and be under his command for once, which Gene refuses to do. Joyce Bulifant asks Brett about how her divorce from Jack Klugman went, since her children go to school with Brett's boys. Don't ask, the older woman snaps. She's ready to run to Alaska to get away from it all. (In real-life, the divorce - or separation, or whatever it was - supposedly wound up being painful for all parties.) Gene's about to go to his dressing room when a page calls him, saying Mr. Goodman wants to discuss the declining ratings on Match Game...
Broke at quarter after 6 to have leftover chicken cutlets with pasta and roasted Brussels sprouts for dinner. Ate while watching Young Frankenstein. Fredrick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder), the grandson of the original Dr. Frankenstein, inherits his grandfather's castle, laboratory, and books in Transylvania. He's a sensible surgeon who is absolutely adamant about not following in his grandfather's footsteps...until he finds his diary and wonders if there might have been something to his relative's experiments with reanimating the dead after all. Thanks to a mistake with brains made by his humpbacked assistant Igor (Marty Feldman), Fredrick finds himself dealing with a monstrous creation with an abnormal brain (Peter Boyle) who terrifies the local townspeople. The trio have to prove that the monster isn't so scary, even as they fend off suspicious Inspector Kemp (Kenneth Mars) and Fredrick's prim fiancee Elizabeth (Madeline Khan).
I've loved this movie since I was a kid. I'm not the only one. Apparently, the cast enjoyed making it so much, they added extra scenes just to keep going! I can't say I blame them. This is a delightful bit of comic horror with a surprising dark side for Mel Brooks, especially towards the end, when the Creature is finally able to admit how grateful he is to Fredrick for giving him a chance. Using the real sets from the original 1932 Frankenstein adds considerably to the spooky atmosphere. If you love any of the cast, horror comedy, other versions of Frankenstein, or Brooks' other work, you'll want to scare up this one.
Finished up the night on YouTube with vintage Halloween game show episodes. I never heard of the 1990 version of Match Game, which is a shame. Its Halloween episode is a riot! Charles Nelson Reilly appeared as Superman, Brett Somers as a little girl, and Vicki Lawrence as Little Red Riding Hood, but a ventriloquist with a wisecracking dragon puppet who may have the scariest costume of all.
Celebrities got dressed up for the holiday on the late 90's-early 2000's Hollywood Squares, too. I used to love watching this show in college. I'd flip back and forth between this one and Jeopardy before sticking to ABC for Wheel of Fortune. Opted for the shows from 2000 and 2001. Whoopi Goldberg, Jeffery Tambour, and Gilbert Gottfried were the only celebrities who remained the same in both. Goldberg was a mouse, Tambour was Shakespeare, and Gottfried a not-bad Dracula in 2000. (Host Tom Bergenon claimed he was Bob Barker, but the white wig made him look more like George Washington.) Goldberg and Bergenon didn't dress in 2001, but Gottfried was an even-more appropriate werewolf and Tambour was Julius Caesar. Other panelists in 2000 included Caroline Rhea as Glinda the Good Witch from The Wizard of Oz and Bruce Vilanch as the Cowardly Lion; panelists in 2001 included Anthony Stewart Head as Robin Hood, Martin Mull as Sherlock Holmes, and Viveca A. Fox as a gorgeous Cleopatra.
People dressed up in games that didn't involve celebrities, too. Alex Trebek was as an extremely unlikely matador and openly ogled a young can-can girl in a 1988 episode of Classic Concentration. A Filipino girl dressed as a clown beat a young man in a weird blue wig on Scrabble, while a lady in a feathered mask had more trouble with a man in a king's crown.
Of course, Halloween involves a lot more than dressing the part. No costumes on Super Password in 1988, but all winners got something from a bag of "treats," while losers chose from a bag of "tricks." In both cases, the prizes were small toys or novelty items, like a squeaky dog you make jump with a button for the treat and a light-up skeleton head for the trick. Trick-or-treating Whammies took a lot of loot in the second half of the Halloween 1984 episode of Press Your Luck. Host Peter Tomarken hid from the mayhem under a Frankenstein mask and did an odd dance to the theme song at the end.
