Welcome to Arg – The Adventure Game (1980)

Take a little bit of Dungeons & Dragons, add a little bit of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, put it in an “escape room” format and you’ve got “The Adventure Game”, a brilliant, stylish, charming, original game show aired on BBC between 1980 and 1986. Can you tell I like it? The game takes place on…

The Game Is Very Simple – The Great American Telephone Trivia Game (1990)

The dawn of the cable infomercial and the pay-per-minute 1-900 telephone business opened up some pretty suspicious scam opportunities. TV psychics could tell your future, you could spend quality time with a pre-recorded Corey Feldman or a myriad other celebrities, and of course you could find some foxy company for the night – all delivered…

Friday Followup: Gambit (UK)

While the US was Vegas-ing up its Gambit reboot in 1980, our friends across the pond went with a more traditional approach.  The British version of Gambit is as quaint as you’d expect, with a kicky stop-motion intro. The set design trades in the Vegas glitz and glamour for… something resembling a Grateful Dead album cover. -ds…

Cash and Prizes: Las Vegas Gambit (1980)

Gambit, the blackjack-themed game show, has a sort of complicated history. Originally premiering in 1972, Gambit was an instant success, beating out competing shows Sale of the Century and a pre-Trebek Jeopardy! In 1975, though, a hot new show called Wheel of Fortune came on the scene and pretty much obliterated Gambit in the ratings, leading to its cancellation in…

Five Things – 07.04.16 – You’re Weird Too, Then

Dollar a Second This 1981 reboot of a 1950s game show seems centered around insulting and humiliating people while occasionally throwing them a few dollars, and also about confusing the rest of us. Bob Eubanks conducts this train wreck in which contestants earn the titular Dollar A Second for as long as they’re on stage.  A…

Five Things – 06.27.16 – All Seven Functions

The Diamond Head Game Despite being shot on location in beautiful 1975 Hawaii, this very short lived game show didn’t accomplish much beyond giving host Bob Eubanks a chance to get a tan. The Diamond Head Game featured four mini-rounds consisting of basic trivia with contestants pulled from what can only be referred to in this post-Arsenio…

Five Things – 06.20.13 – A Neon Sign Designer

Whew! This short lived Game Show featured an amazing set, a strange format, and good old Rod Roddy. Whew! is basically a string of lightning rounds with a little twist – in the “normal” part of the game one contestant tries to get through the board in a set amount of time while the other…

Five Things – 05.23.16 – Dare You Let It In Your Library?

The Stephen King Library Stephen King’s pretty well-regarded nowadays, but in the 1980s and 1990s he had a polarizing level of fame. While he had a dedicated fanbase, he tended to be regarded in the mainstream as a shlocky horror writer who put out a new book every week and opinion of him was formed on whether…

Five Things – 04.04.16 – That Men May Fight

You Dont Know Jack In the summer of 2001 ABC tried to create a televised version of the crazy successful trivia video game show You Don’t Know Jack.   It was not successful, but it did end up being kind of crazy. The show was pretty loyal to the game’s format. Instead of the game’s regular host Cookie…

Five Things – 02.8.16 – What Is Planet…Planetearth?

1. The Starlost This is pretty great.  A 1973 Sci-Fi series created by Harlan Ellison, The Starlost has a fun premise and a lot of promise.  Unfortunately, it fell pretty far from its original intentions and we’re left with a 16-episode glimmer of what might have been. The Starlost follows Devon, a young man raised in…