Have you noticed them among the endless commercials? Quiz shows are taking more time and space on the tube these days than nutty dictators making nuclear threats and growing mobs of yapping president wannabes.
Leading the pack is the new Quiz Show Network, flooding screens day and night with original programs and reruns of old shows. As a long retired TV freak, I’ve grown fond of some of them. For example:
Cash Cab: To fake reality, probably set up first to get best camera shots and external scenes. The NYC cabbie quizmaster stops and allows people to board. The cab’s ceiling spurts into flashing lights, and passengers are allegedly totally surprised. Suddenly they can win quiz money as the cab heads for their destination. Vote: 4 out of 5.
Family Feud: The loud, trash-talk MC pits two clans into verbal battle. Full of obvious attempts at racial disharmony, wink-wink sexuality. There’s endless spouting by contestants of the MC’s first name and loud screeching. Despite the often obnoxious blabbing, an enjoyable program. Vote: 4.5 out of 5.
Jeopardy: The classic quiz still shines, altho recent overactive winners may indicate some behind-the-scenes tampering for higher ratings. Also, too many obnoxious teachers chosen as contestants. Vote: 4 out of 5.
Wheel of Fortune: Getting a bit long in the tooth as formerly youthful MC and sexy letter turner have passed retirement age. However, I still watch it daily, and my answers are always correct enough for me to have won millions of virtual dollars and dozens of cars. Vote: 5 out of 5.
Incidentally, I was actually a winning contestant on the TV quiz show Password way back in 1963. My enormous first prize was $500. The episode aired just before a sad historic moment. My quiz show partner was actor Peter Lawford, and two months later, his brother-in-law, President John F. Kennedy, was assassinated.