posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy
"Come on down..."
"I'd like to buy a vowel..."
How many of you recognized those phrases? Or maybe I should ask how many didn't? Phrases from game shows have become such a part of our lives, we might know them without even connecting how we do! I know lots of the Banditas and Bandita Buddies are just like me, we grew up watching game shows on television and we still enjoy them today.
Back in my elementary school days, game shows were on in the mornings before and between soap operas. I watched them on school holidays and during summer vacations. My favorite was "Concentration" because I quickly became adept at knowing where the matching puzzle pieces were. But, much to my frustration, I could never figure out 'the puzzle', that combination of pictures and letters behind the overturned pieces.
Of course, some game shows were on at night, too. My mother and grandmother constantly commented on Kitty Carlisle's evening gowns in "What's My Line." And who could forget (no matter how much you might want to) smarmy Richard Dawson kissing all the women contestants on "Family Feud?"
When I was a single mom and my son was a pre-teen, our favorite game show was "Wheel of Fortune" which was usually on right after dinner every night. We quickly developed our own ritual. When the answer was obvious and the contestant kept spinning the wheel to rack up more cash, either my son, or I, or both of us would shout in a sing-song voice, "Greedy guts! Greedy guts! You're gonna lose it all!" And if the hapless person actually did hit the dreaded bankrupt, we'd both laugh like loons.
I always wanted to be on a game show, and even tried out for one once. But I always feared that once I got in front of a live audience and the cameras that I'd blank out and turn into a blithering idiot. A former co-worker was on "The Price Is Right" when she was a college student, and she actually won the big showcase which included a new car (which she said she had to sell in order to pay the tax and license fees) and a tanning bed (particularly useless since she was African-American). She showed us the video of her appearance at an all-staff party and we got a huge kick out of seeing her. And one of our Banditas was on "Jeopardy" but I'll let her tell her own story.
Turns out my dreams of being on a game show came true, not once but TWICE this past year! Well, sort of... This year, at RWA National in DC, our very own Joanie T. was in charge of the Golden Network dessert reception, and I volunteered (along with a couple of other Banditas and other members) to help her. For entertainment, we decided to have our own game show, kind of a cross between "Deal Or No Deal" and "Jeopardy." We had a board full of little golden suitcase cutouts with questions to go with each. I got to play "Vanna" to Kristina McMorris' "Howie" with Joanie as "referee." Our questions included trivia about agents, editors, authors, and books. A good time was had by all, and our very own Posh T. was the victorious team captain!
My second brush with game show 'stardom' happened a couple of weeks ago on my cruise. On our "at sea" days, the cruise director and his staff hosted activities like trivia, scavenger hunts, and other games. One day, the game was "What's My Line" just like the old show I watched as a kid! The cruise director asked for passengers with 'an unusual occupation' to write it down and turn it in before the game started. I thought, "Hey! I have an unusual occupation -- romance novelist!" So with my DH egging me on, I entered and was one of the 6 contestants picked to stump the panel (two comedians and a singer).
Considering I had to follow an owner of an "adult entertainment" store and a female SWAT cop, I thought my occupation would be pretty anti-climactic. But when the audiece saw my profession, they responded with lots of positive laughter and applause. And I completely stumped the panel! Best of all, the cruise director asked me the name of my latest novel and where people could buy it. When I returned to my seat, dozens of people asked if I had a card. Of course I did! So I passed out post cards and book marks for The Treasures of Venice. The DH even helped.
Plus, for the rest of the cruise, people would stop me in the hall or look at me in the elevator and ask, "Aren't you the romance writer?" I even had one woman say, "Thank you for writing stories with happy endings." So I guess I wasn't too much of a blithering idiot, and I definitely had fun being on a game show!
What about you? What are your favorite game shows, past and present? Have you ever been on a game show? Which one would you like to be on?