Why did I decide to call this blog "Blank New World"? Because the night I was trying to come up with a name for it I happened to be watching The Real Match Game Story: Behind the Blank on the Game Show Network. As I reminisced about the impact that show had on my upbringing, I decided to pay tribute to Gene Rayburn, Richard Dawson and the rest of that zany bunch.
I used to come home from elementary school in the '70s and watch Match Game while I ate my afternoon snack of Oreos and milk. (I think I secretly wanted Richard Dawson to be my father.) These days I tune in before going to bed — it's on GSN from 11 pm to midnight — and though I'd like to pretend that these days a sip a nice glass of wine, many nights I still snack on milk and cookies as I watch. It's a great way to unwind, and there's something about comedy that's a mixture of the silly and the sophisticated that's always appealed to me, whether it's Match Game, Mystery Science Theater 3000 or Family Guy. And it's also wonderfully representative of what the '70s were all about. Color had really come into TV, both figuratively and literally. But the naughtiness was mixed with a certain restraint as to what was acceptable on TV. Although the questions and answers were funny at face value, often the panelists and contestants seemed to be laughing harder about what they were thinking but couldn't say.
For some reason GSN has frighteningly little about Match Game on its website, but I found this lovely fan site with some great images, including the Match Game home game and a ticket stub from a taping.