Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What June 20th Means To Me: Game Shows

How cool are game shows?  When I was a kid, there was nothing more exciting, and I basically watched every single one I could.  I always vowed to be on one, but, ya know, laziness and apathy are also strong feelings. Unfortunately game shows, like everything else, have gotten completely out of control, but I still hold a special space in my heart for the ones I grew up with...


6) Supermarket Sweep!:  Ironic, because I really never liked the Supermarket much.  But give me the opportunity to RUN in the supermarket and find products based on clues? Heaven.  Hell, give me the opportunity to run anywhere I'm not supposed to and I'll be happy.   And I always thought it was cool that the entire set, at least, appeared to be an actual supermarket.  Did they really keep those shelves constantly stocked? 

They need to reboot this game show with a bit of a twist.  A contestant could receive a clue and figure out that he needs to find, I dunno, Charmin Toilet Paper.  Then he could rush to the aisle only to discover a large man in Spandex who goes by the name "2000 flushes."  An ex-American gladiator, of course.  The contestant would have to evade this muscle bound keeper of the toilet paper in order to get his desired product.  Repeat.  Who wouldn't watch this at least once? 

5) Hollywood Squares: I grew up in the 80's, so I remember the game mostly with Joan Rivers in the center and Jim J. Bullock in the upper left corner, I believe.  It wasn't my favorite show of all time, but since I was an avid television watcher, it was cool seeing some of my favorite stars in the different role.  I was always a bit of a curious child and, once, I got the bright idea to lick part of the freezer Yeah.. Ya know, inspired by the pole scene in Christmas Story?  Naturally, the tip of my tongue got stuck and bled a bit when I ripped it off.  Cry, cry, cry.  Then my mother calmed me by turning on Hollywood Squares because she knew Alf occupied one of the spaces that evening.  Tears vanished.  Life went on.  Thank the heavens for Alf.

4) TIE!  Classic Concentration/Scrabble:  In my history of watching Classic Concentration, I don't think I ever guessed a puzzle correctly.  Not one.  In fact, all the squares could be uncovered and I'd still be all ...

...I bet I'd have a similar reaction if I played today, too. I'm just no good at puzzles. But I am good at matching.  Remember the game "Memory"?  Unstoppable. (as a it'd probably take me all day to match those yellow sock cards.)  So, I enjoyed the matching aspect of Concentration, and that would keep me occupied for a while because I was a simple child.  As for Scrabble, I didn't care for the game much, but I loved the sounds.  Seriously.  All I wanted to do was drop the tiles in the little slot because I loved the clunking sound they made on the way down.  See below for the memory.

3) Card Sharks: 

Was there a more baller game than Card Sharks?  It might explain that giddy feeling I get each time I walk into a casino today.  For those who don't remember, it was basically a game where you were given a playing card, and had to guess whether the next one was higher or lower. Pretty simple  Big cheers and sighs of relief if you drew a 2 or an Ace, obviously. I always wondered if they were playing with a deck of 52 though.  Probably not because that would make the game beatable.  They could have made a movie about this staring Andrew Garfield instead of that 21 crap.  This is the place where I'd have manipulated the 21 movie poster to say Card know, if I had any photoshop ability at all.  So just use your imagination?

I used to play this all the time during indoor recess in elementary school.  Too bad we didn't have those sweet big cards.

2) Double Dare:  I always thought there were two kinds of people in this world:  ones who could get up the Sundae Slide, and ones who couldn't.  Just fucking climb up the sides!  How hard is that?  Then again, once under the bright lights and the time clock, this might be easier said than done.  And, if you know me at all, you know I have a knack for choking under pressure, so I'm sure I'd have been one of the assholes who kept slipping down the slide. A total Double Dare fail I'd never get over. 

Could it be rebooted? Oh yes, with adults.  How fun would this be?  But in this age of continuously upping the ante, I fear the physical challenge would involve eating a zeebu's anus and the obstacle course would feature live ammunition.  Not to mention, the quiz section would probably be replaced by some sort of "Truth or Dare" type aspect...ya know because people love hearing despicable shit about others to make them feel better about their own miserable lives.  Ever watch the show Baggage?  Exactly.

1) Press Your Luck:  What happens when you mix a a square board, "Big Bucks," "Whammys," and three of the craziest motherfuckers this country has to offer?  Press Your Luck! 

Need I say more?

Easily my favorite game show as a child.  It was simple to play, it had a fun board, and people would scream "Big Bucks" like they were seconds away from a coronary. All while wearing plaid jackets.  What could be better?  It also gave us this amazing story.  A guy who sat at home for months memorizing the permutations of the Press Your Luck board? Then he actually gets on the show and wins over 110,000 dollars?  That's the true American dream.  But seriously, check out that link if you never heard the story.  It's beyond fascinating.

You know what a network should do?  During Summer Programming, they should reboot a game show a week.  First week it can be Scrabble, the next Concentration, the Next Card Sharks, etc etc.  I'd probably watch on the nostalgia factor alone. And it wouldn't be on long enough for it to get boring.  Just make the stakes real high and others will follow. Like if you lose, you die.  


  1. I read this and scrolled down with mounting anticipation, and sure enough, you #NAILEDIT with Press Your Luck at #1. Kudos. HOWEVER: how could you forget this classic:
    The theme song still gives me chills.

    1. Another fantastic choice! The bonus round of pyramid was like the hardest thing in the world, right?

  2. What about The Joker's Wild?