Three old men from Yorkshire who have never grown up face the trials of their fellow town citizens and everyday life and stay young by reminiscing about the days of their youth and attempting feats not common to the elderly.
In Great Britain, the show would be called "Til Death To Us Part". In America, it would be reworked into "All In The Family."
In the UK, it was "Steptoe and Son". In America, the show was redone as "Sanford and Son" with Redd Foxx (Funnier still, there was an episode when Sanford and son went to see a Jewish version based on them, called Steinberg and Son. I thought this was very interesting).
In England, it was "Man About the House." In the states, it became "Threes' Company" with John Ritter and Suzanne Somers.
All classic American shows, all originating from oversea in England.
Now we come to this one called "Blankety Blank".
It began in 1977, went through three hosts and developed a reputation for bad parting gifts.
In America, it was known as "Match Game" followed by the current year, changing the numerals at the end of each year. I do recall Match Game '73, I think I remember Match Game '72. The last one I remember may have been Match Game '75. I can't say I recall Match Game '76.
Basically, Match Game went off when this Blankety Blank began, it seems.
The show clearly had a much longer run than Match Game did.
When I saw Blankety Blank whilst on vacation in England, I sat flabbergasted, going "it's Match Game. It's Match Game" and no one had an ever-loving clue what I was talking about. And I had not a clue who any of those "celebrities" were, but then I didn't know who Lily Savage was either!
It was the exact same set-up that I watched on "Blankety Blank" as used to be on Match Game. Contestants on the left, six celebrities on the right.
I can't recall now how they were arranged on BB, but on MG they were in two rows of three, six up top, six below.
It was the exact same arrangement.
Well, no drag queen, I'm afraid. But we did have Charles Nelson Reilly!
Match Game's reputation became incredible raciness. Everything on American game shows in the seventies was sexual innuendoes. You couldn't say long, tomatoes, ripe, juicy, tender, etc, without loud laughter.
Match Game was the king of this behavior.
Of the six celebrities, three were constant regulars. The middle star in the top row was Brett Somers, who was Jack Klugman's ex-wife on the Odd Couple.
Charles Nelson Reilly was beside her, the third celeb on the top.
And the middle star on the bottom? It was Richard Dawson, just before he would get Family Feud.
The host was Gene Rayburn, who played right along with all the insinuations.
"Don't put your BLANK in there," or "She pulled his BLANK" Rayburn would say constantly on the show, giving a grin.
It burned out quickly in America. Clearly England managed to make it work much longer, even when it became a bad joke.
Just very interesting to see the table reversed for once and England borrows from America for a change.
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