Thursday, August 31, 2023

Perfect Summertime

Started off the morning with breakfast and The Busy World of Richard Scarry. Huckle's nervous about having "A Big Operation" to get his tonsils out. The doctors show him around the hospital and tells him he'll be able to have ice cream afterwards. "Cucumber, the African Photographer" would rather take pictures of anything but lions! She and her assistant are encouraged to look for them anyway...but they turn out to be quite different than she imagined. Miss Honey's "Summer Picnic" for her students doesn't work out at all like she intended when a pop-up shower forces them into a cave. 

Karen picked me up around 10 AM for this week's job counseling session. I've come to the conclusion that, first of all, I need both full time hours and health insurance. I'll turn down that library job if they offer it. Second, much as I'd love to be a librarian, I really don't want to spend four years in college or spend more money on something that won't help me now. We applied for two administrative assistant jobs in Philadelphia. Not great, but full-time and full benefits. 

Put on Fancy Pants when I got home. I go further into this wacky western with Bob Hope as an American posing as a British butler and Lucille Ball as part of the family that brings him to the US at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Switched to writing after eating lunch. Joyce and Rover throw corn cobs to scare the crows away. Charles the Scarecrow laments that he's not very scary. He can't remember anything about himself. His mind just doesn't seem to be there. Joyce says she'll take him to the Emerald City to find someone who can jolt his memory.

Headed out to work soon as I got off. I ended up bagging again, which was fine by me. It was too nice to be inside all day anyway. The weather was utterly perfect for this time of year, sunny, breezy, dry, and in the upper 70's. Not to mention, we're still not that busy. It's the end of the month, the beginning of a holiday weekend, and the weather was gorgeous. It'll probably pick up this weekend as people use their beginning-of-the-month money and shop for Labor Day barbecues and back to school.

Went straight home and into Match Game '79. Brett and Barbara Rhodes were very much interested in a handsome college student with a distinct Maine accent. (Gene kept asking him to "say something Maine-ish.") At one point, Barbara stood up to show Gene she was as tall as him and the young man. 

Moved on to two Lost In Boston collections on Hoopla while I worked on my review. This Varasae Sarabande series collects songs that were cut during tryouts of successful shows, or at least shows that made Broadway. Favorites from Vol 2 include "Man and Wife," "Guess We May As Well Stay Married Now," and "Throw It Away" from I Do! I Do!, the wistful "What am I Doing Here?" from Promises, Promises, the comic monologue "When Messiah Comes" from Fiddler On the Roof, and the lovely ballad "It Was Always You" from Applause. My favorites from the hard-to-find Vol. 3 are "Mama's Talkin' Soft" from Gypsy, the touching "Pink Taffeta Sample Size 10" from Sweet Charity, "Older and Wiser" from Bye, Bye Birdie, and two dropped from the brutal out-of-town tryouts for Seesaw, "Big Fat Heart" and "Pick Up the Pieces." 

Finished the night on YouTube with more Bob Barker on Match Game. The first two days of his week in 1976 don't show up on Buzzr anymore, thanks to non-PC questions. (One of them is, ironically, a Native American joke. Bob himself was part Native and had been raised on a reservation in South Dakota.) A sweet older lady named Johnnie wanted so badly to kiss Richard...and finally got her wish in the second show. The PM episode featured a handsome Australian with a charming accent and some not-so-great answers.

Celebrate the bicentennial year with Bob!

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Fantasy In the Summer Wind

Started off a late morning with breakfast and Charlie & Lola. Lola tells Charlie "I am Really, Really, Really Concentrating" when she joins the Egg Race in their school field day. She practices hard to make sure her egg stays on the spoon. Charlie and Marv join the three-legged race, while Lotta runs the Obstacle Course. Lola does her best, but even if she doesn't win, she still has a surprise at the end.

Switched to Match Game '77 as I looked something up online. Anson Williams and Mary Ann Mobley joined in to see Rich wearing glasses with springy eyes in the opening. The second episode had Brett give the obvious answer to "__ Gin" in the Audience Match. Fannie also mentioned she was shooting Grease (she had a cameo as the nurse in the Rydell High office whose castor oil was missing), and there was Richard's less-obvious answer to "Olivia __." 

Let Tattletales run while I finished cleaning my rooms. They skipped waaaay ahead to mid-1977, as Betty White and Allen Ludden are joined by Eddie Mekka and his then-girlfriend Shirley Kirkes and Jamie Farr and his wife Joy. Although Betty and Allen played well enough, they missed one question in each episode that lost them the game. Jamie and his pretty and sweet wife Joy got it both times.

Had lunch while watching Garfield and Friends on Tubi. Jon's third cousin left Garfield a priceless gem, one often joked about on the show. His partner thinks it should be his. Garfield doesn't believe in "The Curse of the Klopman Diamond," until strange things start happening to him. The crew at U.S Acres are cleaning up the farm, and they think that also means Orson's waller. Orson explains why it's "Mud Sweet Mud" to him. "Rainy Day Dreams" may help Odie and Garfield get through a boring afternoon, but they also get in the way of Jon and his date, until Garfield inadvertently reveals what she's really after.

Headed out after lunch to run a few errands. First stop was the Collingswood PNC Bank for money and rent. There was a long line at the drive-through blocking the outdoor ATMs, so I had to use the inside one. And even then, I still had to wait for a lady to finish. 

Made my way down Cuthbert to the Haddon Township Library next. I'd love to find some books on figuring out who you are. I wish I knew myself better. I saw books on job hunting, but I'll never find a job if I can't figure out what I value and what I really want. I left with nothing.

My next stop was originally going to be the Westmont Farm Market on a side street off Haddon Avenue. They used to have it every Wednesday evening, but...when I arrived, the street was empty. All I saw was cars. I rode around for nearly 20 minutes, wondering if I missed it. Didn't see anything out of the ordinary. I was so disappointed! The Haddon Township community website said they still had it. They were the only farm market on weekdays. I won't have time this weekend. I did treat myself to a sugar cookie at MacMillan's Bakery and a Propel at WaWa, but I never saw any farm markets. 

The traffic was so bad by 5 PM, I went home via Newton Lake Park. They weren't as busy. A gaggle of Canadian geese ran from me and from an oncoming car. Saw a few joggers on the path and a couple of kids riding home, but no one else. I took the shortcut over the hill and through the woods past the Haddon Township Environmental and Historical Society building. At least the day remained cloudy and cool, if extremely humid. 

Worked on writing when I got in. Joyce throws corn cobs to scare off the crows who peck at Charles. Rover growls to get rid of them. Charles laments that he can't get rid of them himself. He's not scary enough. He doesn't have enough brains left to scare them.

Broke at 7 PM for Match Game '79. Bart Braverman gets to help with "__ of Salt" in the Head-to-Head in the first episode. Barbara Rhodes discusses her upcoming show Mr. Dooley...which was later renamed Mr. Dugan before it was yanked from the schedule and never aired. In the second episode, Charles wins the Head-to-Head question holder, and Fannie and Gene discuss the Love Boat episode they did together. 

Finished the night with Jim Henson's The Storyteller. I'm surprised I missed this as a kid in 1987. I've always loved fairy tales. A strange little man (John Hurt) and his dog (Brian Henson) tell lesser-known fairy tales from Europe before the fire. "The Three Ravens" is basically a variation on "The Six Swans." A wicked witch curses three princes into ravens. Their sister can't speak for three years in order to release them. She does manage to marry a handsome prince in the interim, but even then, the witch causes trouble when she steals her children. 

"The True Bride" is the German "True Bride" crossed with the Norwegian "East of the Sun and West of the Moon." A young girl who is the servant to a troll gets help with his impossible tasks from a lion. After the lion builds her a castle, the troll falls through a door to his death. The girl intends to make the handsome gardener her prince, but the troll's daughter drugs him to forget her. She has to rescue him from the Troll's potions and scheming.

"Sapsorrow" is "Donkeyskin" under another name and crossed with "Cinderella." The princess who is forced to marry her father has two nasty sisters, she wears many different animal furs instead of just a donkey skin, and the prince calls the girls of the kingdom to see whose foot fits a beaded slipper rather than a glass one. She also dances with the prince for three nights, in dresses of moonlight, starlight, and sunlight. 

While it's obviously lower budget than the Jim Henson fantasy movies like Labyrinth, that does allow for some creative effect work. Some of it looks better than others. I thought the ravens moved much better than the lion in "True Bride," for instance. There's a few stars or stars-to-be among the royalty as well, including Joely Richardson as the unfortunate princess in "The Three Ravens," Sean Bean as the True Bride's wayward prince, Alison Doody as Sapsorrow, and Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders as her silly sisters.

Overall, I enjoyed it and really wish Henson had been able to do more than two seasons. I'll absolutely check out the remaining episodes and the next season based around Greek mythology, too. 

Bob Barker appeared in one of the funniest weeks of late 1975. He and Arlene Francis saw Carol Bartos become the top winner on Match Game at that point. Carol was good friends with the previous big winner Janet Finn, and even brought a corner of her winning blue card for good luck. It sure worked. Carol just kept winning, even Gene found a hammer in his pocket and Bob tried selling it to the audience.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

On a Slow Boat to the Yukon

Started off the morning with breakfast and The Busy World of Richard Scarry. Bananas Gorilla guards a bunch of bananas for the grocer. He goes on a merry chase when "The Missing Bananas" disappear, and he has to get them back before the grocer realizes they're gone. Maria and Frederico hope for "Good Luck In Rome" when they come to the Eternal City to throw a coin into the lucky Trevi Fountain. They end up throwing a lot more than that when Frederico's car goes out of control with Maria in it! Mr. Fixit is so tired, his faulty traffic light inadvertently causes "The Accident." Everyone is so angry at him, he takes off...but then the towns-animals realize they can't fix their vehicles on their own.

Headed out to work after the cartoon ended. As it turned out, I ended up bagging today. Fine by me. Even with the cold, cloudy, killer humid weather, I'd still rather be outside pushing carts than inside dealing with people. Spent a pleasant afternoon sweeping and doing carts with absolutely no trouble whatsoever. 

