You are looking at Gene Rayburn, one of Bossy’s very early husbands, and the host of the 1970s star-studded game show, Match Game. You never knew what kind of antics you’d witness on this freewheeling show, thick with innuendo. And alcoholism.
At the beginning of each show, Bossy’s husband Gene Rayburn introduces the celebrity panelists, who try to match their answers to those of the contestants:
Next we meet the current champion:
And Gene Rayburn tells the live studio audience, “The current champion is a very accomplished lady who speaks many languages and is from Casablanca!” And next we meet the challenger:
After a commercial break, it’s time for Gene Rayburn to read the first question, which contains a blank. The object of the game is to replace the blank with a word that’s common or logical enough that the celebrity panelists also select this word, racking up the contestant’s points.
Gene Rayburn reads the first Match Game question: They threw Colonel Sanders out of the hockey game when he tried to (blank) the puck.
Both the contestants and the celebrity panelists write down their guess on a high tech piece of cardboard while the synthesizer farts its way through the theme song. And then it’s time for the current champion to tell Gene Rayburn her chosen word to fill the blank! And that chosen word is:
Next Gene Rayburn saunters over to the celebrities to check with them, one by one, to see if any of them guessed the same thing:
And Dick answers, “Fry” which means the current champion wins because it wasn’t just a regular Match Game question, it was a tiebreaker and Bossy forgot to tell you that part because, yeah.
And then the other celebrities show their answers just for the fun of it:
Next the current champion races out from behind the console to take her position on the adhesive tape, and Bossy knows this because Gene Rayburn said, “Come out here and take your position on the adhesive tape.”
And to the departing challenger, Gene Rayburn is all, “It was a pleasure to meet you, and we have a gift for you, together with our thanks,” except when Gene Rayburn says it, the words swim together in one big tank of gin. And without another word, the challenger goes humming off on the circular robotic stage while the celebrity panelists wave goodbye:
Now it’s time for the bonus round, where the contestant is given a phrase with a blank, but this time the contestant selects three celebrities to fill the blank, and then the contestant decides which of those three celebrities guessed the most popular answer, and sister mercy is Bossy glad she doesn’t have to describe the object of 1970s game shows for a living! Oh wait, she does.
This is the bonus round phrase:
As you can see, if the celebrity selects the third most popular response, the contestant receives $100. If the celebrity selects the second most popular response, the contestant receives $250, etcetera ad nauseam and yes this post is about Bossy’s crush on Gene Rayburn so quit asking.
And about these meager game show earnings, Gene Rayburn asks the current champion how she intends to spend this windfall of Match Game money, and she says, “Oh, on so many, many things,” because: hello, 1970s.
Next the current champion selects her three celebrities to fill the Jane (blank) bonus question, and she chooses Richard Dawson, who guesses Jane Fonda, because: hello, 1970s.
Charles Nelson Reilly guesses Jane Eyre:
And Dick guesses Jane Withers:
So the current champion decides to go with Richard Dawson’s answer, Jane Fonda, which shows up as the second most popular answer and the current champion wins $250!
And next it’s time for the bonus round! And yes, Bossy knows she thought the last bit was the bonus round but ndnkfkkl loflm kdld.
In this bonus round, the current champion tries to win $2500 by matching only one celebrity, and the current champion selects Richard Dawson. And then Bossy’s husband Gene Rayburn reads the bonus bonus round round phrase: (blank) glory.
Richard Dawson scribbles down his guess while Gene Rayburn tells the current champion to allow her ESP to flow over to Richard Dawson, because: hello again 1970s.
Then Gene Rayburn asks the current champion for her (blank) glory guess, and the current champion swallows hard and says, “Past Glory,” and the studio audience gasps and goes, “Ohhhhhhhhhh.”
Finally, Gene Rayburn asks the other celebrities for their blank glory ideas just for the heck of it, and there was Bound for Glory and even Path To Glory, but then someone in the studio audience shouts out Morning Glory!
And speaking of vodka-soaked game shows, the correct answer to Bossy’s Friend/Asparagus Fact Challenge is: Wendy reminded Bossy of the diuretic properties, Eric traveled to Germany, and Martha is growing it in her garden.
