Sunday, January 02, 2022

The Eagles Wash Out Washington

Got up at 7 to call the Acme and tell them what was going on. I did take today off, and probably will tomorrow, too. They said to call a company who would tell me when I could come back to work. I called them, but they were busy and said they'd call back. I called again around 2:30, and they never called back. I'll try again tomorrow. 

Dozed for an hour and a half. Mom called around 10:30 to make sure I was ok. First of all, Khai barely got the sniffles and sore throat, and even Finley's recovering. It's Rose who really got sick...and they now think it's more likely whatever they got, they picked up in Maine or on another family trip and probably gave it to me. Rose didn't think I'd bother to take the test. Wish she'd stop treating me like a five-year-old. Apparently, it's going around even to people who are fully vaccinated and boosted. Mom had it when it started in March 2020, and she got it really, really bad, loss of taste and smell and all.

After I got off with Mom, I texted Rose. Yes, she's sick and the kids are much better. Craig's sick too, but not to the same degree...and ironically, considering he's had Covid before, neither he nor Finley got it now. She did apologize for getting upset with me on the phone. 

Decided I was up for good, then read and wrote in bed for an hour. After I got up, I made Banana Pancakes for my first Sunday breakfast of 2022. Inspired by Get Crazy last night, I listened to one of my K-Tel albums from the early 80's, Certified Gold. This double set has some really great tunes, some of my favorite from the era, including "Living Inside Myself" by Gino Vanneli, "Ain't Even Done With the Night" by John Cougar, "You're the Only Woman" by Ambrosia, "The Tide Is High" by Blondie, "Whip It," by Devo, "Never Knew Love Like This" by Stephanie Mills, "All Out of Love" by Air Supply, and "I Was Made for Lovin' You," by KISS. The first album also featured a novelty song I never heard of - the Italian dialect spoof "Shaddap Your Face" by Joe Dolce. 

Moved on to the laptop for the rest of the afternoon to watch the Eagles-Washington game. It started slow, with Washington scoring the first touchdown of the game. The Eagles, as they almost always do, played much better in the second half. By halftime, they were only down 16-14. They scored again in the third quarter, and Washington couldn't touch them. Thanks to a last-minute interception that stopped a Washington touchdown, they finally won the game 20-16.

Worked on writing after the game ended. Joyce the Gnat explains to Brett and the others that many of her fellow insects...and indeed, many citizens of Looking Glass Land...are disappearing, thanks to the Red King taking over the game. Indeed, the train and the rocking-horse and snap-dragon flies all vanish shortly after Joyce tells them this. Richard finally convinces her to take them further into the woods and find Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, who run the square. 

Broke for dinner at 6 PM. Listened to The Pirate Movie and Footloose soundtracks while I ate. These two are about as early 80's as you can get, between the odd mix of Gilbert and Sullivan and modern pop songs on Pirate Movie and hit pop and rock numbers on Footloose. My favorite non-Sullivan song on the former is it's upbeat finale, "Happy Endings." Smashes on the latter include the title song, "Almost Paradise," "Let's Here It for the Boy," and "Holding Out for a Hero."

Finished the night after a shower honoring Betty White on YouTube. Started with the show she hosted, Just Men!. Betty won the first game show host Emmy for a woman for this short-lived flop from 1983. Two women have to predict the answers of a panel of seven men. If they correctly predict the answers, they win keys. In the first round, they have to figure out which panelists said "yes" to a question; in the second, they have to find out who said "no." If they win, they get to slide the key into the ignition of a car and see if it'll start. 

This is a cute show, but the only really distinguishing feature is Betty. She's obviously having a great time finally being the host in the family, joking with the guys and encouraging the female contestants. She absolutely deserved that Emmy win.

Betty and game shows go a long way back. She appeared on What's My Line? many times over the years, including following her marriage to Allen Ludden in 1963. Savvy Arlene Francis is the one who finally figured out whom she and Allen were. 

Of course, she met Allen playing Password. She was one of the most frequent guests on that show before and after she tied the knot with the host. She continued appearing frequently on various Passwords, even after Allen passed away in 1981. She, Estelle Getty, Lucille Ball, and Lucy's then-screen daughter Ann Dusenberry appeared on a hilarious all-star week on Super Password in 1986. Lucy's usually an excellent Password player, but she seemed to have trouble with the bonus round here, messing up with several words. 

My favorite Betty game show appearances will always be on Match Game. She was one of the show's best players in the sixth seat, never failing to come up with a funny answer. She had a great time bantering with her close friends Charles Nelson Reilly and Brett Somers, often did gags with Richard Dawson, and would occasionally roll host Gene Rayburn's socks down and his pant legs up when he made the mistake of standing next to her while talking to the upper tier. 

She and Richard made two of their funniest duo gags on PM episodes. They helped each other with the Audience Match "__ and Tell" on one 1977 episode and played Brett and Charles when those two were out of a question in another. Just Men! wasn't the first time she hosted, either. She actually took over a question for Gene during a syndicated episode in 1982. 

Allen and Betty were one of my favorite regular couples on Tattletales. They just knew each other so well, as in this early episode with fellow hosts Chuck Woolery and his then-wife Jo Ann Pflug and Ann and Bill Cullen. Incidentally, the story Allen tells about the cows gathering around Betty was true, at least according to the Allen biography I read last year. 

Celebrate the life of a warm and witty woman with these delightful episodes, seeing all sides of her talent, from storyteller to host! (And check back for more with Betty from Match Game Productions, who will apparently be doing marathons of Betty's best Match Game episodes all week long.)

Match Game PM (1977) - Betty and Richard Play Charles and Brett
Match Game PM (1977) - Betty "Kisses and Tells" With Richard
Match Game Synd (1982) (The episode with Betty hosting begins at 21:43)

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