Headed straight home after that. Had dinner while watching Belle of the Yukon. I go further into this bizarre musical Alaskan Gold Rush tale featuring Randolph Scott and a rare performance by Gypsy Rose Lee at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Took a much-needed shower, then watched a first-season episode of The Love Boat on Paramount Plus. A director (Fernando Lamas) wants to make a movie with his "Hollywood Royalty" wife, who spends the voyage sporting an enormous diamond pendant. Four not-especially-bright thieves lead by actor Vernon Crowler (Harold Gould) go on "The Caper" to steal it. A blind girl (Stephanie Zimbalist) sees through "The Eyes of Love" when she falls for a former classmate (Desi Arnaz Jr.)  from her school for blind children who regained his sight. A lawyer (Dan Rowan) finds himself caught in a "Masquerade" when his wife (Juliet Mills) befriends his mistress (Adrienne Barbeau). 

And we had our second Bob Barker week on YouTube. Rona Barrett marked her first of two appearances on the show in February 1975 and Bob his second. Fannie Flagg shows off her "dangerous curves" t-shirts, while Bob wonders how the wild audiences from Price Is Right and Truth or Consequences followed him to Match Game.

Monday, August 28, 2023

Dolls and Sisters

Started off the day with breakfast and The New Scooby Doo Movies on Tubi. In the last episode, the kids run across what looks like a fun day at the fair. Turns out Dick Van Dyke is running everything because everyone thinks it's "The Haunted Carnival" and has dropped out. Shaggy and Scooby run headlong into a ghostly strongman and a huge glowing arm who keeps stealing the food and sabotaging the rides.

Switched to Match Game '77 while I made the bed and dusted the living room. The first episode began with Roz Kelly kissing a very happy audience member. When Gene asked her if it was as good as kissing the Fonz, she said it was better! The second episode featured Joyce Bulifant's unique way of writing undergarments and everyone's differing answer to what the foot doctor served for dinner instead of liver and onions.

Jessa picked me up right at 1 PM. We ended up at Sabrina's Cafe. I've been there many times, but not with anyone else. We both had the lunch special with a small bowl of soup, half of a very large sandwich, and fries. I had the "Cali-turkey" sandwich with turkey, avocado slices, sprouts, tomato, and spicy mayo. Jessa had the "Vegan Philly," roasted vegetables smothered with cheese on a hoagie roll. She had regular fries. I had sweet potato fries. We both had a small bowl of tomato basil soup with vegetables and pasta. Oh, yum! The sandwich was delicious, the fries were terrific, and the soup was even better. She had a cherry limeade; I had an iced tea. They came in cute little mason jar cups with handles.

We went for a short walk after lunch. Unfortunately, there wasn't as much to see as usual. Many stores in Collingswood are either closed on Monday or closed all together this week for their summer vacation. We briefly stopped at GrooveGround Coffee, but decided we were full and didn't need fancy drinks. I directed Jessa to the bathroom at the library, while I dug Shakespeare for Squirrels by Christopher Moore and a paperback copy of Charlotte's Web off the sale shelves. (The latter replaces the copy my mother read to Rose and me when we were little in the early 80's. We literally read it to pieces. It's falling apart so badly, I really can't read it anymore.) Found Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley on the free book cart outside. 

Jessa's doing pretty well. Right now, her big thing is running. She entered a 5K marathon and did well enough to enter a 10K...well, before she realized she'd actually be running ten miles! She says she's still willing to try it. We're also going to be better about getting together. I love Rose a lot, but I relate more to Jessa. 

Went straight into dressing the dolls for September and back to school after I got home. Kit now gets to wear her original blue School Outfit with the brown oxfords and the high knitted socks. I put Molly in the blue gingham dress I found at the Barrington Antique Center a few years ago and her own white t-straps. Samantha wears her current "meet" outfit, the pink Swiss-dotted dress with the big lace collar and the black strap shoes. Felicity gets her second "meet" outfit, the lavender Traveling Dress with the embroidered flowers. Ariel also wears what she came in, a pale blue Swiss lace minidress with a crocheted vest. 

Whitney is ready for her first day at school in the late 50's in the "Sweet Memories" Our Generation Retro outfit with the lavender and white checked skirt, pink knitted shrug, and a turquoise scarf around her neck. Josefina looks beautiful in her empire-style orange and yellow Summer Dress with the ruffles on the skirt and the fake leather vest. Jessa's mix-and-match in her original "meet" t-shirt with the stripes and the high neck, the white and turquoise sneakers from another meet outfit, and jean shorts. Barbara Jean is pretty in a woven pink minidress with gold threads. 

Listened to the two Television's Greatest Hits CDs I picked up from Abbie Road earlier this month. This long-running series from the 80's and 90's covers theme songs from a wide spectrum of TV shows. The first one mostly had songs from shows of the 50's and 60's. I recognized all of the kids shows but the British puppet sci-fi drama Fireball-XL5, and the only sitcom theme I wasn't familiar with was The Andy Griffith Show.  I had a harder time with the dramas. Some, like Batman, The Adventures of Superman, Star Trek: The Original Series, Flipper (which Rose used to love), and Secret Agent Man are among the most famous themes ever. Others, like Surfside 6, The F.B.I, and Mannix, are based after shows that wouldn't have interested me when I watched older programs on Nick @ Nite. (And two, F-Troop and Get Smart, really belonged in with the comedy shows.)

On the other hand, I recognized almost every theme on Television's Greatest Hits: Remote Control, which was mainly songs from shows of the 70's, 80's, and early 90's. I loved almost every sitcom they had listed as a kid, and even if I wasn't a big fan (like with Family Ties and ALF), I at least knew the theme in question. The only ones I didn't recognize were the fairly short-lived action shows Movin' On and BJ and the Bear, the even shorter-lived James at 15, and the PBS documentary miniseries Cosmos and Vietnam: A Television History. (And the country-flavored themes for BJ and Movin' were really good. Movin' apparently became a number one country hit in 1975.) 

Took the laundry downstairs, then worked on writing for a while after I finished with the dolls. Charles the Scarecrow admits that he doesn't remember who he is, how he ended up covered in straw, or much of anything else. He'd only been strung up a few weeks ago. He wishes he had more brains, or remembers when he had them. Joyce wonders how he's even talking, and he says he only started doing it to shoo the crows away.

Broke for dinner and Match Game '79 at 7 PM after I put the laundry in the dryer. Joe Santos of The Rockford Files and Laurie McCafferty of Happy Days joined in as Gene asked the first "Herman Brickelmyer crosses the picket line" question that would become so prevalent in the syndicated series. Meanwhile, Brett scolds Charles for eating on the air, and Marcia Wallace tries to figure out "Cookies and __" in the Head-to-Head. 

Switched to The 1973 version of The Three Musketeers on Amazon Prime after I brought the laundry upstairs and had a light dinner. This is a pretty accurate version of the first half of the book, with the most British cast I've ever seen in a movie about France. Michael York made for an especially tough D'Artagnan, while Charlton Heston makes for a far less-likely Cardinal Richelieu. Other stand-outs include Geraldine Chaplin as the fragile Anne of Austria, Oliver Reed as Athos, Faye Dunaway as Milady De Winter, and Christopher Lee as an especially scary Count De Rochefort. I also loved the gritty and fairly realistic filming locations in Spain and absolutely gorgeous period-appropriate costumes. I think we saw this and its sequel occasionally on cable when I was a kid. Highly recommended if you love the story, swashbucklers, or the cast. 

And MG Productions' tribute to Bob Barker started tonight with his first week on the show. He was actually one of the earliest celebrities on the show, appearing on the second week. His wisecracks about selling refrigerators to the audience and genuinely good playing made him popular enough to return. Della Reece, who was upset when her answer "Count Basie" didn't turn up on the "Count __" in the Audience Match, would also be back, as would jovial Arlene Francis (who sat in what would later be Brett's seat). The only ones who didn't return were the pair from The Waltons, sweet Richard "John Boy" Thomas and his mama Michael Lerned. They both played well enough, and while Lerned seemed to enjoy herself, Thomas was really too sweet for this spicy show. 

Check out Barker's first week in this first tribute!

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Come On Down One Last Time

Began my morning with breakfast and the original cast album for Steel Pier. This 1997 Broadway show with music by Kandor and Ebb is set in Atlantic City during a dance marathon in the early 30's. One of the dancers is partnered with a handsome pilot, but he's not what he seems. This wasn't a hit at the time, and I suspect the strange and overly complicated story has something to do with it. Too bad, because there's some terrific music here, including "Willing to Ride" for leading lady Karen Ziemba, the title song, and the ballad "First You Dream." Kristen Chenowith had one of her first big roles singing "Two Little Words" in a bizarre wedding ceremony.

Oh, and I put in for my vacation time this morning. As mentioned, I'll be gone from September 18th through the 26th. The only thing going on then is Yom Kippur. The Eagles don't even play a 1 PM game until October. They play Thursday night, then Monday night. 

Headed to work after I did that. Work was once again dead for most of the afternoon. We were only steady when one cashier or the other went on break and there would be one left. Everyone is either on vacation, was out enjoying the gorgeous warm sunny day, or is waiting for the beginning of the month and holiday weekend next week. Those who did came were in really good moods. At least two customers paid for the older customer's small order in front of them, and they were all really sweet about it. I was in and out with no problems whatsoever. 

Went straight home and into a much-needed shower. I ate a tasty dinner with friends, then finished the night honoring Bob Barker with more of his appearances. He got his start on TV with the original Truth or Consequences. He was on that show for so long, he still did the syndicated version during the first three years of The Price Is Right. I have what seems to be a typical episode from 1966 (despite what the title on the post claims). Among the stunts some of the audience goes through are the guys who attempt to ride a super-tall unicycle (and one of them actually did it!). 

Bob's lone show for wacky Chuck Barris was The Family Game. This is basically Chuck's Newlywed Game with kids answering the questions about their parents instead of just-married couples. It was cute, and Bob did pretty well coaxing answers out of the little ones, but it was too hard for parents to match their offspring. I can understand why this only lasted six months, and the episode I have listed is one of only two to exist today.

