Sunday, May 07, 2023

Misfit Matches

Started off the day with breakfast and my new Have a Nice Day CD. This long-running series brings together songs from the 70's by forgotten artists or that are considered rare now; Volume 6 mainly covers '70-'71. The big hits were "Sweet City Woman" by the Stampeders, Lulu's "Oh Me Oh My (I'm a Fool to Love You Baby)," and "Signs" by the Five Man Electrical Band. Other good ones here include "One Fine Morning" by Lighthouse and the odd cannibalism novelty "Timothy," written by none other than Rupert Holmes. 

It was still sunny when I headed off to work. Work was once again a mess when I came in, with very long lines...and this time, we did have help. There's just a lot going on this weekend. Many people may have been taking advantage of the nice weather with barbecues and birthday parties, or making up for the bad weather last week with day trips to the Shore or the local parks. It did pick up as I was leaving...and I thought the manager said I had a relief. Turned out the relief was one of the new kids who has to have his own register for a while before he can go in for anyone. No one told me, and I was almost late getting out.

Rushed home after that. Had dinner while watching The Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour. Some strange people on that week. No idea who Pat McCormick was, but his jokes were terrible. Erudite Leonard Frey and journalist and satirist Mark Russell of Real People came off much better.

Spent the rest of the night watching the Match Game Sunday Classics Marathon. Possibly the most famous actress to appear on the show and not really fit in was TV's most notorious villainess, Joan Collins, who turned up for a wild week in mid 1975. She dealt with Gene's obvious flirting well enough, but she wasn't a great player, and it was very clear she was bored stiff. The others had more fun, including Gene climbing over the audience to change the camera angle! 

Collins wasn't the only ingenue who didn't work out on the show. Soap opera beauty Brenda Dickenson, Lorrie McCafferty of Happy Days, and war drama sweetheart Denise DuBarry added eye candy, but very little else. Peggy Cass was far more at ease with the formal To Tell the Truth than the lunacy on Match Game. Mabel King appeared in 1978, just after the release of The Wiz, and even got to sing a bit in her warm contralto, but like Collins she was clearly bored. 

Male newcomers tended to have an even rougher time. Robert Culp couldn't get into the madness early in '73 and didn't have nearly as much fun as the other newcomer that week, Pat Carroll. Marty Cohen was charming but tried too hard to be funny during his syndicated week; he'd do much better two years later on Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour. Jimmie Walker can be very funny, but his drumming up the audience can also get very annoying. He did a lot better in the first seat on Brett's left than taking Charles' place suddenly when he was late for a taping. 

Other men just couldn't figure out the game. Joe Santos of The Rockford Files kept turning up in 1978 and 1979 more because he was a nice guy who contrasted well with several of the snarkier panelists than for his terrible playing. Cranky Joey Bishop was a decent player, but his obnoxious attitude didn't exactly put him over with a lot of folks. Pat Harrington was another one who tried too hard to be funny and didn't play all that great; he tended to do better with his wife Marge on Tattletales. Larry Hovis of Hogan's Heroes, Ken Olfson, and David Lansdburg were lanky light-haired comedians who were pleasant enough, but didn't offer much else. Likewise, although cowboy Guich Kotch turned up a few times in '78 and '79, he was pretty much there as eye candy. 

Four genuine misfit Sweathogs came from the hit Welcome Back, Kotter. Of them, only Debralee Scott became a regular, although Ron Pallilo turned up a lot in 1976 and 1977 and actually played quite well. Ronald Hedyges and female Sweathog Helaine Lembeck turned up for one week each and, other than a few amusing gags, didn't really distinguish themselves in any way. 

Check out even more panelists who didn't work out on the show for one reason or another in this wacky marathon!

No comments: