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Monday, October 20, 2008

Guilty Pleasures


Guilty pleasures. We all have them. Let me tell you about two of mine, and both fall in the same category.

I like old game shows. GSN, formerly known as the Game Show Network, runs "Now You See It" in the middle of the night. In case you're not familiar with it (the show ran for 13 months in 74 and 75), it's a hidden word game, like those puzzles in the newspaper. It wasn't a very good show. It was overly produced and needlessly complicated. The rules were changed half way through the run, and that's never a good sign.



Jack Narz was the host. He rose to fame in the 50's, and he kept that old style. It didn't translate well into the 70's. On one episode, he shot a nasty remark at the producer and writers. When the contestants failed to get a clue, Narz looked off-stage and said something like "I told you no one would ever get that." He wasn't smiling.

I always watch the show when I'm up, and that's quite frequently.

Jack Narz passed away last week at the age of 85. Narz was apparently well-liked because always had a job in the 50's 60's and 70's. Showbiz runs in the family. Narz's brother is game show host Tom Kennedy.

The other bad game show I always watch is the 1979 version of "Beat the Clock." Words cannot describe how awful it was. It ran on the CBS daytime schedule for about six months. Half way through the run, the producers ditched plain married couples as contestants in favor of celebrity teams-- and the show didn't attract the "A" list. Most looked like they hated being there with host Monty Hall, who out-did himself with smugness and smarminess in every episode. The show had a cheap 50's look, and I don't know what CBS was thinking when it put it on the air. "Beat the Clock" was cute in the 50's. It just looked dumb in the 70's.

GSN was running "Beat the Clock" on weekend overnights. It's now been replaced by poker shows-- so bad, even I can't watch.