Of course, Bob is best-known as the host of the revived Price Is Right. He was on the show for so long, he started on the very first episode in 1972 and didn't retire until 2007. He was there when I was sick or home during the summer when I was a 9 year old, and he was there when I was a 22-year-old in college. His wry humor and unending patience in the face of some really strange contestants entertained three generations of kids and college students. I chose one of the early half-hour episodes, and two from 1988 and 2001 I might have seen as a kid and in college, respectively.

He was a frequent panelist on Tattletales in the 70's with his wife Dorothy Jo. They met at an Ella Fitzgerald concert and married right out of high school. It's such a shame she died in 1981. They were well-matched, as we can see in this 1976 episode. Bob occasionally hosted the show as well, usually during a week when he and other hosts were playing, so regular host Bert Convy and his wife Ann could have a turn to match each other's stories.

The Price Is Right twice played the other CBS daytime juggernaut The Young and the Restless on the syndicated Family Feud, once in 1991 and again in 1993. Ironically, both were anchored by dueling Price hosts. Bob was the captain of the Price teams. Doug Davidson, who would take over the failed 1994 nighttime Price, was the captain of the Restless teams. Bob must have been proud, because the Price team played very well and made it to the Fast Money both times.

(And I love the opening sequences with Gene Wood calling all of the Price players sitting in the audience to come on down!)

Bob was a long-time semi-regular on the 70's-early 80's Match Game. He started off on the show's second week and continued with them through 1980, even after the show left CBS for syndication. Bob was the first person they called when Richard Dawson finally got fed up and dropped out in 1978...apparently because he was in the studio at the time and was the fastest person they could get for taping. At any rate, he did very well for a quick replacement, including getting one of the show's funnier quips. 

Honor "The World's Greatest Host" with some of his funniest appearances! More Match Game is coming later this week as MG Productions highlights Bob's best episodes. (Look for commercials on the Price Is Right episodes, from their original and Game Show Network runs. The Family Game is in two parts, but as mentioned, it's one of only two episodes known to exist.) 

And here's a selection of Bob's best episodes MG Productions made three years ago, so you can catch even more Bob on Match Game.

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Harvests and Pricing Games

Started off the morning with breakfast and Garfield In the Rough. Garfield isn't thrilled when Jon takes him and Odie camping on their vacation. Where's his TV and lasagna? Jon's idea of paradise gets a lot scarier when it turns out there's a panther loose in the area, and Garfield's the only one who can keep his human and dog friend from getting hurt.

Headed out for the farm market after Garfield ended. Despite the hot, humid weather, the farm market teemed with people buying produce for their birthday parties and end-of-the-summer get-togethers. Blueberries are gone, replaced by the first grapes of the season and more apple varieties. I bought super-sweet black grapes from a grape seller, apples and white peaches from the orchard seller, dill cheese from the dairy booth, even sweeter cherry tomatoes, and delicious moist oat honey bread from The Lost Bread bakery booth.

Went straight home and into Stand Up and Cheer! while I had lunch and put everything away. I go further into the peculiar Depression-era backstage story that made Shirley Temple a star at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.  

Hurried off to work the moment the movie ended. Work was a bit of a pain. It was off-and-on busy. We'd have long lines and no help, then it would suddenly die and I'd be bored again. There was at least one woman who gave me an attitude and took forever to unload her three orders. And I had one of those long lines and was late shutting down, which meant I was almost late getting out. My break was late, too. I couldn't wait to get out of there.

Finished the night at the Price Is Right: The Barker Era Roku channel honoring Bob Barker, who passed away today at 99. They're currently in 1983, which I only vaguely remember. I wouldn't be surprised if I did watch these episodes with Mom. Like many people, I fondly recall watching The Price Is Right during the summer, or when I was home sick (especially after I got my own little black-and-white TV in 1987). It was part of "my" game show schedule in the late 80's with Card Sharks and Family Feud

I watched it again in college, when I was off a class sick or doing school work in the morning. Bob and Rod Roddy and the Barker's Beauties and pricing games were always just there when you needed cheering up or cheers in the background. I may not appreciate how he treated his models, but I do like how he was our go-to man to make our mornings a little brighter. 

Friday, August 25, 2023

There's No Business Like Show Business

I slept late and got so caught up with Bryant & May: Hall of Mirrors, Match Game '77 was on by the time I finally had brunch. In the first episode, Patty Duke is delighted to briefly read a question when Gene wants to answer it himself. Everyone else is unnerved by the big gentleman from Detroit who is the new challenger. Gene's more than happy to kiss Roz Kelly in the second episode, even though she'd been on the show before. The others help the big man with "Loaded __" on the Audience Match.

Checked my schedule online after breakfast. In good news, three days off next week and normal four and six hour shifts on Tuesday and Thursday. I also have two 7 and 8 hour days Sunday and next Saturday. It's to be expected with Labor Day Weekend coming up and the beginning of the month, but it does mean I'll have to miss the farm market next week.

Let it run into Tattletales while I made my grocery list and texted Karen to tell her when I'm available next week. Foster Brooks and his very smart and beautiful wife Teri really livened up this episode. Orson Bean and his sensible wife Carolyn were also having a lot of fun, and they ended up being the winners over Foster and Teri and Terry and Anna Carter. 

Headed out to run errands around quarter of 2. It was hot and humid, but neither was to the degree of earlier in the summer. At any rate, I really had to hit the Westmont Acme for this week's grocery shopping. Had online coupons for strawberries, the OGX shampoo and conditioner, their generic sparkling water, and their frosting-and-cake parfaits. Chobani yogurt and the Made Good granola bars were on good sales. Thought the larger Natural Jif sizes were a better bargain on sale than the smaller ones. Grabbed two packaged hardboiled eggs for lunch instead of a hoagie or salad. 

Took the long way home across Newton Lake Park. The hot weather didn't stop people from going for walks or taking their pooch or kids for a stroll. Despite our lack of rain lately, the park still looks gorgeous, all dusty greens and bright scarlets and sunny golds. The hazy sunlight sparkled on the bottle-green waves.

Went upstairs when I got home and put everything away, then had lunch while watching Stage Fright. Aspiring actress Eve Gill (Jane Wyman) ends up helping fellow actor Johnathan Cooper (Richard Todd) when he claims actress and singer Charlotte Inwood (Marlene Dietrich) came to him in a bloodstained dress after killing her husband. Eve and her father, eccentric former seaman Commodore Gill (Alastair Sim) are shocked when Johnathan destroys the bloodstained dress when they say Charlotte framed him.

Eve convinces Charlotte's maid Nellie (Kay Walsh), who saw Johnathan at her house, to tell Charlotte's she's sick and her cousin will be taking over. Eve poses as Nellie's plain cousin Doris and becomes her dresser, but more than her acting skills are put to the test when she discovers that Charlotte is really having an affair with her manager Freddie (Hector MacGregor), and she's falling for detective "Ordinary" Smith (Michael Wilding). It turns out that what's onstage isn't the only illusion, as neither Charlotte nor Johnathan are entirely telling the truth about the murder or their parts in it...

Wyman is really the thing here, aided by some of the best character actors in Europe in the early 50's. This is only the second movie I've seen Sim in after A Christmas Carol, and I think I like him even better as Eve's warm, yet commanding father. Dietrich puts in one of her better latter-day performances as Eve's eccentric employer, and Todd's attempted flight from the police in the finale is beautifully shot and riveting. 

This is a bit slow and meandering for one of Hitchcock's movies, but it does have enough to keep you entertained if you love older British films or twisty black and white mysteries.

Went online after the movie ended. I tried to buy the train tickets for my vacation next month from Amtrak last night. For some reason, the numbers they used to confirm my credit card weren't the same as my current cell phone number, and I couldn't figure out how to change them. I finally bought the tickets using PayPal instead. 

(So...yes, I'll be on vacation next month from the 18th through the 26th. It's a bit longer than usual, but I figured now that I have an extra week off I probably wouldn't use anyway, I can get away with it.) 

Worked on writing for a while next. Joyce stops to eat lunch across from a corn field on the Golden Road. It's her dog Rover who figures out that the scarecrow on a pole in the field looks mighty familiar. In fact, he looks a lot like Charles Nelson Reilly with a lot of hay stuck in him, toupee, glasses, and all...

Broke for dinner at 7 PM. Thought I'd do something different and go out for dinner. While it remained humid, it wasn't nearly as warm once the sun started going down, and there was a nice, cool wind. Oaklyn has its Final Friday block party on the last Friday of every month from June through October. They expanded it this year to include the parking lot across from the Oaklyn Elementary School. The parking lot mainly held lemonade booths and craft sellers. Most of the action was a block away, where all the food trucks and Tonewood Brewery are. 

Truth be told, as tasty as lobster sandwiches, extra-cheesy mac and cheese, and cheesesteak spring rolls sounded, food trucks tend to be horribly overpriced. I got a slice of teriyaki chicken and broccoli, a slice of basil, tomato, and mozzarella, and a can of Diet Pepsi for $8.50, much cheaper than anything outside. Managed to get a table between a family with a little girl sporting flowers and vines painted on her cheek and a group of chattering teenage girls enjoying their own pizza and cheese steaks. 

Finished the night at home, watching Bullets Over Broadway on Hoopla. Eve's not the only one who has a close encounter with murder onstage. New playwright David Shayne (John Cusack) is so desperate to get his play financed, he agrees to give gangster Nick Valenti's (Joe Viterelli) girlfriend Olive Neal (Jennifer Tilly) a small part. Turns out no matter what Nick and she herself believe, Olive is a terrible actress. David is much happier to cast fading if still well-known star Helen Sinclair (Dionne West) and perpetually dieting Warner Purcell (Jim Broadbent). Not to mention, it turns out that Cheech (Chazz Paliminteri), the thug who is supposed to be watching Olive, has a lot of terrific ideas that make the play five times better. 

Things go haywire quickly when David's girlfriend Ellen (Mary-Louise Parker) catches him with Helen and Cheech gets so into the play's success or failure, he decides to do something about Olive and her lousy performance. David has to explain to Nick why his girlfriend is missing, tell Ellen he loves her, and dodge the bullets flying around backstage, before he ends up among the victims.

