Besides business as usual during school summer vacation in the
Sixties—bike riding, roller skating, rainy day Monopoly, puttering in the basement which Rhode Islanders call
the “cellah” –my sister and I enjoyed a little daytime television. We’d park ourselves in front of the small
spare portable Emerson on our breezeway, enclosed by jalousie windows, whose frosted glass at the bottom did
little to prevent the sunlight from obscuring the picture on the screen for the late morning view of the
action on Where the Action
Is. With plenty of intermission time for play, the angle of the sun was just right to “get
our game on” by late afternoon.
Were we lucky! Following all the quiz show scandals, the broadcast industry
focused on feeding the TV jet set sitters, game shows in the 60s and 70s. Consumerism, gambling, involving the
studio audience, incorporating knowledge of trivia and everyday life, flashy—Come on down! My sister and I assumed our positions in front of the set,
ready to get our game on by shouting our suggestions to the costumed contestant who agonized over choosing door
number 1, 2, or 3 on Let’s Make a
Deal. Imagine the letdown for resisting
cash only to discover an old goat behind door no. 2! We loved when Monty Hall combed the audience ready to pay big
bucks to the gal who had what he was looking for right inside her purse. Better to go home with fifty dollars
than some of those lame consolation prizes!
Though I’m sure the sexual innuendos flew
over our heads, my sister and I camped out in front of the set for The Match Game where two contestants had
to match the words a celebrity used to fill in the blanks. Oblivious to the panel’s snickers, my sister and I shouted
answers like “jello” and “pudding” to fill in the blank for Gene Rayburn’s instruction, “Name something you put
whipped cream on…” See what I mean?
My favorite game show was You Don’t Say, hosted by Tom Kennedy who
refereed two teams, each comprised of a celebrity and contestant. Celebrity partners took
turns giving incomplete sentences to their contestant partners in order to get them to say the famous name.
“Tree”…Clueless? Well, the other celebrity
might suggest “chop”… Come on – about now you have to be thinking “George Washington.” By my own admission, my sister and I hurled insults at the
celebrities who gave such poor clues.
During those early Sixties
summers, the price was right for my sister and I to plop in front of the set to get our game on. Spooning ice cream from our
Hoodsie cups or sucking down popsicles on a sultry afternoon seemed like a pretty good deal, wouldn’t you
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