Spin Again Sunday: TV Guide’s TV Game, 1984

Well, this be-sweatered family sure is having fun (except Grandpa, who may be having a stroke). What kind of game could cause this excitement? Read on.

Well, this be-sweatered family sure is having fun (except Grandpa, who may be having a stroke). What kind of game could cause this excitement? Read on.

This Week’s Game: TV Guide’s TV Game

Copyright Date: 1984

The week’s game offers an interesting picture of TV as it used to be.

Actually, it offers many interesting pictures. If you like TV Guide cover images, this is the game for you.

The Box: TV Guide’s logo and bold red and yellow letters leap off a black background. A cover image collage, featuring everyone from Jack Benny to John Wayne, tells you what this game is all about.

The Board: A test-pattern rainbow in the middle provides visual interest, while more TV Guide covers line the board’s perimeter. Notice the four networks at dead center on the board—ABC, NBC, PBS, and CBS. What a simple TV time—and by 1984, it was already coming to an end.

The Object: “To acquire 7 different program cards and as many points as possible by answering questions correctly.”

Recommended Ages: 10 and up.

Credits: “Created by Alan Charles for Trivia, Inc.”

Game Play: Players roll dice and move their colored pegs around the board. Based on the spot where they land, they answer trivia questions about a particular TV show category (Drama, Sports, Comedy, News, Kids, Movies, or Other TV). A player who answers correctly earns a program card representing the category. To win, you need a card from each category, plus the largest number of total points from answering questions and earning bonuses.

Program Cards: These feature cover images, too.

Question and Answer Books:  These four books are cool; they look like real issues of the magazine. I remember owning the Charles and Diana issue, which I kept with a whole stack of royal wedding clippings under my bed.

The back of each Q&A book features 9 more TV Guide cover images. (I’m thinking these might have crafting possibilities—maybe I’ll make myself a whole set of TV Guide refrigerator magnets.)

Sample Questions: Having misspent my youth in front of TV set, I can do much better at this game than I could at a TV trivia game focused on 21st century shows. I’ve picked a few tough questions—based upon my own inability to answer them—to share with you. Please chime in if you know any answers! I’ll post them all in next week’s Spin Again Sunday.

  1. Which 1955 sitcom was the story of two young women trying to make it in show business?
  2. Name Laurie’s soap opera on Love, Sidney.
  3. Name the other Pulitzer Prize winner who appeared with his friend Archibald MacLeish in a 1962 public-affairs special.
  4. When did ABC News Close-Up begin?
  5. The role of Jesus in “The Day Christ Died” (1980) was played by:
  6. A bumbling lion becomes the leader of the animals after leaving Noah’s Ark in this animated 1977 special.
  7. What newspaper did Danny Taylor work for on The Reporter?
  8. To what club did the cast of Kid Power (1972-74) belong?
  9. On The Edge of Night, what was the name of the character portrayed by Petrocelli’s Barry Newman?
  10. Name the Australian-born golfer who won the 1981 U.S. Open.

By the way, if revisiting old TV Guides interests you, I recommend Mitchell Hadley’s wonderful blog It’s About TV.

Other Spin Again Sunday posts you might enjoy:

The Waltons Game

Happy Days Game

Charlie’s Angels Game

Spin Again Sunday: Planet of the Apes Game + Old-Time Radio Bonus

Because my husband’s birthday is approaching, I’ve chosen The Planet of the Apes Game for this week’s installment of my vintage board game series.

My husband loves The Planet of the Apes and all its sequels. I, on the other hand, have always had an aversion to monkey-and-ape-based entertainment. I may have inherited this from my grandmother, who cringed whenever a chimp appeared on a TV sitcom (an all-too-common occurrence in the ’70s), or I may have developed it after a series of gorilla-related nightmares at age 3 (a Playskool Zoo started it all, but that’s a blog entry for another day).

Through marriage to an ape fan, I’ve managed to overcome my prejudices–at least to the extent of buying him ape memorabilia like this.

Today’s Game: Planet of the Apes

Copyright Date: 1974

Game Box: Pretty appealing to a Planet of the Apes fan, I suppose. All the major apes are represented. I’m not sure why Dr. Zaius is in black and white when everyone else is in color.

Recommend Ages: 8 to 14.

Game Board: Simple, with lots of photos from the movie. The unique part is the cage that stands in the center.

Game Pieces: Generic-looking male and female humans. At least we get front and back views.

Game Play: Each player gets four humans. You move them along the path until they land on a “Captured” space. Then you have to place your human atop the cage and let your opponent turn the cage’s knob. If the human falls in, he or she is captured. If not, they’re safe—for the moment.