I think my stepdad did rent it at least once after it came out in 1994, but I'm not sure I paid attention then. I really missed something. This is a fast and funny look at New York and Broadway in the Roaring 20's, with pitch-perfect costumes and a terrific period soundtrack. West did so well as the star looking for one last blaze of glory, she won a Supporting Actress Oscar. Tilly and Paliminteri are also excellent as the gangster's moll who is convinced she has what it takes to be a star (even though she doesn't) and the tough guy who actually does have talent. 

Honestly, you'd never know this was Woody Allen if you didn't check the credits...or if the witty verbal repartee didn't sound like his style. If you love Roaring 20's tales, period comedies, or anyone in the cast, this is a highly recommended look at how one young man's attempt to become the next Allen of 1928 went supremely off the rails. 

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Cool, Cool Summer

Started off the morning with breakfast and more of The Muppet Show. Linda Lavin of Alice joins in to wish Kermit a happy birthday. Kermit wishes they'd just stick to the originally planned show, but Linda does get to join the Electric Mayhem for a nice "The More I See of You" and the entire cast for "Beyond the Blue Horizon" in the finale. We also find out why operetta spoof singers Wayne and Wanda were dropped when they turn up for a brief number, and Kermit remembers why he fired them to begin with. 

Switched to the 2009 Strawberry Shortcake on The Roku Channel next. "Lights, Camera..." was their series finale. Strawberry and her girls are upset when their favorite movie theater closes, so they try to make a movie worthy of being shown in it. The Purple Pieman wants it for a pie shop and attempts to get Blueberry and Angel cake fighting, but Strawberry insists that they talk out their problems.

Put on Buzzr for Match Game '77 next. The young man whose innocent answer kicked off the infamous "School Riot" was brought back for a second chance in this episode. And then there's Brett's differing answer to what they put a criminal in instead of an electric chair...

Headed out after this episode for a walk...and just to enjoy the afternoon. It was cloudy and breezy, but also blissfully cool for August, barely in the mid-70's. Went to Dollar General, but they didn't have what I wanted. I was going to grab a pretzel for lunch, but the pretzel shop is apparently undergoing maintenance through next Wednesday. I ended up buying a Bodyarmor Lyte at Dollar General and moving on.

The park was wonderfully quiet, too. I saw two girls fishing on the bridge between Oaklyn and Collingswood and heard people in their backyards while walking the trails. Everything else was birds chirping, fish splashing, and the wind rippling through shiny green leaves and the last summer wildflowers.

When I got home, I went straight into lunch and Kid Millions. I go further into this odd Eddie Cantor vehicle with him inheriting a million dollars and being chased by Ethel Merman, among others, in Egypt at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Looked up jobs after the movie. I wish I had a better idea of what I could do with library skills that don't involve working in a library. Most editing and proofreading jobs require more experience than I have, and I don't want to go to school for years and years. I need a job now. And yes, I'm aware of how competitive writing and publishing is. Writing and organizing is what I know. 

(Oh, and it looked like it rained briefly around the time I started writing. I haven't heard it on the roof, so I don't think it's done anything since then.) 

Did some writing next. Joyce enjoys her trip through the Munchkin countryside. It's a lovely land filled with towering trees and fruitful fields. As she settles down for lunch, her dog Rover runs off to chase crows...and finds a familiar scarecrow among them...

Broke for dinner at 7 PM. Watched Match Game '79 while I ate. The parade of well-meaning contestants with terrible answers continues. At one point, the contestant's answer was so off, Gene had everyone hold up their answers to show that they weren't going to match. He thinks it happens again later in the show...but Charles has been known to match contestants others didn't before...

Finished the night on Hoopla again with another title from Verasae Sarabande. Unsung Musicals is a series of CDs showcasing songs from musicals that never made Broadway, had short runs, were off-Broadway, or simply were never recorded. I listened to the elusive third set, which I only found a few years ago. Among my favorites here are the jaunty "At the Same Time" from an earlier stage version of Freaky Friday, the wistful "Wishes Won't Wash Dishes" from The Bone Room, the lovely "Reville Sun" from a short-lived musical version of East of Eden called Here's Where I Belong, and the nostalgic reminiscence about "Hundreds of Hats" from the baseball-themed off-Broadway show Diamonds

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

The Saga of the Cat and the Mouse

Began the day with breakfast and the remaining Tom & Jerry shorts. It's a "Sorry Safari" when Jerry manages to outwit Tom, his human, and their elephant while hunting in Nairobi. Tom thinks they're "Buddies Thicker Than Water" when Jerry lets him out of the snow...but then his female owner screams and orders him to throw the mouse out, buddies or no buddies. "Carmen Get It!" spoofs opera as Tom chases Jerry and a line of ants onstage during a performance of Carmen.

And that's that. Mixed feelings on this set. Yeah, I can see where they got their bad reputation over the years. Some of them are very formulaic, and it's obvious they were all done on the cheap. On the other hand, there's some brilliant use of pantomime, and some of the more creative ones like "Mouse Into Space," "It's All Greek to Me-ow!," and "The Tom & Jerry Cartoon Kit" can stand with the best of Tom and Jerry's shorts. 

I'm still going to say this is best for major Tom & Jerry fans and those who must have all of their shorts. Everyone else is better off with the Spotlight Collections or watching them on Max and Boomerang. 

Worked on writing for a while after the cartoons ended. Joyce and Rover finally start down the Golden Road. She's going to figure out how to get home, not to find the Wizard. She's read the book and seen the 1939 movie. She already suspects he isn't what he claims...but there has to be someone who can get her back to Burbank in time for her taping. 

Watched Tattletales during lunch. Got a rare chance to see Dick and Dolly Martin play. They usually preferred to play with Bob Newhart and his wife Ginny...and Newhart would rather their episodes not be seen. Here, they play with Juliet Mills and her then-husband Michael Miklenda and Bill Bixby and his then-wife Brenda. Dolly and Dick and Juliet and Michael both played well, but the latter made a comeback during the second half that allowed them to win.

Headed out as the second episode began. Work was, once again, dead for most of the afternoon. Not only was it too nice for shopping, but there's really nothing going on right now. Not to mention, we're getting close to the beginning of the month and the last major holiday weekend of the summer. Most people are either waiting for next week before they do major shopping or still on vacation. There were a few annoying customers. Otherwise, I spent most of the time standing around bored. 

Went straight home and into dinner and Match Game '79. Gary Burghoff got to do two Head-to-Heads in a row, including a $10,000 for "Bless Your __." Too bad the contestants weren't quite that good for the rest of the episode. The challenger was sweet, but so bad, he never got a single right match the entire time he was there.

Finished the night at Shout TV with Mystery Science Theater 3000. The Saga of the Viking Women and Their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent is a long name for a short, delightfully cheesy action film. A group of Viking women led by Desir (Abbey Dalton) dodge the title monster to rescue their missing men. The guys are being held by the Grimaults, who are using them for slave labor. The ladies are captured as well, but they eventually break their men out to take down the tyrannical Stark (Richard Devon) and his whiny son Ottar (Johnathan Haze).

It's painfully obvious Roger Corman worked on this one. On one hand, I love that it's the ladies who propel the action, including being the ones who do a lot of the fighting and rescuing. On the other hand, it's also amazingly cheap, with a cardboard Viking ship, obvious puppet "sea serpent," minimal sets, and terrible acting. Corman apparently rushed filming so badly, several actors were injured or almost-injured. The special effects that inspired the film today - probably that sea serpent - don't look so hot now, either. Worth seeing once if you like Corman's other so-bad-they're-hilarious action films or want to see an early stab at a female-driven action movie. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

The Interview

Started off the morning with breakfast and Charlie & Lola. "Lucky, Lucky Me" says Lola when she gets a new dress and her grandparents give her and Charlie money to see a movie they're dying to catch. She's disappointed when her dress is ruined and the theater is sold out, but a series of events make her wonder how bad her luck really is.

Karen picked me up at 11:45. As it turned out, we left a little too early. The traffic on the White Horse Pike was a little slow, but nothing too bad. Voorhees around the Town Center was even quieter. We pulled into the Voorhees Library around noon.

The Library remodeled considerably since they stopped doing the book sales in 2019. The children's section had expanded, and there was a huge play area for the kids. The walls were gray, and the carpet had been replaced by wood floor and modern artwork. Karen asked one of the librarians where were were supposed to meet the people doing the interviews. She directed us to the third floor. We went up with a mother and her two energetic, very funny sons.

They went off to find her mother, and we went in search of the office. It wasn't easy. The third floor was all offices, classrooms, and meeting rooms. Two women in an office in the back finally directed us to a smaller office. We waited there for about ten minutes before three librarians kindly directed us to the meeting room across the way.

Considering I was incredibly nervous, I think I did very well. I answered their questions in an adult manner and was as honest as I could be. The only bobble was when one lady asked how I would handle an irate customer. Karen said I hesitated briefly before giving my answer, but it was honest and sounded good.

Unfortunately, the job itself isn't very good. Turns out it's only every other weekend and Monday and Wednesdays from 4 PM to 9 PM. There's no health insurance for part-time workers, and the pay is exactly the same as it is at the Acme. There's also getting home that late. I might not be in until 10 some nights. 

They say they won't finish interviewing and making a decision until late September-early October...but now I'm not sure I want to work in a library. If I do, it probably won't be in a public library. I need better hours and pay, and above all things, health insurance. To be honest, I don't want to go back to school, either. It would take too long for me to become a full librarian, and all the schools with library science majors are in North Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania, and they're all expensive. That's why I didn't go to school for library sciences to begin with.

At least I know now, first of all, that I can do just fine with interviews. Second, I now have a better idea of what I want and don't want in a job. I need to find a job I can do with the skills I have or with just a little brushing-up, full-time hours, and health insurance. Trouble is, I'm not so sure how well I'd do with data entry, either, and everyone's always saying how competitive writing and publishing are. 