Halloween lunacy can be more fun with loved ones aboard. Couples competed to see who could drop balls off witch's hats into spittoons and throw plastic suction-cup aliens onto astronaut masks on the 1979 Monty Hall Beat the Clock. Two dressed-up families answered mostly holiday-related questions on Family Feud. You could easily tell this one was from 1989. Host Ray Combs was the Tim Burton Batman, complete with his son as Robin!
Saturday, October 24, 2020
Began an early morning with breakfast and It's Magic, Charlie Brown. After reading a book of magic tricks, Snoopy puts on his own magic show. It doesn't go very well until Snoopy turns Charlie Brown invisible. Trouble is, he can't change him back right away. Chuck laments his fate...until he realizes Lucy can't yank the football away if she can't see him coming...
Went straight to work as soon as the cartoon ended. Work wasn't bad when I got in, but it picked up around 9:30-10 and stayed that way for the rest of the morning. We're short on help, too. Someone called out; one of the teenagers quit. We had lines that were as long as they're currently allowed to get all afternoon. Thankfully, it slowed down enough by 2 for me to leave without a relief.
Went straight home. Changed, rounded up laundry and things I wanted to wash, grabbed a snack, and went back out. I'm not going to have the time to get my laundry done until next Friday! It was today, or wait a week. The laundromat was busy when I got in. By the time I returned from WaWa with a banana smoothie, it slowed down considerable. I still opted to stay away from people and work on my story notes outside, ignoring the gloomy dark afternoon and heavy winds.
Put my clothes away when I got home, then went into writing. Dick Martin invites Richard Dawson to the party he's holding with his wife Dolly, but Richard claims he's too busy with Family Feud to accept. Gene's still fuming and Charles tries to talk some sense into him, but Richard ignores both as he leaves.
Broke for dinner at 6:30. Had leftovers and made pumpkin-chocolate chip muffins while watching The Halloween Tree. Four kids dressed as a mummy, a witch, a monster, and a skeleton for trick-or-treat follows what they believe to be their close friend to a spooky old house in the woods. There, they find a wrinkled old man (voice of Leonard Nimoy) who leads them to a gnarled tree filled with jack o'lanterns in the back. When Pip steals a pumpkin that looks like him, the gentleman takes the kids on a trip through 4,000 years of Halloween history to get it back, and teaches them the significance of their costumes in the process.
Based after a book by and narrated by Ray Bradbury, this is a unique look into a holiday whose customs and history aren't explored nearly as often as they could be. I really need to look up Bradbury's original book, too.
Went into Z.O.M.B.I.E.S 2 after a shower. I discuss the further adventures of the zombies and cheerleaders from Seabrook High at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.
Finished the night at Buzzr. They honored Tom Kennedy with a marathon of two shows he hosted, Password Plus and Body Language, and one he appeared on as a panelist, To Tell the Truth. The only episodes that were new to me were from Password Plus. For some reason, they're stuck on the Allen Ludden episodes from 1979. Too bad. Kennedy did just as well hosting the show, including on a hilarious all-celebrity week from 1980 that featured Judy Norton-Taylor of The Waltons, Greg Morris of Vega$, Nancy Walker, and Jim Perry (who was hosting Card Sharks at that point).
In the first episode, after Jim claimed the Pyrenees Mountains were in Afghanistan, we see Tom with an encyclopedia after the Alphabetics round. Turns out the Pyrenees aren't in Afghanistan or in South America, like Tom thought. They're in Europe. An annoyed Jim came right out, grabbed the book, and threw it offstage! It was by far the funniest moment of any of the episodes tonight.
(Oh, and speaking of Password, my Christmas gift for Mom I ordered from eBay showed up today as well.)
