Match Game '73

CBS (ended 1979)





Match Game '73 Fan Reviews (26)

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out of 10
251 votes
  • Contestants and celebrities are given a story, often humorous, with a word missing. The contestants score points by giving the same answer as the celebrities.

    Nowadays, so many new game shows are just a disappointment. (How many have been pulled off GSN after less than a season?) I think current producers have forgotten lessons that were learned years ago.

    There are two things that this version had right that subsequent versions whiffed:

    First, the group dynamics bordered on the silly. It was the perfect atmosphere, at times the game was almost secondary. This was a comedy show, and the audience was just waiting for the next zinger. Gene Rayburn wanted the contestants to give funny answers. He loved it when a young woman went on national television only to have to say that someone made "do do" or something happened to their boobs. He gave a mock surprise look when a contestant gave such a response and usually had a follow up ready. The synergy between Charles Nelson Reilly's dry sarcasm and Brett Somers was neat. (e.g. Charles: "Brett, you should try out for the opera Carmen. Somebody has to be the bull.") Brett had this amazing ability to be brilliant one minute and a ditz the next. And of course, she was known to appear on stage after having imbibed during the "dinner break." Richard Dawson was also very funny. Things weren't the same after Family Feud became a success and he left. The way these four played off each other is the model subsequent versions failed to grasp. They didn't last nearly as long.

    Second, subsequent versions, particularly in the 90s, weren't afraid to allow genitalia references. It was such a desperate cop out and bordered on the crass. Frankly, it's funnier to watch the contestants say "tinkled." I would much rather watch a question about the Bionic Woman's Bionic Buns than have everyone talk about her ass. The former allows such a smarter comedy angle.

    I wish this show would return in some form. Jimmy Carr would be absolutely amazing hosting it (see Distraction). I'm a game show guru, and right now the only show I'm watching is one that aired almost forty years ago.
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