Cage Fail: My cage is missing some key parts, so it doesn’t function. You can see how should work from this box closeup.

Object: “Become the last survivor.” Very cool object, my opinion. My husband kind of over-identifies with the movie’s apes, though. I think he’d rather see all his humans caged.

Today’s Bonus Feature: With my own stance on apes softening, I’ve developed an affinity for ape-themed old-time radio episodes. At least in those, you don’t have to see the apes. Sometime in November, I plan to post a whole playlist of ape episodes, but for now please enjoy this delightful example.

“Ape Song,” Murder at Midnight, March 31, 1947

“You treated me like an animal, Cecily–now an animal will treat you the way you deserve!”

Murder at Midnight has become a guilty pleasure of mine. It’s cheesy, but in a very entertaining way. This episode had me smiling all the way through.

Read more Spin Again Sunday
Listen to more Old-Time Radio

Room 222 Call Sheet: A Day in the Life of a 1970s Sitcom

Room 222 call sheet, 1970

When it comes to collecting, I’ve always admired people who have a laser-like focus. I’ve been a collector all my adult life, but the resulting collection is eclectic, to say the least. Today, I present one of the more interesting pieces of ephemera I own—a call sheet from the sitcom Room 222, which ran on ABC from 1969 to 1974.

The call sheet is interesting to me, anyway. (The fact that I was the only one to bid on it when it appeared on Ebay 10 or so years ago suggests the interest might not be widespread. That worked to my advantage though—I only paid $2 for it.) It provides a fascinating window into television production in the 1970s.

A call sheet, as Webster’s defines it, is simply “a daily schedule of filming for a movie or television show.” This call sheet dates from August 7, 1970, when filming was under way for two season two episodes. “Adam’s Lib,” a feminist story about a girl trying out for the boys’ basketball team, would air October 14, 1970; “What Would We Do Without Bobbie?,” an ugly duckling story, wouldn’t air until December 23, 1970.

The “Adam’s Lib” scene featured three day players—Tracy Carver as the basketball player, Terri Messina as the feminist activist, and “Darrell Carson” as the boy who helps them advance their plan to infiltrate the boys’ team. According to the Imdb, the actor’s name is Darrell Larson, and he’s the only one of the three who has acted steadily since then.

Larson, Messina, and Carver

This basketball court scene was shot at a playground in Los Angeles’ Rancho Park neighborhood. The female actors had to arrive at 7 a.m. for makeup that day, with Larson arriving 30 minutes later. It looks like they met up at 8 a.m. on Stage 10, Room 222’s usual filming location on the Twentieth Century Fox lot.

The “Bobbie” scenes, filmed on Stage 10, required the presence of series star Denise Nicholas as Liz McIntyre, recurring actor Howard Rice as Richie, and day player Nicole Jaffe as Bobbie.  Once again, the women reported for makeup 30 minutes earlier than the male actor. This group got a more leisurely start to their day; filming didn’t start until 10 a.m.

Jaffe and Nicholas in one of the office scenes. You might not recognize Jaffe’s face, but you would know her voice. She was the original Velma on Scooby-Doo.

At the bottom of the call sheet, we get a glimpse at what the cast would be doing the following week—reading and rehearsing on Monday, shooting a Walt Whitman exterior scene at Los Angeles High on Tuesday, and shooting more studio scenes on Wednesday (including a scene outside the “Berman Bungalow,” which would represent Bobbie’s house.)

William Wiard directed the filming on this day. Mike Salamunovich was the unit production manager. Both had long and prolific careers in television.

Room 222 call sheet, 1970, reverse side

The call sheet’s reverse side details the day’s production requirements. Those requirement were modest on August 7, 1970. They didn’t need any birds, livestock, wranglers, registered nurses, or firemen—not even any coffee or doughnuts. They did need one Los Angeles policeman, a stretch-out bus, a crab dolly and grip, and a “dialogue man.” (The call sheet almost consistently uses “man” in its crew terminology—mechanical effects men, camera men, prop men, makeup men. The only exception is “body makeup woman.”)

This little piece of TV history delights me so much that it might have launched me on a whole new field of collecting. Unfortunately, I haven’t had any luck finding similar items.

To close, I present the Room 222 opening, just because I love the music and the fashions.

Family Affair Friday: Season 1, Episode 7, Mrs. Beasley, Where Are You?, 10/24/1966

My 10-inch Buffy doll with her Mrs. Beasley. They’ve never been removed from the box, but Mrs. Beasley has plummeted to the ground–hey, just like in this episode.

