Random Thoughts of Randomness: Tape Giveaway Edition
Originally posted: March 17, 2012

By Cyndi Seidelman

Over the past week or so, I have been watching quite a few tapes thanks to winning a tape giveaway held by David Barkow. This type of giveaway started when DVD Recorders started becoming more prominent in the trading circuit and the older guard, after transferring all their tapes to DVDs to better store said shows, would give away their tapes to younger traders to help them out and possibly get more people interested into the circuit. So, while looking at all these tapes, I have more random thoughts of randomness to give to you.

One of the first shows that I've been watching throughout the tapes is some of the later episodes of Tic Tac Dough. I could do a whole bunch of random thoughts about the show itself, including the future induction that is the Dragon Finder game. But this random thought has to do with the look and feel of the show during Wink's last season. While the game itself never strayed away from its roots, it was definitely showing its age. Firstly, while the set itself was a good 70s set, in the 80s it seemed like it needed a major upgrade. The wooden set looked like it was getting attacked by termites in some spots. Maybe it was just knots in the wood, but it looked really tacky in the 80s. Secondly, I want to talk about the prize packages that the show gave away in the bonus game. It would seem more often than not that they would consist of 2 prizes and then the trip or the big prize that would be worth combined with the $1,000 for the end game victory, it would be $3,500-4,500. During this period, they could have done something to bump up the amounts, maybe having them range in amounts of around $5,000. With shows such as Super Password, Scrabble, The $25,000 Pyramid conceivably giving away more in one day than Tic Tac Dough did in one week, it was in dire need of a boost. The final thing that I wanted to comment on was the lack of enthusiasm early on was the audience. I understand that this show is great when it has the big winners going for over $100,000 but it just seemed to be stagnating before Kit Salisbury cracked that magic barrier. Then, it started to get that jolt of enthusiasm from the audience. So, when you watch it during that time, the audience just seems to clap out of habit rather than in celebration. Just some random thoughts from that era. Maybe that is why they changed the set so drastically when Jim Caldwell took over for the departing Wink Martindale.

Also on this tape is a show that I've talked about quite a lot with friends, but not a lot on here, and that's Think Fast. Personally, out of all the Nickelodeon game shows that have came down the pike, it's one of the few that weren't as good as it could have, being outshined by others as Finders Keepers, Make The Grade, Get the Picture and Figure It Out. Each season of the show had it's flaws, and major ones at that. First season was doomed from a tiny set to do their events; causing for some really obvious edits, confusion from a few certain games that relied on rolling drums operated by stage hands who didn't know when to stop when somebody dinged in and help organize it, and finally rules for the Time Bomb in the Locker Room that changed almost every day from one set to another. The second season was plagued with Skip Lackey and his ineptitude to understand simple rules and figuring out for himself who won the games, games that relied on mess more than the kids using their brains, and finally, games that took a really long time to crown a winner. It would often get to the point where the last two minutes of the show were prizes, locker room, end line. Sure the first season had it as well, but not as often as the second season. I'm torn on whether to do a full induction on the show itself, but I have toyed around with a top 10 list of the absolute worst moments of Think Fast. Maybe I should do a poll for April & May and see if you want me to do worst moments, a full induction of the show, both or neither. Either way, it's up to you.

One of the last shows I'm going to talk about is the show, "Wait til You Have Kids". I know that Jay Wolpert always strayed from the beaten path when it came to game shows with such shows as Hit Man, Blackout and Shopping Spree, but this show just really rubs me the wrong way. Firstly, all the answers were determined by a child expert, who could be crapping you and you wouldn't know it. Secondly, the first set the show employed looked like the set from a low-rent theater production, with just a TV monitor attached to one of the backgrounds. Thirdly, I don't see the appeal of the show relying on dilemmas revolving around child rearing. Yes, I know that many parents are nervous as hell when they have their first child and need all the help in the world, but to use that device as a game show format just smacks me of poor taste. No wonder this show lasted about as long as Small Talk did, except that version used kids in a cutesy way that somewhat worked, instead of this show which didn't work at all. Not only that, in some instances the couples that were playing the game would argue about an answer in order to create some sort of friction that was reserved for The Newlywed Game and these couples had been together for more than 10 years in some instances. This show will get roasted, it's all a matter of when do I want to do it.

That wraps up this edition of Random Thoughts of Randomness, in the future I'll be back with more of them. Maybe more from this box of tapes I'm still going through. I am only on tape 6, so I might have another batch next week, who knows

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