Friday, June 30, 2023

Under the Haze

Started off a hazy morning with breakfast and more of The Pink Panther Show. "G.I Pink" finds himself in the Army without a clue. His harried sergeant wishes he'd just stayed home. The Inspector is "Carte Blanched" when he turns an ordinary shopping cart into a means of transportation. It's a "Pinkadilly Circus" when a gentleman rescues Pink, and Pink helps him with his demanding wife and daughter.

Switched to Match Game '77 as I made my grocery list and got organized. Polly Holiday of Alice marked her only appearance on the show in these episodes. In the first one, Polly's microphone flops over and dies. Richard and Gene give it a funeral, complete with "Taps." Richard claims to have resurrected it in the second.

Checked the Acme's website for my schedule at this point. In good news, a perfectly normal 1 to 7 shift on the 4th of July. I'll miss the barbecues, but I'll get to see Oaklyn's town parade and the Collingswood fireworks. Unfortunately, I have two seven-hour days leading up to that, one early, that I'm not looking forward to at all. Wednesday and next Friday off. 

Headed out after that for a bike ride. I considered taking a long Uber trip to Second Time Used Books in Mount Laurel Township. It would have cost me more than $30 for a one-way ride. That was too much. Opted to run errands in the area instead, starting with lunch at the Westmont Diner. Had a "Power Omelet," aka egg whites with Swiss cheese and vegetables, cheese grits, and whole grain toast. The omelet was yummy, with lots of veggies and a ton of cheese. The grits were way too bland with just the cheese sprinkled on top, and the toast was barely toasted. Still, I enjoyed my meal while listening to the mostly older couples chatter around me.

Made my way down Cuthbert to Haddon Avenue next. I missed Samaritan Thrift the last two times I was in Westmont. Finally caught them today, about 45 minutes before they closed. They were really busy, but I managed to make my way through the people long enough to buy a peachy-pink polo shirt with white trim, a pretty white shirt with lace trim, and a card for a friend whose birthday is next month. 

After I left the thrift shop, I went directly across the street to Primo's Water Ice. Surprisingly, they were not busy. I was able to quickly buy my medium sugar-free cherry cup. It didn't taste much like cherry, but it also didn't taste like it was sugar-free. Not bad. At least it cooled me off on a warm day and felt great on my still sore tooth.

Rode further down Haddon Avenue and into Haddonfield to check out the RAM Arcade. Lauren and I had such a great time here on Memorial Day Weekend, I thought I'd try them solo. I've always done well at Ms. Pac Man. I like that she moves much faster than her male counterpart. I actually got to level 7 (aka the pretzel level) before I finally ran out of lives. Rocked at the carnival shooting game, too. I made it to the bonus round twice. The other two pinball games were working, but the original Black Knight had fewer bumps and bells than the later Black Knight 2000 and was a lot harder to figure out. 

It was almost 4:30 by the time I went out again. Took the back roads in Haddonfield and Westmont to avoid rush hour traffic on my way to the Westmont Acme. Surprisingly, they were dead, despite it being almost 5 PM. Had no trouble picking up yogurt (I had an online coupon for two free Acme generic cups), snacking cheese, granola bars, two salads for lunch next week, individual packs of Propel Berry water mix, and Silk Coconut Milk (it cost the same as the smaller bottles for one three times that size).

Made one last stop in Collingswood to get money for the rent and the farm market tomorrow. It's a good thing the weather was pretty decent today, considering all the running around I did. Other than the continuing haze and smoky smell, it was sunny, breezy, and hot, into the lower 80's. It's still a little humid, but not to the degree of last week. 

It was so late by the time I got in, I barely had time for writing. Brett claims she's fine, but Betty knows better. For one thing, she's already drinking. For another, she's not with the others. She loves being the center of attention.

Broke for dinner at 7. Watched Match Game '79 as I ate. Things didn't start off well. Neither of the contestants got anything in the first round. Brett's more nervous when someone does make it to the bonus round and she has to do "Hotel __" in the Head-to-Head.

Moved to Hulu after a shower for MASH in honor of the holiday weekend. Hawkeye's feeling like a "Yankee Doodle Doctor" in the first season when a director turns up and insists on filming the 4077th at work. Everyone is excited at first...until it turns out to be a lot of propaganda mush that has nothing to do with what the war or their work is really like. After Hawkeye and Trapper ruin the first cut, the director quits, leaving the doctors to show everyone the real horrors of war (and Hawkeye's Groucho Marx impression). 

Finished at Buzzr for their Pick & Play marathon. Every Friday night during the summer, Buzzr will be running episodes that their viewers chose in the previous two weeks on their website. Yes, I was one of the ones who chose. I have to admit, it was really neat to see the first episode of the late 60's What's My Line with Wally Brunner. The rare first episode of the late 60's To Tell the Truth with that nifty psychedelic set was even cooler. I also got to see more of the Canadian late 80's word game Talk About and the Monty Hall version of Beat the Clock

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Hazy Shade of Summer

Started off the morning with breakfast and Charlie & Lola. "I am Goody the Good" says Lola when she tries to be helpful like the heroine of her favorite book. Charlie's just about fed up with it, especially after she ruins his school project by washing it. She has to think like Lola to help him fix his project on time.

Headed out for work shortly after the cartoon ended. We were off-and-on steady for most of the afternoon. It didn't really get that busy until the evening rush hour. Then I got hit with annoying people and fussy older ladies who take forever to bag and won't let you help, even when there's a line. In fact, I closed my line, then reopened it briefly because the one register left open had a line. I still got out on time, thankfully.

Despite the haze and acrid, smoky smell coming from Canada, I decided to take the long way home from work. It was still sunny under the haze, a little warm but not like it's supposed to be this weekend. Needless to say, at quarter of 6, Nicholson Road was busy with commuters coming home from work and heading to dinner. Dodged the cars, which as usual, vanished once I got into Oaklyn. 

Changed and worked on my story when I got home. Re-wrote it to begin with Betty bringing Brett food to their dressing room. I think I might re-write it again and have Brett actually come to lunch, so the others can help comfort her.

Broke for dinner at 7. Watched Match Game '79 while I ate. The first episode ended with Charles being so angry about the Star Wheel not landing on him, he yanks his name off the Wheel and attempts to yank off the star. Someone brings cookies in the opening that everyone enjoys. The second begins with Gary Burghoff doing "Bless Your __" on the Head-to-Head and ends with everyone throwing out many brands of chocolate for "__ Candy Bar."

Finished the night on YouTube with Dames at Sea. I go further into this TV spoof of backstage movies of the 1930's at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

In the Good Old Summertime

Started off the morning with something a little different at The Roku Channel. They have the original seasons of The Pink Panther Show from 1969-1970, at least until the end of the month. Two Panther cartoons and one from The Inspector are bracketed by animated sequences taken from Pink's shorts and live-action footage of a kid driving around in a nifty futuristic "Panthermobile." 

The episode I watched started with "Pink Valiant." Sir Pink is supposed to save the princess, but he can't even get on the horse. When the Chief needs rest, The Inspector goes on "Le Quiet Squad" to keep every single thing around them silent. Pink deals with a pesky magician's rabbit in "The Hand Is Pinker Than the Eye."

Headed out for a walk after the cartoon ended. I needed to make a quick run to Dollar General...and I just wanted to enjoy a nice day. The sun was out, the sky was blue, and if it was still humid, it was also much cooler than it has been, in the 70's. The rain may be driving everyone crazy, but it's been a boon to the local plant life. The grass is far greener and less brittle than it was a week ago. Gardens overflow with gorgeous day lilies, zinnias, and petunias. Wind whistled through the shiny emerald leaves.

Dollar General is the only place in this area that carries the Sunbelt Bakery granola bars I like. Got packets of their electrolyte drink mix, too. Looked at shampoo and conditioner, but decided to save that for later, after I've used my current bottles a bit more. Grabbed a Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi.

Stopped at A&A Soft Pretzels on the White Horse Pike for a unique lunch. In addition to picking up two pretzels, I thought one of their filled pretzel pockets would be nice and soft on my teeth. I've wanted to try "The Philly," their cheesesteak-stuffed pretzel pocket, for a while. It sounded different, anyway.

Had lunch while watching Match Game '77 at home. The episode began with Gene reading what was supposedly fan mail, though the "fans" had some rather odd requests. The second half of the show featured a contestant who told Brett her friend saw Jack Klugman squiring a blonde at the Hollywood Race Track and enjoying it. Brett handled it pretty well, but it's obvious that tacky comment shook her. Even if the lady didn't realize Brett and Jack were going through a nasty separation and/or divorce, it was totally unnecessary. I don't think anyone was unhappy when she lost. 

That lady's nasty comment and how Brett must have felt about it actually inspired a story about me, "Friends, Lovers, and Blank." Betty brings Brett lunch, as she went straight to her dressing room after the taping ended for break. I'll probably re-write it to have Brett reluctantly having lunch with the rest of them.

Went to work about an hour later. Work was on-and-off busy, probably because we're getting close to a major holiday and the beginning of the month. There were a few annoying or grouchy people, but nothing worse than that. It was so quiet by 7, I got off with no relief and no need for one.

Changed when I got home, then had dinner while watching Match Game '79. Fannie Flagg reveals in the opening that she just got a contract to write a novel. This is likely what would turn into her first book, Coming Attractions (later Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man). Everyone else helps with "Away ___" in the Audience Match.

Finished the night on YouTube with One Crazy Summer, which is currently free there. Hoops McCann (John Cusack) is hoping to learn about love during his summer on Nantucket with his best friend George (Joel Murray) and his tough little sister Squid (Kristen Golez). On the way there, he encounters a rock singer named Cassandra (Demi Moore) and helps her escape the bikers who want her money. That money will be going to save her grandfather's home from unscrupulous developer Aguila Beckerstead (Mark Metcalf) and his spoiled son Teddy (Matt Mulhern). 

