Press your luck
You've got to have your hand ready to strike every buzzer the moment the host stops reading the question.
You've got to know the suggested retail price of everything on the market from a 2010 Chevy Volt to a box of Low Sodium Rice-a-Roni.
You've got to know where those annoying Whammies or dragons are hiding. Hell, you've got to do better than just know. You've got to be able to smell them like a great white shark sniffing out a drop of blood from 500 yards away.
Fortunately, technology has allowed mankind to prepare for these unholy battles of knowledges, reflexes and luck with the game show video game. Of course, the market is flooded with remakes of your favorites, so we've picked out the best of the best for the shows that are still around if you're headed down Contestant's Row.
One that seems to have fallen under the radar is this epic "spin battle" between two contestants in the final throes of the episode. Both of these mighty Whammy warriors bring their scores to an astronomical amount that could rival the majesty of Mount Olympus, only to come crashing down to game show doom.
Check out this bit of "Game Show Thunderdome" where two women enter, but only one leaves ... and then, technically, the other but without any money or sense of personal dignity.
But the ABC game show isn't the first game show to be called Wipeout. There was a short-lived syndicated game show in the late 1980s with the same name, hosted by Peter Tomarken (Press Your Luck). Here is an entire episode, thanks to YouTube.
In fact, every now and then, you'll catch me on the machine upwards of an hour, which is by no means an easy task when you have the attention span I do. But luckily, I've got plenty of friends to keep me going, and I don't even have to talk to them. Because they're inside the TV! (Sorry, moms!)
Saturday, August 30
- At 6am, TCM starts a marathon of Katharine Hepburn movies.
- At 7, History Channel has a marathon of Ax Men.
- At 9, USA has a Starter Wife marathon.
- Also at 9, Sci-Fi has a marathon of monster movies, including Carnosaur, Reptilian, Beneath Loch Ness, Eye of the Beast, King of the Lost World, and Black Swarm.
- At 10, Bravo has a Shear Genius marathon.
- At 11, History Channel has a bunch of Ice Road Truckers episodes.
- At 11:30, Discovery Kids has a marathon of Flight 29 Down episodes.
- At 2pm, Spike has a CSI marathon.
It's not a bad list actually, as these things go. It's a little predictable (and I certainly wouldn't have included Love Connection, Deal or No Deal, or Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?), but there are some good choices here. Press Your Luck was a great show (though it should be higher on the list), and it's hard to argue with how high shows like Jeopardy and The Price is Right are. I also like that they included The Mole (the first two Anderson Cooper-hosted seasons) and Remote Control.
- CBS has March Madness all night.
- TLC has a new Moving Up at 8.
- Disney has a new Kim Possible at 8.
- GSN is showing four classic episodes of Press Your Luck starting at 8.
- Also at 8: Nickelodeon has the annual Kid's Choice Awards.
- At 9, FOX has a new America's Most Wanted.
- Suze Orman celebrates her 5th anniversary on CNBC at 9.
- A&E has a new Flip This House at 9.
- AMC has Deliverance at 9.
- Al Roker hosts Childhood Obesity: Danger Zone, on Food Network at 9.
- At 11, IFC is showing the documentary This Film Is Not Yet Rated.
- At midnight, USA has the 2007 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, followed by all the Trump/McMahon nonsense on a new WWE A.M RAW.
Check your local TV listings for more.
As you may or may not know, I have been on many game shows. I won $40,000 on Greed. I won a car, seven televisions and a buttload of other stuff on TV Land's Ultimate Fan Search. I won over a grand on To Tell The Truth and of course, I was on every episode of Beat the Geeks. Suffice it to say, I have plenty of experience with this game we call show. Recently Joel Keller wrote a piece chock full of information on where to apply to be on a gameshow, and while this information is certainly helpful, you should know that it's only the beginning. There are a multitude of Do's and Dont's to remember.
Let's start with the Do's...
Unfortunately, it's more a good idea for a list than an actual good list, because their definition of "Game Show" is insane. I just don't get the reasoning behind adding moments from The Bachelorette, Big Brother, and Top Chef. Especially when there are so many great moments from actual game shows that could have been added.
Some non-reality show contenders for such a list: From The Price Is Right, recently there was a guy who kept bidding 420 (video after the jump). Going back in the TPIR archive there was the time when a rather buxom woman was so excited to be comin' on down that she didn't realize her boobs had bounced right out of her tube top.
The most disturbing might be "So...do you want to pump it, lick it, or tickle it?" I don't ever want to hear Bob Barker or Pat Sajak or Alex Trebek say those words. Though if that girl who types things on Lingo wants to say them...
My favorite? "TIME TO FIND THE CASHEW!" I think I'd watch that game show.
(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.
Back in the 1980s, two classic game shows, Match Game and Hollywood Squares, were combined into a one-hour show. The result was extremely underwhelming to audiences back then. Now, over 20 years later, they're trying this concept again... with seven game shows combined into one. Don't network executives ever learn?
Actually, this one looks to be a bit more interesting than The Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour (catchy, ain't it?). It's called Game Show Marathon and it's premiering on CBS tonight. Hosted by veteran talk show maven Rikki Lake, Marathon combines seven classic game shows into one program: The Price Is Right, Beat the Clock, Card Sharks, Let's Make a Deal, Press Your Luck, Family Feud, and Match Game. Other than Deal, all of the other game shows have aired or are currently airing on CBS at one time or another.
Starting with The Price is Right, the show will pit six celebrity players against each other, who will attempt to win cash and prizes for home viewers. Game Show Marathon will continue to run twice-weekly until July, when it will settle into its Thursday night slot. TVgameshows.net profiles the game show and interviews Rikki Lake about the challenges of hosting seven different game shows at one time in a three-week period.
Tomarken hosted Press Your Luck for four years. The game show was known for its' contestants screaming, "Big Bucks! No Whammies!". He has also hosted a handful of other game shows over the years. Tonight, Game Show Network will pay tribute to Tomarken by airing the documentary, Big Bucks: The Press Your Luck Scandal (how is that a tribute?) at 10 PM. Tomorrow, GSN will devote its programming to reruns of Press Your Luck.
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