|Index||6 reviews in total|
One of Great Britian's long-running popular game shows has indeed
proved to be the perfect laughter tonic for anyone.
I've only seen a couple of episodes from the Les Dawson era, but I must admit that, despite the "tacky" prizes (well... they really weren't THAT tacky!) and the catchy/annoying theme song (so I won't bother reciting it), the Brits really did a fantastic job keeping contestants and fellow viewers entertained with funny quirks and in-jokes.
I might as well close my review with this quirk:
'When Brendan Richards finished writing his comment of the show, he said, "If you laugh too much watching this show, you'll literally laugh your BLANK off."'
(Don't forget, the clue is on this large thing made of hypertext and all that other stuff)
I do like Blankety Blank, i first watched it when Lilly Savage did it in 1998, i never knew that it was as old as me, it first started in 1977, i never watched it with Terry Wogan or Les Dawson until i watched it on a TV programme called Challange TV.
The concept of Blankety Blank was pretty monotonous. Each week,
were joined by a number of celebrities. The contestants were asked to
the missing word of a sentence. This was the easy part. They then had to
pick a celebrity-who had jotted down his/her own answer a few minutes
before-and hope that the celebrity had guessed the same
The only saving grace of the show was the hosts. The original was the charismatic Terry Wogan who provided plenty of entertainment. Then there was the late Les Dawson. Les had been a comic and he too provided the fun on the show.
Then, we came to Lily Savage (for those who don't know, a man dressed as a woman). I can't really take to men in women's clothes and Savage could not compare to Wogan or Dawson. The Lily Savage years were not too bad but not as good as the earlier years.
As stated earlier, it was the hosts that made this show watchable. It certainly wasn't the rubbish prizes on offer. The losers usually walked away with a cheque book and pen and don't even ask about the main prizes-straight from a jumble sale I reckon.
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.
A simple parlour game. Answer a question and hope as many of the
panel of six as possible gave the same answer. The concept is simple, and
was never designed to keep you on the edge of your seat. It cheered you
after a day at work, and relaxed you after that evening meal. Hopefully
relaxed enough not to bother getting up to switch channels (OK we got TV
remote after the USofA).
Its run has seen three very different hosts, the overbearing 'Terry Wogan' (qv) (why didn't he stay in that bank in Ireland?) was followed by quirky northern comic ' Les Dawson' (qv) . Six years after Les's sad, sudden death the show came back with Lily Savage, the loud-mouthed, brash, welfare-claiming friend of 'Paul O"Grady' (qv) . The prizes reinforced the idea that the show was just fun. They were so bad they became a running joke, and I can't even remember what the winners got, but when losers were presented with their consolation ornament who can forget the cry `Blankety Blank Chequebook and Pen'?
Blankety Blank began this year (2016) in focus, due to the death of its
original host, Terry Wogan, and ended it through a one off (i.e. ITV
testing the water) special, hosted by David Walliams.
It's a show that needs a good host, because the format is so simple it can become a bit dull.
Every host has brought their own spin to it, and if given the chance I'm sure Walliams would do the same.
One thing that is for sure though is that if you do it well, the show becomes synonymous with you. And that's a potentially wonderful thing. Whether ITV take the plunge, risk the legacy, by bringing it back full time remains to be seen.
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