After a disastrous evening with Teddy's hungry girlfriend Cookie (Kimberly Foster), Hoops and his friends make a commercial to get Cassandra's concert date heard. Even that isn't enough when Aguilla forecloses on the house outright. Hoops is nervous when his buddy Ack Ack (Curtis Armstrong) suggests entering the local regatta, which Teddy wins every year. Hoops and the others lend a hand...and learn that helping a friend in need is more important than any of the regattas or cups or lobster restaurants in the world. 

Really strange variation on the "slobs vs snobs" comedies of the 1980's, with Tom Villard and Bobcat Goldthwait as a pair of unalike twins who help the guys out and director "Savage" Steve Holland's brand of whacked-out comedy firmly on display. You'll either roll with the wacky vibes, or wonder what people were smoking when they made this. Recommended for fans of Holland or Cusack's other comedies or other class-war comedies of the 1980's. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Are You Ready for the Summer?

Began the morning with breakfast and Dearest Enemy. I go further into this 1955 TV adaptation of Rodgers and Hart's first book musical, an American Revolution-set romance, at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Dusted after I ate while the movie was still on. I don't know why my bedroom gets so dusty! I guess it's because the one window is back there. I dusted two weeks ago, and it's dusty again. Wiped down all the electronics screens and the window, too. 

Had a quick lunch, then messed around online until it was time to get ready for work. At 12:30, it was sunny, humid, and hot. After getting soaked riding home in a storm on Sunday, however, I wasn't taking chances. I called Uber and got a ride in four minutes.

Work could have been a lot worse, especially on Senior Discount Day. The lines did get long a few times, mainly because it was just me and the express lane opened the whole night, and one older woman did complain. The arrival of the thunderstorm that had been building all day meant the end of our customers. It died so quickly and so hard, I spent the last hour putting away loose items. Also had to clean up a coffee spill. 

Though the thunder had vanished by 7 PM, the heavy showers remained. I had a much harder time getting a ride home. When I did get him, he arrived in 8 minutes, not bad for someone running around in bad weather. 

Went straight into dinner and Match Game '79 when I got home. The episode began with CHiPs actress Brianne Leary doing a perfect cartwheel, to the delight of panelists and audience members alike. We also get Jon "Bowser" Bauman fixing his incredibly greased hair and Bob Barker wondering about his life choices when he matches Joyce Bulifant in a question.

Finished the night online with the original Meatballs on Flex. Canadian summer camp Camp Mohawk has it's wildest summer on record in 1979, with counselors-in-training chasing each other and head counselor Tripper Harrison (Bill Murray) chasing female counselor Roxanne (Kate Lynch). His friendship with shy camper Rudy Gerner (Chris Makepeace) and their early morning bonding runs come in handy when Rudy is the only one who can run in the grueling marathon race against snobbish rivals Camp Mohawk.

Murray and Makepeace pretty much run away with the film as the wacky counselor who lives to break rules and his gentle protege. They had so much chemistry, more scenes were added with them, pulling the focus from the randy CITs. While they do have some funny sequences (like how the girls snitch Fink's pants or the basketball game against Camp Mohawk), it's nothing you haven't seen in dozens of other movies on summer camp. Highly recommended for fans of Murray, summer camp comedies, or randy "slobs vs snobs" comedies from the 70's and 80's. 

Monday, June 26, 2023

Tooth and Dolls

Began the morning with breakfast and Doc McStuffins to ease my nerves about my dentist appointment. Doc and her crew hold a surprise party for "Hallie's Happy Birthday." Hallie's not sure what to think of the goofy "illnesses" Sir Kirby comes up with to keep her occupied while the others round up the decorations and food. Doc's toys are terrified of Mr. Chomp, the plastic toy shark who got a "Shark-Style Toothache" when her brother Donny accidentally knocked him against the tub and cracked a tooth. She and Hallie have to convince the others that Mr. Chomp is a bath toy, and he's not scary at all.

Headed out around quarter after 11. Since I wasn't sure what shape I'd be in when I got home, I opted for walking to Westmont. It was still hot and so humid you could cut it with a knife, but it was also sunny and windy. Saw lots of people out and about, including a mother helping her older daughter learn to roller blade and families in their yards.

Since I arrived at the Westmont Plaza a little early, I peeked around in Dollar Tree. I was hoping to find 4th of July decorations, but most of them either looked as cheap as they were or were too big or covered in glitter. I did find a bag with three fans printed with 4th of July themes that were really nifty. Also grabbed a bottle of water for the way home.

I did manage to arrive at the dentist's office ten minutes early. They promptly brought me in the back and sat me down in an operating room. Fifteen or so minutes later, it was out. It wasn't really yanked this time, and they did numb my mouth with needles...but the needles and the extraction hurt like heck. And I wasn't supposed to eat solid foods until it healed. What would I do about lunch?

My initial thought was a smoothie at Starbucks, but it looks like they're out of ice to make slush drinks like Frappucinos and smoothies. They didn't have any 4th of July decorations, either. I ended up with bags cashews in dill pickle and lemon poppy seed for later in the week.

As I walked down Cuthbert, I ran across a woman who is a frequent customer at the Acme. She said it was too hot for walking and agreed to give me a ride. I just wanted to hit WaWa for a smoothie, so she dropped me off there. WaWa was fairly busy, but I was able to pick up a Mixed Berry Banana smoothie with no trouble. Added yogurt and protein powder to make it at least something like lunch.

This time, I really did go home. It was too hot and sticky to be doing anything else. I went upstairs and looked up something online, then swept and vacuumed my rooms while listening to the rest of the Jack and the Beanstalk Peter Pan album. After that finished, I put on the soundtrack album for the MGM musicals Les Girls and Lili. Cole Porter's last score for film isn't his best, but it does feature some decent songs in this story of three dancers who dispute one's tell-all biography. Gene Kelly is the man they're all fighting over. He and Kay Kendall spoof the upper crust in "You're Just Too, Too," while Barry wonders "Why am I So Gone About That Gal?" Lili's main attraction is the lilting, bittersweet hit "Hi Lili, Hi Lo."

Spent the next few hours after that dressing the dolls for July and the upcoming holiday. Whitney's ready to perform in the 4th of July Parade in her AG Dance Dress and Molly's tap shoes. (The tap shoes that came with the outfit are falling apart.) Molly will head off to camp in her Camp Gowanigan uniform and saddle shoes. Ariel's patriotic patchwork peasant top and her shorts are home-made. Jessa's in a pair of shortalls, the red t-shirt from the 90's Blue Jean Basics, and purple jelly sandals. Samantha wears her Middy Dress and Tam with black stockings and black and white boots. Josefina's in her Indigo School Dress and Camisa. 

The closest thing Kit has that's appropriate for the holiday is her red and white polka-dot Reporter's Outfit. It has a turquoise bow, but the skirt and vest look right. As a teenager, Barbara Jean can get away with sporting a brief terrycloth tube top and her own white shoes. 

Listened to the second Remembering the 60's CD while I changed them. We move a little further into the decade here, with songs from the British Invasion and some very American crooners. I have fond memories of hearing many of these on oldies stations in the 80's and 90's, including "I Know a Place" by Petula Clark, The Pink Panther theme by Henry Mancini and His Orchestra, Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto's sexy "The Girl from Ipanema," "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me" by Mel Carter, "Since I Fell for You" by Lenny Welch, and two hits from crooner Jack Jones, "Wives and Lovers" and "Dear Heart."

Had tomato basil soup and yogurt while watching an episode of She-Ra: Princess of Power that was fairly dark for this show. He-Man learns about "The Price of Freedom" while helping his sister rescue miners trapped in a cave by Hordak, who burned their village for rebelling. Though She-Ra goes to get help, it's the miners who end up being heroes when they use their tools to dig their way out and get a stricken He-Man to safety.

Worked on writing for a while after I ate. Joyce is barely able to keep the dog in the shed. She hopes no one at Television City is upset that the shed is missing. She's also worried that Ira and the guards, who chased them out, may have followed them.

Finished the night on Dailymotion and YouTube honoring one of the true characters of American game shows. Chuck Barris, whose birthday was earlier this month, is actually a local weirdo. He was born in Philadelphia and even attended Drexel. He got started working for ABC's Standards and Practices and writing  and producing music, including one of my favorite early-60's hits "Palisades Park." 

When they moved him to head of programming, he claimed the shows being pitched to him were worse than his own ideas. ABC suggested he quit and become a producer...which is exactly what he did. His first major hit for the network was The Dating Game in 1965. The wild success of the show involving a young woman tossing out double entendre-filled questions to three would-be suitors, led to ABC asking for more of the same. 

The Newlywed Game debuted during the fall of 1966. Now, we had just-married couples giving sexy answers to ribald questions. It was an even bigger smash, running until 1974 and turning up well into the new millennium in various formats. Bob Eubanks added his own leering jokes here.

Barris continued with more of the same through the rest of the decade. The Game Game, The Family Game, and The Parents Game were all short-lived syndicated variations on The Newlywed Game, with people trying to match each other's embarrassing stories. Sadly, of these, only an episode of The Family Game with Bob Barker hosting is currently available online. Here, it's parents and children trying to match stories. The kids' responses are a bit like the later Child's Play; otherwise, this is better-known for being the last black and white show to air on daytime television.

He'd finally hit pay dirt on syndication in 1973 with his revival of the 50's game show Treasure Hunt. This is basically Let's Make a Deal with boxes instead of doors and normally-dressed women instead of people in chicken suits. Geoff Edwards encourages ladies to pick a box in a pile on the stage. The box had an envelope with money in it. They could keep the money, or go for a bigger prize behind a door. The box might contain the prize, or it might contain a goofy "klunk" junk item or nonsense prize. These were often accompanied by silly skits or gags. The episode I have isn't bad, but apparently, later episodes could get nasty with the "klunks," to the point where Geoff Edwards left by 1977. 

Along with the Dating and Newlywed Games, Barris' most famous production is likely The Gong Show. This spoof talent show features three celebrity judges who hit the gong for some pretty outrageous acts. Some are terrible and get gonged right away. Others are legitimately good and are judged with hand-written numbers. At the end of the show, the winner would receive a check for about $700. The worst act of the week on Friday got a check for $500. 