And Karen said I did very well on my interview. I thought so, too. At least I know I can give interviews now. It was just like acting, really. We talked about it as she drove me back down the White Horse Pike, this time hitting traffic around Lawnside.

After I got home, I had lunch while watching more of the Gene Deistch Tom & Jerry shorts. Tom is shanghaied by an angry muttering Captain Ahab to catch "Dickie Moe" the great white whale. Jerry would rather annoy both of them. "The Tom and Jerry Cartoon Kit" sounds more like a Garfield & Friends spoof short from 20 years later and is a bit meta for these two. The cartoon starts with the two and various weapons being pulled of a box and somehow ends with them attacking each other with judo moves. "Tail In the Trap" has stranger in town Tom going after cheese rustling Jerry.

Headed out to run to Target next. Along with replacing other vitamins, I decided to try fish oil to increase my memory and focus. Needed pads rather badly; I had a coupon for the U by Kotex. Couldn't find the gum mouthwash I had been using, so I grabbed Tom's. Picked up more of the glazed and honey roasted almonds. 

Decided to give myself a treat for doing so well on that interview. Cuthbert was usually quiet for almost rush hour, enough for me to get across quickly and make my way to WaWa. Experimented with the Coke Freestyle machine and made my own Coke Zero Citrus Cream - aka Coke Zero Orange Vanilla and Lime. (And Coke needs to return both to the regular market. I miss them, especially that tasty Orange Vanilla.) Had an easier time filling my medium cup than shoving the top on! The lid just wouldn't snap on. It was supposed to fit the small and the medium, but it didn't seem to work with the medium. It took me ten minutes to get the darn thing on.

Spent the rest of the afternoon at home, watching Palmy Days online. I go further into comedian Eddie Cantor's second big hit with Samuel Goldwyn at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews Blog.

Worked on writing for a while after the movie ended. Chef Munchkin gives Joyce a basket of goodies for lunch. Papa Munchkin finally sends her on her way, warning her not to leave the Golden Road. Joyce is more concerned about actually finding someone who can get her home. She knows what the Wizard is like in the book.

Broke for dinner at quarter after 7. Watched Match Game '79 while I ate. Joyce lets Bowser wear her long pearls in the opening. Meanwhile, Gene gives everyone a very scary close-up leading into a commercial break!

Finished the night with something different at Hoopla. They have most of the Veresae Sarabande musical CDs, including the Lost In Boston and Unsung Musicals collections. I listened to one I do have that's a favorite, Prime Time Musicals, and one I don't have, Shakespeare On Broadway

Prime Time Musicals collects songs from TV musicals of the 50's and 60's. Probably the most famous is "Love and Marriage" from a musical Our Town, here paired with the Comden-Green song "Getting Married" from I'm Getting Married. Others I like include "One Hand Tied Behind My Back" from the western No Man Can Tame Me, the relaxed "One Day at a Time" from High Tor, the sweet "Listen To Your Heart" from the Mickey Rooney Pinocchio, and the lovely "Ride On a Rainbow" from Ruggles of Red Gap

(And oh, how I would love to find some of these musicals in full! Some, like High Tor and the Cole Porter Aladdin, have turned up on YouTube and elsewhere on and offline. Sadly many others, including No Man, Ruggles, and Pinnochio, remain elusive.) 

Shakespeare On Broadway gives us songs from productions based on famous plays by the Bard. Some, like "Tonight" from the modern Romeo & Juliet revamp West Side Story and "Sing for Your Supper" and "Dear Old Syracuse" from the Rodgers and Hart comedy The Boys from Syracuse, remain popular today. Others aren't as well-remembered. Rockabye Hamlet was a Canadian hard rock show that flopped so badly on Broadway in 1975, it didn't even run a week. Too bad, as the songs "If My Morning Begins" and "The Last Blues" are driving rhythm numbers that definitely deserve to be better-known. 

Other lesser-known tunes here include "I To the World" from another adaptation of The Comedy of Errors, Oh Brother and the doo-wop ballad "What Do I Know" from a very late 60's off-Broadway rock version of Twelfth Night, Your Own Thing, The ballad "Darn That Dream" came from Swingin' the Dream, an African-American jazz version of A Midsummer's Night Dream set in New Orleans that wasn't a hit in 1939, but whose racial politics fascinates many theater historians today. Also look for the three versions of "Brush Up Your Shakespeare" from Kiss Me Kate, including two with a few updated lyrics, along with a much slower "Too Darn Hot." 

Monday, August 21, 2023

Cat and Mouse and Superhero Games

Started off the morning with breakfast and shorts from Tom & Jerry: The Gene Deitch Collection. Deich's Tom and Jerry shorts are notorious for being a little...well, strange, and I can finally see why. "Switchin' Kitten" has Tom trapped in a mad scientist's lab, where Jerry is guarded by a cat who thinks it's a dog, and a dog who thinks it's a cat. "Down and Outing" and "High Steaks" introduce Tom's new owner, a big guy who doesn't appreciate their cat-and-mouse antics disrupting his fishing trip and barbecue. "It's Greek to Me-Ow!" and "Mouse Into Space" takes their usual antics into ancient Greece and outer space respectively.

Headed out around quarter after 11. I left a little early to get a Propel and money for the bus at WaWa. Picked up the bus to Somerdale on the next block. They were on time, and there were no problems on the road. The bus pulled across the street from the WalMart/movie theater complex around noon.

My first thought for lunch was The Laughing Fox Tavern, which is right there when you get off the bus. Turns out, not only is it closed on Mondays, but it's only opened for dinner on weekdays. Since I didn't feel like pizza again, I ended up at the Applebee's next-door to the movie theater by default. Had a juicy Ranch Bacon Grilled Chicken Sandwich with their nicely seasoned fries and an unsweetened iced tea. Since it was still fairly early, the place was quiet, with only one or two couples chatting near-by.

I still had time before the movie started, so I made a quick stop at Dollar Tree on the other side of the theater next. Considered buying popcorn there, but that lunch was very filling. Just opted for a bottle of Diet Pepsi instead. 

Finally made my way to the theater around 1 for Blue Beetle. Thankfully, they were the first theater on your right as you entered. That place is such a maze. I get lost looking for the bathrooms. I made it just in time for the previews. 

(A little disappointed with the commercials. They were mainly for movies coming out in the next three months. I like Paw Patrol, but not enough to see it on the big screen. Not to mention, I still haven't gotten to their first big movie. Likewise, Trolls Band Together looks cute, but it's not something I need to see right away. I know nothing about Dune, and I'm not looking to jump into another complicated sci-fi franchise after I burned out on Star Wars.)

Once again, no spoilers for the time being, but I really enjoyed Blue Beetle. This is another character I'd only vaguely heard of until recently. My first real encounter with him was in the Cartoon Network show Young Justice. Jaimie's story may be cliched, but his interaction with his big Mexican family and the Brazillian head of Kord Industries Jenny Kord (Bruna Marquezine) is what really makes the movie. His family is totally hilarious and very realistic. Special kudos to Adriana Barraza as Jamie's totally awesome Nana and George Lopez as his paranoid Uncle Rudy, along with the largely practical effects used for the Blue Beetle suit that look terrific. 

It's too bad this one seems to be lost in the shuffle of comedies and action films that came out this summer.  It's a wild ride with a positive message about the importance of family that deserves a much wider audience.

Stopped at the row of arcade games on my way out and opted to give good ol' Ms. Pac Man a try. I've always been better at her than at her male counterpart, despite her moving three times faster. Maybe it's easier to dodge ghosts who are moving fast than slow. At any rate, I actually made it to the sixth board with the pretzel before my lives and tokens gave out. 

Strolled up the hill to WalMart after leaving the theater. It was certainly a nice day for it. Much hotter, in the lower 90's, but still not very humid, with lots of sunshine. Maybe that's why WalMart was fairly quiet for them. Though I saw the first fall decorations out in the garden center, they're mostly still about back to school. Picked up a pack of dry erase markers, along with tart cherry jam and those Junkless granola bars. 

Rushed to the White Horse Pike to pick up the bus. Turns out running on a hot day wasn't necessary. They were almost 20 minutes late. The traffic bunched up a little around King's Highway. Otherwise, it wasn't bad. I was home by 5 PM. 

Instead of going into writing, I wrote down answers to possible questions at that interview tomorrow. I really hope I do well. I want this job. I need a good job badly...but more to the point, I need a fresh start. Libraries are some of the only places I ever felt really right, and the librarians over the years have always been so good to me. I want to do what I was always really meant to do. 

Broke for dinner at 7 PM. Watched Match Game '79 while I ate. In the first episode, Jon Bauman in "Bowser" greaser mode is joined by several rubber rats who supposedly give him advice. (Not very good advice, as he eventually tosses them away.) Bob Barker talks Brianne Leary of ChIPs into showing off her cartwheel during the start of the second. 

Finished the night on YouTube and the Internet Archive with game shows that debuted in the 1960's. The quiz show scandals in 1957 and 1958 nearly killed off the genre all together. By 1960, only a handful of shows remained. Those that did offered much smaller prizes and far quieter and less intense game play. 

The big winner among early 60's game shows was Password. It debuted in 1961 on CBS and was an instant sensation. Unlike the panel shows, where contestants and celebrities didn't interact, here, two celebrities offered clues for contestants to guess a word. The first to make 20 points got to one of the first bonus rounds on TV, the Lighting Round. If the person could guess the words in 60 seconds, they'd win $200. 

Password was so simple and addictive, no wonder it remains a much-revived favorite to this day. It was so popular, everyone in New York and Hollywood wanted to get in on the game. In the episode I chose, Ginger Rodgers and a young Orson Bean put two contestants through their paces. Allen Ludden, a former host of G.E College Bowl, was the intellectual master of ceremonies. 

Password also reflects two major trends from this era. The nighttime shows were filmed on videotape, rather than live. That allowed for more flexibility and the ability to edit after the fact. Though it started in New York, subsequent versions would move to Hollywood, as most game shows would by the late 60's to take advantage of the larger and more advanced televisions facilities out there. 

