June 22, 2010

'Match Game', the best t.v. game show ever!

I know one thing for darn sure... There's absolutely no way I could ever deny the fact that I was a child of the seventies. I just love too many iconic things within 1970s pop culture, and I figure it's gotta be a direct result of growing up during that era.

One of the decade's more popular and iconic game shows (and easily my all-time favorite) was the star-studded, fun and risque, 'Match Game'. With show regulars Brett Somers and Charles Nelson Reilly on every episode's celebrity panel, you knew you could always count on those two for laughter inducing entertainment. And if the other 4 stars also wound up being funny, well... that was just icing on the cake! The show still runs on Game Show Network, and I discovered only recently that you can buy a 4-disc 'Best of Match Game' DVD w/30 episodes on it. The DVD has been available since 2006, so I'm currently conducting an investigation into why I wasn't properly notified of the original release date. You probably think I'm kidding, don't you? My husband could tell you a thing or two about how nutty I am for stuff like this. It absolutely drives Tommy up a wall whenever I start "talking shop" about Charles Nelson Reilly, Paul Lynde, JoAnne Worley (Aunt JoAnne!), etc. with friends who share a mutual appreciation for such groovy '70s pop culture. But that's his loss! So much of that stuff just cracks me up, from the funky fashions to the eccentric and hilarious celebrities... And the t.v. shows, natch!

Having a gay old time!

I have no idea if Brett was a real-life friend
to Charles outside of the show, but those two
got along so well that she seemed like the
proverbial hag to his imperiously prissy fag.
And I truly mean that in a good way!

They broke the mold when Charles Nelson
Reilly came into this world. Just think about
the nerve it must have taken, and the high
level of self-confidence he must've had in
order to be so freely "himself" as a television
celebrity of the day. I mean, we're talking
about 40 years ago! Granted, I'm fairly sure
he never officially came OUT of the closet,
but he certainly didn't hide in there, either!
He just was who he was. He didn't try to act a
certain way that would be considered more
socially acceptable.

He was true to himself, and you
either liked him, or you didn't. I admire
Mr. Reilly for that, neck scarf and all!

Oh, and I also happen to think he was
pretty darn hilarious!

"Write down your best answer to THIS!"

The goofily charming and witty host of
Match Game, Gene Rayburn, is obviously
caught here in one of his more playful
moods. I have no clue what he was actually
talking about. Although, we can clearly see
what it looks like...

(Psst! Get a load of that bow tie on Gene! And is
that lady wearing a dark blue denim jacket?)

"Party don't stop till the panties drop!"

Another one of my favorite celebrity panelists,
Fannie Flagg, was always upbeat and amusing.
Hearing that Southern lilt in her voice was also
quite comforting, and somehow added to her
comedic flavor.

"Hey, big boy..."

Here, feeling comfortable in its natural
environment, we see the reilly creature
caught in an act of seduction ritual
which is rarely ever witnessed by others.

"I drew a blank! Get it??"

Joyce Bulifant was one of the semi-regular celebs
that would come on and be a real hoot every
time she was on! She was a bit ditzy, she did have
that goofy voice, and she almost always gave odd
(wtf?) answers, but there was something quite
endearing about her at the same time...

He was suave and debonair,
with a nose for fashion...

I never enjoyed Richard Dawson when he
hosted The Family Feud, but I did think that
he seemed like a pretty cool cat, back on this
show! Check out those funky fab styles, too!
What must each of those have been called,
Purple Plaid Passion and Sailor Boy Chic?!

Unfortunately, it was a much bigger challenge than I had anticipated to find decent enough images online for use here in my post. And that's a bummer because I really wanted to include a few other favorite regular/semi-regular celebs in the gallery such as Betty White, Avery Schreiber, Patti Deutsch, etc. Oh, well. There certainly isn't anything stopping me from doing an update, or a revision, sometime down the road. I bet Tommy would just love that, huh? I know... if/when I do some sort of follow-up post, I'll have to dedicate it to him! Just because I can be a brat that way, once in a while [Insert Muttley's trademark wheezing snicker, here].

Now, I leave you with a little treat. It's quite a funny clip, and a fine example of the sort of uproarious antics they would get into on the show, from time to time. Have fun with it, and prepare to do some snickering of your own...

~All photos and screen captures via Google Images.~


  1. I absolutely LOVED seeing that clip! I used to watch that show, and I love all of those people! We don't get Game Show Network - if we did, I'd be tuning in, for sure! Thank you for this great post, Anthony.

  2. Well, thank YOU for your great comment, Heidi!

    We DO get GSN, but they run MG at such odd hours (usually real late in the PM, or real early in the AM) that it's hard to catch. Of course, I could DVR it, but I'm waiting to get my grubby little hands on that 'Best of Match Game' DVD - I don't wanna spoil it by being too familiar with the episodes, ya know? I'm strange that way, I guess. ;)

  3. I so love your thorough salute to Match Game, which conjured up many fond memories of hot summer days watching that odd but oddly loveable band of misfits. I even liked the music. That picture of CNR is killing me. Great stuff, Anthony! you have such a way with words and pop culture, you 70s kid!

  4. Hey, Julienonymous!

    I enjoyed your evocative description of spending "hot summer days watching that odd but oddly loveable band of misfits." You also have quite a way with words, my dear!

    Regarding the CNR pic... I know, right?! That was a total SCORE finding that!

    Thanks for "pop"ping by! Was fun "seeing" you!

  5. Oh my god. You have no idea how much this show means to me. I am obsessed with it. I dressed as Brett with the big glasses one Halloween and my buddy was Charles. God I wish they had shows like this now. I know, it'd never happen because everyone is so sensitive now. The drinking, the smoking the sexual innuendo. Could it be more fun? Every show is a party.

    Have you ever seen Alec Baldwin doing CNR on SNL? he was scrumtrellescent.

    HOLD THE PHONE, I had to hit the edit button- CNR just sent me a sign- my verification word was "scarves". Clearly it's a sign right?!? He must have been talking about his ever present neck scarf.

    Thank you so much for posting this!!!

  6. Do you member a show that was on early mornings. It was a kids show, A majishion and game show in one I think it came out of canida. the beginning was kinda spooky real mastrious

  7. Hey, man!
    You know, the only thing I can think of that even comes close to what you're describing is a Saturday morning Sid & Marty Krofft show from the 1970s called, 'Lidsville'.

    It starred Charles Nelson Reilly as an evil magician that lived inside of a gigantic black top hat, and Butch Patrick (little Eddie from 'The Munsters') as a teenager who visits a theme park's magic show, climbs into a huge magic hat and then falls into a bizarre world of oversized talking hats.

    There wasn't any game show element to it, but I always thought the opening sequence WAS real spooky and mysterious. Is it possible that you were recalling it incorrectly, and that 'Lidsville' IS, in fact, the show you were thinking of?

    Hope this info helped. But if it didn't, no BIG deal. It was still fun for me talking about one of my favorite childhood t.v. shows!


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