There are a couple of game shows that I think are OTN worthy.
One was the side-splittingly funny "Dollar A Second".
It was done in the mid-1950's.
I don't know how many kinescopes of it have survived.
There is one episode of it on YouTube.
It was essentially one part "Beat The Clock", one part "Truth or Consequences", and, the part that made it side-splittingly funny, about five parts Jan Murray as the host.
The premise: as long as the contestant stays on the show, he or she wins a dollar a second.
The contestant stays on by answering funny questions in a funny way, such as being asked a question and answering with the answer to the previous question.
Comedy writers were obviously heavily employed.
If the contestant got the answer wrong, a penalty is enforced.
If the contestant loses the penalty, he or she is gone, and leaves with however much was accumulated.
There was also an "outside event"
If that occurs while the contestant is on, all money earned is lost.
The contestant can quit and keep the money at any time.
So it is a game of constant humor, and constant pressure.
What really made it work was Jan Murray.
You really need a comedian as the host.
Chuck Barris tried a remake pilot of "Dollar a Second", hosted by the high-larious Bob Eubanks.
It just laid there.
"The Price Is Right" got along just fine without a comedian hosting.
It didn't need Drew Carey.
"Family Feud" did just fine without a comedian hosting.
It didn't need Steve Harvey.
"Dollar A Second" would thrive today with either one of them hosting.
It should be brought back, if only for the OTN.
The other game show that I place in nomination is "Stump The Stars"
It was also known in earlier incarnations as "Pantomime Quiz"
Both were eternally hosted by the never funny Mike Stokey.
He was the Alex Trebek of his time, making the players feel stupid if they gave bad clues.
All the players were celebrities, and the game was simple "charades"
The charades that were acted out were gag sayings sent in by the home viewers, which added to the humor.
Watching someone acting out charades is very character revealing.
If you are basically intelligent and quick-witted, you are usually good at charades.
If you are basically not, then you are not.
There are a handful of "Stump The Stars" and Pantomime Quizzes on YouTube.
I'd like to see them again, and don't see why they can't be revived.
Unfortunately, Mike Stokey can't be revived, because he's dead.
Until next time,
Mark Rothman, CEO of the OTN.
My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel,"Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne & Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at email@example.com.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne & Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.
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- mark rothman
- Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."