The King Of Game Shows

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Ok, I admit it. I love watching game shows. I usually have the Game Show Network (GSN) on in the background when I have breakfast or need something mindless on the tube.
Trying to answer the questions is a challenge I’m always up for. I know a lot of meaningless trivia, so I always thought I would make a good game show contestant. We’re not talking about Jeopardy, mind you, unless the categories were all sports and movies.
When we have a game night with friends, I’m usually the one who explains the rules and gets the game started. If it’s one we’ve never played before, they typically hand me the instruction booklet to figure things out. I’m a stickler for rules, so you better pay attention. Maybe I would have made a good game show host?
Even when playing board games with the kids, I always insisted they follow the rules. Oh sure, occasionally minor infractions were allowed to slide to keep the peace (and make it fair for the younger kid). But rules is rules, I always say.

I enjoy the classic shows as much as some of the newer ones. There is still an old-school charm to The Match Game. But I really like America Says and have been enjoying the reruns of The Chase. I was never a big Wheel of Fortune fan, but I always enjoy watching Jeopardy. Some of the newer ones, like Common Knowledge or People Puzzler, are way too easy. I need a little challenge in my game shows, like Catch 21, which requires both knowledge and the luck of the cards.
But man, I just love game shows.
Until recently, I never thought of myself as the target demographic GSN honchos think watches game shows. Even though I’m coming up on 65 next year, is it really necessary to have a Medicare Advantage commercial during every break? Between Joe Namath and Jimmy “JJ” Johnson, I’ve about had it. By the way, does anyone believe Tom Selleck has a reverse mortgage?

With all the pharmaceutical commercials, quite frankly, I’m afraid to leave the house. How can there be so many people afflicted with something their doctor can’t properly diagnose and treat? Those commercials request you ask your doctor if their product is right for you. If those drugs were right for me, wouldn’t my doctor recommend them? Maybe my doctor isn’t watching enough television.
I’d like to see more commercials with seniors taking cruises or going to Disneyland and less about incontinence products discreetly delivered right to your door. Older people go out to eat in restaurants and go to the movies. Where are the movie trailers and Olive Garden commercials?

At least GSN isn’t bombarding us with young kids doing things on their phones we can never understand. There aren’t a lot of 20-somethings dancing and singing to music we’ve never heard before. Of course, you still get the occasional car commercial or Geico advertisement, but you can’t escape them. And if there is one more injury lawyer who will make sure I get the compensation I deserve, I might just have to trip and fall next time I’m in Shoprite.

But back to the game shows. I’ve been successful in local pubs on Trivia night every now and then, but even that’s with a group of people sitting at your table. Everyone has their own area of expertise and can contribute. On a game show, it’s just you, the host and the other contestants.
Maybe that’s why game shows have been so successful over the years. You can enjoy them without any of the pressure. If you get the answer wrong, who cares? Watching the game in your living room and coming up with an answer is probably a lot easier than doing it on a sound stage in front of a live audience. Just think Ralph Kramden on the $99,000 Answer.
He brives a dus.

Paul DiSclafani’s new book, A View From The Bench, is a collection of his favorite Long Island Living columns. It’s available wherever books are sold.

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