Saturday, September 25, 2021

All In the Games

Started off the morning with breakfast, making the bed, and Hogan's Heroes. Hogan and his boys say "Fat Hermann, Go Home" when they think Field Marshall Herman Goering is visiting Stalag 13 with artwork he looted from museums. Turns out that "Goering" is a disguised Schultz, and Marya is behind a plot to retrieve the pieces.

Ran out shortly after the episode ended. My day was one of the easiest I've had in ages. The weather was gorgeous, sunny, bright, and a perfect mid-70's degrees. It was no day for shopping. The Eagles game isn't until Monday night this week, too, and everyone was in good moods. I spent most of the afternoon shelving candy and working on story notes between customers. 

Went straight into grocery shopping after work. Mostly needed to restock after Lauren's visit last week. Bought a salmon cake and stuffed flounder cake for dinner. Had an online coupon for strawberries. Ground turkey is buy one, get one; spices are buy two, get one, and I found rosemary and thyme on the clearance rack. Found whole wheat pastry flour on a major $1.62 clearance. Restocked milk, butter, brown sugar, yogurt, bananas, mushrooms, canned tomato sauce, and diced tomatoes. 

Put on Match Game '75 when I got home and put everything away. TV producer and tough guy character actor Sheldon Leonard and Cuban bombshell Louisa Mortiz joined Gene and the regulars for these episodes. Sheldon in particular was a bit surprised when the lady wanted him to help her with the Head-to-Head. I didn't see as much of it as I would have liked. I spilled some of the flour when I poured it into the container and had to wipe and Swifter it. 

Next up was getting the laundry done. It was a good afternoon for that, too. The laundromat was dead except for one or two people and college football on ABC. It was too nice for laundry, too. I picked up eggs at Family Dollar (where they were slightly cheaper) and worked on story notes outside. 

Watched Buzzr's annual Lost and Found Marathon on my phone outside and at home while putting clothes away, and later as I went online. They started out with three black and white shows featuring unusual hosts, and one at the beginning of his career. It Had to Be You was pretty much "early He Said She Said/Tattletales" with non-celebrity couples. This pilot from 1966 was an early hosting job for Ed McManon, who proved he was better suited to announcing and talent contests. The show moved slower than molasses, the questions were dull, and McManon couldn't inject any interest in the proceedings.

Fred Allen had slightly better luck with his unsold pilot from a decade earlier, Take Your Choice. Despite not being a fan of TV or game shows, both of which ended his long-running radio comedy program in the late 40's, he turned up in a few game shows in the mid-50's. This one has Allen introducing couples who pick questions for their partner to answer. I give it a pass for the lady who threw out a guess as to which state had a particular woman in their Congress. She threw out a random guess...and to her shock and Fred's, turned out to be right. 

Even in his first network show, the short-lived Make a Connection, Gene Rayburn couldn't resist doing comedy. This one is an imitation I've Got a Secret; the "secrets" are how two people (or in one case, a person and an animal) are connected. J. Fred Muggs, the popular chimp on The Today Show, appeared with his handler and a lady who worked with him. He kept swinging all around the set and getting away from his handler, but he sure liked the water on Gene's desk. Xavier Cugat appeared with a chihuahua in tow and Latin musical instruments for the panel to do a number with his then-wife Abbe Lane. Panelists Bennet Cerf, Eddie Bracken, Gloria DeHaven, and in one of her earliest game show appearances, Betty White happily added to a lot of the wackiness. 

Buzzr's still really pushing Whew! It's third pilot wasn't really all that different from the regular shows, other than a brighter color scheme on the Charge board. They also had a regular episode from later than the ones they've been showing with an especially exciting Gauntlet run.

Mindreaders is an oddity from 1979. Two celebrity contestants captain a female team and a male team. They have to guess what their contestants are thinking on three questions (often related to sex). The winning team goes on to guess what ten contestants are thinking in three questions, and then guess what the celebrity is thinking. Instead of returning champions, each team plays three times through. A lot of game show fans aren't crazy about this one and find the format to be cumbersome and the ESP angle to be dated, but I thought it was funny as heck. Dick Martin had a great time hosting. 

Showoffs from 1975 is the ancestor of Body Language and Celebrity Name Game. We celebrated Christmas Day early as Vicki Lawrence, Greg Morris, and Robert Urich mime words for their contestants. Unlike with Body Language, these are just random words, not a puzzle, and each contestant guesses the same words. While Bobby Van is a charming host and the game moved pretty well, I agree with some game show fans that the format was much better in its revamped Body Language version a decade later. 

(Incidentally, the winners here are the hilarious Make the Connection and Mindreaders; Showoffs is a lot of fun, too. The Whew! episodes weren't that different from what Buzzr's been airing the past few weeks. I can see why It Had To Be You and Take Your Choice didn't make the grade; despite their unique hosts, they're pretty boring.)

Had a tasty dinner of fish cakes, salad, and corn on the cob while watching the Whew! episodes and Mindreaders. Slid a pan of Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins in the oven by the time Showoffs ran. Finished the night after a shower with the 2011 Winnie the Pooh. I go further into this adorable adventure for Pooh and his buddies in the Hundred Acre Woods at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

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