So Bossy took all of the people who guessed correctly and stuck their comment number in a hat:
And then Bossy selected the winner out of the hat:
Congratulations to Meg from The Member’s Lounge! A Hydroplane Zester Grater will be on its way.
corrie saysMay 22, 2009 at 8:10 am
Ooooo…that long skinny microphone with a small bulbous head~ so chic!
My first husband was Hogan from Hogan’s Heros and Richard Dawson with his suave-bolla ways was a quick second!
Thanks for a trip back to ’70s game shows !!
Meg at the Members Lounge saysMay 22, 2009 at 8:29 am
Oh the memories! I used to love when Brett Sommers rolled her eyes and shouted “Good Gravy Marie”. I never wondered what that meant until now?
Jill in Vermont saysMay 22, 2009 at 8:43 am
wait a minute…what was the number one answer, Jane Eyre? or Jane Withers?
sugarpie saysMay 22, 2009 at 8:45 am
Oh jeeeeeeeeminy! Fannie Flagg (now a rich author, but back then a comedienne and talk show guest) Jo Ann Pflug (sultry, yet perky, TV actress), Dick Gautier (perky TV actor) .
Did I win the prize today?
That I knew these names says a lot about how I spent my childhood. Though it was a pretty entertain-menting show.
Sarah @ Ordinary Days saysMay 22, 2009 at 8:48 am
What was with all the kissing and super oily skin on 70’s game shows?
Apparently the Swine Flu and loose powder had not yet been invented!
~annie saysMay 22, 2009 at 9:02 am
Um. I have absolutely NO idea what any of this is about! Is this a huge gap in my education? Do I need to get some tutoring to make up this deficit? Or should I just be grateful I missed all this?
Half Assed Kitchen saysMay 22, 2009 at 9:16 am
What kind of crazy cable to do you have that allows you to watch this is 2009?
hokgardner saysMay 22, 2009 at 9:16 am
Am I the only one who thinks Dick looks like a 1970’s version of Rob Lowe?
km saysMay 22, 2009 at 9:25 am
In the UK this was called Blankety Blank with Terry Wogan . They even had the same skinny microphone.
gary rith saysMay 22, 2009 at 9:27 am
Oh, I want a plaid jacket and big turtleneck like Richard, but man, the woodchuck atop Dick’s head!
Caution saysMay 22, 2009 at 9:58 am
Because I was so popular and athletic and healthy, I saw every.single.episode. LOVED Richard, but was shocked when Fannie Flagg became such a famous author. But Gene Rayburn?? Ewwwwwwwwww.
Jenni D saysMay 22, 2009 at 10:01 am
Even as a kid I knew that all the celebrities were half in the bag when I was watching that show. Probably explains game night at our house these days.
Gail saysMay 22, 2009 at 10:03 am
I think I remember this episode!
Yeah, Fannie went on to write a little story called “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe” and we all know how that turned out! Kathy Bates went and whacked someones feet to get to a plate of them.
And good grief! I hope the curetn champion used her winnings to go see Bossy’s Italian Boyfriend for a cut and color. It looks like she was trying to be Farrah Fawcett in the front and Jaclyn Smith in the back.
Katherine saysMay 22, 2009 at 10:24 am
Love you bossy! But, come on! Fannie Flag!!!! How could you not know Fannie Flag!
Theresa saysMay 22, 2009 at 10:35 am
Fannie Flag of Fried Green Tomatoes but the funny thing is the pic with Gene Rayburn kissing her…She is gay! Guess maybe no one knew that back then.
I LOVE MATCH GAME. I even tivo it. That is so sad. Those first two chairs on each row were always some random guest, not regulars…some were pretty annoying. The top row was always the guy and the bottom row the girl…I guess so Gene could smooch them better or look down their cleavage easier.
MariaV saysMay 22, 2009 at 10:38 am
I also had/have a crush on Dawson. He was clearly a ladies man. 😉
Who is Dick Gautier who starred in Divorce American Style and Sex and the Married Woman? I clearly watch too much retro television.
Enjoy the zester, Meg!
