Burt Luddin's Love Buffet

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GSN - Game Show Network (ended 2000)

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Burt Luddin's Love Buffet

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In the annals of game showdom, there have been some great game shows, many average to mediocre games and then plain awful ones. Then, there's those that are in just plain sleazy and poor taste. so much so you can see the putrid stench reeking from the TV screen. Many critics placed Burt Luddin's Love Buffet in that dubious category.

Burt Luddin's Love Buffet was Game Show Network's (now GSN) short-lived (ahem) "attempt" to rehash The Newlywed Game by marrying the rules from that often-imitated (and vastly superior) classic to elements from situation comedies. Set in a Las Vegas-style setting, three couples competed for a vacation.

During the game part of the show, Luddin asked the couples questions about their love lives and relationships – that is, personal questions, many of them about sex, which probed the couples' private lives. Couples won points for matching responses.

The couple with the most points after three rounds advanced to the bonus round. Here, the partners were seated inside a heart-shaped cubicle, with a wall separating the partners. Luddin asked 10 questions about each partner; usually these questions focused on off-beat or bizzare behavior, such as "makes animal sounds in their sleep." Each player held up either a pair of boxers (designating the male half of the couple) or panties (referring to the female half) to indicate which partner they believed said question referred to. Each match was worth $100, with seven matches earning the couple a vacation.

If you thought the questions were tawdry and sexist, then the situation comedy element of Burt Luddin's Love Buffet (acted out between rounds) had to be good, right? Not a chance. Amateurishly written as though they were writing for a sex-laden children's show, the "scripts" followed Luddin's fictional off-stage life and encounters with his backstage crew, his ex-wife, "former contestants" ... yadda, yadda, yadda ... oh, why did we have to endure this?

Quite simply, Burt Luddin's Love Buffet just simply was among the most tasteless, wretched game shows ever to make it to the air. The promos (which frequently littered commerical breaks, or more often than not, squeezed out the credits to classic game shows) were just as bad; one had Burt asking a contestant named Poolani whether he could call her by a shortened nickname. 'Nuff said.moreless
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