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Sun Jun 16, 2019, 01:49 PM

Gene RAYBURN - Match Game. Really, this is about seeing things differently in old age

So, with Roku and a cheap package from Dish, there is a channel called Buzzr, of old game shows. I've had about a month long binge going on of The Match Game.

Back when I was young there wasn't time or inclination to watch stuff - too busy working on survival, plus the *times*. In the '70s having gone through the assassinations and Vietnam, with Tricky Dick's Watergate about to come, with the cultural changes not digested yet, we saw things differently. Now Mary Tyler MOORE is touted as a role model for women. I don't remember any women I knew back then who saw her that way. We were in the age of Disco and alternate spiritualism or pop psych.

As for RAYBURN, without seeing more than a sampling once or twice, my image of him was of a sleazy game show host, with that job being barely more than a carnival barker. Before this binge stint, I had seen a few more and couldn't fathom who/why Brett SOMER and Charles Nelson REILLY were considered celebrities. I had no memory of Richard DAWSON on it.

Well, I've been hooked for a month. I've done the bit of "research" (Wiki), and it turns out Match was the single highest rated game show. RAYBURN was of Croatian heritage. SOMER was married to Jack KLUGMAN, who appeared some few times. Betty WHITE took lots of barbs from SOMER for being married to Alan LUDDEN and for being "dumb." DAWSON frequently (acted?) worse than curmudgeon, more like a rude and bitter dude. I have been *shocked* to see big stars like Ethel MERMAN and Raymond BURR on it.

But in binge mode I have been impressed with RAYBURN's smoothness in navigating the show along, and himself toggling running jokes of tangling with the crew, developing the characters of the panel, and being very comfortable with himself. There's a YouTube of a talkshow where he says, "It was a weak format that took a special talent to make it work, and I had that talent."

I'm sure this binge will be over for me in the next few weeks.








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Response to UTUSN (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2019, 01:57 PM

1. Gene RAYBURN was a good guy.

I read some really nice things about him from Al Roker years ago. Apparently, Gene was crazy about his wife.

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Response to Cracklin Charlie (Reply #1)

Sun Jun 16, 2019, 02:11 PM

3. I have dropped the "sleaze" image I had, and "good guy" comes through instead.

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Response to UTUSN (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2019, 02:00 PM

2. Loved the show then and watch it everyday.

Edit to add:

Charles Nelson Riley and Paul Lynn, Hollywood Squares, were my first exposure to gay people. I never thought it was weird but I thought they both were so funny.
Being young, I thought homosexuals were gay, happy and funny.

Some time later, unfortunately, I found lives of gay people was less gay, happy and funny as those two seemed.

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Response to LakeArenal (Reply #2)

Sun Jun 16, 2019, 02:14 PM

4. "never thought weird" - I didn't even know what Gay was. Now REILLY seems tame despite the wild

outfits. As for LYNN, the stories now are about what a mean drunk and bitter jerk he was.








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Response to UTUSN (Reply #4)

Sun Jun 16, 2019, 02:30 PM

7. Like I said... later you find out.

Hope they all Rest In Peace. Thanks for the laughs.

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Response to UTUSN (Reply #4)

Sun Jun 16, 2019, 08:26 PM

11. Paul Lynde always delivered the absolute best snark

Google his one-liners to see why he inhabited the center square.

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Response to UTUSN (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2019, 02:19 PM

5. I watched a lot of game shows in my youth

I look back on it now and regret wasting my time. A show I liked then was You Don't Say.

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Response to UTUSN (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2019, 02:20 PM

6. Gene Rayburn invented that iconic microphone he used...

... Alec Baldwin uses the same microphone as host of the current Match Game (which is also very, very funny).

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Response to targetpractice (Reply #6)

Sun Jun 16, 2019, 02:32 PM

8. Yes it's funny. Also, they can say more "stuff".

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Response to UTUSN (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2019, 03:58 PM

9. Gene Rayburn looked like my dad in many respects.

They coulda been twins.

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Response to UTUSN (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2019, 04:13 PM

10. The show was very funny then.

It is still funny now. One of the few game shows I actually watched and enjoyed.

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Response to UTUSN (Original post)

Mon Jun 17, 2019, 11:19 AM

12. Rayburn did morning drive radio in New York at WNEW for a number of years.

His stick was as sort of a Peck's Bad Boy.

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Response to UTUSN (Original post)

Mon Jun 17, 2019, 12:11 PM

13. Rayburn was great.

I even liked his original Match Game in the 60's. I think he served as an announcer, news/weather man and sketch comic on the original Tonight Show with Steve Allen. The last time I saw him was on a Howard Stern show sketch that was mocking the Hollywood Squares. Paul Lynde was hilarious but they still tell stories what a nasty drunk he was. They tell the same kind of stories about Spencer Tracey. I wonder if Lynde and Tracey had anything in common.

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Response to UTUSN (Original post)

Mon Jun 17, 2019, 03:43 PM

14. I caught a snippet of "Let's Make a Deal" a couple of years ago

What impressed me was Monty Hall's incessant patter. He never missed a beat or got confused. He'd introduce Jay walking down the aisle with a box and turn seamlessly to the lovely Carol Merrill down on the stage floor, and which was your choice, but now before you answer, we'll pull aside the curtain to show you part of what's on the stage: Eskimo Pies!

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