Brava97 saysMay 22, 2009 at 10:54 am
You don’t remember Fannie Flagg?!?! You have no right to call yourself a TV game show viewer from the ’70s.
cynthiagirl saysMay 22, 2009 at 10:58 am
Match Game was my favorite game show. I thought it was so funny, probably because they were all having such a swell time since I was too innocent then to really get their jokes. Ah, youth.
ashley saysMay 22, 2009 at 10:58 am
This was a fun trip to the 70’s, and, uh, disturbing as well. Hide the lap quilt’s eyes…
Little Miss Sunshine State saysMay 22, 2009 at 11:21 am
That was a fun little spin in the Wayback Machine.
I could hum the Theme Song from the 1960’s version (it’s called Swingin’ Safari). Cuz I’m old.
Howard saysMay 22, 2009 at 11:23 am
When I was in the hospital (twice!) last year, I would — with great aplomb — such out when Match Game was on the Game Show Channel. (I watched a lot of Press Your Luck, too.) Almost every episode with Richard Dawson would show him leering at prettiest woman contestant. Then the contestant would leer at Dawson and every single time I would yell, “They just did it in Dawson’s dressing room! I can smell the sex through the TV!”
Reeb saysMay 22, 2009 at 11:39 am
In the 70’s my dad got a stunning plaid jacket which he wore with white shoes AND white belt. He thought he looked pretty groovy. Or was it hip. I thought he looked lame, being all critical and cool.
Now I have the jacket in a closet, all fraught with nostalgia, sentiment, and memories. Waiting for just the right costume party to wear it to.
Reeb saysMay 22, 2009 at 11:40 am
Bossy, Gene Rayburn? ew. Devalues all your other husbands.
heidi saysMay 22, 2009 at 11:40 am
you bring back fond memories… watching Matchgame while Mom irons hankerchiefs & pillowcases…. I can almost smell the Lipton Onion Soup burgers in the oven.
Eliza saysMay 22, 2009 at 11:57 am
First thing that popped into my head: “Jane SAYS.” As in “Jane says she’s done with Sergio. He treats her like a rag doll.” So obviously a child of the 80s…
kay saysMay 22, 2009 at 12:19 pm
I, too, remember all of this nonsense. I thoroughly enjoy taking this hike down Memory Lane while watching Game Show Network with my children.
They tolerate it, but mainly because I get “giddy” when I watch it, according to my 17-year-old son.
He should go on Password with a vocabulary that contains “giddy,” don’t you think?
Maria saysMay 22, 2009 at 12:40 pm
Oh how you bring back the memory’s.
First, my parents hardly ever let me watch this because of said innuendo.
Meanwhile, that mic. hello? What is that little knobby thing on top? Oh. Wait. Innuendo.LOVED Charles and Brett. They reminded me of Auntie Mame and Dennis before I knew who Auntie Mame and Dennis were.
Richard. So blase. So drunk.
Next time could we talk about Nipsey Russell and Sally Struthers?
(A Mark Goodson and Bill Todman production) remember how they would say that at the end? I would NOT have been touting that info.
Sharon saysMay 22, 2009 at 12:50 pm
I had a crush on Richard Dawson. The contestants usually chose Richard for the final question, so toward the end of the run of Match Game, the big wheel was introduced with all the celebrities’ photos. The contestant spun the wheel and had to go with the celebrity that was landed on.
I also loved Charles, but I love most gay men, so that’s not surprising.
psjdp saysMay 22, 2009 at 12:51 pm
Dick Gautier was very big. He was in Fun with Dick and Jane (w/Jane Fonda) and was “Birdie” in the original broadway cast of Bye Bye Birdie. Lots of other movies and 70s TV.
foolery saysMay 22, 2009 at 1:01 pm
I wasn’t allowed to watch it, so I viewed it on the sly. Mostly by going over to the neighbors’, who were Portuguese and spoke pretty much NO English. So it was a room full of people with no business watching “Match Game,” watching “Match Game.”
And I would have failed miserably at that game because I always pick the far-outest answer, but you already know that from my comments.
Franca Bollo saysMay 22, 2009 at 1:27 pm
I had quit reading … this creeped me out. I remember watching after school while eating raw macaroni. Maybe therein lies the answer to my creepitude.
