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Who Wants to Blank? -- Writer's Poke #92

For Writers:

I love the Match Game show from the 1970s; the object of the game was for contestants to match the fill in the blank response to the answers the "all-star" celebrity panel provided. Most of the time, there was an obvious answer to select, but you just never knew if the panelists would pick the obvious, or if they'd go out on their own and try to be funny.

Perhaps the real charm of the show was Gene Rayburn as host. Who will ever forget the time he complimented a contestant on how lovely her "nipples" were when he meant to say "dimples"? What makes the slip so funny is that it was a genuine slip. These days, a host might make such "slips" on purpose.

Also charming is the fact that the panelists never used sexual innuendo as the least common denominator when selecting a response. Sure, some of the responses might have been sexual, but it was always done in a playful, and dare I say tactful, sort of way.

It sounds odd to suggest that a game show might stand the test of time, but I think this one will. While the clothes they wore will always pinpoint the show to the 1970s, the humor it produced is timeless.

Today, develop your own Match Game question, and then provide at least three possible responses. How did you develop your question and possible answers? What answer might you select as a contestant? As a celebrity panelist?

Classic Example: "Did you catch a glimpse of that girl on the corner? She has the world's biggest _________."

Possible Answers: a) handbag, b) glasses, c) boom-box, d) boobs, e) bottom.

"The funny thing is that everyone thinks I'm dead." -- Charles Nelson Reilly


  1. That show was one of the greatest! It was fun to see who was going to be clever, obvious or too drunk to pay attention.

    Gene Rayburn ranks right up there with the host of the original Family Fued, Richard Dawson. They both give off that "dirty old man" vibe that can be charming at first and then, just downright creepy.


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