Lucky in Cards, Game Shows
I have always said that I
was rich before I hit it big on game shows...and it was proven to me in
a big way as I had a 40th birthday trip this past weekend in Atlantic
City with fellow columnist and friend Gordon Pepper. The big surprise
was the appearance of Chico Alexander...so the WLTI crew hit Atlantic
City in search of profit. Now...we did find a lot of it...as we took
Atlantic City for over $900 between the three of us.
But it wouldn’t be complete without a report from the Game Show
perspective. Although there were no live casino game shows...there were
plenty of game show
slot machines represented including “Jeopardy!” “Wheel of Fortune”,
“Match Game”, “The Price is Right” “Deal or No Deal” (in both the
casinos and a cheesy boardwalk ticket machine), "The Apprentice--Season
2" and the machine which gave us the big bucks with no whammies...
“Press Your Luck” Community Gaming Big Event Slots. (What a Mouthful!)
Todd Newton makes an appearance as the host of the Big Event bonus
rounds which include Stack A Whammy, Free Spin Bonus, Vacation of A
Lifetime, Smash-A-Whammy and Big Bucks. If you trigger the
bonus...everyone who is playing at the time gets the bonus and depending
on the multiplier...it could have been a lot of money :) And for us,
that was the machine that between the three of us...on our way out....we
split $1000 on a free spin bonus.
But even with that...the trip was a major success. We brought a live
version of Whammy Theater to Bonus Texas Hold’em and Asia Poker tables.
We had fun. And that’s what life is all about...good friends, good luck
and being alive. When we split the $1,000....we toasted Peter Tomarken
and Rod Roddy at dinner. I am blessed in more ways than I can imagine.
This is what friendship and game show fandom is all about.
As I was in my room waiting for the gambling portion of the trip to
begin, I saw one of the dumbest things happen in Apprentice history. I
caught the CNBC rerun of "The Apprentice" and as the final four was
whittled down to two, Donald Trump went for drama over gameplay. Instead
of having Piers v. Carol, he thought it would be better to have drama
and it’s Piers v. Trace.
Now let me tell you a little about Mr. Morgan. According an article in
Monday’s New York Post, Morgan was, for 12 years, one of the most
powerful newspaper editors in the brutal world of London's storied Fleet
Street tabloids, first for the News of the World (owned by News Corp.,
the parent company of The Post) and then for The Mirror.
He was famously fired in 2004 after overseeing the publication of what
turned out to be faked photographs of Iraqi prisoners supposedly being
abused by British troops.
I think this was a dumb move by Mr. Trump. If Trump had some stones, he
would make Mr. Morgan the winner, because all through the competition,
he has done the most to win. He has done all it takes. If Trace wins,
(and Trace is a man I like and admire) it would not be fair from a
competitive perspective. We shall see what happens.
I had the pleasure of
attending the premiere show of “What’s My Line-Live On Stage” at the
Barrow Street Theater. And, as I predicted last week, the show was an
absolute blast. I had the privilege before the show to speak with Betsy
Palmer, the 81 year old panelist from I’ve Got A Secret and What’s My
Line. She was
graceful and remembered me from Game Show Congress 5. I didn’t know that
she was Jason Voorhees’s mom from the Original Friday the 13th...and
still does horror conventions!
J. Keith Van Straaten was amazing as usual. And the guests for week 1
were terrific. We had Pat Finch...the VERY FIRST contestant from the
first episode of What’s My Line in 1950 (she was a Hat Check Girl at the
Stork Club), Alan Rosen (who just happens to be the head of Junior’s
free samples for the audience!). I knew him by face, because of how he
kicked Bobby Flay’s butt in a cheesecake throwdown. And trust me.
Junior’s Cheesecake is the best cheesecake in the world. Period. Seek it
out. Go to www.juniorscheesecake.com. We had the principal oboist from
the New York Philharmonic, Liang Wang grace us with a performance (with
his mom in the audience) and our mystery guest...George Wendt.
As I said before...you have 5 weeks to go...go to whatsmyline.org. See
the show. Go now...you can listen later.
Some Price is Right
news....In the total no-brainer department...CBS has ordered four more
episodes of the “Million Dollar Spectacular”. It has been a ratings hit
in it’s time slot...the only problem it might have is the May Sweeps
going head to head against Deal or No Deal. But I have faith...because
of some quotes in
a recent interview with Variety.
