Sunday, November 14, 2021

The Eagles Roll Out the Broncos

Started off the morning with Pineapple Coconut Pancakes for breakfast. Listened to my CD of Babes In Toyland and The Red Mill while I ate. Kenny Baker appears in in the first show, singing "Floretta" and "Toyland." We also hear "Hail to Christmas" and "I Can't Do the Sum" for the chorus. "And We Won't Be Happy 'Til We Get It" is a comic duet here. The Red Mill involves a pair of American tourists who help young lovers escape the colorful title building in the Netherlands. Wilbur Evans' sings two of the show's standards, "Every Day Is Lady's Day With Me" and "The Streets of New York."

Called Uber even before the CD wound down. Was a bit surprised I got one in under seven minutes on a Sunday morning. He got me there just in time for work to begin.

Unlike the rest of the weekend, we were busy almost the entire day. Had a lot of grumpy people, but other than that, no really major problems, and the day went fast. I was supposed to have a relief before the manager told me I didn't. I just got out in time. 

After the driver got me quickly home, I went online to write and watch the Eagles game. I was trying to do the former when Jodie came in. Basically...I'm not going to say it all, but first of all, I need to find a place faster, because she's had offers on the house that are too tempting to pass up on. I really don't want to end up squished into Rose's house, unable to cook or watch my own TV or have a Christmas tree of my own or bake cookies or do anything for myself. I know Rose means well, and it's kind of her, but her house just isn't that big.

Jodie also asked me to stop being so hard on myself. She said I'm really smart, and Dad was proud of me. I know both dads were, or so my mothers told me. Jodie said Dad often spoke of my accomplishments, and how I was reading by age 4. She also said to stop comparing myself to Rose, who is smart in her own way, but very different from me.  

I wish I could agree with her. I don't feel smart, especially right now. If I was smart, I wouldn't have waited for the last minute to find an apartment. I would have found one months ago. If I were smart, I wouldn't be so nervous about finding a job.

At least the Eagles did a lot better. They were 17-10 at halftime, when I joined Jodie at her side of the house. The extremely orange Broncos (they looked like pumpkins rolling across Mile High Stadium) couldn't get near them and made way too many penalties. Even when they knocked at least four guys down, they all came right back two or three plays later. The Eagles eventually won the game decisively 27-13.

Cheered myself up after a quick dinner with game shows revolving around stunts or dares. Beat the Clock was one of the earliest TV shows to focus on wacky stunts. It started as Time's a Wastin' on radio before moving to TV in 1950. Basically, it's a simplified Double Dare for adults. No trivia here, just couples spraying gunk on each other or trying to sit on balls, while the lady rearranges the words for a familiar saying on a magnetic board. It's just plain goofy fun to watch, even to this day. Bud Collyer hosted the radio and TV versions. 

Beat the Clock returned in 1969 with basically the same game play. Two couples this time compete to see who can complete the most stunts in a set amount of time. This version added a weekly celebrity guest to help with stunts. Dick Clark appears in the show I chose. By the time of the 1972 episode I went with, host Jack Nartz didn't have the money for communing back and forth from LA to Montreal where the show was taped, and announcer Gene Wood hosted the rest of the run. (And rather well, too, from what I see here.)

Beat the Clock spawned several imitations, one of the funniest being Dollar a Second. Once again, the premise is simple. This time, the longer people answered questions and did stunts in costume, the more money they won. The first guy throwing "snowballs" at hats was hilarious. There's also an "outside event," someone doing a longer stunt that takes the whole show, and could win all the money if they're quick enough. Jan Murray was the actual host, but curvaceous Dagmar takes over in the episode I selected. Too bad they couldn't bring her around more often. She was hilarious, especially with the kid in a prison costume later in the episode. 

From the 70's onward, stunt shows were considered to be primarily for kids (though Beat the Clock did turn up again in 1979.) Double Dare and its variants turned the stunt show on its ear by combining it with trivia and letting the kids dare each other into messy "physical challenges." The end run is through an obstacle course of slime and strange contraptions. Marc Summers dodges the gunk while joking with the kids. 

The wild success of Double Dare also spawned imitations. Fun House starts off pretty similar to Double Dare (with no dares), but ends with the kids running through a house-like maze, complete with messy obstacles, in order to grab oversized tags with money or the names of prizes on them. JD Roth was the energetic host. Slime Time is an even more obvious cash-grab, with the twist that it's the teachers who get slimed if their kids lose. Marty Cohen uses his nervous charm to cover how derivative the show is. 

Stunt shows returned to prime-time along with trivia in the new millennium. One of the most interesting was Boom!, an adaptation of an Israeli show. Three members of a team have to answer questions, then clip the wire attached to a huge bomb. If their question is right, nothing will happen. If it's wrong, they get covered in gunk and are out of the game. Very fun show; too bad it looks like it was never intended to be more than a summer replacement on Fox. 

Get super sloppy with these wacky excursions into stunts past! 

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