Friday, March 19, 2021

Comedy Matches

After my long week, I opted to sleep until 10 this morning. Was reading Wings of the Falcon in bed when I heard my cell phone ding. Craig left me a text saying he finally picked up the new bike from Deptford and left it in the garage. I'd take a look at it later; needed to go to the laundromat anyway.

Got up in time for breakfast and Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour. Today was Buzzr's much-touted "Let's Laugh Marathon." Every episode on the schedule today was among the funniest the show had to offer. I suspect Bruce Baum and his fluffy mustache was the main reason the episode on this morning was included. He started off the show with his way of making a kite fly indoors - use a hair dryer. There was also Jayne Meadows' excited reaction when she helped the contestant with the Head-to-Head Match in the end, and a couple of wisecracks from Jayne and her husband Steve Allen. 

Made the bed and did chores around the apartment as Match Game '74 came on. Given it's the one show that's supposed to revolve around comedy, it's no surprise that it was a big part of this marathon. The first episode had Brett and Fannie showing up in feather boas and frilly hats, claiming they just came from Allen Ludden and Betty White's "wedding." Charles, knowing the Password lovers actually got married in 1963, came to their rescue by saying he was their doctor and leading them to their seats. In the second show from 1975, we get the first of two instances where Gene attacked camera people today, in this case to get them from focusing on Avery Schriber eating his answer.

Headed out as soon as the episodes were over. My new bike was a beautiful sky blue Electra, but it needs a few adjustments. The seat was way too low. I tried to raise the seat, but it was too tight. I'd fix it later. Had to move the reflector to get my old basket on...and realized how battered the basket is when I did. Also had to cut off the plastic tie holding on the bag with the paperwork.

Finally hit the road 15 minutes later. It was a wonderful, smooth ride, and a great day for a smooth ride, too. The sun was out, the wind was down to a soft breeze, the sky was almost the same shade of blue as the bike, and it was chilly but not as cold as I figured it would be. Made a quick stop at the post office first to drop off birthday cards for Mom (hers is tomorrow) and my friend Kelly from Wildwood (hers was earlier this week). 

The laundromat was fairly busy, but I was able to get the small, cheap front-loading washing machine pretty quick. Worked on my story notes on the concrete barrier outside while the tiny load was in the washer; bought a soft pretzel and a Chai Macha Smoothie from WaWa after I loaded it into a dryer. 

Went straight into Super Password and a chocolate-banana smoothie for lunch when I got home. Nipsey Russell and Pat Sajack continue their wild week that began yesterday. There were some really funny clues here, especially from Nipsey during the Super Password bonus round.

Tattletales was even funnier. The episode opened with Donald Ross, Patti Deustch's wacky comedy writer husband, taking over as host when Bert Convy was late. After Bert did arrive, we got some interesting answers from Bob Barker and his wife Dorothy Jo and Dick Gautier and his very outspoken then-wife Barbara Stuart. The latter ended up winning on the last question.

Press Your Luck jumped back to Halloween. In addition to trick-or-treating Whammies, we had Peter Tomarken sporting a Frankenstein mask. For some reason, he did a weird little dance over the end credits in the mask, jiggling along to the music.

After I bought a new basket from Amazon, I worked on writing. Ira Skutch, the railroad manager, wants Gene to hire a new sheriff as soon as he can. Gene complains he has no candidates. Deputies Jimmie Walker and Gary Burghoff lack experience, and nervous wreck Bill Daily is more likely to shoot himself in the foot than catch criminals.

Returned to Match Game '78 when I broke for dinner. Had Honey Glazed Riced Butternut Squash with carrots and leftover chicken for dinner as I watched Bob Barker complain because a sweet contestant didn't call him to give an answer to "Come On __." Johnny Olsen did get to repeat his famous line, though! 

Marcia Wallace was the one having trouble in the Match Game PM episode from 1977. I knew there was a reason Buzzr skipped this episode when they ran the 1977 PMs last week. The whole episode was crazy, starting with Gene's entrance looking through a box with peep holes and the first question with whose nude pictures someone tried to sell to Richard Dawson. Lunacy came to a head when Marcia's answer to a question about where Unlucky Louie lost three inches got censored with an "OOPS" graphic! 

One of my favorite episodes of Match Game '76 had fun with country music star "Whisperin'" Bill Anderson. Charles and Brett, clad in cowboy outfits, joined him in the end of the show to perform a sweetly silly spoof country ballad for a delighted Debralee Scott. Richard Dawson had less luck; bad answers got him booed twice by the audience.

I suspect the reason Buzzr held this marathon was because they acquired the 1984 special Television's Funniest Game Show Moments. More specifically, "the funniest moments from Goodson-Todman shows." Bob Barker explained why he feared Samoans when we see very large women practically manhandle him on The Price Is Right. Poor Holly Halstrom's trouble with a refrigerator whose doors refused to close turned up not long ago on the Price Pluto TV channel. Boss Mark Goodson introduced goofy Mystery Guests from the original What's My Line (including Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin), while Bill Cullen showed us kiddie description of words from his short-lived show Child's Play. Oddly, there were only two sequences from Match Game, but they were classics - the "Cuckoo, Friend, and Ollie" incident I watched in full on Sunday and Gene's Freudian slip with a contestant. Richard Dawson discusses some of the nuttier answers he encountered on the original Family Feud

Continued the theme with more Match Game. McLean Stevenson livened up several episodes of Match Game '73, including one where he appeared shirtless after having borrowed suits from the other men all week. Richard Dawson's second-to-last PM episode in 1978 featured a pair of witless contestants who just could not match anyone. The only reason one made it to the Audience Match was Charles matched him and the other contestant each once, then matched the man again in a tiebreaker. 

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