Sunday, February 14, 2021

Valentine's Games

Began a cloudy Valentine's Day morning with Double Chocolate Chip Pancakes for breakfast and Pink at First Sight. The Pink Panther takes a job as a singing package delivery boy in order to earn money to find his own Pink Pantheress. None of his Valentine's Day jobs go right, whether it's dancing with a wife whose husband gets jealous, accidentally delivering lingerie to a priest, or bringing a ticking package to gangsters.

Worked on writing for a while after I did the dishes. Richard doesn't want to hurt Gene. After all, Gene was his mentor, even if he doesn't want to work for him anymore. He jumps overboard rather than deal with Gene or Goodson, vanishing completely. While Gene looks in vain for him, Bill Daily runs over, rambling that their forces are overwhelmed, and they may need more help...

Broke to get dressed and pack for work. By 11:30, all I could hear was the plip plop of ice melting off the roof. Lawns remained icy, but the roads and sidewalks were perfectly clear. I got an Uber driver in 7 minutes; arrived at work with time to spare.

Was on the register today. One of the cashiers is on vacation. Work was on-and-off busy. It never got quite as insane as yesterday, but we still had long lines. Men wanted to buy their ladies flowers; ladies wanted to buy their men and children chocolate-covered strawberries and cards. Other than I'm tired, there were no really major problems. I was in and out...

Or I would have been if I could get a ride home. For the second day in a row, I just couldn't get through to Uber. I tried and tried for a half-hour, but nothing was available. It must have been the holiday. The weather was perfectly fine. Cloudy, but with no snow, ice, rain, or wind. It wasn't even that cold. The drivers must have been hauling couples around Philadelphia. There was no way I was going to call Rose during the dinner hour, either. I gave up around quarter after 7 and walked home. 

Put on A Charlie Brown Valentine while having a quick leftovers dinner when I finally got home. Chuck would love to ask The Little Red Haired Girl to the Valentine's Day dance, but he accidentally invites Marcie and Peppermint Patty instead. Sally and Lucy would be happy if their crushes acknowledged them at all. Snoopy spends Valentine's Day writing love poetry for the kids' cards.

Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown goes further into the various Peanuts crushes. Linus is crazy about his teacher Miss Othmar and buys her a huge box of candy for Valentine's Day. Sally thinks the box is for her. Meanwhile, Chuck is hoping against hope to get any kind of a valentine, and Snoopy's putting on romantic and very messy puppet shows.

Finished the night on YouTube. Romantic game shows go way further back than reality dating shows like The Bachelor. Probably the best-known is The Dating Game, which began on ABC in 1966. Thankfully, the original runs for these are intact; I remember catching the re-runs when I was a kid and thinking they were the most late-60's thing ever. A young woman would ask three young men who were hidden behind the set questions. She and the one she chose at the end of the show would have an all-expenses-paid date. I went with the original show's 8th episode. Among the bachelors answering queries are a very young, unknown Burt Reynolds, a decade before Smokey and the Bandit

The Newlyweds Game is pretty similar to Tattletales, only in this case, the "tattletales" are regular, just-married couples. Though the original show began shortly after Dating Game in 1966, I went with an episode from the mid-80's revival. Though I do remember running across this occasionally in syndication, romantic games like Newlywed or Love Connection held little interest for me as a child. I preferred seeing Bob Eubanks ask high-low questions on Card Sharks to seeing him ask married couples about their home lives. 

He Said She Said was an early version of Tattletales. Here, Joe Gargiola asks the couples a subject, and one chimes in with a story and one word to describe that. The other half of the couple has to have the same answer to get the points. The early episodes of Tattletales in 1974 were similar, only with "Tattletales Quickies" that had each couple answering a question about how the other would respond to a situation. The "quickies" proved to be so popular (and so much less complicated), they eventually became the whole show.

As I mentioned last Valentine's Day, Match Game is even more fun when a married couple...or in one case, formerly married couple...plays on the same panel. In 1978, Jack Klugman and Brett Somers appeared together for the third and last time, even though they may have divorced the year before. That didn't stop the rest of the panel from holding a mock "wedding" for them on the final episode of the week. 

Alas, the second and final week of Betty White and Allen Ludden together on the syndicated show in 1980 is currently lost...except for its PM episode. Jimmie Walker and Jonelle Allen join in the fun, with Allen and Betty obvious enjoying sitting next to each other. This would be their final appearance together on TV. Ludden already had stomach cancer; he died a little over a year after this episode aired.

Spend Valentine's Day enjoying these games with your own perfect match! 

And here's more vintage Valentine's Day specials!

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