Friday, October 23, 2020
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Awoke to a solid wall of mist for the second day in a row. Thankfully, I didn't have to go out in it right away this time. Had breakfast while watching Halloween Hall of Fame. This is one of three Disney Halloween specials my mother taped off Channel 29 (then an independent; now our local Fox station) and The Disney Channel in October 1988. Johnathan Winters is a security guard at the Disney Studios who discovers a jack o'lantern (also Winters) hiding in a crystal ball in the prop room. Seems Jack doesn't like how staid the holiday's gotten. Winters introduces segments of the shorts "Trick or Treat" and "Pluto's Judgement Day" and the featurette "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" to prove otherwise.
Switched to Split Second while cleaning up from breakfast. The young doctor really did well today, pushing ahead of both women and just getting the countdown round. He once again didn't find the car and said he'd return. I really only half-listened to Blockbusters while finally getting around to making the bed. I meant to do it on Tuesday, but ran out of time.
Went for a walk after Blockbusters ended. I needed to pick up a few things at Dollar General. Though the fog lifted by 11, it remained cloudy and humid. Not the prettiest walk I ever had, but I was really out of sponges. I wanted a green binder for my Christmas CDs, but all Family Dollar had last week was red. I bought a green binder and decided to use the red binder and a folder to hold my story notes. Their eggs were a $1.15, not as cheap as the last time I was there, but still cheaper than Acme. Found Jiff Natural peanut butter, canned pumpkin, and cooking spray for cheaper than the Acme had it.
When I got home, I put on Match Game '77 while I organized the two binders. Dick Gautier and Jo Ann Pflug join Fannie Flagg, Gene, and the regulars for one of the funniest weeks of the entire series. These two episodes introduced a sweet, soft-spoken contestant from Casablanca who prompted a lot of bad Humphry Bogart imitations from Richard and Gene.
Returned to Disney while I had a quick lunch, made Chocolate-Coffee Chip Cookies, and sorted through papers and other assorted debris that piled up on top of the crates with the file folders. Scary Tales Halloween featured sequences from animated films and shorts that revolved around horror or villains, or were spooky in some way. Disney's Halloween Treat was the expanded Disney Channel version of Scary Tales, with a few different segments and the additions of sequences from the Wonderful World of Disney show on the cat's contribution to horror and famous villains of (older) Disney animated films.
By the time the cartoon ended, the sun finally came out. It had turned into a gorgeous, sunny, and very warm day. I thought I'd go out for a walk and found most of the neighborhood kids sitting on Chloe's front porch directly across from my apartment. I had a really nice chat with them as they had mock fights with plastic lightsabers. I'm so glad I moved here. The apartment may be smaller, but the appliances are nicer, the shower is nicer, the rent is nicer, and the neighbors are better. This is a really tight-knit little street; many of these kids have been friends literally all their lives.
I talked to the kids for so long, I ended up only having the time for a short walk down Manheim and back up to Manor before returning for Tattletales. Rugged Glenn Ford and his then-girlfriend Cynthia wound up being the big winners today, over the more egotistical Gautier and Max Adrian. The Whammies flew fast and furious on Press Your Luck today, especially in the second round. It came down to the two women; in the end, the champ won a trip to Rome that was enough to allow her to win and come back tomorrow.
Found an orange envelope on the ground next to the door when I came in. Mom sent me a Halloween card! It's a really cute one with a stylized black cat witch. I texted her and told her I got the card and I loved it.
Began my next Match Game fanfic after the show ended. I'm hoping Pirates of Blank will be a lot shorter and less complex than Fairy Tale Blank turned out to be! It was inspired by the Gene Rayburn biography and several folks on the YouTube live chat mentioning that Gene was one of the few people who wanted Richard to stay with the show in 1978, even after he started acting disinterested and was clearly tired of the whole thing.
The story begins directly after the taping of Richard's final PM episode (they always filmed the nighttime shows last). Gene angrily tells Richard his behavior over the past few weeks was childish and unprofessional. Richard counters with his disapproval of the Star Wheel that took the spotlight off him and the fact that he'd wanted out for a year and a half. Family Feud is where his focus and his interest lays now. The ratings for Match Game never recovered from a disastrous time change the year before; it's a sinking ship.