The wild success of Password inspired many imitations. You Don't Say was ABC's version. Here, the celebrities help contestants guess the name of a famous person or character. Tom Kennedy had one of his earliest game show hosting jobs as Betty White and Barry Sullivan help the contestants figure things out.

NBC's version was even simpler. The Match Game began on New Year's Eve 1962. Two contestants and a celebrity each have to write the answer to a simple question, like "name a game show." If they matched each other, they won money. It was too simple at first, as we can see in the pilot episode. The show was saved in 1963 by making the questions a little racier, though apparently it never got as crazy as its 1970's revival did. Gene Rayburn started his long association with the franchise here. 

On the other end of the spectrum from the cerebral Password was the wild Let's Make a Deal. Host and producer Monty Hall started this one in 1963, as audience members were called to play pricing games and trade for larger prizes. Some folks might get something better; others would get "Zonks," comic nonsense prizes. People started wearing costumes to get noticed after a year or so. It went over so well, contestants have dressed in costume on every version of Deal since.  

Jeopardy proved quiz shows could still work, even when no one played for big prizes. Three contestants give answers in the form of a question on subjects seen all in a row on a board. If they get Double Jeopardy, they can double their money or lose everything. Final Jeopardy has everyone betting on whether or not they can come up with the answer to the last subject. Like Password, the game play and tough questions made this a long-running favorite. The emphasis was on seeing what people knew, not what they could win.

The other shows that shook up how games were played in the mid-60's came from the unbridled mind of executive-turned-producer Chuck Barris. I went into more detail on his 1965 hit The Dating Game last week when covering the career of its host Jim Lange. The Newlywed Game followed in 1966 and proved to be even more popular. Four couples try to match each other's spicy tidbits about their married life. Bob Eubanks was the leering host. 

The three big Goodson-Todman panel shows continued to be popular into the mid-60's. I've Got a Secret began in 1956 as another variation on What's My Line. Here, a more jocular panel tries to guess the contestant's wacky secret, then figure out what secret their celebrity guest is hiding. The accent here is firmly on comedy. Garry Moore was the original host. 

For every show in the 60's that became a beloved favorite, three or four barely lasted a year. The Face Is Familiar was a summer replacement show in 1966. Two celebrities help two contestants figure out who a scrambled face on a screen is. This is actually more interesting than its short run would indicate. This show was cutting edge for '66, with its use of split-screen to show both pairs at once and the nifty board that could move parts of photos around. Mel Brooks and Pearl Bailey are the celebrities having fun here. 

Secret, Line, To Tell the Truth, and even Password were swept off the prime-time and daytime schedules by far hipper shows that played better to a faster-paced youth audience.  Hollywood Squares crossed The Match Game with tic tac toe. Nine celebrities on a vast tic tac toe board toss out zingers and ask contestants slightly raunchy questions. If a lucky contestant chooses the secret square, they get an extra prize. Paul Lynde is here, though he wouldn't move to the center square until the next decade. Helping him out are Charley Weaver, Lorne Greene, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Wally Cox, Kaye Ballard, Buddy Hackett, Jan Murray, and Abbey Dalton. Peter Marshall is the bemused host.

Swing from word games to wacky celebrity panels that changed the standards for game shows forever in these pieces of TV history! (The Newlywed Game is colorized, but it also comes with its original commercials, as does Let's Make a Deal. Alas, of the remaining shows, only Face Is Familiar and Hollywood Squares can be found in their original color today. Look for an intro from Peter Marshall on Hollywood Squares!)

Sunday, August 20, 2023

One Match at a Time

Began the morning with breakfast and the original cast album for the 1971 revival of No, No, Nanette. One of the biggest smashes of the 20's was a surprise hit that year as stage fans came looking for memories and walked away with classic songs and a great ensemble that included Jack Gilford as a traveling bible salesman supporting three ladies, Ruby Keeler as his wife, Susan Watson as the free-spirited miss of the title, Bobby Van as Gilford's lawyer, and Helen Gallagher as his wife and Keeler's best friend. It's all a lot of goofy fun, with Van leading "Call of the Sea," the lovers romping through "Tea for Two," and Keeler making a comeback with "Take a Little One Step."

My favorite song from the cast CD was either written for the revival and dropped before opening, or pulled out of the trunk, then dropped. Either way, I'm glad they had Keeler and Gilford record "Only a Moment Ago" anyway. This charming ode to times gone by says volumes about what nostalgia means to so many people. 

Didn't even finish the CD before I dashed off to work. I was almost late...which is really the worst thing that happened all day. Once again, we were only busy at rush hours, and then just barely. I spent a lot of my seven-hour-shift standing around. Even though it was much warmer, into the upper 80's, it remains sunny, dry, and breezy. It's just too darn nice for shopping. Everyone's in a pretty good mood, too. I was in and out with absolutely no trouble whatsoever. 

Soon as I got home, I took a shower and had dinner while finishing the CD. Ended the night on YouTube with today's Match Game Classics marathon. Like David Doyle, Bonnie Franklin is best known today for starring in a major 70's hit show. The long-running sitcom One Day at a Time had her as a single mother juggling her life and that of her teenage daughters while dealing with her annoying handyman (Pat Harrington).

Bonnie started off in mid-1976 and became one of the better players in the fourth "ingenue" seat. She especially seemed to enjoy sitting next to Richard Dawson, but had fun even after he left. In one episode, Gene pulled out her chair to reveal her sitting lotus style, wondering how she was that flexible. (Her once being a dancer on Broadway may have had something to do with it.) Gene wanted to kiss the newcomer in her first episode, but he had a cold. For the only time on Match Game, Richard got to kiss the newcomer. She also had some pretty great wins, including $10,000 several times in PM episodes and on syndication.

Take it one match at a time with one of TV's favorite moms in this adorable marathon!

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Muppets and Matches

Started off the morning with breakfast and The Muppet Show. Dudley Moore appeared in the first season with a squat robot that could play any music. This didn't endear him to the Electric Mayhem, despite Moore being a musician himself. It's even less popular with the others when the robot starts creating music cues at the worst possible times, including during "Pigs In Space."

Headed out to work shortly after the episode ended. Work was almost exactly the same as yesterday - busy during rush hour, but otherwise dull. Not only does the weather remain beautiful, but it's still the middle of the month. There simply isn't much going on. Everyone is on vacation. Had a few bobbles with some annoying customers and I did almost get out late, but other than that, there were no problems.

Considering how dead we've been all week, I'm not surprised that my hours have been cut way back again. In fact, I only work three days this week, Wednesday and the weekends. That's not entirely a bad thing. I won't have to call out for my interview at Voorhees Township, and I can go see Blue Beetle, the last movie coming out this summer I have any interest in. 

Did some grocery shopping afterwards. Found fudge-topped shortbread cookies on the bakery clearance rack. Picked up a smaller shelf-stable box of coconut milk, since last week's bottle ended up going bad before I could finish it. Grabbed two small bags of clementines that were on a good sale. Restocked yogurt. 

Finished the night on YouTube with dinner and the Saturday Match Game Classics marathon. Character actor David Doyle is best-known today as Bosley, the assistant to Charlie in the original Charlie's Angels. He started off on Match Game in mid-1978, a few weeks before Richard Dawson left. Doyle was good friends with Brett Somers, which is why he always sat on her right or left. He always seemed to have a lot of fun on the show, even when his answers weren't the best. 

Some of his best appearances were on PM episodes. He was there to greet that charming little old man named Tiger and watch Richard drool over a very pretty contestant who was all of nineteen. He got to help a gentleman who wrote best-selling cookbooks with "__ Mountains" in the Head-to-Head. He regaled Brett and Charles with his Sydney Greenstreet impression and explained how he got his growl of a voice to begin with. 

It's no mystery why everyone's favorite lovable Angel's assistant is popular on the show with viewers and panelists alike. Check out the best from Bosley in this very funny marathon!

And here's tonight's review for Sesame Street Presents: Follow that Bird!

Friday, August 18, 2023

Sunny Day On Main Street

Started off the morning with breakfast and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. "Goofy's Giant Adventure" brings back his Sir Goofs-a-Lot knight persona to find a cure for Willie the Giant's tummy ache. He and Mickey travel to the Bubbly Spring to find it. On the way, they listen to the song of Minstrel Donald and Ladies Daisy and Minnie, help Dragon Pete with his dragging tail, and listen to wishing well Professor Ludvig Von Drake make a lot of "well" puns. 

I was going to head out right away after that...but first, I realized how low the battery on my cell phone was. Then, I thought I had the address for the Cottage Resale Shoppe in Uber, but it turns out I didn't. With all that, I didn't get going to Marlton until past 11 AM. At least the driver only took three minutes to arrive, and a little over 20 to get there.

The Cottage Resale Shoppe on Main Street sells used American Girl and 18 inch dolls and doll clothes. I really do wish he had more historical outfits. Didn't come up with anything for Kit this time, but I did make some nice finds. 

The best was the red, white, and blue jacket and shorts part of Julie's Two-In-One Summer Set, with her roller skates and striped socks included. Originally, the set came with a bathing suit as well, but the shorts set was retired and the bathing suit released on its own around 2012. I got it for $26, not bad when the full outfit with the skates usually goes for from $30 to $50 on eBay. I dug an adorable apron printed with holiday motifs that was originally part of Maryellen's Christmas Cookies Set out of the stray pieces bin that's perfect for Whitney. Also found an Our Generation sweater for Jessa and a pink and white gingham dress for Whitney that looks hand-made. 

It was an absolutely perfect day for a stroll down Marlton's historic Main Street. The weather couldn't be nicer. Lower 80's and sunny, with a cool breeze and no humidity whatsoever. Dodged lunch rush hour traffic past gorgeous historic buildings (and some that were fenced in) down to Among Other Things, the thrift shop on the end of Main where it meets the highway. I browsed through the piles of everything from antique holiday decorations to children's books from a decade ago, but didn't see anything interesting and moved on. 

