Game Show Marathon: Press Your Luck
(S01E04) It could be my imagination, but I could swear that the remaining three celebrities vying for the last seat of Game Show Marathon semi-finals were having a good time. Maybe they were finally warming up to each other after four games, maybe it was a 'I don't care what happens, I'm going to have fun' belief. Or, maybe it's the fact they were playing Press Your Luck and, dammit, they really had a competition going on.
The original Press Your Luck, which aired on CBS from 1983 until 1986 was such a cool concept that the show is still a favorite to this day. So, it was great to see it in all it's glory on Game Show Marathon. Other than the late Peter Tomarken all of the elements were there, the spinning set, the big board, the theme music, and, of course, the Whammys. In addition, it was probably the best episode of the series so far.
Host Ricki Lake did an admirable job as host of the show, which pitted Leslie Nielsen, Kathy Najimy and Tim Meadows against each other for the last semi-final seat. As Marathon has progressed I think she gotten a bit more comfortable with the hosting routine. However, it would have been nice to have Todd Newton host this part of Game Show Marathon as he was host of the Press Your Luck revival that aired on GSN from 2002 until 2003. Still, she did a good job at moving the game along and guiding the contestants to either play their spins or pass them to their contestants.
During the question-and-answer session of the game, which allows users to gain spins for each correct response, the three contestants faired pretty well, and there was an air of relaxation amongst them. It's when they began pressing their luck were the children separated from the adults. It was fairly obvious from the beginning of the first spin round that Leslie Nielsen would not be warming the last semi-final seat. By the end of the first round he had stacked up three Whammy's. At the beginning of the second round he crapped out fairly quickly with his fourth Whammy. Let's face it, Leslie was probably the worst player for all the games.
Now Tim Meadows and Kathy Najimy; that's a different story! They were evenly match at the end of the first round with one Whammy apiece. But, by the second round, the gloves had come off. After Kathy racked up over ten thousand dollars in cash and prizes she passed all of her spins to Tim. He used those spins to accumulate over thirty thousand dollars! After he used up all of the passed spins he gave the remaining ones back to Kathy.
Using Tim's spins Kathy took the lead with thirty-eight thousand dollars. She also accumulated a few spins that she passed back to Meadows. On his first spin he hit the ten thousand dollar square and gained another spin. After one more turn he accumulated over forty-two thousand dollars. He passed his spins back to Kathy.
Now, mind you, neither contestant had hit a Whammy this entire round, and Kathy was down to just two spins. This was normally the time during the original run of Press Your Luck where the contestant would just freak out and hit the Whammy. But not 'Stone-Cold' Najimy. Using her last two spins she jumped over Tim's total and won by only a few thousand dollars.
Whew! It was really enjoyable and it made me wish that someone would revive Press Your Luck again with the original set and graphics; forget all of the computer animation and sensory crap. I want cheap animated Whammys!
Next week the show settles into a Thursday night slot for the next three weeks. Tune in as Paige Davis and Brande Roderick face off in the 1980's, Bob Eubanks version of Card Sharks.