Ms. Cranky Pants saysMay 22, 2009 at 1:41 pm
Best. Post. Ever. This pinnacle of 1975 of culture takes me right back to long, hot summers spent at my beloved grandparents house, watching this show and Carol Burnett, in my BGP’s orange shag-carpet living room, sitting next to the window air conditioner and eating a big bowl of pineapple sherbet.
feefifoto saysMay 22, 2009 at 1:45 pm
I think Dick Gautier did some Get Smart too, but I’m simply too lazy to Google it. And Fannie Flagg wrote Fried Green Tomatoes blah blah blah, and if you’ve never read it you should, because it’s a hoot. The part where the town newsletter lady writes about how she and her husband are convinced that they’re simultaneously going blind, and then discover that they can’t see anything because they’ve been wearing each other’s glasses nearly killed me.
Steffanie saysMay 22, 2009 at 1:50 pm
How do you come up with this stuff….it completely cracks me up!
Sara S saysMay 22, 2009 at 2:04 pm
Fannie Flagg! You have to know Fannie Flagg! She was also on Candid Camera! I have read every single one of her books, but Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe will always be my favorite.
Christine saysMay 22, 2009 at 2:14 pm
I loved that show with my whole heart. I loved that they were all so obviously drunk and I wanted to grow up to be just like them. Hmmm.
Z. Mulls saysMay 22, 2009 at 2:16 pm
Well, someone finally mentioned Dick Gauthier was Birdie in the original “Bye Bye….” on Broadway.
But is anyone going to point out he played Robin Hood in the classic Mel Brooks series “When Things Were Rotten” (not just food but also kings were rotten).
SnowWhite saysMay 22, 2009 at 2:28 pm
Thanks for the trip down memory lane…… loved watching this after school with my mom. One of my fav’s! The jokes went over my head but I knew they were naughty….my mom would try so hard not to laugh! Great times…..
Tim saysMay 22, 2009 at 2:47 pm
Great post! I loved watching Match Game as a kid with my sister during summer vacation. Speaking of lucrative game shows remember the $10,000 dollar pyramid with Dick Clark? You could spend a whole show teamed up with a B-list celebrity and if you totally lucked out you got the whopping $10k. Most people got $500. Those were the days….
Oh, and Dick Gautier played Hymie the white collar robot on Get Smart. That was my favorite role of his.
Hope saysMay 22, 2009 at 3:42 pm
Love this post and loved that show. My grandmother has been watching the repeats on the Gameshow Network for years so every time I think of it now, I think of her. She loves Brett.
Game shows just aren’t what they used to be. I mean come on, who couldn’t use a year’s supply of Turtle Wax or Rice a Roni?
all things BD saysMay 22, 2009 at 3:42 pm
But Bossy, what was the NUMBER ONE “Jane Blank” answer???
Heather saysMay 22, 2009 at 3:47 pm
Oh my god, that was so hard not to burst out in laughter while reading. But I’m at the office and all.
Fannie Flagg was on “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!” last year and talked all about the filmings of The Match Game. She said Everyone on the panel was loaded for the episodes that aired Thursday and Friday because they were filmed after lunch. It was an awesome interview.
joeinvegas saysMay 22, 2009 at 4:02 pm
Wait a minute – Charles Nelson Reily the third was gay?
And why so few comments about the current champion’s hair? I like that feathery two tone look. Very Farah. I think Bossy might look good in hair like that.
Michelle M. saysMay 22, 2009 at 4:24 pm
I always favored Wink Martindale.
Deedle saysMay 22, 2009 at 5:43 pm
Dick played Hymie the robot on Get Smart. I was once on a game show with the much much older Gene Rayburn and had to kiss him. I used to watch this show everyday after school while drinking a green glass bottle Coca Cola and having a Goober sandwich (you know the peanut butter and jelly swirled together in a jar).
Mr Farty saysMay 22, 2009 at 5:51 pm
We called it Blankety Blank. That microphone was almost indestructible. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egEkhdRjufA
Swistle saysMay 22, 2009 at 6:09 pm
I would have said Jane Doe. Then I would have lost.