This week, the latest installment of my Family Affair series features a classic Mrs. Beasley episode–and some dolly digressions.

Season 1, Episode 7, Mrs. Beasley, Where Are You?, 10/24/1966

Teleplay by: Phil Davis and John McGreevey. Story by: Phil Davis. Directed by: William D. Russell.

Synopsis

A seeming tragedy occurs when Mr. French accidently knocks Mrs. Beasley off the terrace, and the doll is nowhere to be found below.

What could go wrong here?

Yeah. That.

Meanwhile, a related subplot finds Uncle Bill’s weekend plans to “sleep, play golf and do a little mild socializing” thwarted by conflict with a neighbor–a neighbor whose little girl suddenly owns a doll (Effie Boots) the spitting image of Mrs. Beasley.

Effie Boots’ owner is the spitting image of Pamelyn Ferdin.

A despondent Buffy, however, testifies that the doll isn’t hers.  The whole Davis family suffers along with Buffy.

See the clothes these two are wearing while Cissy makes the scrunched-face-of-concern at Uncle BIll? Well, keep them in mind. We’ll get back to them later.

Jody offers to let Buffy sleep with his turtle. Awww.

A sweet sisterly moment. Double Awww.

When all seems lost, Uncle Bill and his girlfriend du jour find Buffy’s doll in the apartment building’s garbage cans.

“Competition is the lifeblood of free enterprise,” the ragpicker notes approvingly when he sees Bill and his date rifling through the trash. Aren’t ragpickers amusing?

The happy reunion.

Random Thoughts

It would take a cold heart to remain unmoved by Buffy’s suffering. As a Barbie collector, though, I enjoy the toy store scene the most: drool-worthy Mattel dolls as far as the eye can see. I don’t know if Mattel had released the Mrs. Beasley doll yet, but obviously the show had forged its relationship with the toy company.

The mid-1960s was a golden era in Barbie history. In this scene, you can see several “American Girl” Barbie dolls. These were only made for two years and are highly sought after today. The long-haired doll in the background is Barbie’s cousin Francie. The Barbie clothes of that era were especially glamorous. The doll in the foreground is wearing Fabulous Fashion. You can spot other dolls wearing Fashion Luncheon and Pan American Airways Stewardess. One price guide I own values the latter at $900 if it’s still in the box! The little dolls on the shelf above the saleslady are Barbie’s brother and sister, Tutti and Todd, along with their friend Chris. Mattel made a Buffy and Mrs. Beasley doll in that same size.

Guest Cast: George Nelson: Frank Maxwell. Diane: Joan Vohs. Clara: Ann McCrea. Saleslady: Cathleen Cordell. Melissa: Pamelyn Ferdin. Scotty: Karl Lukas. Ragpicker: Andy Albin. Maid: Pauline Drake. Pamelyn Ferdin is a familiar face, and voice, from the 1960s and ’70s. Among other roles, she played Edna on The Odd Couple and voiced Lucy in A Boy Named Charlie Brown and Fern in Charlotte’s Web. She also appeared (with Johnnie Whitaker) on Sigmund and the Seamonsters and was in the ’70s version of Lassie. On The Brady Bunch, she appeared in the episode where Jan sports a wig. She also played Francie in a 1972 made-for-TV version of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. She would appear in three more episodes of Family Affair. Joan Vohs appeared in a second-season epidsode as Mrs. Scofield, then appeared in six third-season episodes as Miss Cummings. Andy Albin was a regular performer on Bob Newhart’s short-lived first series in 1961.

Continuity Notes: Cissy explains that after the death of her mother and father and separation from her siblings, Buffy had only Mrs. Beasley left as a friend.

Continuity error–Cissy and Uncle Bill are wearing the same clothes in this scene as they did in the “concerned conversation” scene above, but this scene takes place the next day.

Notable Quotes: “People you love always go away–I know.” Buffy

Well, that quote’s a bummer. So I will close instead with two random Buffy pictures. In Buffy’s happy scenes in this episode, Anissa Jones seems more animated than usual.

Anissa Jones cuteness.

I love that outfit, too. It reminds me of the Gymboree outfits I tried to get my daughter to wear when she was 4 and 5. (No dice.)

Today’s Bonus Feature

An article from Doll World, December 1996, about the small Buffy and Mrs. Beasley doll.

Read my whole Family Affair series!

Spin Again Sunday: Dr. Kildare Game

Dr. Kildare Game, Ideal, 1962

It’s time to take two aspirin and enjoy the latest installment in my series about vintage board games.