Three other panelists from that final show overhear their quarrel and throw out their own opinions. Joyce Bulifant likes Richard a lot and thinks he's funny, but wishes he'd been a little nicer over the past few months. Brett Somers says "good riddance." She never liked him anyway. Charles Nelson Reilly has nothing against Richard personally, but agrees with Gene that he should have been more professional about leaving.
Jodie knocked on the door around quarter of 5. She apparently ordered spaghetti and meatballs from somewhere. Did I want some? Sure! I had it with farm-fresh zucchini and tomatoes sautéed in red wine vinegar. The tomato sauce turned out to be a lot spicier than I thought! I forgot Jodie can handle the heat.
Ate while watching Match Game '74. Patti Deustch makes one of her earlier appearances on the show, joining Bill Cullen, Betty White, Gene, and the regulars for jokes about what King Midas shows the duchess in his gymnasium and trying to figure out "___ Bat." Marcia Wallace found herself hoping to help a gentleman from Brookyn win $20,000 on Match Game PM.
Sale of the Century started out with the woman champ blazing forth, picking up all three Instant Bargains along the way. The other two got closer towards the end, with the man picking up a recliner on the Fame Game board, but they just couldn't catch her in the Speed Round. She ended up winning a trip to Hawaii on the Match the Prizes board.
Watched Alleujah! The Devil's Carnival after a shower. I go further into the feature-length sequel to The Devil's Carnival on my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.
Finished the night on YouTube with two Bernstein Bears Halloween or horror shorts. The first, "Trick or Treat," comes from the 2000's run. Brother Bear is convinced that the old lady with the spooky old treehouse is a witch, but Mama tells him she's just a nice lady. He gets the chance to find out the truth when Sister and their friends enter her house for Halloween goodies, and she ends up helping them get rid of bully Too Tall and his buddies. "The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Mansion" is from the original 1985 series. This one goes the more conventional route of having the Bears stay in a "haunted" mansion inhabited by several animals who think they'll hurt them.
Oh, yeah, and the Eagles played tonight. I didn't see much of it...but to my shock, they came from behind to just barely beat the Giants 22-21. Granted, the Giants are doing even worse than they are right now, but a win is a win.
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Began a cloudy, wet morning with Honeynut Squash Pancakes and Garfield's Halloween Adventure. Garfield and Odie are excited to dress as pirates and go trick-or-treating, at least until Garfield's desire for more candy ends with them stranded on a deserted island. Turns out the island was the home of pirates who buried their treasure there...and every year on Halloween night, their ghosts return to protect it. Garfield and Odie have to evade the ghosts and get home, before they lose a lot more than their candy haul!
Let Split Second run while I cleaned up from breakfast. It was a tight race today, with two contestants tying at the end of the main rounds for the second day in a row. This time, a young doctor came from behind to win the Countdown Round. He didn't do any better finding the car than his predecessor and opted to return.
Was a bit surprised to see a busy garage when I went to get my bike and a red truck in the driveway. Mark and a friend of his agreed to help Jodie clear all of Dad and Uncle Ken's junk out of the garage. Garages, actually. I didn't realize there were a larger garage - the one where I put my bike - and a smaller room.
First stop after leaving them was a quick run to the post office. Lauren's birthday was yesterday, and I wanted to get her present out. Thankfully, the only other person there besides the cashier and me was a man vacuuming the floor. I sent the package and went back out.
The laundromat was very busy when I arrived. I took a front-loading washing machine that ran for less time than most of the others, since I had to work later. Ran quickly to WaWa for a chocolate banana smoothie before returning to dump everything in the drier. It sprinkled slightly while I sat outside and worked on story notes, but nothing that really amounted to much.
Put the laundry away while watching another Halloween-themed episode of The Cat In the Hat Knows a Lot About That. Sally doesn't know what her favorite smell is, so the Cat takes the kids to visit his friend Whiffy the Skunk for a game of "Smell and Seek." Whiffy may like smells that human's aren't too fond of (like rotting logs) and use his own stench to scare away predators, but Sally decides she'd rather have a pleasant smell. The kids want to make their Halloween masks scarier, so the Cat takes them to visit Aiya the "Aye Aye!," a big-eyed monkey-like creature with long fingernails and huge ears. He may look weird, but those features help him to find food in the jungle.
