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.)


Mike said...

Emma, good luck with the job interview. You can explain that while you do not drive, you are reliable and able to get to work via public transportation or your bicycle. Additionally, it is reasonable that you will have a vacation already scheduled. Often, the hiring process takes several weeks anyway.

Consider looking up commonly asked questions for job interviews online (the website The Muse is a great resource) and practicing your answers beforehand. And simply be yourself. A job interview is always a good opportunity to improve your interviewing skills! Good luck, I'm sure you'll do just fine...

Emma Redmer said...

Thank you! I appreciate your comments. I'll look at "The Muse," and will be talking to Karen about commonly asked questions tomorrow, too. :)