Sunday, August 14, 2016

Bert's best

Rambling in the game show Interwebs, I came across a poll on Bert Convy's best show.

You might say the poll got a small sample: 14 votes. In a failure of democracy Tattletales beat Super Password 7-5. Which probably means that relationship shows (and distant ancestors of reality TV) are more popular than word games. No accounting for taste.

Super Password is a rare example of a remake substantially improving on the original. (The top example, of course, is the 1973-82 Match Game, which blew away the stuffy 1960s version.) The first take of Password was a studiously dull game that only came alive in the lightning round. Which Bob Stewart would notice, much to his credit and good fortune.

But if you can't make the whole game the lightning round and call it Pyramid, you can still make Password faster and more interesting with clever additions to the gameplay. That's what Password Plus and Super Password did to the stilted one-word-clue format.

Beyond the gameplay revisions, Bert Convy was also a funnier and less owlish host than Allen Ludden. He always had a hint of naughtiness, which played well (pun intended) on what could still have been a dry, educational-TV format. And even my grumpy self has to admit that he was just fine on Tattletales, too.


  1. Except that relationship shows are in no way more popular than word games! Historically word games are far more popular!

    Are you stretching for articles until the Fall season starts? :P

  2. Bert Convy was a good host on Super Password, but very air-headed.. remember he blew so many puzzles, they actually threw a roll a tape at him when he blew the puzzle..