I've heard stories about how crass this show was since I was a little kid...but what I saw here was actually kind of cute. Allen Ludden joins regular judges Jamie Farr and Jaye P. Morgan to check out an overweight woman doing a dance in a skimpy costume, an adorable little girl attempting folk songs, a lady who could genuinely sing, a big guy who did a pretty decent soft shoe routine, and a very sweet woman and her very big "talking" Great Dane. We even got a brief bit by The Unknown Comic with a bag over his head. It's all in good fun, and it's hilarious. No wonder this would run for five years on syndication and four on NBC. 

The $1.98 Beauty Show is in the same vein as The Gong Show. This time, we have a spoof beauty pageant hosted by an energetic Rip Taylor and his confetti. I doubt Barris intended this to be uplifting, but I love that women of all ages and sizes are included. In fact, the runner-up was an adorable 52-year-old with a truly lovely smile. The first two acts - a woman who did a tango to "Misunderstood" and a baton twirler - were really good. There needs to be more plus-sized hula dancers, too. She moved just as well as the more slender beauties in the movies.

Barris was on a roll, but he finally went too far with 3's a Crowd in 1979. Amiable Jim Peck hosted this attempt to return to The Newlywed Game format. This time, it's a husband, his wife, and his secretary who are matching stories. Um, you can see the problems here. Women's rights groups and unions protested it, including in front of the studio. Even the debut episode I have here leans uncomfortably into Jerry Springer territory as the women hurl bleeped curses at each other. 

That debacle ended Barris' career. His remaining four shows in syndication - Gong Show, Beauty Show, and revivals of The Newlywed Game and The Dating Game - were all canceled within a year of the show's release. Barris would never have a new format on TV again. His last major production was a revival of the 60's show Camouflage. This one was done in by its time slot, as most syndicated shows now ran five days a week instead of one. He spent the rest of his life overseeing revivals of his shows and writing wildly fictional memoirs (including Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, where he claimed to be a CIA agent). 

Let's bang the gong and blow kisses for one of the most truly unique minds to ever work on television!

(Oh, and the rain that had been predicted all day didn't show up until almost 10 PM. It has stormed off and on since then, though.) 

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Here Comes that Rainy Day Feeling Again

Got a quick start this morning with breakfast and Minnie's Bow-toons. Minnie's trying to figure out a new design for her spring bow line. "Figaro's Friend" gives her the perfect inspiration. She, the twins, and Cukoo-Loca hold a birthday party for Daisy. When the lights go out, they have to figure out how to illuminate "A Shop In the Dark" and let the festivities go on. 

Rushed out soon as the episode ended. I emerged into blinding sunshine and a few fleecy clouds. Though it remained humid, it wasn't doing anything else at that point. Nor did it look like it had for hours. I figured I'd be fine riding to work. I did bring my rain coat, just in case.

Work was off-and-on busy. I think a lot of people may have gone down to the Shore once they figured out it wasn't going to rain for the entire weekend. There weren't really any major problems...until my last customer, of course. It was a very old woman who did everything super slow. She took one item out at a time, and took forever to do that. She claimed her son was around to help her. If he was, he didn't appear while I was there. I had to load the food into the woman's cart...and then she threw a fit when the money on her food stamp card didn't cover everything she had in her cart. I tried my hardest to explain, but she just wouldn't listen. 

It was so late by that time, I called a manager to handle her and the woman behind her. Oh, and the managers told me at the very last minute I had no relief. I wish they'd tell you these things instead of assuming you know what's going on. 

I was so frustrated when I got out of work, and the weather didn't help. Dark clouds gathered quickly on the horizon. I rode fast as I could,  hoping to get home before the storm hit. I made it half-way down Kendall Boulevard when not only the rain came down in torrents, but hail, too, and crazy wind and thunder. Tried to take shelter under the trees, but they were too small. 

It finally slowed down enough for me to hide under an awning on West Clinton. There were a group of ten to twelve-year-old boys on bikes across the street, hiding under the overhanging roof of Common Ground Coffee House. I got so tired of listening to them curse at each other after a few minutes, I decided dealing with the rain was better than listening to them. I think I made the right choice. The low street between hills under the train bridge was already starting to flood. I turned down Newton to dodge the onslaught. Finally got home ten minutes later soaking wet.

(Incidentally, the storm didn't pass until more than an hour and a half after I finally got home. The sun came out again around 7 PM, and it hasn't rained since.)

Spent the next few hours listening to records. Flahooley is one of the strangest stage musicals ever created. Sylvester, the creator of the laughing Flahooley doll, wants to sell many dolls and marry his sweetheart Sandy (Barbara Cook, in her debut). After another company undercuts the one he works for and sells cheaper dolls, he wishes on a magic lamp that every child should have a Flahooley doll. Unfortunately, the genie misunderstands and gives them away for free, undercutting the economy. When a mob tries to destroy the dolls, they nearly kill the genie, too. 

Ohhhhkay. Yeah, you can see the problems here. Writer, producer and lyricist E.Y Harburg got burned by the early 50's Hollywood blacklist and wanted to parody that here, but frankly, the songs don't have much to do with anything. Trilling Peruvian singer Yma Sumac sings three songs that sound exotic but otherwise are out of place. Cook has a lovely ballad, "He's Only Wonderful," and shares a charming duet with Jerome Courtland, "Here's To Your Illusions." Otherwise, most of the satire was diluted before opening, and the chorus numbers are dully and silly. This is only for the biggest fans of Harburg, Cook, or 50's musicals.

Switched to Jack and the Beanstalk during dinner. This is one of my Peter Pan book and records that I hadn't gotten to yet. Jack sells his cow Milky White for magic beans. His mother is upset that they now have no cow and no money, so she throws the beans out the window. They grow into a beanstalk that reaches the sky. Jack discovers a giant's castle among the clouds. He'd love to bring home the giant's golden egg-laying hen and his bag of coins...if he can dodge the boy-eating ogre! 

Basic version of the story enlivened by several charming songs. Jack and his mother sing a number about them not needing anyone besides each other in the opening. The Giant gets "I Want Boy!" and "Fee Fi Fo Fum," while his annoyed wife booms "I'm Tired!" I'd love to find more of these Peter Pan fairy tale LPs, and maybe some of their Looney Tunes stories, too. The songs are charming and the performances aren't bad.

Finished the night on YouTube with the Match Game Sunday Night Classics Marathon. This time, crotchety character actress Mary Wickes was in the spotlight. She may actually be one of the best-known stars on the show. She'd been playing reliable secretaries, tough mothers, and tart-tongued maids and housekeepers on film and TV since the 1940's, and would continue to do so well into the 90's. In fact, most people today probably know her as the housekeeper from White Christmas or the older nun who originally led the choir in the Sister Act movies before Whoopi Goldberg took over. 

Mary began on Match Game in 1976 and became one of it's most popular semi-regulars. She shown in both the fourth and the sixth seat, never failing to come up with a crusty quip or great line. She got one of the best lines in the entire series when the brand-new, much-touted Star Wheel landed on Richard Dawson its first time out in 1978...when it had been designed to give other stars besides Richard a chance to play. "Do you know how much that thing cost?" She complained to Gene as most of the panel walked out. "And it's right back to Richard!" She also got a great crack at one of Gene's infamous plaid jackets around the same time. "Somewhere a horse is mighty chilly."

Mary missed Hollywood Squares Hour, but she returned to Match Game for a week in 1991. By that point, she was appearing as a regular on The Father Dowling Mysteries and was just about to make the first Sister Act film. She was as spry as she ever was, and just as quick-witted. 

Join one of the coolest older ladies around on this merry marathon!

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Rainy Harvest

Started off the morning with a quick breakfast and Charlie & Lola. Lola and Lotta ride everywhere together on tricycles, but now that Lotta has a new big-girl bike with two wheels, she's having a hard time keeping up with her. Charlie gives her his old bike and teaches her how to ride as she wails "Do Not Ever, Never Let Go." Lola's having a grand time, until Lotta shows up riding with no training wheels. Lola discovers how much harder it is to ride without them when an accident nearly sours her on the idea of riding bikes at all. Charlie finally figures out a way to get her back on the road.

I wasn't sure what I was going to do today...but when I saw that it was only cloudy and killer humid this morning, I figured I'd be fine to run errands. I did take my rain coat, just in case. Stopped at WaWa in Collingswood first for money and a drink. Tried the Coke Freestyle machine and got a Coke Zero Cream Soda. Frankly, it tasted less of cream and more of chemicals. Vanilla is better.

Even with the iffy weather, the farm market across the street teemed with people buying produce, meat, and honey for their graduation and birthday parties and for kids who are now out of school. Saw the first peaches, peppers, cucumbers, and New Jersey blueberries of the season. Ended up with cherries, blueberries, strawberries, snap peas, cherry tomatoes in many colors, and honey.

It started to shower as I rode across Oaklyn to Cuthbert Road, enough to put my jacket on. Thankfully, while the Westmont Acme was busy, it wasn't that bad. I mainly wanted strawberry jam, yogurt, coconut milk, and fresh mozzarella "pearls" that make perfect little snacks. Found blueberry scones on the bakery clearance racks and had an online coupon for bakery cookies - went with peanut butter chocolate chip.

Had a tasty yogurt, strawberry, and scone lunch at home while watching Silly Symphony shorts to celebrate the start of summer. "Flowers and Trees" was the first three-strip Technicolor short, and it likely won an Oscar for that alone. Two trees in the forest love each other, but when an old tree tries to burn them out, the animals of the forest attempt to put out the fire. 

Most of Disney's earlier black-and-white summer shorts, like "Night" and "Summer," were just animals dancing and eating each other in time to the music. "Playful Pan" starts off that way, but once again almost ends with the woods burning down. This time, it's Pan who intervenes and takes down the flames. "The Spider and the Fly" and "Bugs In Love" also have a community rescuing lovers from an interloper. Flies save them from the title spider, while various crawly critters rescue the girl and boy bugs from a hungry crow. "Frolicking Fish" eliminates the lovers, but keeps the community rescue, this time from an octopus just out of a trunk who is bent on wrecking havoc.

