Category Archives: game shows

Jeopardy!

Until its latest incarnation, syndicated at seven at night with Alex Trebek for the last couple decades, I had never seen “Jeopardy!” which I know is pretty odd, especially for a pop culture guy like me. I was aware of the Art Fleming version, and got all the jokes in “Weird Al” Yankovic’s “I Lost on Jeopardy,” but had no real frame of reference. The current version, begun in 1984, that continues today, is, of course, a pop culture phenomenon.

It’s kind of appropriate that I’m reviewing the Jeopardy! game demo for PS3 here today because Jeopardy! was actually the first computer game I ever saw. When The Bride and I were first dating, she showed the game to me on her amazing four megabyte Apple II computer. At the time, the salesman told her that she would never need a computer with more than four megabytes. Ain’t the future great?

That brings us full circle to Jeopardy! on the PS3. The game has some nice features like the ability to create a contestant. The graphics are cartoony, and Alex Trebek is creepy like that, and even creepier without his moustache. The game does use his voice though, which gives the game some authenticity.

There are complaints. You can only answer questions in two categories per round. Not cool. It also makes the games shorter, despite the end credits of the show seeming longer than in real life. The answers are multiple choice, which I suppose makes it easier. And of course, there no worry about putting your answer in the form of a question, but that’s okay for me.

Now it should be noted that the multiple choice is only on the easy mode, but still. And just for the record, I encountered the same questions in the easy mode and the hard mode – the difference was in the latter I had to spell out the answers. Seems like a glitch to me. I wanted different questions. Oh well, Jeopardy! was fun while it lasted, and better than a four megabyte game.

RIP Richard Dawson

Television and film actor, singer and Emmy-winning game show host Richard Dawson passed away last night due to complications of esophageal cancer. He was 79.

Besides appearing in numerous television shows, including a six-year run on “Hogan’s Heroes,” Dawson is probably best known as the host of “Family Feud,” where his friendly attitude toward the ladies resulted in what is estimated 20,000 kisses. Dawson eventually even married one of the female contestants.

Besides “Feud,” he was also a frequent panelist on “Match Game,” and his most infamous film role was his last in 1987 as the evil game show host Killian in The Running Man. We have lost one of television’s most beloved entertainers.

Dick Clark 1929-2012

We have lost another legend today. Media mogul, television entertainer, TV producer, game show host, disc jockey, and just all around nice guy Dick Clark passed away in surgery today after suffering a massive heart attack. America’s oldest teenager has passed away.

I never missed “American Bandstand,” from before I can remember to probably past my college days when it ended, I watched every week. I was a music addict, took my radio everywhere, and in a pre-internet world, “American Bandstand” was the place where the current artists, the new acts, and the about-to-happen phenoms appeared. Everyone was on “Bandstand,” and everyone was interviewed, if only briefly, by Dick Clark. If you made it to the show, you knew you had made it.

Now “Bandstand” was a gigantic part of his career, it wasn’t everything the man had going on. He was a prolific television producer, creating shows like the “Pyramid” game shows, “TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes,” “The American Music Awards” and “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” the last of which has become an American tradition. For decades Clark braved the cold to watch the ball drop, and more recently, after his stroke, America tuned in to see him just make an appearance, just to see how he was. Yeah, we, as a nation, cared how this man was doing. That says a lot.

Clark created and produced numerous TV programs including various game shows, talk shows and even prime time drams. He owned a chain of restaurants and theatresHe was also a disc jockey here in Philadelphia before “Bandstand” came along, which was also born in Philly. As I said, we have lost a legend today, Dick Clark will be missed.

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Mike Wallace Dead at 93

Over the weekend one of television’s pioneers passed away. Multiple award-winning journalist, TV host, and media personality Mike Wallace is dead at the age of 93 from natural causes.

While best known as a correspondent on the long-running news program “60 Minutes,” Mike Wallace has worn numerous and varied other hats such as narrator on the “Green Hornet” and “Sky King” radio series, game show host, actor (under the name name Myron Wallace, although he played himself in one of my favorite films, A Face in the Crowd), and he also hosted several other news shows before landing “60 Minutes.”

Wallace had semi-retired in 2006, but appeared throughout 2008. He garnered at least twenty Emmy Awards, had written two autobiographies, and was perhaps the last of the real television journalists (just my opinion). We have lost one of the greats.

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