Game Show Fever

One of my favorite genres on TV is game shows.  It’s debatable today as to if some reality TV can be considered Game Shows.  But here I’m talking about genuine flashing light sets with contestants wild for prizes and cash money.

I have such memories of coming home from grade school and watching the Richard Dawson episodes of Family Feud during dinner.  I’m not sure what it was that made me like it so much (at age 7 it wasn’t Richard yet) because being that young, it wasn’t a game I could really play along with.  It might have been the way the board would ding and flip to reveal the answers because I like that better than the modern computer animated board. 

 

The brown was my favorite suit color 🙂 Soooooooooooo cute !!!!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

 When I was a kid my favorite 1980’s and early 90’s game shows were (and still are),

  1. Family Feud
  2. Press Your Luck
  3. Concentration (Another Alex Trebek show where you have to match items and solve a picture puzzle)
  4. Double Dare (definitely marketed for kids)
  5. Bumper Stumpers (License plates with the weird spellings)
  6. Supermarket Sweep (Running through the store grabbing merchandise)
  7. Joker’s Wild (Just liked it for the giant slot machine thing)
  8. Tic-Tac-Dough
  9. Win, Lose Or Draw
  10. Card Sharks (as an adult watching re-runs it’s not cool of a game, but something you could play with your own deck of cards at home)
  11. $25,000 Pyramid
  12. Wheel of Fortune
  13. Jeopardy
  14. The Price is Right

It’s hard to rank Jeopardy and The Price is Right because they are so timeless, but I couldn’t leave them off the list.  I’ll watch them any chance I get.

Brett Somers

Charles Nelson Reilly

Richard Dawson

These days I would have to add The Match Game to my favorite list as I only started watching it, and became addicted, 4 years ago and it’s from the 1970’s. I watch it everyday on The Game Show Network.  If I’m not yelling out the standard answer to Dumb Dora was so dumb—-“HOW DUMB WAS SHE ???” at least once a night, my family will think something ‘s wrong with me.

Richard Dawson, Bret Somers, Charles Nelson Reilly, and host Gene Rayburn

Newer game shows I liked were

  • The Weakest Link
  • Trump Card
  • Hollywood Squares
  • Lingo
  • Cash Cab
  • Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader

Shows like Deal or No Deal, Who Wants to Be A Millionaire and Minute to Win It were good when they came out, but soon got boring, OVER dramatic, somewhat drawn out and they changed the format.

 

 

My favorite all time game show hosts are hands down, Richard Dawson and Alex Trebek.  When I was a little girl I had a big crush on Peter Tomarkan, but now it’s all about Richard Dawson.

 

 

 

 

As for notable contestants, I watched Ken Jennings win every day on Jeopardy and I was rooting for him too.  I wish those episodes would be released on DVD.  I asked Ken Jennings one time, via email, about that.  He replied that he wasn’t sure many people would want to watch that.

Jeopardy Host Alex Trebek and Ken Jennings

Trivia games are popular because the viewers at home can play along and feel just as smart at the contestants on TV.  I wouldn’t exactly call Press Your Luck home viewer engaging, but I was drawn to it because of the cute little Whammys that would steal all the contestant’s money.

I said I rooted for Ken Jennings on Jeopardy, but sometimes contestants who win too much money can be seen as villains.  I think this guy might fit that bill.  His name was Michael Larson and he was a Press Your Luck contestant who found a way to memorize the pattern of the board in order to avoid the Whammy.  He racked up a massive amount of money compared to what other daily winners got.

There’s a really good special which dissects how he did it and how his opponents felt about it. (video below) The documentary called “Big Bucks: The Press Your Luck Scandal” was made 20 years after the incident happened and it shows the entire episode, which was only shown on TV once.

In my opinion he most definitely cheated. It’s cheating when you don’t play the game in the manner in which it was intended– randomly.  You can’t go to Vegas and count cards and not be prosecuted for it.  If he was going to beat the system he should have been able to land on more than 2 spots–at least that way he might not have been caught.

Watch the video and let me know in the comments below if you think he was a cheater.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks a lot ! The blog post wasn’t that bad, Charles.

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