Thursday, October 18, 2018

"Wed"-ed Bliss

Our love of games shows has been fairly well documented here over the years, though we most often lean towards those with celebrity panelists or guests (it goes without saying that we also lean towards vintage game shows and almost completely eschew most current ones, especially the downright rotten "updates" of the classic shows we grew up loving.) Today we're taking a quick peek at The Newlywed Game, a TV staple since the late-1960s, hosted by Bob Eubanks.

Eubanks was a slim, toothy disc jockey and concert producer who also managed several high-profile country music artists. Each episode featured four couples, generally having been wed for less than one year, who were asked questions that would attempt to match the answers given later by their spouse. The (often leading) questions would prompt everything from embarrassment or joy to humiliation or confusion to occasional anger! The show, as guided by Eubanks, also popularized the term "making whoopee" in lieu of "having sex." 
You know how sometimes you'll see or hear something and it sticks in your mind forevermore? This happened to me with Bob Eubanks. He was a guest on a talk show (I believe it was The Tonight Show) and he was being quite candid about having had facelifts. Thing was, he'd had his neck pulled back so often and so far that now, in order to remain clean-shaven, he had to use the razor up behind his ears!! That's a side-effect of the procedure that women don't ever have to face...!

Presumably this work did extend his TV game show host shelf life as he later proved telegenic enough to host a variety of shows (including Card Sharks) while often returning to syndicated renditions of The Newlywed Game up until 1999. In fact, he holds the sole distinction of having hosted TV games shows of one sort or another in each of the six decades from the 1960s through the 2010s. He is eighty years old as of this writing.

Now let's take a look at a dozen of the many, many couples that appeared on the show. It's fun to look back at the various clothing, grooming trends and hairstyles of the day as these pairs put their best feet forward for TV!
At first glance, I thought Peter Brady and Greg Brady suddenly emerged as a couple!
That is a lot of hair... I'd be happy with half as much!
Get a load of the busy, wide-collared shirt with stitched leisure suit.
And her hair bauble, courtesy of FTD?
Oh, honey... watch those arms!
She's got one of those Dollar General cashier flips going on, but you can't deny their happiness!
Who has to clear the shower drain of fallen hair in this family?
Interesting juxtaposition of the three piece business suit with the Three Dog Night 'do!
Fluorocarbon Alert!
I can't decide which makes me smile more... the loose curl on the left or the sort of Madame Butterfly flower caught in the right!
Newlyweds?!?! You go, man!
I have to assume she wore these glasses down the aisle or she might have wound up heading in the wrong direction. (They were terribly cute together, I must say.)
Whoa, buttercup!
There is a polyester overload occurring here. But they are ready to have a feverish Saturday night someplace.
Speaking of Saturday Night! He's in search of a lit-up dance floor someplace... Their feathery styles almost look like dueling mutton chops, but hers aren't growing from the sides of her face like his.
Even then I wasn't big on those patchwork prairie style dresses.
This is certainly one hairy couple.
Baby's breath, the height of chic in 1977... And today's lumbersexuals look like they aren't even trying compared to ol' grizzly here! He's sort of like a straight Bruce Vilanch.
The "highlight" of this episode... bah dum-bump!
The goal for many men must have been to completely obscure the ears at all costs. Miss Frost 'n Tip looks fun, but this would be a bitch to "grow out."
This was Bob Eubanks' favorite couple ever who appeared on the show and I have to concur...
This real life Archie & Edith Bunker were utterly fascinating and completely adorable (not to mention crazily weird as well!)
If you never waste twenty minutes on anything else during your short stay on earth, waste it on this! Just watch the whole thing from start to the very finish. These two are an absolute HOOT (and the other couples are reasonably amusing, too.)
And, lastly, if you just want an overview of some of the kookiest and naughtiest answers on the show, I recommend this grouping. It ends with the most notorious answer ever (which is so often misquoted as "in the butt, Bob!," but is actually worse -- "in the ass!") Real people being candid are often funnier than anything that can be scripted. And unlike most of the people found on TV today, these people had the good sense most of the time to be shocked at themselves...!


Ken Anderson said...

As my partner and I are retro game show junkies (Hello, Buzzer Network), I have to say we both enjoyed this piece very much. Not only did it bring back memories of nightmare '70s fashion trends and hair don'ts, your links sent us on a far-too-long engaged trip down memory lane. And you're so right, these shows were so much funnier when the folks had the sense to be shocked at themselves. Great pics!

Scooter said...

Loved this show as a kid. Great memories!

Huston said...

Thanks so much, Poseidon, for making my day! I've been stressing out so much lately about the state of the world that it was a relief to let go for a few minutes and have a good laugh. As usual, your commentary is absolutely priceless. I have resolved to pay a visit to YouTube and get to know some of these adorable people.

Poseidon3 said...

Ken, I'm such a lover of these old games and try to incorporate them into my life when I can. I once threw a "Match Game" party at my house, complete with six-person panel, players and prize money, though the grand prize for each game was $10.00...! This was in 2004. I also used to attend a yearly theatre convention and once staged a version of "Hollywood Squares" that went over well (I was the center square, natch!) and would also do "Match Game" late at night, but there was a contingent of people who thought that answering "dick" and "vagina" to every question, no matter how clever the question, was so funny and, after a brief while, it really wasn't, so I abandoned that. That's about where I rate these new renditions, too. Crudity has replaced cleverness in most of them.

Scooter, glad you liked this!

Huston, I am much the same way you are, which is why I strive to keep my site an oasis that is free from most, if not all, controversy. (I mean, you're always going to upset SOMEBODY, especially today, but I do try...!) You ought to know better than anyone that Poseidon's Underworld is the place to go whenever Huston has a problem! LOL Thanks very much.

Gingerguy said...

Poseidon you ended with the answer to a question that has plagued me for years. So the "where is the wildest place you have made whoopee" question really did happen. People quoted that all through the 80's to me and I was never sure it really took place. Not a strange answer at all to some of us! I spent the early to mid 70's at a neighbor's house who was my best friend, and his Mom watched a solid 3 hour block of these shows ever day(!)filling a giant glass ashtray, and would usually polish off a crumb cake with her buddies.
His facelifts weren't bad, he looked pretty normal throughout.
I love the photos of the couples. It just reminds me of how fake and reality perfect most people are on tv these days. You would have to watch a court show to see a fat person on tv now.
Lol on Bruce Vilanch, I just watched Mahogany last night and you are spot on! Love the Joanne Worley 'do on the last lady. Fabulous.

Andrea L said...

@Gingerguy - I was thinking the same thing. As goofy as the couples look - mainly due to the hilarious fashion of the day and (often unflattering) hairstyles, it’s refreshing to see “normal” people in the media.

Poseidon3 said...

Gingerguy, hilarious about the neighbor mom watching a daisy chain of game shows through the smoke! LOL I agree that Eubanks' procedures kept him looking like himself at least, though even in his prime he was sort of taut and skeletal in the face, so it wasn't such a harsh transition. Ha ha! ("Mahogany" is so wonderful and underrated as entertainment!)

Andrea L, agreed!

angelman66 said...

Had a HUGE crush on Mr. Eubanks! Also Mr. Woolery! What is it about polyester and men's hairspray that is aphrodisiac to me?? Another brilliant splash of nostalgia, Mr. Poseidon!!

Poseidon3 said...

I liked Bob just fine, but Chuck Woolery... oh my gosh! I wanted to lick the TV screen whenever he was on!!! Glad you enjoyed this, Angelman!