Monday, November 09, 2020

The Wizard of Daily Doubles

Began the morning with breakfast and Popeye shorts. He joined "The Mighty Navy" two months before the US officially entered the war. He has a hard time taking command, until he shows the Navy what he can do. "Blunder Below" is similar, only this time, he ends up shoveling coal and taking on a Japanese sub. "Fleets of Strength" pits Popeye against Japanese war planes when they attack his ship. "Kicking the Conga Around" and "Olive Oyl and Water Don't Mix" brings Olive in. Bluto and Popeye compete to see who gets to do the Conga with her in "Kicking" and show her around their ship in "Don't Mix." Popeye's not saying "Many Tanks" when Army grunt Bluto switches his uniform for Navy sailor Popeye's so he can go on a date with Olive. Popeye leads an entire tank corps to get him back!

Switched to Body Language, which replaced Split Second in Buzzr's morning schedule this week, while getting organized for work. This "game for the uninhibited" is a cross between Password Plus and charades. Two celebrities act out words for their contestants to guess. If they get that word, it goes into a puzzle. Solve the puzzle, and you win money. First to 500 gets to the bonus round, where you have to act out 10 words. However many words they get is the amount of money they play for in the final round. Ted Lange of The Love Boat and soap opera star Constance Towers were the celebrity charades players here.

Headed straight to work after Body Language ended. Work was very quiet for most of the afternoon. It did pick up a little during rush hour, but other than that, there were no problems and I was in and out. The ongoing warm weather makes it really too beautiful out to be shopping.

Went into writing when I got home. Added a bit during the fight sequence where Gene mentions his sword Tonight, the beloved blade given to him by his mentor Captain Steve Allen. He agrees to talk to Richard, who stalked off to his cabin after their raid. Richard claims he'll be at dinner and even has tea for Gene...but he's doing something that smells rather unusual...

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Match Game '74 got really wild today as everyone celebrated Jo Ann Pflug's birthday and commented on Gene and Richard's dueling Maxwell Smart impersonations. Comedian Ronny Graham really livened up Match Game PM with his goofy jokes about getting older. 

The lady champ dominated Sale of the Century. The other woman was the only one to get remotely close to her. The guy barely talked until the Speed Round. The champ bought both Instant Bargains, won two of the three Fame Games, did well enough with the Speed Round to win, and won the Bonus Round with time to spare.

Alex Trebek passed away yesterday, so I finished the night with some of his lesser-known work on YouTube. Most people know him as the long-time host of Jeopardy!, but he started out with a show called The Wizard of Odds. Alas, nothing seems to be left of that but the opening, so I moved on to his next assignment - and his first hit - High Rollers

This dice game has contestants (or in the original show, a model rolling for the contestants) having to roll certain numbers on dice to win prizes. Whomever has the most money or prizes by the end gets to move on to the Bonus Round. Neither show has a lot of episodes still around, but the one for 1975 I have listed does at least have model Ruta Lee accidentally banging her head on a chandelier as she entered. Alex asked her if she needed to go to the hospital, but she did the show just fine.

Concentration was revived in 1987 as Classic Concentration, which Alex shot in the mornings concurrently with Jeopardy!. Buzzr tends to focus mainly on episodes from the start of the series' run in 1987-1988, so I went with an episode from 1990 celebrating the series' 1000th episode.

Canadian show Pitfall from 1980 ran into a lot more pitfalls than its complicated game. The production company that filmed it was so short on money, they couldn't pay Alex or the staff or give the contestants their prizes. An elaborate mechanical set, basically Whew! without the cartoons and with working elevators, probably didn't help alleviate the situation. 

$128,000 Question did better. This revival of The $64,000 Question kept the isolation booth and the talented-but-unlikely experts, but without the coaching that made the original a notorious part of the late 50's game show scandals. Double Dare also involved trivia and isolation booths. This time, we have two contestants in isolation booths, daring each other to try to figure out who or what a series of clues given them was leading to. If they won, they could see if a panel of experts could bet stumped. If they stumped the experts, they won a prize. 

He took over hosting the 1990 version of To Tell the Truth in 1991, and actually seemed to do pretty well. The episode may actually be more meaningful today than when it first aired. The first contestant was a man who became the first African-American "top gun" pilot. 

Actually, my favorite Trebek appearance outside of Jeopardy! may have been as a contestant on the Card Sharks game show host tournament in 1980. He was hilarious, bemoaning his bad luck with the cards and the Montreal Canadiens' loss to the then-Minnesota North Stars (now the Dallas Stars) in the NHL Playoffs. He did finally come back to win the tournament, over the Dean of Game Shows himself, Bill Cullen.

Hope you enjoy this trip down Memory Lane with one of television's most famous kings of trivia!

Card Sharks (1980) - Game Show Host Tournament Day 10
Card Sharks (1980) - Game Show Host Tournament Day 15 Finale

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