I’m not going to go into the details about how inspiration found me this day. Let’s just say that I was sitting there and the phrase “big bucks, big bucks, no whammies” popped in my head.

So that kicked off a trip down memory lane, sitting on the floor of the apartment on a summer day eating grapes by the mouthful and watching Press Your Luck. 

But the quick-moving squares weren’t the only game show gimmicks I remember. There was the tic-tac-toe board of Hollywood Squares and the big orange (I think it was orange) clock of Name That Tune. I always enjoyed that show because it was “put up or shut up,” and if you thought you were smarter than your opponent, you had better be able to prove it. It was, for a grade-schooler like I was at the time, a reminder that I needn’t rush into voluntarily raising my hand in class.

What’s that old saying? “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.”

Another I remember from my youth was Supermarket Sweep, and as a grocery-getter, I totally understand why contestants ran for the turkeys, the hams, and the large containers of laundry detergent. And who can forget “Win, Lose, or Draw?”

Many game shows have come and gone in the last thirty years. The only ones I know of that have stayed on the air in that time are Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, and The Price is Right. If I’m forgetting some that have had that type of success, I apologize.

So here’s a little nugget I came across while “researching” this topic. In 1984, on what was supposed to be a 30-minute episode of Press Your Luck, a contestant by the name of Michael Larson ripped off over 40-straight whammy-free turns. In the end, he tallied over $110,000 in cash and prizes, and the 30-minute episode needed a “To Be Continued.”

In recent years, my wife and I have enjoyed Lingo. That’s a random tidbit for you.

You can catch a lot of reruns of classic game shows and new (maybe?) game shows on the Game Show Network.

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