Switched to Match Game '77 as I had lunch and got ready for work. Ron Palillo of Welcome Back Kotter and a pair of Pattys, Duke and Deustch, joined Gene and the regulars for a couple of very strange questions. One involving what a poor man's brother didn't get until he was 28, had a few racy answers that I'm surprised made it past the censors.
Headed out to work shortly after the show ended. Work was on-and-off busy, but otherwise the same as yesterday - a bit of a pain. We're still having trouble explaining the online sales to many of our customers. Either they signed up to get the big sales without any idea of how to actually use the app, or they're technology-phobic and refuse to touch anything that involves cell phones. I had a very hard time trying to explain it all to them. Not to mention, my relief was late getting in, making me almost-late. At least the sun was out by the time I finished, revealing a gorgeous pink sunset.
Went straight home as quickly as I possibly could. Watched Match Game '74 while enjoying leftover burgers, honeynut squash, and a salad with tomatoes and mixed greens for dinner. Comedienne Jo Ann Worley of Laugh-In marked her first appearance on the show, joining Pat Harrington and Nipsey Russell doing very well sitting in for Charles. Brett didn't have as much luck on the Head-to-Head Round in Match Game PM, but Joyce Bulifant was on a roll! She's notorious for not matching, but she got both the questions she wrote for right as well as being right in both Audience Matches.
This time, Sale of the Century was a more evenly-matched game. The women were neck-and-neck for most of the show, with the one male contestant not that far behind. The champ finally jumped ahead in the Speed Round to barely win. She picked up a lovely ruby and diamond ring on the Match the Prizes board.
Dug into the vintage Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook Mom gave me in college for a simple cake recipe. Came up with what they called "Inexpensive Sponge Cake," a simple cake made with butter melted in hot milk. I added orange flavoring and orange peel to make it Orange Sponge Cake. One of the things I like about the Picture Cookbook is it gives amounts to make a smaller cake as well as large layer ones. I went with the square pan version. Oh, yum! It tasted perfect when it came out of the oven, sweet and citrusy, and smelled delightful.
Watched The Devil's Carnival online after a shower. I go further into the first horror musical review of the Halloween season at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.
Finished the night on Disney Plus with the Halloween episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. "Mickey's Treat" is a trip to the Trick or Treat Tower for Pete's big Halloween party. The gang first has to find a shield for Goofy's knight costume, then figure out their way down the path to the tower and how to get in.
Monday, October 19, 2020
Began my morning with breakfast and Split Second. It came down to the wire in the Countdown Round today after a tie between the woman champ and a young law student in the second round. The lady came back and got it at the last second. She didn't choose the car and ending up opting to return.
Spent the rest of the morning posting the remainder of Fairy Tale Blank. I can't believe how long this one took me! I probably should have cut some characters and parts out. It's really too long...but there's so many people I like and wanted to include. I've considered a couple of stories to do next, but since I just read the Gene Rayburn biography, I think I'm going to go for the somewhat shorter pirate/swashbuckler story I've been developing.
It's set on the day of Richard Dawson's final taping in 1978. From what I've gathered, the only person who was really upset about Richard leaving was Gene Rayburn. Gene saw Richard as his best panelist and protégé and considered his aloof behavior in late '77 and much of '78 to be an act of betrayal. Richard had nothing against the show or Gene, but he wanted to focus on Family Feud, where he had more control over the proceedings. Brett Somers says "good riddance." She wasn't a fan of his anyway. Betty White and Charles Nelson Reilly like Richard well enough, but wish he'd handled leaving better. It doesn't help that Gene's boss Mark Goodson is breathing down his neck. He'd prefer Match Game being more focused on the game than the comedy and Gene being a more conventional game show host who stayed in one place.
