Pressing My Luck

I’ve come to the conclusion that my most viable retirement option is going on a game show and kicking some ass, so I’m currently looking into my options.

My love of game shows can most likely be attributed to my grandma. Everyone knew not to come over before “Price is Right” was on—she was still sleeping—but after that it was a marathon of everything from “Classic Concentration” and “Scrabble” to “$10,000 Pyramid” and of course, the immortal “Press Your Luck.”

If “Press Your Luck” were still on, I would so throw down with some Whammies.

But I miss all the old classic shows, as now we have “The Bachelor” instead of “Love Connection” in which Chuck Woolery— working one of his five jobs — charmed the audience with his impossibly white teeth, humorous quips and classic “two and two” as he threw it to a commercial.

Fortunately, some of the classics remain.

Suck It, Trebek

Of course I have to mention “Jeopardy” first, even if it’s the least viable option. Gram would usually tackle the history questions, many of which she considered to be modern news stories, and I could run any category on sports, food or household cleaning products.

But these days I only feel smart when it’s the Elementary School for Average Students Tournament of Champions and I recently slammed my head in the freezer, so I think I’ll stick with kicking the ass of the senile old people at the home.

Don’t judge. They’re a very competitive bunch.

Come On Down!

The “Price is Right” was a big one for us—once we got past Gram announcing all the models were cheap hussy floozies—and given my vast knowledge of grocery stores and couponing combined with the fact I created a PLINKO game for myself when I was little, this one might be a good bet.

It’s a long shot and I would have to wear an outrageous shirt with some ridiculous saying on it so I could get picked, but I’m confident that I could “come on down!” and bid closest to the actual retail price without going over.

However, I still can’t get used to skinny Drew Carey.

Spin to Win

Maybe it’s my love of words or the phase I went through in which I obsessively completed crossword puzzles—sometimes without even looking up the solution for the long words in the back of the book—but I can often come up with the “Wheel of Fortune” answers impressively early.

I wouldn’t be one of those players who spends all their money buying vowels—they obviously don’t know how to budget—or who shouts out every letter like they’re talking to Stevie Wonder. I also hear the “Bankrupt” sound effect every time I check my banking balance online, so I could comfortably couch my reaction should the wheel deal me that blow.

Regardless, I like The Wheel, and it’s been around so long that I expect Vanna to roll around in her walker uncovering letters at some point in time.

The only issue I see would be spinning the wheel itself. I’m not exactly what you would call “coordinated,” so falling over the barrier in an effort to enthusiastically spin the wheel and being forced to ride around in circles until it stopped is a distinct possibility.

But even then I might still end up as a YouTube viral sensation, at which time I could milk my 15 minutes of fame, go on Jimmy Fallon and convince him to hire/marry me and then retire to my couch with some hummus.

Either way, I think that’s a win.

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22 responses to “Pressing My Luck

  1. Ha! Spinning around the wheel would be awesome! And one day, Vanna will sit in her wheelchair with a remote clicking to reveal the letters. We don’t even need Vanna, oh, who am I kidding? yes we do.
    Being a contestant on Wheel of Fortune has been on my bucket list for a long time!!!

  2. I have no retirement funds, either, and am not likely to ever have any. May I go with you on the game show circuit? Heck, maybe they could start a new game show for us – Bloggers Feud!

  3. That’s really funny about all of Chuck Woolery’s shows! He really was everywhere. This was a blast from the blast, as I did a lot of TV game show watching back in the day.

    When I first moved to LA, I went to a taping of Price is Right with friends and one of their moms who was in town visiting back when Bob Barker was still on the show. The producers asked people questions as we went inside, scoping out who would get invited onstage. None of us did, but it was still cool to see it before Bob retired.

    When I finally was on a couple of game shows a few years later (Sex Wars & Street Smarts), I totally buckled under pressure. I don’t like thinking of trivia with cameras rolling. If only they would come to my house and ask me while I sit on my couch eating popcorn, I would be a much better contestant.

    Here’s my question about those 80’s game shows… What was it with people always wanting to hug and kiss the hosts? I remember Bob having to push people off with a stick, and on Family Feud, Richard Dawson would kiss lots of the women on the mouth. Yes, I was eight or nine watching it, but it always struck me as so gross.

    • You were on a game show?!? So fancy! And I don’t get the kissing thing either, especially on Family Feud when those women were there with their husbands and kids. And why aren’t there more female hosts, now that you mention it? I would have liked to have seen some of the dads plant a big one as they shouted out, “Good answer!”

