Monday, June 05, 2023

Celebrating the Games

Got such a late start, it was 11:30 before I had breakfast and watched Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. "The Wizard of Dizz" is a cute two-part Wizard of Oz spoof from the fourth season. Minnie and Pluto duck into the shoe-shaped garage during a tornado, only to be sent over the rainbow to the Land of Dizz. Good Witch Clarabelle sends them to the Wizard (Professor Ludwig Von Drake), who is the only one who can help her get home. Along the way, she meets Goofy the Scarecrow, who wants brains, Mickey the Tin Mouse, who wants a heart that won't wind down, and Donald the Cowardly Duck-Lion, who wants to be King of the Jungle. The Bad Witch Pete is determined to stop them and get those pretty green glittery shoes Minnie wears!

Wanted to get my errands done as quickly as possible, so I called Uber. The driver arrived within seven minutes. She was such a pleasant lady and chatted so nicely with me on the way to the Cherry Hill Mall, I gave her a big tip.

Once again, I cut across the mall and went over the pedestrian bridge to the shopping center. This time, I started at Hobby Lobby. Ours is enormous! I was hoping to find doll clothes, like the Springfield Collection, but I couldn't even find the toy section. I did find children's craft boxes, though. I bought a craft box for the daughter of a friend who's turning twelve next month.

No luck in Target at all. They had nothing but helmets and bikes in their bike section...and they're the largest Target in the area. I walked out with nothing. At least it was a nice day for a hike over the pedestrian bridge. It remains sunny, blue, and breezy. Clouds were beginning to gather as I returned to the mall, though, and it cooled off a bit.

I had a late lunch at the food court in the mall. I've done Saladworks there before. I asked for the regular Turkey and Cheddar, but they thought I meant the grilled pannini. Oh well, it still tasted good. It just took longer. Had that with "Sophie's Salad," a spinach salad with blue cheese, chicken, apples, and dried cranberries, and a Coke Zero.

Had originally planned on taking the bus home, but I didn't feel like waiting nearly an hour for the next one. I just called Uber again. This time, the driver arrived in 7 minutes. He was nice, if not quite as chatty. He hit a little bit of traffic on Cuthbert, but nothing too terrible for the start of rush hour.

When I got in, I went online and looked up baskets on Amazon. I just couldn't decide what I wanted. I need something sturdier than the basket that broke, but I don't want anything too expensive, either. I also don't want a wicker or wooden basket. I don't think they can handle large grocery loads and records. 

Broke for dinner and Match Game '74 at 6 PM. In the first episode, Janet Finn was finally defeated by soft-spoken Italian beauty Sylvania, whose ability to speak several languages came in for some riffing from the panelists, including Charlie Brill, Joyce Bulifant, and Marcia Wallace. In the second episode, Brett boasts that she appeared in the West Hollywood Olympics, or at least, she wore the t-shirt.

Finished off my own National Game Show Day by honoring Buzzr's history. They began in 2016 as a place for British company Fremantle to unload their American game show re-runs, mostly from the Monty Hall and Goodson-Todman libraries. Indeed, their very first episode was the original 1963 pilot for Let's Make a Deal. (Later Deals from the 70's and 80's have been off and on the channel several times; the mid-80's version currently runs at 11 PM.)

Originally, they tried to skewer towards shows people weren't familiar with, like the short-lived Child's Play from 1983 and Alex Trebek Double Dare from 1976. Child's Play in particular is fairly unique. Bill Cullen hosts this show that has adults trying to guess a word described by young children. The game play may be a little too complicated, which is why this didn't last a year, but the kids are adorable and Bill does well with them.

Bill Cullen also hosted Blockbusters, a more traditional trivia show. Two family members take on a single player to answer trivia questions on a hexagon board filled with letters. I really wish the US version ran longer than two years. Bill enjoyed himself, the trivia was fun and challenging, and the two-on-one format made this unique among quiz shows.

Buzz occasionally ran older black and white panel shows like To Tell the Truth and What's My Line, usually in the middle of the afternoon or late at night. The black and white shows eventually vanished, but the color syndicated version of What's My Line continues to run on occasion. The syndicated To Tell the Truth recently returned to the network on prime time as a rather odd companion to the 90's The Newlywed Game.

Match Game and the various versions of Password dominate the schedule (along with Classic Concentration), and have been a part of the network from the beginning. Match Game originally ran four times a week and throughout the weekend; even now, it's still on for three hours during the daytime. They finally started running the Tom Kennedy Password Plus only within the past year. Perhaps they assumed Allen Ludden is more associated with the show.

Let's Make a Deal isn't the only Monty Hall-hosted show to turn up on the network. His version of Beat the Clock is another one that was on quite often in the beginning. Monty may not have been happy to be here, but the stunts are still very funny, and it is nice to see the original non-celebrity contestants in this early episode.

The original 1978 Card Sharks was another early favorite on the network. It would later be joined by the first year of the 1986 version. They only just started running the Card Sharks episodes from 1980 and 81 in the morning when it was dropped in favor of Press Your Luck (and starting this week, Family Feud). 

One of my favorite early Buzzr shows is Body Language. This cross between the earlier charades-based Showoffs and Password Plus has celebrities miming words for celebrities to guess, then slot into a story puzzle. If they can guess what the puzzle describes, they win the points. Winner goes on to describe ten words to determine how much they go for, then three to see if they can win it. Phyllis Diller and later Broadway star Brian Stokes Mitchell were the celebrities here.

New shows premiere on Buzzr as Fremantle buys companies or convinces others to let their shows run on the network. One example of a show Fremantle purchased is Supermarket Sweep, which debuted on the network in 2019. It doesn't turn up quite as often on the channel since it got its own 24 hour channel on Pluto TV, but it still turns up on weekends. This episode is part of their Tournament of Champions, as pairs who appeared on the show before and didn't win the $5,000 get another chance to find it. 

Celebrate Buzzr's National Game Show Day by taking a look at their own history and heritage! (The copy of the Let's Make a Deal pilot I used includes its original rediscovery on Game Show Network and its Buzzr run.)

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