Gene wishes his boss would leave him alone to do what he does best and is livid with Richard for leaving. While watching an old pirate movie, he imagines himself to be a pirate captain who gets revenge on the Naval general and his former first mate who stole his ship, kidnapped the second mate (Brett), and incarcerated his crew.
I'm hoping to start Pirates of Blank either tomorrow or Thursday. For now, here's the beginning of Fairy Tale Blank. The rest is at my Writer's Desk at the Riverside blog!
Rushed and had a very quick lunch, then headed out to work. The Acme was off-and-on busy for pretty much the entire day. They just started doing the save for the turkeys on their online rewards program, plus there's a ton of really huge sales there, too. Other sales require you to buy 25 dollars worth of merchandise to get the sales. A lot of people just didn't read the signs, and while they did buy the 25 dollars worth, they either didn't get the exact item specified or didn't clip the coupon online. It really got to be a bit of a pain to explain it all. Thankfully, it slowed down enough by quarter of 6 I was able to shut down with no relief and be only a minute or two late getting off.
Changed into a regular shirt, then rode down to Phillies Phatties on West Clinton in Oaklyn. Between my long hours this week and finishing a long project, I deserved pizza. Took two cheese slices and a can of Wild Cherry Pepsi outside to the wooden benches, where I enjoyed my treat while listening to a trio of pre-teen girls chatter.
Went home after I finished my soda and put on Match Game '74. We have some of our first views of the show's judge and producer Ira Skutch in this episode, while Gene "passed out" at a contestant's unusual answer to a question. Match Game PM got even wilder. It started with Gene taking off his jacket and Betty doing a routine to "stripper" music when a contestant said she studied the human body and ended with Charles coming down to complain when his answer to "Phil ___" on the Audience Match only made it to the $100 spot.
The two female contestants dominated Sale of the Century tonight. The one guy barely got in there. They were neck-and-neck up through the beginning of the second round, after which the champ took back control and won the Speed Round. She picked up $3,000 on the Match the Prizes board.
Packed up the box for Lauren's birthday present and card while the movies ran. Today's her birthday, but I likely won't get the box to the post office until tomorrow morning at the earliest. The box is too big, but oh well. It was all I could get.
Finished the night on the TCM app with The Devil Doll, an unusual horror/fantasy from 1935. Banker Paul Lavond (Lionel Barrymore) was sent up the river by his three unscrupulous partners. He escapes prison with a scientist (Henry B. Wathall) who developed a potion that can shrink people to doll size and allow anyone to control them. Paul takes advantage of this after the man dies. He dresses as a woman toyshop owner and recruits his widow Malita (Rafaela Ottiano) to help him make human "dolls" that will infiltrate the homes of his adversaries. Paul wants to create a better life for his embittered daughter Lorraine (Maureen O'Sullivan), but Malita is more interested in continuing her husband's work to create a smaller population who will have to fight for fewer resources.
This apparently didn't go over well in 1935, but it actually comes off as pretty darn creepy today. Barrymore's performance as the man obsessed with vengeance isn't bad, but Ottiano as the insane female mad scientist and the still-impressive special effects really carry the day here. The "dolls" really do look that small, thanks to a lot of forced perspective and giant furniture.
If you're a fan of Barrymore or are like me and prefer your scares to be lower-key, you'll want to give this creepy toy story a look.
Sunday, October 18, 2020
Saturday, October 17, 2020
Kicked off an absolutely gorgeous day with breakfast and Jem on Tubi. In "Trick or Techrat," Jem and the Holograms are once again called on to help save a musical landmark from destruction. This time, it's an opera house owned by a retired magician that's intended for the wrecking ball. They agree to hold a concert to save the beautiful building on Halloween...but the Misfits are determined to have their own Halloween concert right across the street. When one of the Starlight Girls gets scared and runs off, Jem and the others go after her...but she's the one who learns what's really going on behind the scenes.
