Saturday, July 29, 2017
The lower right seat
Patti Deutsch, the "weirdest of the weird" panelists on Match Game, has died at age 73 after a long battle with cancer. The critic who hung that label on her also called her "awesome" and ranked her third among MG's panelists, after only Charles Nelson Reilly and Richard Dawson.
I don't know that I would rank her quite that high. Brett Somers, McLean Stevenson, Betty White and Fannie Flagg would get my nod before Patti, the goofiest of the regular and semi-regular panelists. But her absurdist view of life in general and Match Game in particular was an important contribution to the show's zaniness.
Patti got her big break with the Ace Trucking Company - a comedy troupe, not a truck operation - but her most lasting work remains her loony answers on Match Game. You can watch them all the time on Buzzr and GSN. R.I.P.