"It's the contestant, not the game, not the host. It's that person up
there on the stage who goes on a journey, and the audience is right
there with them," Drew Carey says. "The host is just the guide. All I
have to do is just show up in a good mood and be nice to everybody."
Carey went on, "Whether it's 'American Idol' or 'The Price Is Right,' we
invest in these people and want them to win," ‘The Price Is Right' is a
genius show on so many levels. The people are so excited and the stakes
aren't so high that it's going to change anybody's life. It's all about
having a good time."
Carey was quick to look back
at the transition of holding the skinny mic and can appreciate Barker's
words of wisdom. "His advice was to be myself and 'don't do the show
like I did,'" Carey recalls. "That was either good advice or a warning.
Maybe it was a threat."
And if you can’t make it to LA, you can download The Price Is Right
game, based on the highly successful television show. Players can now
"COME ON DOWN" for their shot in Contestant's Row, bid on items in 16
different pricing games, test their luck with spinning The Big Wheel,
and experience the winner-takes-all tension of the Showcase Showdown --
all with a simple download.
According to PR Newswire, "'The Price Is Right' is one of the most
successful game shows in history, and the perfect format for an
interactive game," said David
Luner, Senior Vice President, Interactive & Consumer Products,
FremantleMedia Enterprises in North America, licensor of "The Price Is
Right". "Not only is the
game incredibly true to the show, it's a lot of fun to play."
Highlighting the quality of the title, Ludia's founder and CEO,
Alex Thabet added, "Our team has worked tirelessly to create an
authentic, easy-to-play game that gives players access to 'The Price Is
Right' stage on their home computers. This first Ludia game release sets
the high standard that we intend to
maintain for each of our upcoming titles."
The Price Is Right game also employs Ludia's innovative "Rank Me In"
system that enables players to create or join groups of family and
friends to track
each other's winnings.
The Price Is Right downloadable game will be available for PC for $19.99
on major downloadable game destinations, including http://www.PlayTPIR.com.
The Bachelor and shows like
it, in my opinion, make men and woman look really shallow. And then
there’s a level where few people fear to tread. And Stacey Elza did it.
On “The Bachelor: London Calling”’s premiere episode, Stacey Elza got
drunk, and while drunk slipped Matt Grant a pair of her underpants. She
said they weren’t on her body, but were an extra pair. She didn’t make
it past round 1.
"I never go into anything looking for anything particular to come out of
it -- I just ride with it -- and whatever happens, happens," she
explained. "I'm only 26. If I meet someone that sweeps me off my
feet, awesome. But I'm not going to go looking for it. Basically I went
there for the experience of it and if it happens it happens. Obviously
it didn't. Whatever."
All I have to say is...ain’t love grand?
As for Idol, we had “The
Year That You Were Born” week. David Cook had another killer
performance, David Archuleta stumbled again, and Chikezie, a very
surprising Syesha Mercado, and Jason Castro in the Bottom 3. Chikezie
Eze goes home.
The Idol Power Chart goes thusly:
1. David Cook (Same)
2. Syesha Mercado (Up 1)
3. Michael Johns (Up 4)
4. David Archuleta (Down 2)
5. Carly Smithson (Down 1)
6 Brooke White (Down 1)
7. Kristy Lee Cook (Up 3)
8. Ramiele Malubay (up 1)
9. Jason Castro (Down 3)
Random Newsbits time:
- NBC has greenlit a Celebrity version of Family Feud for Primetime in
Summer. According to Buzzerblog, Ion and GSN both have picked up John
O’Hurley versions for their reruns. This is the year of Mr. O’Hurley and
I couldn’t be happier.
- Jeopardy is taping it’s College Championship April 11 and 12th at the
University of Wisconsin. Speaking of its host, Alex Trebek will join
Robert Osborne on April 12 to guest program with him on Turner Classic
- Congratulations to Jamie Christenson, who was the 2nd $100,000 winner
on Wheel of Fortune this season.
- Deal or No Deal is going to your cell phone with I-Play.
- -And finally, Ben Bailey of Cash Cab gets a profile in the New York
Daily News on Thursday as he was a featured speaker at the New York City
Taxi and Limousine Commission Driver Recognition Ceremony.
That will do it for this week. Until next week, this is Jason Block saying...don't just play fair...play to
Jason Block is still
looking for NYC Taxi 7N76. E-mail at