#42: Number Please
1961- December 1961)
In 1961, the game show world was still recovering from the scandals of the previous decade. Blackjack, tic tac toe, and connecting the dots where turned into evil plans for WORLD DOMINATION...OK, maybe not that extreme but Twenty One, Tic Tac Dough, and Dotto were among the many shows giving contestants the answers, telling them how to act, etc. One of the few companies to get out relatively unscathed was Goodson-Todman. Trying to shy away from the big money game shows, Mark Goodson and Bill Todman seemed to have ordered these commands on their people:
BRING ME A XYLOPHINIST FOR WHICH TO COMPOSE THE JOYOUS SOUNDS OF OUR LIVES!
Thus, Number please was born...
Former voice of Superman and game show aficionado Bud Colleyer is the host of this fete. Having hosted such hits as Beat the Clock and To Tell the Truth, perhaps Bud was such a greedy bastard he would take any job thrown at him like a steak throw at a starving dog.
Bud starts interviewing the female contestants while the xylophonist is having a stroke and hitting said instrument at random times. Mrs. Secord talk about being a stock car racing which prompts Bud to say "Is that a race where you don’t have to put your hand out and cut across?"
OH BUD, YOU ARE HILLIAROUS! THIS TRULY WILL NOT AGE AT ALL AND MEN WILL FORCE THEIR WIVES TO BE SUBSERVIENT FOR ALL HUMANITY!
So finally the game starts. Each contestant gets one row and three of the numbers revealed. Each number has either a letter or a space and both rows spell out something related to the prize they will get. Each contestant then alternates calling numbers until one buzzes in and they can guess BOTH phrases...
It’s like Wheel of Fortune only with no fun, humor or anything interesting.
So Mrs. Dewitt guesses it correct and gets here prizes. The pottery corn holders actually leads to an even bigger prize in a grill and other outdoor prizes all while Mrs. Dewitt talks almost throughout the whole plug
Bitch, I didn’t tell you to talk!
Bud then talks to Mrs. Dewitt about some foreign aid work she’s done (and manages not to insult foreign people which is some sort of miracle considering the times.) We then get the same old song and dance again with Mrs. Dewitt winning...again.
OH MY! I CAN’T...WOW!
So we get another contestant who says things about other things or something...I don’t know, I have to stop at this point.
Number Please would not make it out of 1961 alive as it was cancelled almost 11 months to the day it debuted. Though word games would not be dead because of this, it could’ve killed the genre. Oh well, at least words games where one letter would be revealed would die right?
Well, at least this one is tolerable. Heh heh...wank.
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