Next up was the shopping center on your left as you leave Main Street. I wasn't interested in the clothes stores, but I did remember seeing several restaurants there I wouldn't mind trying. Ended up at the breakfast/lunch venue The Turning Point. They were a simple and elegant little space with small airy rooms and wooden tables. I enjoyed my "Wilbur Skillet" with scrambled eggs, pepper jack cheese, crushed bacon, potatoes, and tomatoes, though I didn't finish the potatoes. I ordered iced tea, but the teen boy probably didn't hear me right and brought me hot tea. No matter. I could use the caffeine. 

Did some grocery shopping at Trader Joe's next. I wasn't going to carry cold items home, but I was able to pick up their chocolate almond and peanut butter-chocolate cereal bars. Picked up bags of New Jersey peaches, too, and more of those tasty and just-sweet-enough coconut strips. 

Made a brief stop at the huge Gallo's Bakery on the other end of the shopping center. I didn't see any bread I wanted, but I had to try one of their massive cookies. Kept things simple with a sugar cookie dusted in blue crystals. Oh, yum! Just moist and sweet enough.

Headed across the street to the other side of Marlton, behind Among Other Things. There's another shopping center here, probably of 60's-70's vintage. In addition to two more bakeries and a liquor store, I saw a Lego store tucked among the shops. Tried one of the bakeries. I'd never seen such fat, pillowy bagels. Bought three for lunch next week, along with a "pretzel bagel." 

I wanted to get to Marlton Crossings on the other side of the highway, but Route 73 is one of the busiest roads in Camden County. I tried walking over at the shopping center with the bakeries, but there was no crosswalk there. I eventually hiked two blocks from Trader Joe's and crossed at a light by CVS.

Spent the next hour and a half in and out of stores at the sprawling shopping center. I considered yarn at Michael's, but eventually decided I had plenty and can find it cheaper elsewhere. Peered around TJ Maxx, but didn't buy anything. I did run into my old friend Erica after hitting the bathroom, though. Apparently, she now works there. Walked around in the massive Sprouts Grocery Store, but their high-end healthy groceries were even more expensive than the Acme. Grabbed a Diet Dr. Brown Wild Cherry and a Diet Boynton's Creme Soda in glass bottles from Rocket Fizz (after I decided I'd had enough sugar with the cookie earlier). 

Called Uber around 3:30. The nice Asian gentleman arrived in 7 minutes. Once again, the traffic on the highway could have been a lot worse. He pulled in at Oaklyn in 20 minutes.

Went straight upstairs and into writing when I got home. Before she goes, Joyce is given a basket of goodies by the Munchkin baker and lone female Munchkin. She wishes Patti could stay, but she floats off on her bubble. 

Broke for dinner and Match Game '79 at 7 PM. Gene wasn't too happy about a zero to zero tie at the end of the first round. Things did improve in time for Robert Pine, Richard Deacon, and Susan Richardson to help figure out what Dumb Dora assumed the doorman had. Pretty and sweet Susan proved to have the audience favorite answer for "The World __."

Finished the night after a shower with Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird. I'll go further into the first Sesame Street theatrical film at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog tomorrow. 

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Racing Harts

Started off the morning with breakfast and more new Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. Daniel wants to borrow an apron for show and tell, but O the Owl wants to use it for playing restaurant. Teacher Harriett reminds the boys that "Taking Turns at Show and Tell" is important, and Daniel can use it later. The kids all have to remember this when they fight over who goes first. They all learn about "Taking Turns at the Pool" when they both want to blow bubbles and have to share the wand, and then Katerina has to wait for a noodle to be available. 

Switched to Thunder Alley after that. I go further into the second car racing musical from American International, this time featuring Fabian and Annette Funicello, at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Worked on writing while the movie was on. Joyce is reluctant to walk on the Golden Road at first. She doesn't want Ira the Wicked Warlock of the West after her. Patti, however, reminds her that she has to get the Wizard's help, and the witches can't help her. Joyce knows the story and has suspicions about how helpful the "Wizard" is going to be, but she goes down the road anyway.

Finished out the new Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood episodes during lunch. "Daniel and Max Ask to Play" when Daniel asks to play ball with Jodi and Katerina and Max joins Dan and Prince Wednesday to make caves with rocks. "Daniel Plays at the Music Shop" when his father goes to buy sheet music. He, Katerina, O, and Elaina end up making their own little band.

Headed out after the cartoon ended. Almost exactly the same deal as yesterday. We were dead the entire afternoon except around rush hour, when everyone picked up dinner after work and we had less help. I did have to dissuade two twenty-somethings from leaving plastic bottles of mineral water they didn't want in a cart where the security guard would stumble over it. They probably did something annoying and she scolded them. She's just doing her job. I took the water and told them to take the cart outside. Otherwise, no trouble, and I was in and out. 

Went straight home and into dinner and Match Game '79. Gene notes Fannie borrowed Gene's tie in the opening. (And I'm inclined to agree with Brett that it looked better on Fannie.) Brett has less luck helping in the Head-to-Head with "__ Japan."

Finished the night on Tubi with Hart to Hart while I worked on the Thunder Alley review. During a card game with baseball greats (including Tommy Lasorda), Johnathan receives an invitation to the wedding of his old girfriend Nikki (Christine Belford) to a business rival, Alex Constantine (Richard Johnson). Turns out Nikki's former fiancee sent them the invitation. Nikki's being forced into the wedding when Constantine claims her brother hit two women while driving drunk. After Nikki's fiancee is kidnapped, the Harts try to learn more about the surviving woman and keep Nikki from saying "With This Gun, I Thee Wed."  

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Summer

Started off the morning with breakfast and two new episodes of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. "Daniel Helps Take Care of Margaret" when his father can't come and pick him up from school. They spend the afternoon with Jodi Platypus and her nana, helping to amuse Margaret and Jodi's twin toddler brothers. Daniel is thrilled when his mother is a chaperone on his school trip to "The Dinosaur Playground." He's not as happy when she takes over a group that doesn't include him, but Teacher Harriett assures him she'll do just as good of a job watching over him.

Daniel and his dad have "An Important Job at the Market" when they help Prince Tuesday stock spaghetti. Daniel wants to work the register, but his dad reminds him that if they don't stock the food, customers can't buy it. "Important Jobs at the Enchanted Garden" include pulling weeds and digging holes so Queen Sarah and Prince Wednesday can plant a new flower bed. After that, everyone helps clean up the dirt and weed mess.

Karen was supposed to pick me up at 10 AM, but she had problems with a previous client and had to push it back to 10:30. That was fine. As it turned out, we weren't at the Haddon Township Library for very long, anyway. We mainly discussed possible questions Voorhees Township may ask at the interview and when she'll pick me up next Tuesday. I was home by 11.

Spent the rest of the morning working on writing off and on. Patti tells Ira that he won't be getting the shoes or Joyce, and he ought to leave, before a shed falls on him, too. Joyce claims she's not afraid, but Ira knows that isn't true. After he takes off, Papa Munchkin says she's welcome in his kingdom, but really shouldn't stay long. Patti directs her towards the glittering Golden Road to Televisia City and the Wizard of Match.

Threw on Charlie & Lola as I had lunch and got ready for work. "I've Got No One to Play With" Lola laments when Charlie goes to the local sports arena with Marv. All of her friends are sick or busy, and it's no fun playing alone. She finally gets her imaginary friend Soren Lorenson into playing with fuzzy stickers.

Thank heavens, work was no trouble at all today. We were dead almost the entire afternoon. The only time we were busy was during rush hour, and then because I was alone at that point. Otherwise, I was in and out with no problems. Not only was the weather too nice for shopping (mid-80's and sunny, if humid), but it's the middle of the one month of the year with no holidays. The only things going on right now are baseball and exhibition football.

Went straight into Match Game '79 and dinner when I got home. Gene keeps mixing up where a kindly grandmother grew up and where she lives now. (And I loved her cat's eye glasses!) Patti has to help the champ figure out "__ Tender" later in the Head-to-Head. 

Finished the night on YouTube after a shower. It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World is currently free there. After eight people discover a dying gangster (Jimmy Durante) who hid $350,000 in a suitcase and buried it in Santa Rosita State Park. Best friends Dingy Bell (Mickey Rooney and Benjy Benjamin (Buddy Hackett) end up chartering a plane they can't land. Honeymooners Mellville (Sid Caesar) and Monica (Edie Adams) Crump first charter a rickety vintage plane, then find themselves trapped in a hardware store's basement.

 Seaweed salesman J. Russell Finch (Milton Berle) gets so fed up with his wife Emmaline (Dorothy Provine) and her loudmouth mother Mrs. Marcus (Ethel Merman), he dumps them and hooks up with Englishman Hawthorne (Terry-Thomas). After hearing his mother was abandoned, her spoiled, lazy, mother-loving son Sylvester (Dick Shawn) tries to come to her rescue. There's also con man Otto Meyer (Phil Silvers), sweet truck driver Pike (Johnathan Winters), and two cab drivers (Eddie "Rochester" Anderson and Peter Faulk) who get caught up in the madness. And then the cop in charge of making sure they don't cause too much trouble, Captain Culpepper (Spencer Tracy), finally decides he wouldn't mind having that treasure for himself...

Holy moly, this is a wild one. If you love slapstick or the comedians of this era, have I got a treat for you..if you can handle the more than two and a half-hour run time. Along with those named above, other comedians I spotted in brief cameos included Jack Benny, Jerry Lewis, Allen Jenkins, Leo Gorcey of The Bowery Boys, Stan Freburg, Andy Devine, Joe E. Brown, Buster Keaton, ZaSu Pitts, Edward Everett Horton, William Demarest, Don Knotts, Carl Reiner, and in one of the film's funniest gags, the Three Stooges. 

Yeah, this is a long, strange film. Not all of the gags work, but if you don't like one, they'll switch over to another group in a minute who might have one you will enjoy. Merman walks away with the honors in the ensemble cast as the monster mother who never stops screaming at everyone, Also look for gorgeous cinematography across the California countryside and the surprisingly lush score for a wacky comedy. Both were Oscar-nominated; the goofy sound effects won. Highly recommended for those who love vintage comedy or the cast and have a spare couple of hours on hand. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Wheels and Matches

Started off a late morning with breakfast and Fireball 500. I go further into this stock car racing melodrama with Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello, and Fabian at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Worked on writing while the movie was on. Ira threatens Joyce when he finds out she landed on his boss. The Silver and Ruby Slippers belong to him, not to her. Patti just tells him to go fly a broomstick. He does head off in his custom black and green Mustang, but not before he tells Joyce he'll get those slippers and their magic back no matter what it takes.

