Monday, May 8, 2017
Long strange trip
Starting with a ten grand top prize in 1973 - oddly enough, GSN's frugal remake often played for ten grand in today's shriveled currency - Pyramid has endured more than four decades and a whole bunch of revivals and redos. It's now landed on broadcast prime time, admittedly during the summer.
YouTube has preserved a bit of the very first week, with Lassie's mom and Meathead as the celebs. The fuzzy screenshot shows that Rob Reiner was well on his way to hair loss, though he tried to make up for it with hair length. Dick Clark, as always, was his professional and super-competent self.
Other game shows have wended their way through a bunch of versions and a lot of decades. But Pyramid spans almost the entire life cycle of American commercial TV, when you consider its sixties ancestor Password. Bob Stewart got the idea to make everything the lightning round, and the rest is (continuing) history.