A high-stakes version of the classic game show, hosted by Gene Rayburn. A group of celebrities would be given a sentence with a missing word, which they would then have to fill in. The ... See full summary »
A high-stakes version of the classic game show, hosted by Gene Rayburn. A group of celebrities would be given a sentence with a missing word, which they would then have to fill in. The contestants would then give their own answer, and scored points according to how many celebrity gave the same answer. Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I have not seen the original 1962-69 version of the classic game show. But I have watched this version many times simply put Match Game PM, and its companions Match Game 73-79, and plain Match Game are high quality game shows. Of course the show did not start out with it's now legendary slate of panelists and did not have the racy questions, but it developed into a cast of very funny people and one of Televisions most well known and risqué shows.
The format of this classic game show was simple: Two contestants would be asked a silly or suggestive question with a blank missing in the question. The contestant at hand would fill in the blank with what they felt was the best. They then would have the opportunity to go to six celebrities and see if they filled in the blank the same way. The object was to match all three celebrities in three rounds, each round containing a different question for each contestant.
Whoever matched the most celebrities would go on to play the Big Money Super Match. During this round there would be a simple word or phrase with a blank. The contestant would ask three celebrities to help in guessing the blank. Previous studio audiences, who were surveyed by producers, determined the answers. The answers were worth 500, 250, and 100 dollars. Ten multiplied that money and that is how much they played for in the final round.
In the Match Game 73-79 version there was only one Big Money Super Match but on Match Game PM there were two, so a contestant could play for twenty thousand dollars in the final round. On Match Game PM a contestant could only appear once. In the final round in the early days contestants picked whom they wanted to play with. The most popular choice to play with in the final was Richard Dawson. Gene Rayburn would read a very simple incomplete phrase. The contestant would fill in the phrase and then the celebrity would give his. If the answers matched then the contestant would win the money they played for in the big money super match.
Richard Dawson was one of the most popular panelists on the show. He did often give good answers on the show but generally tended to be outdone by Charles Nelson Reilly and Brett Somers. Those two were often very funny and were very good together. Charles had a viciously sardonic wit and Brett gave the stupidest answers. This was the most popular game show of the mid seventies. In the late seventies it fell prey to Family Feud, which was hosted by Dawson as well.
Dawson, as I have read was upset he was not the center of the Match Game as he had wanted to be. Charles Nelson Reilly, Brett Somers and of course the host himself Gene Rayburn became the stars of the show, along with a group of other well known panelists who were irregulars' as Rayburn often said. Conflict with Dawson was tense, and matters did not help when the star wheel was added. The star wheel was added at the end of the big money super match. Instead of the contestant determining who played in the final round a spin of the star wheel' determined the celebrity.
This took away the only element of the show that was exclusively Dawson's and he left Match Game in 1978. Not that it matters but Dawson had a reputation of being impossible to work with. I always thought Dawson was not very funny. The show was better to me after he left because Dawson was not trying to hog the stage anymore and the rest of the panelists on the show always played to each other much better.
There is an impressive list of people that were semi-regulars on the show. Dick Martin, Betty White, Joe Santos (of the Rockford Files), Scoey Mitchell, Jimmie Walker, Joyce Bulifant (of the Mary Tyler Moore Show), Gary Burghoff, Bill Daily, Bob Barker, Bart Braverman (of Vegas), Nipsey Russell, Fannie Flagg (author of Fried Green Tomatoes), Patti Deutsch (of Laugh-In), Arte Johnson, Marcia Wallace, David Doyle, Orson Bean, and so many others appeared as semi-regulars on this show. And every one of them was very funny.
The real star of the show of course was Gene Rayburn. When he came along to this version of the show he had already become a great game show host that was funny, knew how to play to an audience and six celebrities. He was the master of this show and it ran so smoothly under him. He of course did have a long history in television but this was his hallmark.
Charles Nelson Reilly was the other star of the show. As the panelist who occupied the top right of the tiers he had a funny wit and was quick. He also came up with some very clever answers. Brett Somers also was funny and was a good foil to Reilly. This is a great game show one of the best of all time. Watch it on the Game Show Network it's excellent.
Also see my adjoining review of Match Game 73'
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