Switched to Supermarket Sweep on Buzzr while finally putting addresses and events into my new address book. I believe this episode was from the mid-90's. David Ruprecht is wearing a weird tie, the ladies have flatter hair, and we still have the same "extras" on the Big Sweep. In fact, there was no bonus round on this episode. The thrilled winners at the end of this tournament won a cruise to Mexico. Ruprecht was even briefly seen singing with them in a sombrero over the credits. 

Stuck around for Sale of the Century. Prep Week pit three college students against each other. A smart boy in a mullet pushed ahead of both girls, even after buying a makeover and limousine ride, a TV and video package, and the Instant Cash. Though the sweet blonde who wanted to be a math teacher caught up to him, he just barely beat her in the Speed Round. He had a lot more problems with the Bonus Round, though.

Switched to Huckleberry Finn after that for a rest. I go further into this 1974 adaptation of Mark Twain's most controversial novel with Sherman Brothers songs at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Worked on writing for a while after that. Completely redid the opening. I now start with Joyce in the air, trying to keep the dog from jumping out a window. She's in a shed, flying over the rainbow and into a strange place she's only seen in her dreams...

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Watched Match Game '74 while I worked. Jokes abounded when the contestant got "Tiger __" in the Audience Match after having an interesting answer involving "tiger" earlier. She and Richard didn't have nearly as much luck with "Watch __" in the Head-to-Head.

Finished the night on YouTube with today's Match Game Saturday marathon. Character actor and comedian Bart Braverman was in the spotlight tonight. Bart made his first appearance in 1978, a few weeks after Richard Dawson bowed out. He remained a semi-regular through 1981, even after his show Vega$ ended. Bart had a lot in common with Richard, including a smarmy kind of charm and the tendency to flirt outrageously with every pretty woman who came near him. He was also one of the few male panelists who worked well in all three seats, though he was usually seen in Brett's right in the first. 

One person who did not appreciate his idea of flirting was Debralee Scott. He spent a week picking on her when he sat in Charles' seat over her in 1980. By Friday, she was so fed up, she got up and actually pounded on him before he grabbed her for a kiss! There was also the time in syndication when Gene got into an argument with Charles and was knocked over. Bart grabbed his microphone and briefly took his place to read a question, sounding more like a race track announcer than a game show host.

Bart made one last appearance on The Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour in 1984. He bore witness to that wild Too Close for Comfort week, including being stuck with bonkers Jm. J. Bullock and Arsenio Hall in the upper tier. He still played well at Match Game and didn't seem to have any trouble with Hollywood Squares, either. 

(Incidentally, unlike many of the panelists, Bart is still alive today. He's been retired since 2012, though.) 

Join Bart in chasing girls, hosting questions, and fending off Brett's advances in this wacky marathon!

(Oh, and after all that worry about it raining all never rained again after I got home. In fact, the sun came out later in the afternoon, though I heard it remains heavy and humid.)

Friday, June 23, 2023

It's a Mystery to Me

Began a gloomy, humid morning with breakfast and The New Scooby Doo Mysteries. These episodes from 1984 stick with Daphne, Shaggy, and the dogs, but have them solving actual cases. The first episode, "Scooby's Peep-Hole Pandemonium," has them assigned to photograph reclusive horror legend Norma Deathman. She hasn't been seen since 1933, and she always wears a veil. The crew disguise themselves as caterers to get the shot. While they do run across a man in a mask, Norma herself isn't what she seems, either. They encounter "The Hand of Horror" at an old mansion being used as a test site for a robotic hand. Someone's manipulating the hand to scare off the creators. For once, Scrappy turns out to be the most useful when he's the one who figures out what's going on first.

Worked on writing for a while after I ate. Charles turns up in the hall, having heard Ira's protests about his lunch. He sensibly points out that the dog will need a bath if he's going to stay, and real food that isn't their producer's lunch, and a flea collar. Joyce admires his intelligence, but he says he has a dog, and this is just common sense.

(And...I think I'm going to start this over tomorrow. I want to get to Oz sooner. This is starting to bore me. I think I'll begin with Joyce in the shed being thrown around and her admitting how much the characters in Oz look like her friends, instead of all the talking in the studio.)

Broke for lunch and Match Game '77. Bob Barker joins in here, and he and Gene discuss Match Game moving to after The Price Is Right. (Which...didn't work out at all, from what I've heard. The audience was mainly kids who watched after school.) Eva Gabor was on a roll in this episode. She got one answer, even though she couldn't spell it, and another the upper tier missed. Joyce Bulifant also did unusually well. 

It wasn't raining at 12:30, but it was still humid, cool, and very damp. I didn't want to take chances after riding home in the rain the other day. I called Uber. At least they were prompt. The man picking me up took five minutes, and got me there in a little over five minutes, due to taking a longer way. 

I arrived early enough to get my schedule before I started. Not too bad. Pretty similar to this week, actually, with earlier hours Sunday and Thursday. Monday and Friday off, the former for getting my tooth pulled. I work late enough on Saturday for me to hit the farm market. 

Work was, as it has been all week, a pain in the rear. People who now have kids stuck inside for the weekends and parties and barbecues that had to be moved or curtailed were buying huge orders. We had long lines and not enough help, and I just got frustrated and overwhelmed. 

My last customer tried to get me to use her Rewards program number for the woman in front of her. First of all, those are private. They're for the person who uses them and their family only and are tailored to them.  Second, the older woman said she wasn't interested. Third, I was literally finishing as the lady came in. I turned off my light for a reason. All her fussing and my trying to explain things to her almost made me late getting out. 

It apparently rained heavily in the afternoon, but by 7. the rain had taken at temporary leave of absence. No wonder I got an Uber driver in less than three minutes. There was no traffic, and we arrived in less than five.

Went straight upstairs and into dinner when I got home. Watched Match Game '79 as I ate. We open with Fannie Flagg showing off Gene's red striped tie that went quite nicely with her scarlet sweater. As Brett pointed out, it probably looked better on Fannie. Everyone else did their best with "__ Plugs" in the Audience Match. 

Finished the night at YouTube with another game show marathon chat. The Game Show Channel has been doing "Mystery 7" marathons every night, a random selection of shows from his private collection. I arrived in time to see Tom Poston flub the bonus round on Super Password rather badly. We also got a funny What's My Line from 1973 with comedian Pat Cooper as the Mystery Guest, a classic episode of Match Game '74 with Brett Somers showing off her Atlantic City t-shirt that Fannie supposedly got from Paris, a Richard Dawson-hosted Family Feud from 1980 with them celebrating their 1,000th show, and an episode of Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour.

What will you see next? It's a mystery to me! Come figure out what the next show will be in this very funny marathon!

Thursday, June 22, 2023

A Cold Day In June

Started off this morning with breakfast and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. "Mickey's Mousekadoer Adventure" takes him, Donald, Goofy, and Toodles inside the contraption that raises the Clubhouse and runs Toodles. They have to search the entire computer for the core, then figure out how to get the liquid light into it.

Karen picked me up a little after 10. No luck this time with finding jobs. We searched library assistant jobs. We looked for editing jobs, proofreading, copywrite. None near by, or they all wanted more experience than I have. I'm so frustrated. I thought after those jobs with them last summer, they'd figure out what I'm supposed to do and would tell me. I just don't know what I should do. I want to be a writer, but, as I've often been reminded, writing is a difficult market to break into. I'm starting to wonder what isn't a difficult market to break into. I have no idea what I want, other than a job that will get me out of the Acme and make me enough money to buy a condo or a mobile home. 

I wasn't in a good mood when I got home. Watched Private Buckaroo while I had lunch to make me feel better. I go further into this 1942 wartime vehicle for the Andrews Sisters at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Worked on writing for a little bit after that. Although Richard Dawson already has a dog, he claims he'll help take care of it until they can find a proper home for the little fellow. Ira is still annoyed that the dog ate his lunch and insists it's not trained and doesn't belong in a TV studio.

Headed out around 2. I really wish I hadn't. Work was a pain in the rear again today. There were a lot of people with cards that wouldn't work or who didn't have the money for large orders. My last order was a huge one...paid for with a government card that didn't take everything they thought it would off. They took so long, I finally just turned them over to my relief and a manager and was almost late getting out.

(At least it didn't rain today. It was cloudy and unusually cool for June, but not rainy. Looks like it hasn't rained since last night. It's supposed to rain more over the weekend and into next week, though.)

Had dinner while watching Match Game '79. I don't know why they skipped the next episode, but for some reason, Buzzr went into the next week with Susan Richardson, Richard Deacon, and Robert Pine. While Fannie Flagg jokes about why she forgot she was supposed to be on the show the previous week, Deacon wondered where his lights (and hair) went.

Finished the night back on Tubi with more of The New Scooby Doo Movies. Wacky Jonathan Winters was a perfect guest for this show, and probably one of the only characters to be even more cowardly than Shaggy and Scooby. He's trying to visit his old friend Maudie Frickart on her farm. She wants to start a chain of fried chicken franchises, but loses her bank loan. She's hoping to find her husband's lost formula to make chickens grow to enormous size. Mystery Inc finds itself caught up in "The Frickard Fracas" when they drive Winters to her farm and end up chasing around an animated scarecrow and two musicians with questionable motives. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Make Your Own Kind of Music

Began a gloomy morning with breakfast and The New Scooby Doo Movies at Tubi. I haven't seen the first Scooby Doo series to feature Mystery Inc. solving crimes for celebrities of the time since I was a kid. In fact, my only vague memory of it was "Mama" Cass Elliot running around with Scooby and Shaggy in a candy factory. That episode is the second-to-last of the series, "The Haunted Candy Factory." The others see Cass disappear into the bowels of a confection factory she purchased. Turns out there's a pair of green glob-like monsters trying to run her out. The gang first goes in to rescue her, then to find out what they're up to and why they keep hearing a strange grinding noise. 