Today’s Game: Dr. Kildare

Copyright Date: 1962

Mystifying Subtitle: “Medical Game for the Young.” I wonder why they felt the need to specify that it was for the young.

Game Box: I’m sure the draw for potential buyers was the large photo of dreamy Richard Chamberlain as Dr. Kildare, who is staring intently ahead and listening to an invisible person’s heartbeat.

The Analyzer

Recommend Ages: 7 to 14. Actually, it says “Approved for ages 7 to 14.” That’s a strangely officious way to put it.

Game Board: The board offers a cute representation of a hospital, with green corridors, patient rooms, an operating room, and more. The patients all seem happy, even the one traction.

Game Pieces: Dr. Kildare’s dreamy face again.

Game Play: Pretty cool. Players make their “rounds” through the hospital and diagnose their patients with the help of the “Analyzer.”  Patients’ conditions are written in code on diagnosis cards. I decoded two of them just for fun—nose bleed and sprained back.

Nice Touch: The instructions say that you can play the game by yourself.  I used to play board games against myself all the time—my brother was not really a board-game guy.

My Thoughts: I’ve never actually seen an episode of Dr. Kildare. It was a bit before my time. I saw The Thorn Birds at an impressionable age, though, so I can appreciate Richard Chamberlain’s charms. The game looks pretty entertaining—what kid doesn’t love decoding messages?

Another photo of Dr. McDreamy from the box insert. Okay, we get it, he’s handsome!

If you enjoyed this post, read the whole Spin Again Sunday series!

It Takes a (Fisher Price Play Family) Village

The gift I’d wished the hardest for in 1974–the Fisher Price Play Family Village.

My parents captured many Christmas morning photographs when I was young, but this one from 1974 is a little unusual. Most of our Christmas photos are candids taken in the midst of our present-opening frenzy. In this one, I’m pausing to pose in front of a half-unwrapped gift. The smile on my face shows how happy I was to uncover that gift–the Fisher Price Play Family Village.

Fisher Price began producing the Village in 1973. At age 6, I longed for it as intensely as I would long for the Barbie Star Traveler a few years later. I’d loved Play Family toys since I was a toddler, and the Village was the ultimate play set, with a fire station, police station, dentist’s office, apartment, restaurant, theater, garage, and more.

I’ve been wanting to acquire a Village for years, but finding a complete one at a price I was willing to pay proved difficult. Finally, about a month ago, I was able to add this toy to my collection.

I wanted to share a few pictures of it, simply because its colorful lithography and smiling people make me happy. As much as I enjoy nostalgia, I try not to fall into the trap of pining for a simpler time. In 1974, our country was dealing with Watergate, continued involvement in Vietnam, and an oil embargo–things were anything but simple. But a toy like Play Family Village transports me to a time when my parents still stood between me and the outside world’s troubles, and daily life seemed almost as uncomplicated as a walk down Play Family Main Street.

Spin Again Sunday: Happy Days

Aaaaaayyyyyyyy. Ready for dating, drag racing, and drive-ins? Sure you are–you’re not some kind of a nerd are you?

Today’s Game: Happy Days (“Fonzie’s Real Cool Game”)

Copyright Date: 1976.

Game Box: The most striking features are neon-light-style lettering and cartoon caricatures of cast members. These caricatures are a cut above those on most games–they actually resemble their real life counterparts. Fonzie is front and center, of course, flanked by Richie and Potsie. The other Cunninghams are peeking around the jukebox. Ralph Malph is MIA.

Game Board: Colorful, if not grammatical–“Sumthin’ to do?” I do wonder why Fonzie is sitting on various houses in the corner spaces. The drag strip that cuts diagonally across the board is an original touch.

Bonus Feature: The game also includes a peg board with a rainbow-hued jukebox for tracking players’ cool points. Fonzie, Richie, and Potsie show up again here. Donny Most must have pissed off a Parker brother.

Recommended Ages: 7 to 13.

Game Play, As the Box Describes It:”See, it’s like spending time with the Fonz–you go on dates, challenge other players to drag races, or maybe just cruise down to Arnold’s. But beware, you can lose cool points as easily as you gain them. Hey, Nerd, don’t get caught hangin’ out at home. That would be uncool.”

My Thoughts: As innocent as this game is, I can’t imagine today’s parents going for it. I mean, drag racing is pretty dangerous. There are things called “score points” that you can only receive in combination with a date card–hmm. And talk about bullying–the game itself calls kids names!