Monday, January 17, 2022

Matches for Two Birthdays

Awoke to howling winds and gloomy gray skies this morning. Even with no snow on the ground, it was still no day for running around outside. Read material from the Colliers Harvest of Holidays anthology instead. Dr. Martin Luther King was still alive when it was published, but the material from the now-seldom celebrated United Nations Day worked just as well. King and the United Nations both worked for peace and equality. Did part of Dorothy Canfield Fisher's "A Fair World for All," "Prayer for a Better World" by Stephan Vincent Benet, and several poems.

After I finished with my journal, I rolled right into making Pineapple-Coconut Pancakes while watching the first of two Betty White-themed game show marathons on YouTube today; switched to them fully after I ate. Betty White's 100th birthday would have been today, and Match Game Productions celebrated with two separate runs. 

Betty appeared occasionally on the short-lived but enjoyable 1990-91 version of Match Game on ABC. Many people complain about this one because host Ross Schafer is in charge rather than Gene Rayburn. I think he's just fine, especially dealing with his wacky celebrities. Betty certainly had enough fun, playing along with Charles Nelson Reilly, then-popular comedians Joe Alasky, Brad Garrett, Vicki Lawrence, and Fred Travelena, and soap stars Stuart Damon, Lauren Marie Taylor, and Perry Stevens. 

Betty's final appearance on Match Game had her in the original sixth "comedienne" seat during the Gameshow Marathon special in 2006. Ricki Lake hosted this series of vintage CBS game shows with celebrities playing for charities. Most game show fans complained about Ricki's hosting. I thought the panel had more fun. George Foreman in particular did surprisingly well, helping Kathy Najimy move on to the last show.  

Check out Betty in the 90's and new millennium in her final appearances in the franchise! 

Threw together a quick Orange-Banana Smoothie for lunch and made Cranberry-Chocolate Chip Cookies while watching Buzzr. They had their own marathon for Betty White this weekend. They were doing White's appearances on Whew! when I made lunch. The wild and wacky Whew! proved to be a little too unique for most audiences. In an attempt to boost ratings, they switched to a format with celebrities helping regular contestants. Betty helped get her contestants to victory at least once, and unlike the last few contestants I've seen on the show, beat the Gauntlet with time to spare. Even she was no match for a feisty little old lady who helped Richard Kline get up the board in record time!

Betty did better on Trivia Trap. This generational trivia battle also had trouble attracting an audience in 1984. By '85, they also switched to an all-celebrity format. Here, the elders-vs-youngsters format was dropped in favor of men vs women. Betty joined Jayne Meadows and her close friend Vicki Lawrence to play against Jamie Farr, Bill Cullen, and Tom Poston. The ladies wiped the floor with the guys, winning both of the games I saw (though they missed the bonus round). 

As I prepared to watch the Betty White Birthday Match Game Marathon, I saw flashing lights outside my bedroom window. Paramedics and police officers rolled one of my next-door neighbors onto a stretcher and into an ambulance. I have no idea what that was about. Heard Jodie yammering about our neighbor having a stomach virus and possibly getting Covid, but I don't think that would require a stretcher and a trip in an ambulance.

Threw chicken legs coated with Italian seasoned bread crumbs and a sweet potato in the oven around 5:30. Added steamed Brussels sprouts when they came out an hour later. Watched Super Password while I ate. Betty was on the final week of the series in March 1989. She was joined by Christopher "Mr. Belvedere" Hewett, who did quite well against her. They both lead their contestants to the Super Password round; Betty's won with several seconds left. She also got to have her revenge on the Ca$hword mini-game no one liked when she threw the question holder on the ground after losing the final game!

Finished the night online for Betty's 100th Anniversary birthday celebration. Admittedly, most of the episodes I caught tonight - Betty's first appearance on the show proper with Brett and Charles, the week with her and Allen when Gene said "I've had Betty," the PM episode where Betty imitates Charles and Richard does Brett, the syndicated episode with the blind contestant and his service dog Princess, the two appearances of Gene's daughter Lynne's dog Trotter on the show, the one where Betty makes her entrance in a short dress in flaming red and shows off her legs - were seen in previous marathons. 

Episodes we hadn't previously encountered include Betty and Richard getting wound up in Gene's microphone wire, Gene telling the panel about his trip to China and showing up in a real Chinese outfit (it looked more like he was going to drive everyone to the airport), Richard giving Gene "direction" for a question, Betty, Gene, and Richard "frisking" poor producer Roger Dobowitz, and Gene flubbing a question and putting a word in the blank.

Celebrate what would have been Betty White's 100th birthday with a collection of her absolute best appearances on the show! And while I'm probably not going to watch it, if you're a fan of the original America's Funniest Home Videos, the owner of the Match Game Productions channel will be doing a marathon of that for Bob Saget, who died shortly after White over the New Year's holiday, at 5 PM tomorrow!

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