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I don't understand all the criticism about "The Match Game/Hollywood
Hour." The critics believed this show was an uneven marriage of two game
shows that had been popular, that Bowzer wasn't good hosting his "Hollywood
Squares" segment, etc.
I beg to differ. Sure, I was in sixth grade the year this program aired, and it's been 18 years since I've seen an episode, but I liked "The Match Game/Hollywood Squares Hour." It was a "must see" program for me, every afternoon after school.
I had enjoyed both "Match Game" and "Hollywood Squares" as a younger child, and thought the two segments together made for the perfect marriage. I don't remember too much about how good the celebrities actually were playing the game, but the gameplay to me seemed to go off without a hitch.
What I enjoyed most was the "Super Match" segment, played at the end, for a possible $30,000 jackpot. All the contestant needed to do was choose the celebrity they believed had the elusive "30" multiplier (the others had either 10s or 20s, making for lower jackpots). That made for a lot more excitement than simply choosing a celebrity to play for a flat 10 times whatever they had won in the "Audience Match" half of the game, though it compares very favorably with the "Star Wheel" used on latter-day "Match Game" (where 20 times the stakes were possible).
The critics often cite the concept as to what led to the demise of "The Match Game/Hollywood Squares Hour" after just nine months. Others seem to think that viewers were still tuning into "General Hospital" in droves.
Say what you will about why this show didn't last, but I sure hope to be able to see it again sometime. I sure hope Game Show Network will acquire the rights to show this unique program, which died before its time.
i remember The Match Game/Hollywood Squares Hour and to me it was a
very funny game show that combined to classic comedy games into one
Fortunately, Gene Rayburn was brought back to host the Match Game segment. Even though he didn't have the trio of regulars in Brett Somers, Richard Dawson and Charles Nelson Reilly, he still handled the show he hosted in two previous incarnations very adeptly.
But wait, There's more. After Match Game ended, three more celebrities came on for Hollywood Squares, hosted by Jon Bauman. Even though I really enjoyed the original Peter Marshall version, this version was weaker than Rayburn's Match Game because Bauman, aka "Bowzer" in Sha Na Na, was not much of a straight man than Marshall and lacked experience hosting a game show. Also, Mark Goodson, who was never a fan of the show, didn't allow the stars to bluff, so all the questions were multiple choice.
After time expired in Hollywood Squares, the winning contestant played the Super Match for a chance to win up to $30,000. The Head to Head Match to me, was done the right way, minus the Star Wheel and each panelist had a card ranging from 10 times their winnings to 30.
Unfortunately, the show suffered from low affiliate clearances due to local or syndicated programming and competition from long-running soaps General Hospital and Guiding Light. After nine months the show was canceled. It just didn't click with viewers.
I was always a fan of Match Game,and Gene Rayburn and his laughing/interactions with his regulars (Particularly Charles Nelson Reilly and Bret Somers).This show furthered that along.However,John Bauman was not my cup of tea.I never liked his large mouthed Sha Na Na bit,and his addition to this show didnt change my mind.Shame they couldnt get Peter Marshall for the job).Otherwise it was a worthy show that would be fun to watch.I even remember Gene and John commenting on the new year (1984) and they wished "many more" for the show.Alas,it wasnt to be.
I watched this show as often as I could when it first ran on NBC,from
September 1983 to July,1984(particularly after I became aware of this
about halfway through the run),which wasn't too,TOO often as I was in
sixth grade at the time and had few days off to catch this show at its
usual two in the afternoon(CST)slotting here in the Midwest. But when I
caught it,I was quite pleased with it,the mixed formats of two
legendary shows and the bright,energetic theme(which has long since
been co-opted by established Goodson/Todman show The Price Is Right to
introduce some of their bigger games or showcases). While I will
concede that bringing Peter Marshall back to cover the Hollywood
Squares end of the show--to me,Jon Bauman,formerly Bowzer,wasn't bad
but was perhaps a better fit as a regular panelist than host--it still
seemed to have the right energy and flow(bringing back Gene Rayburn in
what would be,sadly,his last affiliation with the Match Game,was among
the explanations for that)to fill up an hour of time. For those not
familiar,the show was broken down into two segments,where a preliminary
segment of the Match game would play two rounds of celebrity matches to
pick a winner to play in the second half of the show,which was the
Hollywood Squares. The six-person tier set-up from the Match Game was
able to meld quite nicely with the nine-person tic-tac-toe grid that
was the Hollywood Squares and the winner of the Squares end of the show
would play a Supermatch endgame with a chance at up to $30,000(still
not a bad payoff for a single answer on any show!).
Sadly,as this show was quietly ushered off the air(if I recall correctly,it was replaced by the soap opera "Santa Barbara",which would enjoy a near-ten year run),the demand for it on re-runs would be minimal,so I doubt its re-run(assuming it had one)on Game Show Network was probably a lasting one. About the only way to catch any of these old shows(and that probably means,at best,three or four shows)is to see them in fragments on YouTube. But who knows,there may be tapes floating out there that are yet un-seen(or,I suppose un-RE-seen)that might pop up. And maybe a re-(re?)-airing on GSN? One could hope or ask,I suppose.
I admit, I've seen Rayburn doing the Match Game a number of times on
GSN. That was a really good show, pretty funny. He continues this on
the Match Game-Hollywood Squares hour.
Bauman on the other hand. Why did NBC get this guy to do Hollywood Squares? Granted I never saw the Marshall version of Hollywood Squares (I wasn't even born before he aired) but with Marshall just coming off a huge run on it, it would seem that he would get the nod for this. The questions were more funny then the celebrities, which is one bad thing, but Bauman ran the Hollywood Squares part at a slow pace, much slower than what I would have expected.
Super Match, no real comment on it, not a bad bonus game.
Overall, not a bad show, but Bauman was awful.
It was an interesting idea to pair up Match Game with Hollywood Squares. While most of the ideas worked, some didn't. Match Game was played first. There were no regulars in this version, except Jon Bauman. Many Match Game regulars from the 70s occasionally played the game, but most of the stars were from current NBC shows. Gene was still in good form and in terms of the format, very little changed. However, without a regular panel, the show was very uneven in terms of gameplay. After Match Game, Hollywood Squares was played, with a clever transition from one show to another. 3 additional celebs were brought onstage, and the Match Game panel remained. Jon Bauman, of Sha Na Na, was an odd choice for host. Jon struggled to keep the game moving, as the stars sometimes got out of control, and he was like a substitute teacher desperately trying to get attention. Unlike Match Game, there were no regulars from the original Hollywood Squares. Overall, a good effort, but it could've been better.
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