(On one hand, Cass got some of the best lines of the episode, and possibly of the series, and was hilarious with Scooby and Shaggy. I do wish they could have laid off the weight jokes, though, especially given how she died.)

Worked on writing for a while after that. Joyce and Brett hurry out with the dog and run into Richard in the hall. He can't take the dog home. His St. Bernard Sarah would likely make five of him. He is willing to help find him a home, though.

Broke for lunch at 12:30. Watched Match Game '77 while I ate. A woman who owned a Mexican restaurant prompted Charles to read a newspaper and joke about the show he saw listed about a restaurant. The feisty lady also objected to being called "old." The others helped out with "Candlestick __" in the Audience Match later.

It had started to rain by 1 PM, but not heavily. I figured I'd be fine riding to work. I was barely damp when I arrived in Audubon and headed into work.

Work was a royal pain in the rear. If we weren't dead and boring, we were dealing with people whose TD Bank credit cards just wouldn't work. Two women tried pushing their chips in, and it came up "not authorized." They had other methods of payment...but when another woman didn't, I suggested tapping her card. That worked. There must be something going on with their chips. Whatever it was, it held up long lines. We had no help later in the day at the height of rush hour, and some people did get rude. Thankfully, the night cashier arrived at 4, allowing me to leave with no relief and no need for one.

And of course, when I came outside, I discovered a far heavier shower than I rode to work in. I didn't have a choice. I rode home and got wet. 

Went straight into Match Game '79 when I got in. I wish Dick and Dolly Martin played together more often. They are just so perfect for each other. They're both a little ditzy, as in their answers for where the doors are on a very cheap four-door sedan. (Dick definitely had the best answer to that one, though!) 

Finished the night on YouTube with Irene. In this 1926 silent version of the hit 1919 musical, Irene O'Dare (Colleen Moore) has tried various jobs and keeps losing them due to her clumsiness. She's noticed by handsome, rich Donald Marshall (Lloyd Hughes), who suggests her as a model to fashion designer Madame Lucy (George K. Arthur). Unfortunately, Irene's tendency to trip over her own feet hits at the worst time, just as she and two friends of hers are about to be the models at a "Fashion Fete" presided over by Donald's mother (Ida Darling). Furious when she knocks over boxes and ruins her dress, Lucy tells her to watch the shop. Donald won't let her sit around waiting for a pumpkin...but neither his mother, nor Irene's traditional Irish one (Kate Price) are as thrilled with their offspring's attempts to mingle across class lines.

Moore is charming in this adorable Cinderella story. One of the interesting aspects is Arthur's character is presented as a gay stereotype...but not a bad one, as he's really more fussy than anything. There's also the fact that all of the parents, both upper and lower class, initially disapprove of Irene and Donald's relationship, not just Donald's snooty mother. Moore has a lot of chances for fun, notably when a turntable she's standing on gets stuck and almost literally spins the dress Lucy created for her off, to her embarrassment. I'm glad the color fashion show sequence exists at all, but they really need to restore it. The bad copy I watched at YouTube looked more Sepia than Technicolor. It had no music, either. 

If you love Moore, silent comedies, or Cinderella romances, you'll want to grab a silk curtain for your own "dress" and check it out. 

(Oh, and I highly recommend using your own music, if possible. I ran two of my CDs with 20's music during the film. Running playlists of 20's songs might work, too.) 

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Wild On the Beach

Started off with breakfast and Doc McStuffins. When her mom's nurse throws her a baby shower, Doc offers up her stuffed owl Professor McHootenburgh to teach the new baby toys about their home and what's expected of them. "Hooty's Duty" overwhelms her at first, until Doc shows her that babies aren't so scary. The Wicked King steals Queen Amina's crown, but his own comes off after hers gets stuck. Doc tries to find "A Cure for a King" and a way to keep his crown on.

Worked on writing for a while after that. Ira's more than a little annoyed with this mongrel who ate his lunch and got food on his leisure suit. If Joyce can't find a home for him, he'll end up in the pound. Brett scolds him for being heartless, but he reminds her that a TV studio is no place for dogs who aren't trained for the camera.

Broke for lunch at noon. Watched Match Game '77 as I ate. Richard got into his second fight with the judges of the year when his "plastic baggie" didn't match the contestant's "bag" after four "paper bag" variations did. He once again pushed for his answer to be right, but unlike with the infamous "School Riot," his protests weren't really heard this time.

Headed out shortly after the episode ended. Work was off-and-on steady for most of the afternoon. It's Senior Discount Day, and a lot of kids who didn't finish last week were done today, or will be done tomorrow or Thursday. I did have one woman who had to put back a large order because she didn't have her food stamp card on her. She'd been reading off numbers from memory, but you can't do that at the Acme. You need your physical card here. Other than that, there were no problems. My relief was right on time. 

Went straight home and into Match Game '74. Gunilla Hudson of Petticoat Junction, Richard Deacon, and Nipsey Russell join in for a very interesting question about what falls asleep on the sidewalks in Beautiful Downtown Burbank. The sweet first-grade teacher contestant gives a seemingly shocking answer...that most of the panel comes up with, too. They have less luck with "Boot __" in the Audience Match.

Match Game '79 got even wilder during dinner. The Audience Match "Wadaya __" prompted quite a few New York jokes. Gene was more interested in keeping Bert Convy from getting a little too intimate with the contestant!

Finished the night after a shower with How to Stuff a Wild Bikini on Amazon Prime. I go further into the sixth and second-to-last Beach Party movie at my Musical Dreams Movie reviews blog. 

Monday, June 19, 2023

Games for Independence

Started off a late morning with breakfast and Match Game '77. Gary Burghoff and Meg Bennett are the ingenues in this unusual episode, which begins with someone having left the lights on during the introduction with the turning square. Even after that's fixed, they have to help the contestant figure out "The March of __" in the Audience Match. The second one starts with a Methuselah question that gets the obvious answers, including a very funny quip from Fannie Flagg. Gene's weird story about Cuba comes in for more ribbing later on.

Jumped on my bike soon as the episode ended. I had a lot of errands to run today. Target didn't have the shampoo and conditioner I like on sale, but they did have more unique nut flavors. Grabbed those delicious doughnut-glazed almonds and lemon poppy seed cashews. Since it was a very hot day, almost in the 90's, I picked up a bottle of Hint flavored water. (The blueberry-lemon is quite good. Really does taste like blueberries.)

I was starved by quarter of 2. Dodged kids just out of school and heavy traffic on the White Horse Pike as I made my way over to the Audubon Crossings Shopping Center. There's a freestanding Applebee's in the parking lot around the corner from the Acme. By 2, they were pretty quiet, with only a few groups of older people eating late lunches. I enjoyed a simple but tasty Classic Bacon Cheeseburger with deliciously salty fries and an iced tea. 

Checked out a few stores next. I was hoping Lane Bryant would have another rack of winter clothes for $6.98. While they did have discount racks, none of them were quite that cheap. I left with nothing. Did a little better across the street at Goodwill. Found two books, Real Love on meditation and how it can help relationships and By Book or By Crook, a cozy mystery by Eva Gates set at a fictional Outer Banks lighthouse library. Dug a fancy folk-art themed address book from the late 80's - early 90's that had never been used out of the books, too. Found the early 50's Alfred Hitchcock mystery Stage Fright with Marlene Dietrich and Jane Wyman on the DVD shelves.

Biked down the Black Horse Pike and across Oaklyn next. I considered getting a drink somewhere, but most places on West Clinton are closed on Mondays. Just crossed the White Horse Pike and rode to Dollar General instead. I looked at a few things, but I just ended up getting two boxes of Sunbelt Bakery granola bars and a bottle of Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi.

At least it was a decent day for a ride. Hot, yes, but also breezy and sunny, with only a few fleecy clouds in the sky. The breeze and it being relatively dry kept it from feeling unbearable. 

Went straight home after that. Tried moving files from Google to a USB port, but I really had a hard time with it. Switched to writing instead. Ira's annoyed with the dog trying to steal his lunch. Joyce is horrified when he says he'll have to send it to the pound if they can't find someone to take it by the end of the day. Brett scolds him for being a jerk, but he reminds her that untrained, non-acting dogs don't belong in TV studios.

Broke for dinner and to take my laundry downstairs at 7. Ate while watching Match Game '79. These episodes re-introduced a lady contestant from Texas who got a second chance because Gene flubbed one of her questions the week before. TV hunks Robert Walden and Bert Convy, along with Dallas beauty Audrey Landers, point to Patty Duke as the answer to "Patti ___" in the first Audience Match, and help with "Sunny __" in the second. The other episode begins with Gene flirting with Audrey and grabbing her, to Bert's annoyance. 

Put my laundry in the dryer, then finished the night on YouTube and Dailymotion celebrating Juneteenth and Pride Month with game show appearances by beloved gay and black performers. Charles Nelson Reilly, for instance, was told in his younger years that a gay man would never work on television. Ironically, he's now best-known for his TV appearances, like his hilarious turn as a Mystery Guest on this 1974 episode of What's My Line. Arlene Francis, who knew him well from Match Game and seeing him on Broadway, finally figured out what he was up to. 

Confetti-throwing Rip Taylor was a wild and welcome sight on game shows well into the 2000's. He really had fun during his appearance on Match Game '90 during Christmas week. In one infamous episode, he even yanked off his toupee and hit Fred Travalena with it for doing a bad imitation of him. 

Body Language frequently showed off some pretty unique charades players. Ted Lange of The Love Boat helped his contestant become one of the few to win the big $10,000 prize in mid-1985. Richard Deacon had a rougher time of it with his contestant in an early episode of The $10,000 Pyramid in 1973. He almost got him there once...and then there were technical mishaps, and they had to redo the last square almost literally as the show ended. 

