It doesn’t take much to make me happy.
Through most of my childhood, and then early adulthood, one television genre made me deliriously joyous. Not movies on HBO. Not sports on ESPN.
Game Shows. And when it came out, the Game Show Network! I have an unnatural love for game shows, dating back to watching “The Price is Right” at home with my grandparents when I was home sick (“why is Bob Barker such a bad golfer?” I would ask, to blank stares.)
I loved “The Joker’s Wild” and the bizarre three prizes you would get in the bonus round. I loved “Tic Tac Dough,” especially the way Wink Martindale would say “Correct!” to the contestants (following a dramatic pause, of course).
I worshipped “Card Sharks,” and “Press Your Luck,” and of course, “Sale of the Century,” which my friend Marc Feigelson and I agreed was the best show ever.
My ultimate No.1 fave, though, was always “$25,000 Pyramid. Dick Clark, a couple of random celebrities (please welcome Susan Ruutan and Burt Reynolds!), and fantastic clues in the bonus round (“things that are moist,” was always fun).
Anyway, I bring all this up now because my long national nightmare is over. After living in two successive locales that did not get the Game Show Network on their cable systems, Bright House Networks here in Central Florida finally added it yesterday.
Give me Gene Rayburn in horrible suits! (can you imagine if they had HD Show me Richard Dawson kissing all the women on “Family Feud!” (which by the way, is a Facebook game now that I”m pretty addicted to). Bring me the head of Chuck Woolery on “Scrabble!”
I watched three episodes of “$25,000 Pyramid” and its illegitimate cousin, “$100,000 Pyramid” Friday morning. There was even one episode where Nipsey Russell AND Vicki Lawrence were on (if you were fans of the show, you know that’s like having Joe DiMaggio and Lou Gehrig in the same lineup. Those two were fantastic).
I am a happy man.
**And now, the greatest “Pyramid” player of all time. Not Nipsey Russell. Not Betty White. The legendary Billy Crystal, who is to the Winner’s Circle what Secretariat was to horse racing (hey, it’s Kentucky Derby day, thought I’d go with a horse analogy there).
Watch and marvel:
**Finally, there are a lot of things being written and said about Arizona’s new immigration law. I have plenty of thoughts on it, but that’s for another day. For now, I leave you with this hilarious “story” from the great Sportspickle.com, a sports humor web site:
Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Gerardo Parra was pulled out of the batter’s box during his first plate appearance last night after several Arizona fans reported to stadium police that Parra looked suspiciously Mexican.
“Under the new state law, we have to follow up on these things,” said a stadium security spokesman. “And it’s good we did. He didn’t have the required paperwork.”
Parra told police he is from Venezuela, not Mexico, but had no official identification on him at the plate. “His wristbands had his name on them, but that’s not good enough,” said arresting office Lt. Michael Dellesardo. “It’s pretty easy to get fake wristbands these days.”
Parra was arrested on the field and is now awaiting a deportation hearing. Arizona manager AJ Hinch replaced Parra in the lineup with Cole Gillespie. “Cole is our fourth outfielder and has great potential,” said Hinch. “Because he’s white.”