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!

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