Whoopi Goldberg became one of the first black women to headline a game show with her version of Hollywood Squares in the late 90's. In an episode from 2000, she even got to read a few questions while host Tom Bergenon took a break in her center square. Other celebrities helping contestants get a second chance at winning included Bruce Villanch, Oscar De La Hoya, Patti LaBelle, Lisa Ling, and comedian Doug E. Doug.

The short-lived Break the Bank from 1976 was producers Barry-Enright's attempt at imitating Match Game, crossing it with their signature huge board. The contestants have to guess a question from a celebrity in order to win the square on the board. If the square has money or a money bag, they get that money. If they get three money bags, they "break the bank" and win the game. If they hit a blank square, they lose their turn. In the syndicated version I watched, there's a bonus round where the winner had to choose a celebrity holding up a card in the hope they had money. Jack Barry hosted in syndication. Too bad this doesn't seem to have worked on the network or in syndication. It's complicated, but often very funny, with the celebrities tossing out quips ala Hollywood Squares

Black performers go back further on game shows than you might think. The Supremes performed two of their biggest hits, "Baby Love" and "Back In My Arms Again," on a really awesome 1965 episode of To Tell the Truth. They bracketed the panel trying to guess who their boss Barry Gordy, the owner and creator of Motown, was. (And he really stumped them, too!) The last contestant was even funnier. The panel had to guess who was the father of Dallas Burroughs, aka Orson Bean, and a police officer who had seen several college riots of the early-mid 60's. 

Celebrate independence of all kinds with these hilarious and thought-provoking episodes! (Major warning that the $10,000 Pyramid episode is in horrible shape, but that series was largely wiped and is very rare. Hollywood Squares and Pyramid come with their original commercials; Break the Bank has the commercials from its brief run on Game Show Network.)

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Dads and Matches

Started out the morning with breakfast and something a little different. I still have a pile of CDs and records I haven't listened to, so I thought I'd finally get to some of those. Began with the first disc of Remembering the 60's, a Reader's Digest set of songs we'd now call "easy listening." It begins strong with an iconic number from Bobby Darin, "Beyond the Sea." Other favorites here include "The Way You Look Tonight" and "When I Fall In Love" by the Lettermen, "Cupid" by Sam Cooke, Pat Boone singing "The Theme from Exodus," Neil Sedaka's jaunty "Calender Girl," and "Lollipops and Roses" by Jack Jones. We also get two classic instrumentals, the gorgeous "Stranger On the Shore" by Mr. Acker Bilk and the theme song from the original 60's Match Game, "A Swinging Safari" by Billy Vaughn. 

Had enough time for Classic Soul after that. This is a much shorter collection of lesser-known doo wop and soul numbers from the 50's and 60's, put out by MCA. The big ones here are "Me and Mrs. Jones" by the Dramatics, "Oh What a Night" by the Dells, and "Have You Seen Her?" by the Chi-Lights. 

Worked on writing while the CDs ran. Joyce follows her new canine friend right into the lounge room, where the food is. Ira Skutch isn't more than a little surprised when the dog tries to snitch sausages off his lap! Joyce snaps him up just a little too late. Ira's not happy about the dog trying to get onto his lap. He has nothing against him, but he thinks he should go to the pound. Joyce is protesting as Brett arrives.

Dashed off after a very quick lunch. Work started out busy, but once everyone went to their Father's Day barbecues and Juneteenth picnics, it slowed down a bit. It would be off and on for the rest of the night. We did sometimes get long lines later due to a lack of help. Thankfully, it did slow down enough for me to shut down without a relief.

Went straight home and into the shower. Finished the night with dinner and this year's Match Game Father's Day Marathon on YouTube. The marathon kicked off in 1974 with Orson Bean joking about being Gary Burghoff's second, as his wife was about to give birth and he may need to be there. (He didn't.) It ended with one of my favorite episodes of 1978. Gene brings in two adorable toddlers who turn out to be Patti Deustch's handsome little son Max Ross and Gary's darling daughter Gina. 

Richard showed off his young son Gary in two episodes, bringing him up for his birthday in one show and telling everyone about his son dancing with a hula girl during a trip to Hawaii in another. McLean Stevenson brought two children up onstage to help the panel out and get sweaters in 1982. They were way too big for them, but they didn't seem to care. His own daughter Jennifer came to visit towards the end of an episode in '78. Michael Landon, Pa Ingalls himself, appeared on the first week in 1973, but he was frankly too sweet for this wild show. 

Dads turned up on Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour, too. Michael Lembeck brought his own son for their Father's Day episode in 1984. Ted Knight anchored their Too Close For Comfort week, with his daughter Elyse joining the cast and Arsenio Hall. Christopher Rich may have been a star on Another World, but he and his then-wife Nancy Frangione were hilarious together. 

Bring your father along to match with some of the best dads to ever play the game!

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Long Day In the Sun

Began the morning with a quick breakfast and Charlie & Lola. We're not the only ones who are dealing with heat. "I am Extremely Absolutely Boiling" moans Lola on a hot day. She and Charlie try everything they can think of to cool off. They're joined by Lola's guy friend least until Arnold knocks her ice cream on the ground and won't share his. Lola angrily claims they're not friends, but then Arnold drags out a wading pool...

Rushed off to work after the cartoon ended. Turns out the rush wasn't necessary. I was helping out the morning bagger today...or at least, that's what they told me. Up until around 3 PM or so, they kept putting me in registers so the cashiers could go on breaks. Even after he left, we were so busy, I had a hard time keeping up with the carts. I got scolded for not getting the trash in the employee lounge room. I would have, if I'd had the time, and the carts didn't keep disappearing. If I left them, I would have been called out to do them again anyway.

At least it was a nice day for gathering carts. Sunny and blue again, with a little haze early in the day but nothing like last week. It remains very windy...but that's probably a good thing, given it's also very hot, into the 80's. 

Did manage to get a little grocery shopping in after I finished. Picked up peach muffins for lunch and for breakfast next week. Blueberries and cherries were on good sales, the latter with an online coupon. The Acme's generic ice cream was also on a good sale with a digital coupon for $1.99. 

Went straight upstairs when I got home and into Rich, Young, and Pretty for Father's Day tomorrow on Amazon Prime. I go further into this 1951 vehicle for Jane Powell about a rich Texas rancher and his daughter, who falls in love on her first trip to Paris, at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Finished the night on YouTube to honor Father's Day with a black and white Lawrence Welk Show episode from 1960. Welk celebrated the show's fifth anniversary with cake from his singers. It was also Janet Lennon's birthday, and the boss gave her a lovely "Anniversary Waltz." The Lennons joined their real-life father to appropriately sing "The Anniversary Song." 

Other numbers got away from the holidays. Jimmy Roberts sings about "My Melody of Love," while Joe Feeny croons about "Smilin' Through." Welk and Myron Floren show off their dueling accordions on "Twelfth Street Rag." We also get "Dad's Waltz," once again with Floren. 

Let Lawrence Welk and his earlier musical family serenade your dad during his big barbecue tomorrow!

Friday, June 16, 2023

Come Rain or Come Shine

Got a quick start on a rainy morning with breakfast and more Hello Kitty Furry Tale Theater. Hello Beauty and her vain sister Catnip travel to a mysterious castle, hoping to save their father from a pig-penguin monster. He's really a gentle creature, but Fangora the witch is determined to keep "Kitty and the Beast" from ending the spell over him. "Little Red Bunny Hood" is My Melody, who saves her grandma from Belle Catnip in the Wild West with the help of Deputy Chip and the Big Bad Grinder.

Worked on writing for a while after the cartoon ended. Joyce's dog friend smells sausages on a cart. He jumps out of Brett's arms and dashes into the hall! Joyce is worried that someone will see him and send him away. Brett's worried he'll actually get those sausages. They follow him through half the studio, including under the big Gambit board. (Research reveals the hit Gambit would have been in the last year of its run when this story was set.)

Though the storms took a temporary leave of absence as I got ready for work, thick, black clouds gathered over the Camden County area, and the winds lashed wildly. This was no day for a bike ride. Besides, I had two bags of donations for Goodwill that were too big and heavy to carry on the bike. I decided to leave a little early and drop them off. 

The Uber driver arrived in seven minutes...and his timing was impeccable. He pulled up to the curb just as Mother Nature unleashed her fury and fat drops poured down. I ducked into the car as quickly as possible. Thankfully, despite some flooded roads, it took him five minutes to get to Goodwill.

I ducked out, rushed inside, and brought my bags to the back. My original plan was to have lunch at Tu Se Bella's Pizza across the parking lot...but the rain just kept coming down. Not only rain, but booming thunder and very visible lightning. By the time it slowed down enough for me to duck out, I barely had the time to get there and buy a turkey wrap for a late lunch before I signed in...and I was still pretty wet.

Work was off-and-on busy. The rain slowed down and ended all together within the hour. When the rain died, the crowds arrived. I think most local schools got out for the summer today, too. A teacher who came through my line told me the Audubon school district finished today. (And they had to keep the kids ten extra minutes because of the storm, which didn't make them happy.) Didn't help that I was the only cashier through a lot of the afternoon, too. Thankfully, it slowed down enough by 7 for me to leave with no relief or need for one. 

Oh, and I got my schedule this afternoon. While I have slightly fewer hours than this week and they're still pretty late, there's also no long or very early shifts. Monday and next Saturday off, which means I will be able to hit the farm market next week. 

The storm had long vanished by the time I finished work. That could be why my driver arrived in less than two minutes. In fact, it had turned into a rather nice night, sunny and a little humid but still breezy. Thanks to his foot constantly being on the gas pedal, we were home in less than five minutes.

Had dinner while watching Match Game '79. This was one of the more memorable episodes of the year. It began with Betty White doing a stripping routine after everyone practically begged her to, and ended with them having to throw out a question after Gene accidentally added a word where he usually said "blank." 

