Thursday, July 1, 2010

World's Wackiest Game Shows: ISIHAC Should So Be One Of Them

I have some news I want to discuss today, but first here's my recap of the ISIHAC episode broadcast June 28:

Opening: “We present I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, the antidote to panel games. At the piano is Colin Sell, and your chairman is Jack Dee.”

Recorded at: The Centaur, Cheltenham

Panelists: On Jack’s left, Barry Cryer and Graeme Garden. On Jack’s right, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Jeremy Hardy.

Scorer: “And here to keep a trained eye on the team’s points, please welcome the delightful Samantha.”

Game One: Uxbridge English Dictionary
The lengthy explanations are back… “agog” apparently means “half finished Jewish temple"…after Tim announces that “laceration” means “young woman’s speech”, he has to explain the joke to get a laugh out of the audience, after which Jack interjects “No Tim, the audience are right.”

Game Two: Pick Up Song
Jack: “Each should sing along with his record until, at my signal, Samantha turns the volume down. If, on the music’s return teams, you’re within a gnat’s crochet of the original, I’ll be awarding points, and points mean prizes. What does a Scouser do with a crobar?”
Audience: “PRIZES!”
Let’s face it, I can’t top that.

Game Three: Sound Charades
Lionel Blair, laser display board, and Hamish and Dougal…who could ask for more?

Game Four: A Version Of Cheddar Gorge
One pair of panelists has a problem; the other pair are experts on said problem who must alternate words of everything they say. The round ends with a gong.

Game Five: Any Questions
It may be named after a British radio political talk show, but it actually consists of Jack reading out “questions from loyal listeners” for the teams to “answer.”

Game Six: Swanee Kazoo
Jack: “Listeners will be interested to hear that back in the late 70s, when Sting first started touring his band, the police asked Colin to be in their lineup. He was picked out by mistake, locked up, and missed the concert.”

Closing: “Barry Cryer, Graeme Garden, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Jeremy Hardy were being given silly things to do by Jack Dee, with Colin Sell setting some of them to music. The program consultant was Iain Pattinson, and the producer was Jon Naismith.”

Moving on...

It must have been a year or so ago that the Travel Channel aired a single episode of a show called Are You Game? The premise: veteran American game show host Todd Newton travels around the world appearing as a contestant on game shows in different countries.

Now, that's a great premise, one that could potentially introduce American audiences to some great game shows from around the world...but I didn't watch the first episode, because the country was Japan. That's too easy. If it had been anywhere else in the world, I probably would have watched...but everybody's made fun of Japanese game shows. I searched for a while for the second episode...but as far as I could tell, the show had been canceled after one.

I was right and wrong. It turns out what had aired as Are You Game? was the pilot, and the final retooled version of the show will premiere on July 13 under the title World's Wackiest Game Shows, again with Todd Newton as host.

I hate to say it, but that does not sound promising.

Think about it. What came to mind when I heard the title and premise of Are You Game? was Todd traveling to some far off country to appear on a game show, and those game shows being a mix of silly and serious ones. What came to mind when I heard the title World's Wackiest Game Shows was Todd sitting in a studio showing clips of people falling into mud on a silly game show in whatever country and expecting to us to laugh at how weird foreign television is. There are plenty of shows like that. We don't need a new one.

Still, I will watch this time, and cling to hope that they will get this right. I'll have my review on July 15.

As for next week, I'll have more ISIHAC.


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