By Whitney McIntosh
Everyone knows at this point how standard TV scheduling plays out. If you get a second season order, chances are everyone involved will get to participate in some fun dress-up during the holiday season. Heck, certain shows even get to dip their toes in the water during season one with a day on the lower end of the spectrum like Valentine’s or a fictional Founder’s Day.
Regardless, it’s should be no surprise that at some point every scripted series gets around to suiting up for Christmas and either A) throws around jokes between different denominational characters dressed up as Santa Claus/the holiday armadillo/The Grinch etc., B) have a moment to remember what Christmas is all about, or C) all of the above.
But scripted shows aren’t the only ones who get to goof off during the holidays. Even though there’s a solid chance not many people are actually watching amidst all the holiday craziness, pretty much every game show has at one point let it all go off the rails in the sake of surprise giveaways, rule changes, and just plain having a good time while the cameras are rolling. So in honor of the upcoming holiday week (or end of it, if you celebrate Hanukkah), here are some great moments from game shows of Christmas seasons past.
We’ll start it off with a previously visited show, if only because I would regret not sharing with you all the joy that is Charles Nelson Reilly and Bret Somers hitting the eggnog too hard and dressing up as Santa and a doll who wants her own show. Throughout the five minutes of shenanigans, there are some great moments mocking the commercialism of the season complete with mentions of the Macy’s Day Parade and the gifts they come bearing.
This next one is the only full episode I included, but I encourage you to watch the whole thing if you want some great moments in unintentional comedy. There are so many questions to be answered. Why would you make Alyssa Milano do math? Why did Joan Rivers feel the need to clarify that she reads, and am I the only one who things she looks like the spitting image of Christine Baranski in How the Grinch Stole Christmas? How many gratuitous train shots were they trying to squeeze in to one episode? And perhaps most importantly of all, why is Epcot, of all the places in Disney (not to mention the entire rest of the country), described as the “most educational and wonderful thing we have in America”? Alas, these are questions that will never get answered. So enjoy away.
One of the things The Price is Right can be proud of is that it has been able to maintain a lot of the same features and charm over the years. However, differences abound in this episode clip, especially with this being a Christmas edition of Showcase Showdown.
Today, there would be at least two cars and a massive trip, MINIMUM, between the two showcases. Instead, one includes carpeting. That is not a typo. The first showcase presented actually has carpeting as a main focus of the trio of prizes. I am negative surprised that she passed on that gem of an offer. If that isn’t enough to get you in the Christmas spirit feel free to take in the truly great velvet monstrosity the models get to wear.
I have some news for you all. It’s a little hard to get out but… there were pre-Sajak Wheel of Fortune days. Yes, it’s true ladies and gentleman: Chuck Woolery was the man for contestants to impress pre-Pat and it wasn’t all that bad. What was all that bad though was the format the show employed throughout the late ’70s.
Instead of placing prizes on the Wheel and giving them away round by round, the show instead set up all the prizes as a sort of arcade-based presentation and then lets the winner buy whichever prizes he or she can afford. But as you can tell from the below segment there weren’t many amazing prizes to be had besides the standard car. I mean, a Texas Instruments Language Translator is great and all you guys, but for a Christmas episode? Way to pull out all the stops, producers. Don’t let the creepiest looking cookie jar of all time upstage it!
Well that wraps up Game Night for the year everyone. Thanks for reading these last couple of months, enjoy the holiday season, and see you in January!
Previously on Game Night: Notte Gioco
Whitney McIntosh resides in Massachusetts and is an undergraduate student at the University of Connecticut. You can follow her on twitter at @whitneym02.