Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Raise the dead

Rummaging around Google News I came across this story about a DailyMotion channel for unsold TV pilots.

One of the videos on the channel is "TV gold" with David Letterman as the host of an abortive 1977 game show called The Riddlers. As it happens, that video was already available on YouTube, and in a better quality format as part of GSN's ancient "Raise the Dead" stunt with horror queen Elvira. The network ran this package of eight unsuccessful game show pilots as a Halloween stunt on October 28, 2000. Hard to believe that more than fifteen years of GSN history have flowed under the bridge since those halcyon days.

A thread on the long-lost Usenet group memorializes the stunt. It reads like current chatter on the board formerly known as Matt Ottinger's, when the posters chew over the oldies on Buzzr. The first post in the thread sort of congratulates GSN.
A small salute to Game Show Network for packaging the whole thing with Elvira wraparounds. For a network that has shown little imagination and less variety, this was something special and should be encouraged!
Nowadays oldies fans would love to have the classics-dominated GSN of 2000, of course. An odd note: the Elvira wraparounds look a bit like a precursor of Hellevator, except Elvira shows a lot more leg than the Soskas.

As for The Riddlers pilot, the less said, the better. Letterman was funny enough but the format was a howling dog. A YouTube commenter accurately sums up the show.
I love David Letterman, but that really was dreadful. You got the sense everyone knew what a bomb it was as it went on and on. Well, at least Dave kept up the jokes and Elvira, as always, is JUST TOO HOT!


  1. I fondly remember watching that marathon in 2000. In hinssiht, we can see why those Pilots didn't make it to air.

  2. The Riddlers was also part of a 1998 GSN Thanksgiving marathon of "turkey" pilots.