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"10 Old and New TV Game Shows The Copywriter31 Can't Abide"

Updated on February 17, 2014

The TV Game Show Poll

Are You Addicted to TV Game Shows?

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#1 - The Least of the Worst TV Game Shows Conceived by Man - “Call My Bluff”

This game show was so compelling it aired for a whole 6 months. Bill Leyden (Bill who?) was the show’s host, but “Call My Bluff” could boast Johnny Olson as an announcer (another gargantuan whoop.)

This remarkable TV event played out 5 days every week from March, 29 to September of 1965.

A couple of teams, each composed around two contestants and one famous person, participated. Teams gained points by determining optimal meanings to ambiguous terms.

Boomers may remember this transitory fun television game only if the memory banks are still in perfect working order.

Wink Martindale

There is no need to  adjust your monitor - But you may want to don a good pair of sunglasses for vision safety
There is no need to adjust your monitor - But you may want to don a good pair of sunglasses for vision safety

Did You Just Wink at Me?

#2 on the List

ONLY a character named Wink Martindale could conceive a game show titled “Bumper Stumpers”, but the Winker (not to be confused with the whacker) did indeed conceive this unremarkable series. The show consisted of the following:

  • The Main Game
  • The Super Stumper
  • The Match
  • Bonus Round #1
  • Bonus Round #2. . . And 2 other puzzle pieces.

Bumper Stumpers showcased 2 teams detecting license plate meanings founded through the host's clues.

To illustrate: If the plate displayed the word "CRAP" and the clue was 'game show' the correct answer could easily be bellowed from the winning team: “Bumper Stumpers!”
Got it?

Despite its assault on any sane person’s mind, “Bumper Stumpers”, LMAO, enjoyed a strong, long life. This TV masterpiece even went to rerun rewards─ Are you kidding me?

#3 - Bowling - Is it a Sport or a TV Game Show?

This next ‘game show’ may be a bit of a stretch. Some may be inclined to call the show a televised sporting event instead.

Nevertheless, “Bowling for Dollars” rolled a perfect game (heh-heh) for a third place frame on the score sheet of diseased TV game shows. Reasons abound.

This show was franchised by local television stations, leased from the creator of “Romper Room”, insert another ‘LMAO’ here.

Because local stations ‘handled’ the production necessities, quality meters registered all over the dial from city to city.

“Bowling for Dollars” reached its zenith in 1970 but was reportedly viewed in Detroit, MI on WADL in 2013! Hey, these days most folks living in Detroit will do just about anything to spend time.


The Luuuuv Connection - Oops, was carried away for a brief moment. . . Make that, "The Love Connection" - #4 on the lists of all lists.

If you have recently seen the pitch person for the ‘dream cream’, named “Australian Dream” then you know “The Love Connection’s” host. His name is Chuck Woolery, and he hosted this game show for nigh on 11 years.

I’m sure most readers will take issue with me for downing their favorite show of all time. Add to that an eleven year stint on national TV, and one could rightfully question my usual impeccable judgment on this listing.

My reasoning centers on one thing only. I could not bear to watch and listen to Woolery’s idiotic phrase accompanied with an equally stupid hand gesture as he quipped, “We’ll be back in 2 and 2,” said and used EVERY day before going to commercial breaks.

When Woolery came out with his self-trumped gestured remark, I literally threw stuff at the TV, and/or I would scream, “SHUT UP WOOLERY – JUST SHUT THE () UP!”

Two and two, Chuck? How about, “TWO and BOO!”

Chuck Woolery

#5 The Match Game and Brett Somers=The Imperfect Match!

I actually liked this game show, save one celebrity who ruined “The Match Game” episodes 1972-79.

That weird moron is Brett Somers. Somers fancied herself entertaining; she was all butt. (Spelling mistake noted and overlooked.)

Constant interruptions, idiotic answers, and a laugh mimicking a sound that would scare away hungry wolf packs made Somers a disservice to an otherwise fantastic show. The single claim to fame I could study available on Brett Somers is that she was once married to the great actor, Jack Klugman.

Sans Somers, other “Match Game ’72-’79” team members proved themselves throughout this 7 year run. Members included the late, great Richard Dawson, apparently the crowd favorite, and later, to become the ultimate, hands-down best host of “Family Feud.”

Other cast members included: Betty White, Dick Martin, Marcia Wallace, Bill Daily, Fannie Flagg, Patti Deutsch Gary Burghoff, Nipsey Russell, and Rip Taylor. “The Match Game” host, Gene Rayburn showed a sharp, cutting-edge wit, expertly emceeing the game show throughout its many decades of success excluding 1972-1979─thanks a lot Brett!