Finished the night after a shower with Meatballs Part 2 for free on YouTube. Coach Giddy (Richard Mulligan) would rather pound shrimpy military man Colonel Jack Hershy (Hamilton Camp) into the pavement then let him buy the lake and the land under his Camp Sasquatch and force them out. He sets up a boxing match between his second in command Boomer (Joe Nipote) and the beast of a fighter at Hershy's Camp Patton...but when Hershy orders his kids to break Boomer's arm, Giddy recruits reluctant tough-guy counselor in training Armand "The Flash" Carducci (John Mengatti) to take his place in the ring. 

That's not the only strange thing going on at Camp Sasquatch. The nerdy head counselor Jamie (Archie Hahn) is pursuing tough and gorgeous female counselor Fanny (Misty Rowe). Flash is after pretty and virginal Cheryl (Kim Richards), whose friend insists that she should see her first naked man. Four of the campers discover a friendly young alien (Felix Silla) wandering around and take him in to teach him Earth culture. Misunderstanding his "me, Ted," they dub him Meathead. There's also Albert (Paul Rubens), the weird bus driver who acts as DJ, referee, and local nut. 

Uh, yeah, this is one freakin' weird comedy. Pretty easy to tell this came out in 1984. They randomly grabbed plot lines everywhere from E.T to the Rocky movies to Porky's. On one hand, none of this makes a lick of sense, and the supernatural side-plot with Meathead that ends up helping Flash with the boxing match seems totally out of place in the camp setting. The kids are bland and dull, with Flash being a jerk for most of the movie, Cheryl too naive, and everyone else barely registering. 

On the other hand, there are places where the weirdness works. Mulligan and Camp play off each other surprisingly well as the tough-guy counselor and the over-the-top military commander who just wants more room for his camp's war games. Some of the smaller gags aren't that bad, including a couple with Meathead not being accustomed to Earth ways and a bear that turns up while everyone is watching Archie and Fanny make out. 

Critics eviscerated this at the time, but I'm going to say it's honestly worn pretty well. Yeah, it's weird, it's dated, and it's pretty silly, but if you go in for the weird and the silly, or love other equally odd 80's comedies with unique or supernatural premises, you might enjoy your summer trip to Camp Sasquatch. 

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Soak Up the Sun

Started off my morning with breakfast and Hello Kitty Furry Tale Theater. The Roku Channel currently has the complete show with two episodes and the opening and closing credits, the way it was seen during its original CBS run in 1987. Kitty is Hello Dorothy who ends up searching for "The Wizard of Paws" with her very unique friends. She has to dodge the Wicked Witchie (Hilary Booth-like diva Catnip) in order to get home to Catfish. Tuxedo Sam is "Pinocchio Penguin," who learns how to stay on the straight and narrow with the help of the Blue Kitty Fairy and his buddy Chip. 

Karen ran late with her earlier client and didn't pick me up until quarter of 12. At least we got some things done this time. We sent in applications for a librarian assistant at a Camden school and as a receptionist/secretary at a small moving company in West Deptford. I'd almost rather get the secretary job. While the Camden job pays more, I'm not eager to work in downtown Camden, and I haven't worked in a school setting since I was a secretary for what's now known as Production Services, or the guys who posted news on Stockton's official in-school channel. 

Worked on writing when I got home. Brett thinks the dog is cute, but she's not about to take him home. She and Joyce are trying to figure out what to do with him when he jumps out of Brett's arms and runs off in search of food. They chase him down the hall, trying to keep him from getting into trouble.

Ran three episodes of Match Game '76 from the week my story is set in while I worked and as I ate lunch. Ethel Merman spent the week wishing Brett would quit imitating her. Charles comes up with the best answer to a question of who the hairdresser made Old Lady Perkins look like in the first episode. Everyone did better with "Mother of Pearl" in the second episode. The third episode featured in intense discussion on women's rights...and a contestant who screamed so loud in Gene's ear, he jumped away to recover.

Hurried off to work after that and just barely got there in time. Turned out to be a moot point. The morning and afternoon bagger called out. I spent the entire four hours sweeping the store and pushing carts. By 6 PM, the evening bagger had arrived and took over the sweeping, leaving me to focus on the carts and gathering the outside trash. We did get busy during rush hour, but otherwise, it was pretty quiet. No trouble whatsoever.

Besides, it was too nice to be inside today. The weather was gorgeous, with only a little haze, a soft blue sky, and a nice breeze that made the heat bearable. Not to mention, they're finally done with the blacktop on the parking lot around the Acme and have moved further down, closer to the liquor store and Arby's on either side. It's a lot easier to push carts on a smooth, level surface. 

Watched Match Game '79 while eating leftovers for dinner. Buzzr has once again jumped back to the CBS series, this time during New Year's week 1979. Gene starts off by having Jack Jones sing a few brief songs from Guys & Dolls. Connie Stevens does better helping the contestant at the Head-to-Head than Charles did earlier in the episode.

Finished the night on YouTube with Minstrel Man. I go further into this powerful TV musical on race relations in the Deep South at the turn of the 20th Century in my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Out and About In the Rain

Started a cloudy, damp morning with breakfast and Minnie's Bow-Toons. These super-short cartoons were originally a spin-off from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and continue to run on Disney Junior today, with newer seasons being retooled to reflect the current Mickey-based kids' show. Millie and Melody, Minnie's mischievous twin nieces from the comics, made their animated debut in "Trouble Times Two." Their goofing off seemingly gets in the way of Minnie helping a snooty star poodle, until the girls come up with a dress design she loves. "The Pom Pom Problem" may keep cheerleader Roxy out of the big parade, until Minnie comes up with a way to solve her problem and use ribbon Figaro unraveled. Clarabelle Cow thinks she needs "Dance Lessons" to keep up with Goofy at the winter ball, but the ladies think it's her too-long dress that needs fixing. 

Rushed off to my physical therapy appointment at quarter of 11. Alas, even going fast, I got there five minutes late. Frankly, my ankle hasn't hurt in weeks, even at work. I worked on balance, standing on my toes, and moving my ankle up and down. I think I can take it from here and work on any other exercises at home. I considered one more appointment, but finally decided that since my ankle felt fine, it wasn't really necessary. I'm glad I did do the therapy, though. They were all good to me there, and I enjoyed my appointments.

One of the therapists pointed out towards the end of my appointment that it was raining. I was glad I remembered to wear my raincoat and bring a waterproof bag to carry my purse in. Thankfully, the light showers vanished all together as I headed back down McArthur Boulevard to the Westmont Plaza for lunch.

Despite it being past noon when I arrived, the Westmont Bagel Shop wasn't busy at all. By the time it picked up, I was already enjoying my egg white omelet with vegetables and provolone cheese, toasted rainbow bagel, hash browns, and diet iced tea. I giggled at a family bouncing the cutest little baby around as I finished my lunch.

I headed out the door...just as the showers increased. Didn't help that the kids got out of school early today, and I ended up dodging traffic on Cuthbert going past the Haddon Township High School. I was quite damp when I made it into Collingswood.

Kresloff Eye Associates moved a few months after my appointment last year a few blocks down to their own building on Haddon Avenue. Fortunately, I knew the building well. It originally housed the offices for my gynecologist before they moved to Pennsauken. The inside had been totally transformed, though. It looked more like Collingswood Family Medicine's updated waiting room, with gray wood floors and walls and 60's-style vinyl chairs. I actually arrived 20 minutes early. They just ended up taking me early after I signed the paperwork.

I was there for a routine eye exam, nothing major. Turns out my eyes are as fine as they're going to get. No change from last year. In fact, bubbly Dr. Anna says they should improve. My prescription hasn't changed, either. I still wear very thick lenses, but at least they aren't any thicker.

The rain was gone again when I got out, but it remained windy, dark, and humid. This was no day for lingering anywhere. I made my way across Haddon Avenue, then through Collingswood and past Newton Lake Park, dodging people taking advantage of the lack of rain to take their kids to the park or walk their dogs.

When I got home, I went straight upstairs and into bed. I had no other plans for the day, and I was just too tired to do anything else. Napped for an hour and a half, until Karen called and said she wanted to switch our session tomorrow to a slightly later time. That was fine. I don't work tomorrow until 3.

Worked on writing for a while after that. Joyce tries to hide the dog, but Brett finds it on her makeup chair. She has no trouble with it, but she's not about to give it a home, either. She's not a fan of pets. When the dog gets loose and into the hall, they go after it...only to be confronted with the producer of the show...

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Buzzr's Match Game '74 run is up to the wild week with Adrienne Barbeau and Robert Morse. A male contestant keeps going after all the female panelists during the Audience Match, while a far more subdued woman contestant gives Gene a stuffed bear in a cage. Gene, Charles, and Richard are happier to make jokes about Fannie Flagg's t-shirt with roses in strategic places. 

There was a major storm just as I lay down for my nap, with thunder, massive downpours, and lashing wind. It had long blown itself out by 7 PM. In fact, it had turned into an absolutely stunning day, the nicest we've had in weeks. Blue skies, sunshine, no haze, cool wind. In fact, it was downright chilly as I strolled across the White Horse Pike to the other side of Oaklyn. The digital sign at the Fire Hall said it was only 67.

Thought of getting a cinnamon bun or cake pop at Common Grounds Coffee House, but they close at 7. Ended up with home-made party cake ice cream from Yummies Palace, the current iteration of Oaklyn's summer ice cream booth. Perhaps due to the cool weather or it being the middle of the week, there was no one there and no line. The ice cream was good, creamy and smooth, with lots of sprinkles...but it also wasn't worth four dollars for two scoops in a Styrofoam cup. I'll save them for special occasions.

Took a shower, then finished the night online at The Roku Channel. They now have the 80's British action fantasy show Robin of Sherwood. Relived some fond memories with the first episode, "Robin Hood and the Sorcerer." Robin of Locksley (Michael Praead) is taken in by the miller and his family after his father is killed and his home destroyed. Years later, he and the miller's son Much (Peter Llewellyn Williams) end up in jail for poaching the king's deer. They break out other men jailed for minor offenses, then rescue others from a sorcerer (Anthony Valentine) who practices the black arts. He also falls for lovely Maid Marian (Judi Trott), who is about to enter a nunnery.