  4. Ha! That was great. I like to scare my children by telling them my retirement plan is to star in a reality TV show, perhaps go on Jerry Springer.

  5. Wait. Jerry Springer’s still on? Why?

    I used to like watching The Newlywed Game. I’m showing my age. I’m not sure that was an 80’s show or not. Maybe. I think it was on in the 90’s too.

    Bob Eubanks: Where is the weirdest place you’ve ever made whoopee?

    Nobody says ‘whoopee’ anymore when referring to sex. Those were the days.

  6. I too am a big old-skool game show fan — from my all-time favorite Match Game (a comedic classic with regulars like Richard Dawson, Charles Nelson Reilly, Brett Summers, Burt Convey, and Betty White) to $25,000/$100,000 Pyramid with Dick Clark, and the Price is Right.

    Today, with four boys aged 10 and under, my life often resembles some bad combination of Press My Luck, with more current shows like A Minute to Win It, Wipeout, and Survivor. There is no prize money associated with my survival on a daily basis. Alas, my retirement funds are at risk.

    I see a life of crime in my future.

  7. Wipe out is hilarious! My daughter and I watch it sometimes.

  8. I’ve been to a taping (In NYC) of “Millionaire”..
    and you know what I love watching? Reruns of Match Game. Ohmygawd it’s funny and filthy, plus Charles Nelson Rilley, it doesn’t get better than that.
    the twins love Family Feud and Wheel of Fortune. The adult stuff goes above their heads while the fun stuff is just right. Gio has taken to saying “We’re gonna play for fast money Daddy! Top 4 answers on the board. Name my favorite NYRangers players!”

    it’s hysterical.

  9. I would love to watch you flailing around on the Wheel Of Fortune as it spins around! I think I would be good at Family Feud. Do you remember the kid game shows they used to have, like Double Dare and Finders Keepers? My brother and I wanted to be on those shows so bad!

  10. I am a huge fan of the Match Game! One of my all-time favorites. I also loved Press Your Luck, but I am a trivia geek. I am all about Jeopardy and that is the one game show I would love to be on. I really liked Wheel of Fortune way back in the day when you spent your prize money right away on stuff set up in a “room” setting. Remember that? I really wish they played all game shows in the mornings again and not all these talk shows. BORING!

  11. I was on a game show once – “Quiz Kids Challenge”. I’m proud to say that we (adults) whipped their (kids) butts. Let me just clarify – we WHIPPED their butts…we did not WIPE their butts. If you are so inclined to learn more about my one moment of glory, I have a post about it: .

  12. I went to a Wheel taping about last March… a friend knows someone in the biz who sent us VIP tickets. it was glorious. I have also been to TWO auditions for Wheel, but never made it on stage. It is an insane lottery system – you stand in a line under a tent for hours, then finally get inside the auditorium (there are many shifts), and they randomly choose names from a big spinning barrel. OH IF ONLY I could get on stage!! I *know* I’d charm my way onto the show, where I’d no doubt choke. 😉

    They have you fill out a form with basic personality questions, one being something about hobbies. I wrote “Going To Bullfights On Acid” ala Caddyshack, which must have worked against me.

  13. Amusingly, I’m not sure if any of these shows are seen in the |Uk, but of course, we have our own versions of them, and they all get their own devotees. I’m admitting nothing !

  14. I’m right there with ya, sister…my IRA just laughs at me. Oh, and Skinny Drew scares me too.

    • I won’t be eating out of garbage cans or anything, but you never know what can happen! I would rather go swipe some fast cash from Alex Trebek. 😉

  15. HAHAHA I honk laughed at this : “and I recently slammed my head in the freezer”- Skinny Drew Cary makes me uneasy as well. ha Best of luck with your “401k plan”

  16. I grew up watching all those game shows. Truth or Consequences was big in my household. I’d still like to give “Wheel” a spin.

  17. I’ve always envisioned myself on Dick Clark’s Pyramid and I get stuck woth some moronic celebrity that Wilmer Valderrama or a Kardashian sister mumbling words out and as we get close to the last word for the top of the Pyramid for the cash, I get frustrated and come out of my chair start choking them.

    Also, I want one of gene rayburn old skinny microphones from the match game

  18. The old Family Feud…with Richard Dawson, of course…would have me hollering at the TV from under a blanket on the couch if I was home sick, which was generally the only time I got to see daytime TV as a kid. Even back then, I wondered, “WHERE do they get some of these families???”

    Like Kir, above, I catch old reruns of Match Game on GSN; always a good time!

    No Whammies!!!

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