#6 - For Queens Only

Let’s talk absolute patronization of women now, shall we? “Queen for a Day” was an absolute travesty to the sanctity of human beings, especially preying on women.

All participants were women, and a winner was decided by means of deeply touching heart-strings of an all-women's audience. This group of females chose the winner mainly based from a volume measure on the "applause measuring instrument."

As the adage says: “How low can you go?”

The host of this game show, Jack Bailey, knew and practiced his craft well. His ‘craft’ was akin to watching a money-scamming, trusty ole gospel time preacher work his magic on an unsuspecting viewing public.

The preacher and Jack Bailey knew how to draw sincere tears from pure eyeballs─PATHETIC!

Unfortunately, and inexplicably, this show enjoyed a long run. This writer only wished to see the show enjoy a run away.

#7 Hey, who took the Joker from my deck?

“The Joker’s Wild” - the game where knowledge is king and lady luck is queen.

This game show enjoyed a spectacular 20 year run and began in 1972 with Jack Barry cast in the host role. The game’s popularity lived in its similarity to the excitement in spinning a colossal slot machine.

The slot machine appeal was the show’s ONLY winner. Questions a 2nd. Grader could easily answer made this show an all-out loser.

Add to the dumbbell questions, Barry’s weak one-liners and you’ve got a double-whammy . . . oops, that’s another entertainment show, and segues straight to my number 8 pick.

#8 Press Your Duck. . . sorry; make that, "Press Your LUCK"

How more freaking stupid can a game show get? Animated whammys, a moronic host in Peter Tomarken asking limp-written questions with all the semi-action taking place in a trumped up television live studio environment.

Following 4 questions presented to a group of three participants arrived a Big Board game. In the Big Board round, contestants exercised their spins for cash and prizes.

The game board included eighteen spots, each revealing three possible items. Granted, “Press Your Luck”, in this writer’s opinion, is a weak TV product, but one occasion may have made this game show live forever. Check this:

In 1984, Michael Larson, an ice cream truck driver, earned a spot on the program.

Larson taped the show at home and applied the stop-motion feature on his VCR. He discovered the sequences of the game board were not haphazard.

Larson memorized the working sequences and while physically appearing on the show, paused the board where and when he wanted. He hit a whammy on his first play, but then enjoyed 45 sequential winning spins.

Because that one game ran so long, CBS aired the show in two parts June 8 and 11, 1984. Larson earned a total of $110,237 in cash and prizes, a record for prosperity won by a contestant in a solitary appearance on a daytime network game TV show.

CBS looked into Larson's methods, but concluded calculating motifs wasn't dishonest and let him keep his winnings. The "Press Your Luck" board was later reprogrammed with up to 32 new templates preventing further memorization.

Peter Tomarken

. ...And at number nine is. ...

“Jeopardy 2014”

Surprised? I guess you frightfully well should be. . .

  • Host: Alex Trebeck is one of the best in the business.
  • Production Values: Second to none.
  • Game Board Appeal: Excellent.

So, Mr. Copywriter31, what seems to be the deal here?

I’ll tell you what. . . I WANT TO PLAY TOO – waaa, waaa, waaa!

Successful game shows make viewers a part of the action through answering a majority of questions or other means. The ONLY plus I can give this show is that the contestants are true geniuses.

On any given night, I answer 10-20% of the Jeopardy questions. What does that say about my intelligence level?

I’ve earned 2 BA college degrees. I write that only to let you know I ain’t no dummy. After watching 15 minutes of this show, I feel about as bright as a smokehouse at midnight.

Let me hear YOUR thoughts on this one.

#10 Here it is folks – the downright, genuine, positively absolute, utter worst game show ever invented by man. You may have guessed it by now

. . . Yes, it's "The Dating Game!"

Do you remember the lay of the game? If not, here goes: We see one male or one female sitting in a chair. A divider makes seeing the 3 members of the opposite sex impossible.

Explaining further, if the lone person is male, the 3 people seated on the other partition area would always be female. Occasionally, a celebrity appears to ask questions; however, this was rare. At the end of questioning, the person asking the questions must decide on one person for a “dream vacation”.

Following are sample questions fired at the 3 contestants.

  • If you were a Bond Girl, which would you be?
  • How many licks does it take to make it to the center of your tootsie roll pop?
  • I’ve heard you have written graffiti about me somewhere in a stall. What does it read?

Hmmm. . . Then again, maybe Jeopardy is not all that bad!


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    • copywriter31 profile imageAUTHOR

      James Ranka 

      4 years ago from Port Neches

      Thanks, Sheri

    • Sheri Faye profile image

      Sheri Dusseault 

      4 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

      Great hub and very funny. That dating game was just too crazy!


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