Sunday, November 20, 2022

We Gather for Games

Slept a bit later than I planned, though thankfully not enough for me to get out at a decent time. And I did set the alarm, too!I just went right back to sleep for a half-hour. At least I was able to eat breakfast and hurry outside in the brisk, windy morning sunshine.

We were off and on busy at work for most of the day. It's the Sunday before the major food holiday of the year and the first time the Eagles played during the day in nearly a month. There were some annoying folks, like the people who thought they could buy a cart full of food for $150 and several folks who didn't understand - and didn't want to hear about - our sales. For the most part, the day went quickly. It slowed down enough by 6:30 for me to get off without a relief and even return a container of sushi that had open accidentally.

(Oh, and apparently the Eagles started off poorly against the Colts, but made a major comeback in the second half. They literally won by 1 point, 17-16.)

Went straight home and into dinner and Match Game PM. Gene has a cold in the first episode, which doesn't endure him to the other panelists. While Richard fends him off, Fannie admits that "the eyes have it" - that is, the winking sequined eye on her t-shirt. Lee Merriweather also shows off something lovely, a beautiful sculpted butterfly she wore around her neck. Bill Daily is delighted when one of the panelists has a suit that matches his.

Gene sports an ugly plaid coat more appropriate for Christmas in the next episode. Scoey Mitchilll reminds the hostile audience why he does game shows instead of more violent pursuits, which prompts a hug from Charles. Somehow, Patti Deustch manages to get a question right about what a mother who wanted a daughter dressed her son in when Richard got it wrong. Richard does better with "All In __" in the Head to Head. 

Speaking of Match Game, I finished the night with game show episodes set on or involving Thanksgiving. Match Game did bring up the holiday occasionally, notably when "Thanksgiving __" was an Audience Match question in late 1978. The sweet contestant was far happier ending up in Guich Kotch's arms! 

Other shows incorporated the holiday into their prize packages. Sale of the Century gave away fine silverware, dining room furniture, and a big turkey dinner for Thanksgiving 1985. The syndicated High Rollers from 1987 had cartoon turkeys "stuffed" with wads of cash as prizes. Classic Concentration had mini Corvettes for kids and jewelry to wear to dinner on their rebus board in 1990. 

Thanksgiving goes back a ways on TV. In 1963, the nighttime To Tell the Truth welcomed the Australian inventor of a game called "the Wobbleboard," a woman who became a teacher of Japanese flower arranging, and the man who was then in charge of the Macy's Parade balloons. (Parade balloons in 1963 included Bullwinkle the Moose, Donald Duck, Popeye, Elsie the Borden Cow, a dinosaur, and the Happy Dragon.) I learned more about how the Macy's balloons worked than I ever wanted to! 

(Oh, and Gimbles sponsored the Philadelphia Thanksgiving parade from its inception in 1920 until they closed in 1986. A variety of sponsors took over after that; Dunkin' Donuts is the current sponsor. And they've used balloons at least since I was a kid.) 

The Price Is Right has done Thanksgiving episodes nearly since its inception. It's first hour-long Thanksgiving episode culminated with a hilarious Thanksgiving Showcase skit that had the models as pilgrim maidens and Johnny Olsen as a Native chief in a big feathered headdress. Chief Olsen wants the ladies to get with the New World times, but they can top him when it comes to transportation - their speed boat is no canoe! 

Thanksgiving is a time for family, and no families are wilder than the ones who turn up on Family Feud. The syndicated show from the late 80's did a Thanksgiving special in 1989. Ray Combs asked holiday-related questions, and the episode ended with both families and Combs enjoying a big turkey dinner. 

Gather with your family before the big dinner and see who can play along! (Many of the shows come with their original commercials or the ones from their Game Show Network run, including Price Is Right, Classic Concentration, and Family Feud.)

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