Jason saysMay 22, 2009 at 6:38 pm
I didn’t understand this game in the 70’s and I don’t understand it now! But it was sure fun to read about.
Emily saysMay 22, 2009 at 7:29 pm
Ah those were the days. lol My mother was a game show addict (which was way preferable to soap operas) so we watched a lot of them in my house.
Good ‘ol Richard Dawson. Don’t forget that Betty White’s late husband was Allen Ludden.
Ree (the other one) saysMay 22, 2009 at 8:35 pm
Wait. Bossy doesn’t remember Fannie Flagg and Joanne Pflug?
Lori saysMay 22, 2009 at 8:48 pm
Bossy… thanks for the trip down memory lane. I used to watch Match Game every day when I got home from high school. Between the naughty fill-in-the blank answers, Gene’s wink-wink demeanor, and the air of cocktail hour, it was a very appealingly show for a teenager at 4:00 p.m. (whose parents were still at work). And your reference to Jo Ann Pflug reminded me of another great show (from the 80s) – Love Connection – because Jo Ann was married to Chuck “back in two and two” Woolery. By the way, your dad looks great. Wishing him well.
Catherine McP saysMay 22, 2009 at 8:57 pm
Thats funny Gene is your game show husband, My sisters and I thought he looked like he would smell icky, and his lips were always so watery looking! blech! But to this day if I see its on I sure will watch it and laugh my head off.
CupcakeMurphy saysMay 22, 2009 at 9:22 pm
I wonder how many DUI’s there are between all of them. Your play-by-play was PERFECT!
SIssy saysMay 22, 2009 at 9:59 pm
I LURVED this show. I would watch it everyday when I got home from school. God forbid, that bus would run late. I would have nilla wafers and an RC cola because I grew up in Louisiana.
I agree with Swistle, I would have said Jane Doe. But really, you have to remember Fannie Flagg, JoAnn Phlug and Dick (aka Richard for his more formal roles) Gauthier. How many Fantasy Islands and Love Boats can one guy be on – he must have some kind of record.
Karen saysMay 22, 2009 at 10:01 pm
Bossy cracks me up. Those jokes were waay over my head as a kid. But oh, Richard Dawson was adorable. Fannie Flagg was pretty hilarious, and I cannot believe I didn’t know there was alcohol involved in any of it, how naive of me, especially when I see that show now. Thanks for the history lesson, Rayburn’s speech WAS slurred! Hahaha.
operagal saysMay 22, 2009 at 11:06 pm
I am cracking up here, because of course we all watched MatchGame in the 70’s, never knowing that they were all doing lines through Franklins backstage…its on reruns on the Game Network now, which just cracks me up even more.
(I guess I’m easy to please)
Oh, Miss Contestant with the boobs?
I don’t know whats worse- your pseudo,Farrah hairstyle, or the FROSTED BANGS!
OG is clawing at her eyes over the mere thought of FROSTED BANGS!!!!
Cactus Petunia saysMay 22, 2009 at 11:50 pm
Wait, there’s a Game Show NETWORK?!
This does not bode well for the human race.
Suebob saysMay 23, 2009 at 12:12 am
I am so glad that about 117 other readers took you to task over the Awesome Fannie Flagg. She stopped in our church the other day, my pastor said, and has a new book out.
Musingwoman saysMay 23, 2009 at 12:46 am
Never really got into Match Game when it aired. Now, if you’d been translating it then that might’ve been a different story.
Suzanne saysMay 23, 2009 at 1:54 am
Glad that others reminded Bossy of Dick Gaultier’s roles on Get Smart and When Things Were Rotten.
Back in 1988 when I lived in LA, I appeared on a short-lived game show called Sweethearts, hosted by Charles Nelson Reilly. It was like To Tell the Truth, but it was three couples all claiming to be married, and only one couple was really married. Each couple came out, told their story of how they met, fell in love and got married, and three “celebrity” guests got to ask questions and then vote on who they thought the real married couple was.
