The Daily Dump

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Tuesday, March 14

The One Whammy You Can’t Avoid


The news that Peter Tomarken, host “Press Your Luck,” one of my favorite game shows growing up, had died was beyond tragic. I don’t know if it’s because I had no idea that was his name or because I hadn’t thought about him for at least 15 years, but knowing that someone who played such an important role in the days I stayed home sick from grade school was just gone made me feel cheated in one respect, like a cheater in another. Cheated because Tomarken, who died when his plane, which he was piloting, crashed shortly after taking off from Santa Monica en route to pick up a patient in San Diego for medical transport, deserved better; a cheater because I’m guilty of having become wrapped up in the “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” and “Deal or No Deal” whirlwind without ever paying proper respect to the men like Peter Tomarken who started it all.

To quell my feelings of guilt I’ve decided to pay tribute not only to Tomarken, but to all the game shows I grew up with. Well not ALL of them because I had a lonely and disease ridden childhood and recounting all the shows I watched while home sick from school could take me weeks (“Supermarket Sweep?” “Win, Lose or Draw?” I’m starting to feel bad for myself . . .) But I’ve pared down the list to my favorite five.

The only qualifications for the list are that my memories of it must predate my Eight Grade graduation (thus, while Alan Thicke had some priceless moments on “Pictionary” in the mid-90’s, I won’t be recounting them here) and “Jeopardy” doesn’t count because, between the Saturday Night Live” skits and Alex Trebek’s haughty and ageless demeanor, I could go on for pages and pages about this show. Let’s just say it’s a fantastic show, just not for the concerns of this list.

I’ll run the five posts over the remainder of the week, much like I did the last nostalgic Top Five list, only with a less pedophilic slant and a generally clearer conscience. Stay tuned.

14 Comments:

My mother was a game show queen prior to my birth, as I understand it. She'd won living room furniture, appliances, and even a car once (that was from Hollywood Squares, yo). But for some reason, after the Twin and I were born, she quit the madness. And therefore never experienced the greatness of The Whammy. I LOVED that show!

(By the way, the boyfriend and I now refer to sex as "whammy". And just about every time, I think about that little, annoying devilish creature that would pop up at certain evil times during that game. We call it whammy for other reasons (had to do with the use of the word by the lead singer of a soul band we saw in South Bend back in November), but that image is always what comes to mind for me!

By Blogger Faith, at 2:57 PM  

Faith just set the bar very high for the Most Unusually Revealing Comment award.

By Blogger the belligerent intellectual, at 3:09 PM  

When it is "go time" for Faith, her boyfriend puts on a Whammy costume, giggles, takes all her money, and leaves. That's hot.

By Blogger Dr. Kenneth Noisewater, at 3:21 PM  

Great sitcom hottie daughter list! What about Thelma from Good Times?

By Blogger Dr. Kenneth Noisewater, at 3:23 PM  

Damn it. How am I supposed to comment after Faith?

By Blogger mysterygirl!, at 3:41 PM  

The Game Show Network is going to have a "Press Your Luck" marathon on the weekend. They're also going to show this documentary about some guy who cheated on the show in some very clever manner. I saw the documentary and it is really interesting. I don't remember exactly how he did it, but he was able to learn the the pattern of the sounds, so he always could choose winners.

By Anonymous Neil, at 8:17 PM  

This post is so funny because last night, this news was the top story out here in Southern California. They kept saying "a popular game show host has died today." I kept saying, "Who? It's not like it's Pat Sajak or Alex Trebec. It's not even Bob Barker for God's sake." But I guess there are people out there like you who actually knew who he was, even if you didn't know his name.

By Blogger Carolyn, at 8:24 PM  

well, the bar for Most Unusually Revealing Comment IS awfully high... and though I tried my best I think I may have to Michelle Kwan this one.

By Blogger birdie, at 8:40 PM  

Dr.-- Thelma from Good Times WAS hot, but not so much from the same generation.

But seriously... about Good Times... I sometimes watch it on TV Land, and it is seriously the most depressing sitcom. EVER. I think I cry every episode.

By Blogger Erin Mc, at 9:01 PM  

Ah, the whammy.

By the way, I would looooove for you to go on and on and on about Alex Trebek. I was just ranting about him last night.

By Blogger Jill, at 12:17 PM  

No whammy! No whammy!

God I loved that gameshow.

By Blogger Momentary Academic, at 2:19 PM  

Ok, so what do I win? Some funfetti cake with chocolate icing, perhaps? ;)

By Blogger Faith, at 2:54 PM  

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

By Blogger White Dade, at 4:25 PM  

If you understand what the phrase "80 THOUSAND DOLLARS" means, then you are a true fan.

That Michael Larsen documentary is one of the single greatest pieces of made-for-cable television ever created.

This show used to be on at 1"30 and 9:30 on GSN every day and often I owuld base days aroud it. The passing of Pete is a dark, dark, day. I had to spend the evening pounding drinks to get voer it. I have cleared my DVR of all episodes of CSi to record the marathon. Thanks for the heads-up, Neil!

By Blogger White Dade, at 4:26 PM  

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