Earlier this year I stumbled across Match Game reruns on Game Show Network. I wondered why I wasn’t recording them. (GSN airs 2 episodes back-to-back at 1:00 and 1:30 ET weekday afternoons.) It’s perhaps my favorite game show of all-time – hosted by my favorite game show host of all-time – Gene Rayburn !
I remember my Dad watching it in the afternoon after I got home from school. He’d be laughing hysterically at times. Of course I was 7 and 8 and 9, so I didn’t understand the fast-paced and sometimes risqué humor. I think I was mostly interested in hearing the quirky yet repetitive theme music that played all throughout each show.
I picked-up on the reruns of Match Game several years later as a teenager in the early-1980s. “The Match Game / Hollywood Squares Hour” in 1983 and 1984 on NBC was a favorite to watch at home after school.
I’ve watched most of the reincarnations of Match Game over the years. I even like the current ABC prime-time version with Alec Baldwin as host. But nothing comes close to the original star-studded big-money Match Game on CBS in the 1970s. (Although that run was actually a remake of a much lamer and tamer 1960s version.)
Over the past several months I’ve watched a majority of the episodes that aired sequentially during the latter-half of 1976 as “Match Game ’76”. I say a majority of them because GSN actually skipped-over a bunch of them – probably because they included content that is considered too politically incorrect or insensitive for 2021 television viewers. (What was OK 45 years ago is no longer OK today.) I was actually disappointed when GSN recently “started over” and went back to episodes from the Summer of 1974 as “Match Game ’74” instead of continuing forward into 1977. But as it turns out those earlier episodes seem a bit fresher and funnier than those of 2 years later. (The show was still fairly new in 1974, whereas by late-1976 it was starting to become a bit stale.)
I’ll keep watching these old Match Game reruns. They make me laugh more than pretty much everything else on TV today. It’s fun to look-in at America at a simpler more innocent time in our history. I would even say that it was a friendlier time in our history – back when we could actually joke and laugh with each other without fear of offending or retaliating.
It’s the start of a fresh new weekend here on my blog. Be sure to check-out #TravelThursday tomorrow, as I continue to tell you all about my [blank] !
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