Doc McStuffins has a different type of Halloween scare in "Hallie Halloween." Doc's hippo nurse toy Hallie wanders off when she sees a trick-or-treater dressed as her and gets stuck on a witch's broom. Doc does manage to rescue her, but she's so traumatized by the incident, she won't go back out. Doc and the others remind her that if she stays with the group and sticks to the rules, she'll be fine. Plastic alligator Gustav is saying "Don't Fence Me In" when his head gets stuck in a fence. The others have to figure out ways to get him out without damaging him.
Headed out shortly after Doc ended. It was much too nice to sit inside all morning! The sky was radiant blue, the sun was high, the breeze was blowing, and it was chilly, but not freezing. Perfect day for a ride into Collingswood. I dodged a lot of cars and even more people riding bikes and pushing strollers down Beechwood and Lakeview.
Made a quick stop at WaWa for money before hurrying across the street to the farm market. They were the busiest I'd seen them all year! I got in at 10:30, and some booths were already pretty close to sold out. Pumpkins are gone, but spinach is back, and I saw the first Brussels sprouts of the season. Picked up the sprouts, small apples, arugula for salads, grapes, and tomatoes.
Went straight home via Newton Lake Park. I'm surprised they weren't busier, too. Golden sunshine sparkled on rippling green waters as weeds drying on the shore rustled in the breeze. Hints of wood smoke drifted from the homes across the street and behind Collingswood High School.
Came home in time for the second half of Split Second. Everyone was again neck and neck the whole episode. One of the women didn't pull ahead until the Countdown Round. Unlike the lady yesterday, she didn't find the car on the boards in the bonus round and opted to return. Match Game was the episode from 1976 from the other day where Charles took his shoe off to illustrate an answer, to the disgust of his buddy Brett next to him.
(Oh, for those of you who are regular Buzzr watchers, apparently as of next month, Body Language will replace Split Second at 10 on weekday mornings, To Tell the Truth will replace What's My Line at 8:30, and some version of The Price Is Right - I'm guessing the black-and-white Bill Cullen one - will be on Saturday mornings at 10:30. Mixed feelings here. I really like Split Second, but Body Language is just as much fun, and may do better in the mornings as people get up and moving. Wish they'd just return to showing Truth and Line back-to-back again.)
Headed off to work right as Match Game ended. It wasn't bad when I came in, but it picked up around 2 and remained busy for the rest of the afternoon. I had long lines for much of the day and occasionally got pretty frustrated.
Since there were other things I wanted to do tonight, I limited my grocery shopping to grabbing a few things I couldn't live without. I used up the last of the milk this morning and ran out of laundry detergent on Tuesday. The Acme was having a good sale on Nestle chips; I got three bags for $1.88 each.
Mixed feelings on this week's schedule. On one hand, most of the week isn't terribly long...except that one 8 1/2 hour day on Wednesday when I'll be bagging again. Don't have off until Thursday, either, though I do get Thursday and Friday off, and I'll work too early next Saturday to make it to the farm market again.
Before I left for work, I threw together a lentil soup in my crock pot from various vegetables, spices, and chicken stock. Oh, yum! It tasted amazing when I got home, savory and nutty. Changed quickly and put everything away, then had dinner while watching the Tom Kennedy Password Plus Tribute Marathon on YouTube.
The same guy who posts the Match Game live chat premieres on YouTube and put together all those Match Game marathons in the spring strung together episodes of Password Plus and Super Password featuring that the late Tom Kennedy. He first turned up with Elaine Joyce (and a mustache) during a week in late 1979, when Allen Ludden was still hosting. He became the permanent replacement for Ludden in 1981, after Ludden was stricken with stomach cancer and became too sick to continue. In addition to the week where his game show host older brother Jack Narz appeared, memorable episodes on Tom's watch included Dick Martin making jokes of the use of "France" for "French" and Marcia Wallace fighting over the differences between "Harry" and "hairy." Kennedy made his last Password appearance on Super Password in 1987 with another legend, original Star Trek cast member Nichollete Nichols.
The Password is...fun! Come along and see Tom's now-rare hosting stint on this show and honor one of the best game show hosts of the mid-20th century.
And here's the review for the Cannon Movie Tales version of Hansel & Gretel I watched last night.