Broke for lunch and The Busy World of Richard Scarry at 1:30. Huckle forgets his shopping list and can't remember what his mother asked him to buy. It turns into "The Best Mistake Ever" when it turns out his mother's pretty forgetful, too. "Sneef, the Best Detective In Europe" has captured the worst criminals in France and is hoping for a new case. He keeps seeing what looks like suspicious characters on the train to Nice, but his assistant just wants him to enjoy his birthday. Huckle and Lowly's first attempt at "Camping Out" in the backyard proves to be scarier than either of them planned, especially the noises they hear at night.

Headed out to work shortly after the cartoon ended. Work was mostly really boring. We were off-and-on steady all afternoon. It's the middle of the only month of the year with no major holidays. Most people are on vacation, or at least out enjoying the hot and humid mid-80's temperatures. I did have problems with the last order. Two women fussed at me and got me flustered, and the manager fussed at me because I didn't check the twenties and made change for the women to get them off my back when we're supposed to send them to customer service to make change. 

I was in a terrible mood when I went home. Put on Match Game '79 to cheer me up while I ate dinner. Dick and Dolly Martin always had so much fun when they played together. Dick, however had by far the best answer to where the doors on a cheap four-door sedan were placed. They had far less luck with "We've Got __" in the Audience Match.

Finished the night on Pluto TV trying something different. Pluto's Wheel of Fortune channel now shows vintage episodes from the 80's and 90's. I checked out what I believe to be an early 90's episode on demand and went to live streaming for two 1986 shows. 

Wow. I wish my mother and sisters could have been there to play along. I wouldn't be surprised if we saw the 1986 shows first-run. They were just like I remember them, with people choosing prizes between games instead of them all being on the wheel, a very boyish Pat Sajak, and the glittery sunbursts in back of the contestants. Both contestants even won their bonus rounds, something I don't remember happening that often later in the 80's. Jack Clark was the gentlemanly announcer. 

Monday, August 14, 2023

It Was a Busy Afternoon, Charlie Brown

Began the morning with breakfast and two Peanuts specials set during the summer. He's a Bully, Charlie Brown, and he plays marbles at camp for keeps. Charlie Brown trains with Snoopy in order to win all of Re-Run's marbles back. Meanwhile, Peppermint Patty eventually ends up at camp when Marcie teases her about being with Chuck. 

Chuck doesn't have nearly as much luck in It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown. The girls beat the pants off him and the boys in every game. In pure desperation, they finally send Snoopy to arm wrestle Lucy. Neither will give an inch, but Snoopy ends up playing dirty to win.

My phone went off as the cartoons ended. To my shock, it was the Voorhees Library! They want me for an interview next Tuesday. I'd be more thrilled if there weren't several considerations. First of all, that doesn't give me enough time to ask for work off. I may need to call out. Second, I'm going on vacation to visit Lauren starting September 17th. I would really prefer not to lose that, since we've planned it since she came here in May. Third, they stated on the application that they needed someone with a driver's license. I have a regular ID, but I don't drive. Even if I did trust myself behind the wheel, I'm not eager to buy a car. I know how high insurance is from listening to everyone around me complain, and they are so hard to take care of. 

Went into Match Game '77 next. Fannie comments on Orson Bean's earring in the start of this episode. Charles created his own paper "earring" later in the episode, then made paper "skates" for his sock-less loafers. The others try to help with "The President's __" in the Audience Match. 

Headed out on foot as the next episode began. My original plan for today was to wander around Collingswood...but then, I looked down at my purse. The rainbow-threaded wicker may have looked cute when I bought it from Boscov's last May, but it proved to be impractical for a frequently-used handbag. There were holes in the top of the wicker where the bag met the straps, and the vinyl was coming off of them. 

I immediately turned around and went home. There were no two ways around it. I needed a new purse. Since I found a great winter purse at Marshalls, I thought I'd head over to them and Ross behind the Acme. I had to drop some donations at Goodwill, too. 

Ate lunch, then pulled records and stuffed animals to donate while watching Tattletales. Gene and Helen Rayburn played Leslie Nielsen and his then-girlfriend Candi and Juliet Prowse and her then-husband John McCook. They didn't get a single answer right on the first episode...but the first question on the second was worth the whole week. Bert asked the gentlemen if they ever called their wives by someone else's name. Gene said he accidentally called Helen an old girlfriend's name on their honeymoon, and she never let him forget it! (Including this episode. Yes, she got it right.)

I figured nothing else would top that, so I went back out, this time on the bike. Originally wanted to take the long way down Market Street in Audubon to the back of the shopping center, but they're still doing road work there. Ended up going through the WalMart entrance and dodging cars in their parking lot.

After I dropped two bags of donations around the back, I spent the next hour looking for purses. I searched Goodwill, Ross, and Marshalls, but I finally ended up getting something at Ross. It's much larger and sturdier, a stiff, pebbly tan vinyl with leather-like tassels and a wide, woven southwestern-style strap. As cool as the strap is, however, it's too short. I like longer purses. It can be removed, so I may try to find or make something longer.

Grabbed a Cherry Coke Zero at Five Below after I bought my purse, then went straight home. Took the laundry downstairs, then did some writing. The Wicked Warlock of the West (producer/judge Ira Skutch) is a very modern magician who drives a green smoke-spewing black Mustang and wears a black and green leisure suit. He's not happy that his boss was flattened and insists the silver shoes belong to him. Patti basically says "finders keepers." 

Broke for dinner and to finally put the laundry in the dryer at 7 PM. Watched Match Game '79 as I ate. Native New Yorkers Robert Walden, Patty Duke, and Charles Nelson Reilly toss out several accent jokes when they answer the Audience Match "Whaddya __." That lead naturally into Patty Duke answering "New York __."

Finished the night after taking a shower and folding the laundry with game shows featuring host Jim Lange in honor of his birthday tomorrow. Lange started out as a DJ in San Francisco and LA before moving to television to announce The Ford Show with Tennesee Ernie Ford in 1962. His most famous game show was The Dating Game. His amiable presence kept the show grounded amid the naughtiness. I couldn't find a whole episode from the 1978 revival, so I went with one from the original 1965-1972 run featuring Iron Butterfly and a 1973 syndicated episode featuring Louisa Moritz and Rip Taylor.

Jim's first shot at a game show was Oh My Word, a Password imitation filmed in San Francisco. Two celebrity guests - in this case a jazz musician and the brother of Liberace - played for audience members as they tried to guess which panelist had the real definition of an especially long or strange word. Not as much fun as the 1987 reworking Wordplay, but some of the words were certainly interesting. I never would have guessed what "couchee" or "withershins" meant, either!

Jim was another host who was never able to replicate the success of his signature show. Other than the two Dating Game revivals, he spent most of his remaining career in short-lived flops. Give n' Take from 1975 is one example. Four women sit in chairs surrounding a daisy pattern and a spinning arrow. They answer questions and win a chance at the wheel. If it lands on a prize, they can take it or give it to someone else. If they go over $5,000 in prizes, they freeze and are out until they can give away a prize again. 

Honestly, I enjoyed it. The game play was fun and challenging, the set was nifty, and the ladies and Jim really got into it. It's too bad this ran for a mere three months from September to November 1965 on CBS and only one episode and the pilot are available today. (Oh, and if the contestant Dee looks familiar, she went under the name Dorothy when she appeared on Match Game '74. She did much better there, winning a lot of money and scaring the panel silly with her boundless nervous energy and inability to stand still.)

Speaking of Match Game, Jim hosted one of its many short-lived imitations in 1977. Hollywood Connection has two contestants trying to guess what each panelist would say in a question about their lives. Jim was really too laid-back for wacky panel shows. He lacked Gene Rayburn's hammy acting and ability to reign in the panelists. Nipsey Russell, Buddy Hackett, and Pat Carroll are among the celebrities helping him out.

The closest thing he had to a hit after The Dating Game was Bullseye, which ran from 1980 to 1982 on NBC. This is another Barry-Enright clone of The Joker's Wild. Here, they answer questions from subjects on three large spinning "bullseyes." Each question added more to the pot, and they could stop at any time. The bonus round is more like Tic Tac Dough, with the contestant choosing dollar amounts until they got what money they wanted, or they hit a lightning circle and the round ended. 

This is one of two Lange shows I fondly remember watching on USA as a kid. The other was The $100,000 Name That Tune, the show I remember Lange best for. His warm, genial presence helped ease the tension as people tried to guess the Golden Medley and dared each other to name that tune in one note. I loved trying to guess along and see if I knew the songs as well as the contestants did!

Wish I remembered $1,000,000 Chance of a Lifetime better. This syndicated show from 1986 is mostly remembered today for having the biggest payout of any show prior to Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and its early computer theme. Otherwise, it's a clone of Wheel of Fortune, with contestants "typing" letters into a puzzle on a giant computer. The contestants in this episode totally nailed the game, getting most of the puzzles right and winning the bonus round with time to spare. 

Lange ended his TV career with another syndicated flop, Triple Threat, in 1988 and '89. This was a simple quiz game with questions on a wide variety of pop culture. Two celebrities help the teams solve the questions. The set looked as cheap as it was, and the interesting questions and byplay between the contestant and celebrities weren't enough to save it. (A revival on BET in 1993 also just barely made a year.) Lange returned to radio in San Francisco and LA permanently after this show's failure, finally retiring from broadcasting in 2005. 

Blow a kiss for the man who brought bachelors and bachelorettes together, spun bullseyes, and really knew how to name that tune! (Oh My Word is in two parts, but it's one of only two episodes known to exist today. Bullseye comes with the commercials from its original USA Network run. The 1973 Dating Game episode is in bad shape, with slow-mo visuals, but there's few complete episodes from the syndicated runs on YouTube.)