Thursday, 10 May 2012

Aretha vs. The Squares

As a child/young man, I was fortunately never particularly sickly, but inevitably, two or three days a year, I would be laid low by some stomach bug or another. Apart from feeling like shit, I actually kind of relished these days, because I got to stay home and immerse myself in the strange world of daytime television, which back then consisted largely of game shows. It always felt odd and wrong, because I knew I was joining a parallel universe comprised of the economically disenfranchised, the elderly and disabled, and frustrated housewives (who must have grated at being name-checked in this episode as having the third most tedious occupation in the country, while trying to escape said tedium). Still, it was a guilty pleasure, and I always liked "Hollywood Squares," because of the ever-shifting array of B-list and declining A-list celebrities, and the witty repartee they exchanged. Watching this episode from 1976, I am struck by a number of things:

  • Everyone looks much younger to me than they did at the time;
  • Some of the celebs are genuinely amusing, and the humor is still very tame;
  • The prizes are all pretty modest by the standards of modern hyper-consumerism and bling;
  • Joan Rivers is still recognizable as a member of the human race;
  • Shit, that's (Memphis-born) Aretha Franklin up there!

1 comment:

Paul Dudenhefer said...

That's one celebrity-packed panel. And Aretha was practically skinny.