Tag Archives: Game show history

Using Isaiah 54:17 to “Beat the Devil:” Part Two

Hi Friends:
We are still trying to get to the explanation of the title.

Just so we can read it again, here’s the full verse:

“No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.”
Isaiah 54:17

So, really …
When was the last time you heard someone speak this verse?
When was the last time you spoke this verse?

It was while watching a movie on the TBS On-Demand channel that I saw the promos for a new version of “The Jokers Wild” game show.
This used to be … “way-back-when” … one of my favorite game shows. I have always liked shows which feature “question and answers” to test your knowledge.

So, I started researching the history of “The Jokers Wild” game show.
As I progressed, I ran into a lot of “I Remember” moments.
Enough of those moments to add this installment of what will be a three-part series, into our “I Remember” category.

Perhaps, when we hear of a game show which tests your knowledge, we first think of “Jeopardy!”
I remember the original “Jeopardy!” hosted by Art Fleming. The original daytime version debuted on NBC on March 30, 1964. Don Pardo was the announcer until 1975, and John Harlan announced for the 1978–1979 show.
I used to love Art Fleming coming out, raising his arm, and saying, “Thank you, John Harlan!!!” or “Thank you, Don Pardo!!!” as he walked to the podium. Art Fleming just seemed to be a nice man. As a fan of old-time radio, and, I guess now, old-time television, it was always important who the announcer was. I remember when the announcer was a big part of the show in those early years of television.
The daily syndicated version, the “current version,” has featured Alex Trebek as host and Johnny Gilbert as announcer since 1984.
1984?
Alex Trebek has hosted “Jeopardy!” since 1984?
That’s 34 years.
34 years.

There is an old saying in the radio business that, “You know you’re getting older when they start making “re-makes” of songs that you used to play when they were brand new.”
I guess now, the same can be said for game shows.

“Jeopardy!” is one of those shows that, when you walk in the room where the show is on … you have stop, and try to answer at least one question … or, more. It just “grabs you” and, certainly that is one of the secrets behind its appeal. Just like “The Wheel of Fortune,” when the game is on when you walk in the room, you just have to stop for a moment, and try to solve the puzzle.
While I was never a fan of “Wheel of Fortune,” I used to love “Jeopardy!”
Have you noticed that “Jeopardy!” is always spelled with an exclamation point?

Anyway, I remember, when I was a child, that Mama used to love to watch “Jeopardy!” So, I loved it, too.
I remember … “Jeopardy!” was on at 10:00 …Right after “The Phil Donahue Show,” which Mama also would sometimes watch.
I can still remember certain episodes of “The Phil Donahue Show” with Billy Graham as guest.

Oh, boy … do I remember “The Jack LaLanne Show” … That would have to be one of my earliest television memories …
One man, and one chair … His fitness show ran from 1953 until 1985.

Both my Mom and Dad used to watch his program. I remember that much of Jack LaLanne’s audience were stay-at-home mothers. His wife, Elaine LaLanne, was part of the show to demonstrate the exercises, as well as demonstrate the fact that doing the exercises would not ruin their figures or musculature.
Remember this?
Jack LaLanne also included his dog Happy as a way to attract children to the show. Later, another dog named Walter was used, with LaLanne claiming “Walter” stood for “We All Love To Exercise Regularly.”

Which leads me to remember … Charles Atlas …
I remember Daddy was a big fan of Charles Atlas, and I can remember, every morning, Daddy doing exercises made famous by Charles Atlas.
Of course, I was a big fan of Charles Atlas.
I think every American boy was.
Yes … I remember those “kick sand in the face” ads on the back of comic books and magazines.
And … yes … I remember ordering the “Charles Atlas Course,” as well.

Daddy always … always … watched the world news at 6:30.
Didn’t matter if we were in the middle of supper or not …
He would grab his plate, and go into the living room, sit on the couch, and watch the news.
Always.
I remember Chet Huntley and David Brinkley.
I remember Walter Cronkite.
I remember, on Saturday nights … Roger Mudd hosting the Saturday Evening News on CBS.
We always watched that …
Wrestling was on, from Chattanooga, at 5:00, so the news would follow at 6:00.
I remember … when we got one of our first hogs/pigs, Daddy named it “Roger Mudd.”

I remember … after the news … if we were lucky … we’d get to watch “Truth or Consequences” with Bob Barker, and then … if we got to watch that … we could watch “Dragnet.”
I remember … that, sometimes, we would watch “To Tell the Truth” with Gary Moore hosting.
That was usually the only hour of TV we got …
Except on Thursday night … when “The Waltons” were on.
On Friday nights … we got a bonus:
We were able to watch “Sanford and Son.”
I remember “Chico and the Man,” which would follow.

We were all awake, watching Walter Cronkite, when Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon.

Anyway … back to the game shows …

I was a fan of “The Jokers Wild” years ago.
I remember that I always did well on getting the answers correct.
I don’t get to watch “Jeopardy!” anymore, and I have no real interest in “game shows,” but I still love anything that carries a “question and answer” theme.
For example, when writing Part One of this series, I needed to check spelling and correct definition of a word. I use the Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary and Thesaurus.
Of course … before I left their website … I had to take at least one quiz … I did pretty well on it …
So, the point is, I still like quizzes, and the like, which test knowledge.

So, I thought I’d check out the new “Jokers Wild” television show. As written, I was a big fan of the show, many years ago.
When it first aired, the show was billed as
“The game where knowledge is king and lady luck is queen.”

By the way, Jack LaLanne would say that
“Exercise is king and nutrition is queen.”

As I researched the history of the show, it read like a “who’s who” of game shows.
“The Jokers Wild” first aired on CBS from 1972 to 1975, and from 1977 to 1986 in syndication. A children’s version, titled “Joker! Joker!! Joker!!!” aired from 1979 to 1981, and
a revival of the series aired in 1990 and 1991. The creator of the show, Jack Barry, hosted the show from 1972 to 1984, and is the host I have always associated with “Jokers Wild.”

In my research, I discovered this:
Jack Barry was not the original choice to host the show.
Allen Ludden hosted the first two pilot episodes for CBS.
Tom Kennedy, Wink Martindale, and Allen Ludden were the three top choices to host, but each was already committed to other shows. Kennedy was tied to “Split Second” for ABC, Ludden had just started hosting a revival of “Password,” and Martindale was to host “Gambit.”
They offered the hosting job to Dennis James, who had originally been the favorite to land the host job for the upcoming Mark Goodson–Bill Todman Productions’ game show “The New Price Is Right.” When CBS agreed to a weekday daytime version of “The New Price Is Right,” Vice President of Daytime Programming B. Donald “Bud” Grant wanted 15-year “Truth or Consequences” host Bob Barker to host “The New Price is Right” instead of Dennis James. Bob Barker originally said he would gladly host “Jokers Wild,” but Grant convinced him to take the hosting role on “The New Price Is Right” instead, which, as you know, Bob Barker would then host for 35 years. Meanwhile, Dennis James was hired by Goodson to host a night-time syndicated version of “The New Price Is Right.”

By the way … I remember … “Password” with Allen Luden.
Remember how popular this show was?

“The Joker’s Wild,” with host Jack Barry, debuted on CBS, on September 4, 1972, on the same Labor Day as “The New Price Is Right,” as well as “Gambit.” It ran until June 13, 1975, airing at 10:00 AM.

That’s enough for now …
Next time … I promise … to fully explain the title of this series …

As our thoughts … and our pens … turn to …
“Snoop Dogg Presents The Jokers Wild.”
Yes … “that” Snoop Dogg.”

Blessings to you, and your family,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

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