Oh wow, my sisters and I loved this when it ran on Showtime during the mid-80's. I suspect it may have contributed to my interest in swashbucklers and Robin Hood stories and Rose's fondness for sword and sorcery fantasy. Other than some extremely obvious 80's hairstyles (including Marian's perm and Robin's long mullet), this still holds up pretty well today. I especially love the location shooting all around the real English woods and existing medieval castles, and that it includes a black warrior from overseas like Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. This was intended to be a far darker and grittier retelling of Robin's stories than usual, so there's quite a bit of violence and discussions of death, murder, and loss. If you're looking for a darker, more magical take on the Robin legends, this one is still worth storming the castle for.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

The Doctor's In

Started off a quick morning with breakfast and Charlie & Lola. Lola refuses to see the eye doctor, until her friend Minnie turns up at school with unique polka-dot glasses. She loves them so much, she insists "I Really Absolutely Must Have Glasses" to anyone who will listen. When it turns out that her eyes are fine, Charlie helps her find a way to still have her own cool eye wear.

Dashed off to Collingswood Family Medicine quick as I possibly could. Even with the rushing, I still got there ten minutes late. Had to stand in a long line, too, while the gentleman in front of me gave his information to the secretaries. At least it only took a few minutes for the nurse to call my name after I signed in.

Basically went the same as my last check-up in late March. I'm still feeling depressed and stressed, and I still don't want to use chemicals to deal with it. I have got to find ways to deal with the stress better and get out of the Acme. At least I discovered I've lost over 20 pounds in the last year and got a tetanus shot and blood work done. She also reminded me that, in addition to finally seeing the gynecologist again, I'm now old enough to need a mammogram.

Hurried home after that, enjoying the sunny, breezy, cool weather. Watched Match Game '77 while eating lunch. Richard has no trouble with "Secretary of __" in the Head-to-Head. Gene has more trouble with a female contestant late in the episode who isn't as crazy about him drooling over her.

Headed to work as the second episode began. Work was busy from the second I got in until the minute I left. It's Senior Discount Day and the week before not one, but two major holidays, plus there's a lot of high school graduations and birthday parties this week. Some of the older people were grouchy or didn't appreciate the long lines and lack of help. Other than that, there were no major problems. It slowed down enough by 7 for me to shut down without  relief.

Went right into dinner and Match Game Syndicated when I got home. This is the second episode of the week where busty teenage Charlene Tilton sat next to Bob Barker, who spent most of the time ogling her. He did manage to tear his eyes from her long enough to show off his "Bob Barker's Fun & Games Show" jacket. Meanwhile, Betty's answer to "You're In __" on the Audience Match ends with her in the contestant's arms, and Charles plays director to show how well the set changes flow.

Moved to Tubi for Were the World Mine in honor of Pride Month. I go further into this indie musical about a gay teen who is inspired by his school putting on A Midsummer Night's Dream to use a little magic of his own at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Were the World Mine

Finished the night at YouTube honoring the birthday of another gay icon. Comedian Paul Lynde remains associated with Hollywood Squares to this day. He was the witty center square from the early 70's straight through until the show's demise in 1981. Amanda Blake didn't play nearly as well in this nighttime episode from 1972; Wally Cox and Hugh O'Brian did much better. The contestant got a bit of a surprise by coming up with two Secret Squares in one episode, though she didn't do as well with the second.

Monday, June 12, 2023

Rainy Day Blues

Began the morning with breakfast and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. "Pluto Lends a Paw" when Figaro wanders off to find someone to play with him. Minnie is very upset. She had to shoo away her kitty because she was making him a basket for a surprise. Mickey and Pluto help her find him, and then help find Goofy's cat Mr. Pettibone when it turns out he's missing, too. Big Pete turns out to be very helpful in finding his fellow cats, too.

Spent the next few hours doing chores around the apartment. First up was switching my bed sheets. It wasn't that warm today, but it'll be jumping into the mid-upper 80's starting tomorrow. We're done with cool weather during the day until September. Put on the summer-weight sheets, the light quilt Mom gave me three or four years ago, and the matching quilted pillowcases, then took everything downstairs to do the laundry.

Ran Match Game '77 as I worked. In the first episode, Marcia Wallace accidentally getting black marker on her bare shoulder gets turned into a game of tic tac toe by Gene and Richard. The second episode begins with Brett discussing starving Armenians and ends with everyone trying to figure out "Memory __." 

I was trying to pull out the plastic bag holding the sheets when I accidentally knocked the tool box on my foot. Owww! And of course, it landed on the toe that was already sore from stubbing it on a rack during vacation. I went downstairs to get ice and sat back and rested while watching Tattletales

We had three really interesting couples today, Don Galloway of Ironside and his sweet wife Linda, comedians Frenchy and Marty Allen, and Dr. Joyce and Milton Brothers. The psychologist pair were crazy about each other until his death in 1989. They got every question right in the first episode and all but one in the second. Frenchy and Marty couldn't get anything going the first time, but they made a big comeback to win the second episode. 

Felt up to finishing the bed and putting away the CDs I acquired on vacation after the show ended. Turns out I should have been more careful when I picked up CDs from yard sales. There were no discs in that supposed two-disc Mamas and the Papas set. Managed to get everything else into the appropriate folders, though. (I'll leave the 20-disc Fibber McGee and Molly set as-is. The clamshell case it's in works just fine to hold the discs.)

Listened to the original off-Broadway cast of Snoopy: The Musical as I worked. There's two rather sweet, sad numbers here that didn't make it into the cartoon special. "Where Did That Little Dog Go?" is Chuck's lament that Snoopy no longer follows him or plays with him like he did when he was a puppy, while Snoopy sings "Daisy Hill" as he reminisces about his puppyhood. (I wonder if the producers thought those songs were too sad for a cartoon.) 

Switched to Side By Side By Sondheim as I moved online. Along with songs from then-current Sondheim shows like Follies and Company, this British revue features songs cut from his shows like "Can That Boy Fox Trot!" from Follies, "Love Is In the Air" from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and "Marry Me a Little" from Company, plus the lesser-known "I Never Do Anything Twice" from the British Sherlock Holmes mystery movie The Seven Percent Solution. Among the songs Sondheim only wrote the words for are "We're Gonna Be All Right" from Do Hear a Waltz?, "A Boy Like That" from West Side Story, and the hilarious "You Gotta Get a Gimmick" from Gypsy

Finally signed up for a few more appointments after I finished with the CDs. I was easily able to apply for a Wednesday eye exam online, but I still can't remember my password for the patient portal on Collingswood Family Medicine. I ended up calling them and making an appointment for a physical tomorrow morning.

Tried to do more job hunting after that. It's not going well. I'm just not seeing anything. I check every job site, but they never seem to have anything. I wish I knew what I could do that would get me a decent job. 

I considered going out around 4 PM...but dark clouds moved in early as 2. By 4:30, we were finally getting the storm we desperately needed. It never thundered, but it's continued raining off and on, sometimes heavily, for the rest of the night. 

Brought the laundry upstairs and put it away, then worked on writing for a while. Joyce tries to hide the dog, but Brett can see him behind her. She protests him being there at first, until his puppy eyes win him over. They're arguing over what to do about the dog when he wanders into the hallway...

Broke for dinner at 7 PM. Watched Match Game Syndicated while I ate. Gene riffs on Bill Daily being a former musician a few times in the first episode. They get so into doing a little jazz number, Charles tells them to "cut the bass routine" on a card. Bill's more worried when he ends up with "I am __" on the Head-to-Head in the next episode.

Had to move around and shift down some records to get all of the new ones to fit. I really need to either clear out the records again, or buy or find some more crates. The Broadway cast albums have outgrown their two crates.

Finished the night on YouTube with shows featuring announcer Johnny Olsen in honor of his birthday last month. Johnny goes way back with game shows, having started out announcing on radio in the 40's. Unfortunately, his few stints hosting or substitute hosting early TV game shows like Fun for the Money and Play Your Hunch don't survive. Nor does his early years announcing the first versions of Match Game and Break the Bank. 

Fortunately, his turns as a Mystery Guest on What's My Line are available. Johnny could do a lot more than announce. He was a veritable Mackie Bloom with voices to suit any occasion. He stumped the panel completely in 1965. It took almost the whole segment in 1974 for Arlene Francis to remember that incident and realize what was going on. 

Johnny was an institution on the Bob Barker Price Is Right, having announced that show since the start of its revival in 1972. He frequently took part in Showcase skits at the end of the program, and was often the best thing about them. I've seen him dressed as everything from a wise man on a mountaintop to a Spanish senorita, but this 1976 episode takes the cake. He's Elton John at the end of this episode, complete with an outlandish, glittery costume and the models as his back-up group!

The other show he's likely most associated with today is Match Game, which he'd announced since its 1960's run on NBC. He turned up fairly frequently on the show, to the point where he and producer Ira Skutch were practically semi-regulars in their own right. He even sat in for Gary Burghoff in a 1975 episode when Gary was late to a taping, and didn't do too badly, either! Gene Rayburn called on him to do his famous line when it was an answer to "Come __" on the Audience Match in 1978. He continued to appear on the show until it's end in 1982, including David Doyle's very funny final appearance on the show that had him turn up when a question mentioned him as part of a ham sandwich.

He was even well-known enough to be mentioned on shows he announced, but otherwise didn't appear on. One of the early Body Language episodes featured him as the answer to one of their puzzles. Betty White, who knew game shows like the back of her hand, easily got that one. (Ed Begley Jr. guessed Monty Hall!)

I wish I remembered Johnny better. I probably did see him as a very young child on Price Is Right...but by the time I was old enough to understand who he was, he'd passed away. Rod Roddy is the announcer I remember best on that show. Bob Barker delivered a short but sweet eulogy for him at the end of a 1985 Price Is Right episode. 

Celebrate the life of one of the most famous and beloved announcers in game show history with these very funny tributes to his life and talent!