Wednesday, May 24, 2017

7 in 30

Today I was watching a rerun - sadly, that's all there is left of the show - of the doomed Celebrity Name Game. And speaking of doomed, the second contestant in the bonus round was left with the impossible task of nailing seven clues in the allotted thirty seconds. Her partner had bombed pretty badly in the 45-second part of the round and had only gotten three clues.

Everybody including the civvies, the celebs, Craig Ferguson, the studio audience and even clueless moi knew that the second contestant had no chance. But then it dawned on me. Why was the job so impossible? On the old Dick Clark Pyramid (which CNG rips off in a lively manner) people used to nail seven clues in thirty seconds routinely. Often the front game ended 21-21 because they got every clue.

Older-is-better fans would explain this by saying that contestants, along with everybody and everything else, were better back then. The real explanation, of course, is that Dick Clark's Pyramid featured much easier clues. The screenshot shows "London Fog," for instance, which would have been off the difficulty scale for the old Pyramid.

Which makes the disputes over the "best" time limit for Pyramid (and Pyramid clones) pretty silly. It all depends on how nasty the showrunners get with the clues. Celebrity Name Game is a syndie show in the gazillion-channel universe. They have to guard the prize budget, so the clues turn a lot trickier than back in Dick Clark's era.

1 comment:

  1. Truth: Contestants, along with everything else TODAY are better than ever! Live for today!

    Game shows TODAY are the best!