Well, the three celebrities on my episode were Dick Gaultier, Brenda Vaccaro and Ted Lange (Isaac from Love Boat). They shot a week’s worth of episodes in one day–we were on Wednesday, but had to hang out and be the audience for all five episodes–and Dick Gaultier had the scariest collection of 70s era zip up shoe boots and sweaters I’ve ever seen. He and Brenda were not the sharpest crayons in the box, and I basically felt sorry for Ted Lange who was trying to promote an upcoming production of Othello he was doing.
Charles Nelson Reilly was hilarious, but he kept trying to hold my hand when he introduced my “husband” and me, before we told our (poorly rehearsed) story; it totally distracted me.
I still have copies of the episode on VHS. It was my national television debut. But you only got paid if you won. And I never did receive my consolation prizes.
wendy saysMay 23, 2009 at 2:00 am
god, i loved that microphone. did it really work? it’s like something he stole from your history teacher in 7th grade.
Lisa saysMay 23, 2009 at 11:13 am
I remember walking home from school and opening the patio door to see my sweet mother with the TV outside..watching match game, smoking and ironing..in a flourescent bikini, ,no less…God the seventies were so much fun..and fun to watch. Great post boss..I love
your boyfriend and his false teeth..chomp chomp..
the know it all saysMay 23, 2009 at 3:55 pm
The champion’s hair is all “tiffany taylor” style! (Remember that doll? Her scalp flipped from blonde to brown?). I haven’t thought about that show or doll since iwas little-thx for the laugh!!
chrissy saysMay 23, 2009 at 5:07 pm
I am happy to know that Bossy cuts people’s hair with her eyes, too. Makes me feel more normal. Gene Rayburn doesn’t do your other husbands justice.
Sissy saysMay 23, 2009 at 6:22 pm
Oh, forgot to say that Brett Somers was married to Jack Klugman.
Shelley saysMay 23, 2009 at 7:05 pm
I remember watching this show as a kid. Now that I can still watch it, courtesy of The Game Show Network, I see it much differently. A kid in elementary school didn’t really get all the sexual innuendos flying around, or that Richard Dawson had probably had a few drinks plus a few more before taping started, or that Charles Nelson Reilly was gay. I didn’t even know what gay was. This is the exact same thing as the original Hollywood Squares. I remember watching it, but I didn’t get the jokes. What, Paul Lynne was gay? Who knew? 🙂 Remember when Gary Burghoff was on sometimes? Brett Sommers was totally my fave too, but I couldn’t have told you why. Now I can!
Deborah Non Blogger saysMay 24, 2009 at 2:26 am
Hey, we had that show in Oz but it was called Blankety Blanks.
No really it WAS!
Hosted by the very funny Graham Kennedy.
Eloise saysMay 24, 2009 at 8:14 pm
I loved game shows back in the day, so I watched a lot of Match Game. Like some other commenters, the innuendos and alcohol were lost on me!
In the picture where you are introducing mystery celebrity Dick, Bossy, your husband has some major bad combover going on.
Lisa Paul saysMay 24, 2009 at 10:48 pm
Bossy, that red-headed panelist you can’t remember is the great comedian/actress/novelist Fannie Flagg. She wrote Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fannie_Flagg
Sally saysMay 25, 2009 at 10:58 am
This show ran for a long time, and I recall they changed the title every year (Match Game ’75, Match Game ’76, etc.) Hated Fannie Flagg. Loved Nipsey Russell. But Gene made the show great. I remember one episode when they spent the first 5 minutes searching for the source of a power outage, then ran out of time for the bonus round. They didn’t seem to care. And yes, the contestants always picked Richard Dawson for the final match question because he was like a savant. It was unbelievable. LOVED that show. Especially Gene. Thanks, Bossy!!
Aimee Greeblemonkey saysMay 25, 2009 at 10:39 pm
I totally frickin loved that show.
blackbird saysMay 26, 2009 at 4:15 pm
Blackbird is exhausted from laughing so hard whilst reading this AND from having to scroll down SO FAR to read about Gene’s very long microphone.
Manic Mommy saysMay 26, 2009 at 5:50 pm
Yes, I thought Dick looked like Rob Lowe. You are so right about the Love Boat/Fantasy Island guest spots.
But really? Gene Rayburn with his long skinny mic with the bulbous head? Really?
I was a $25,000 Pyramid kinda girl.