Press Your Luck was one of my favorite game shows from the early 1980’s. As a child I loved all the game shows of the period but one of the ones that always stood out was the short lived Press Your Luck with it’s host Peter Tomarkin. My brother and I used to enjoy the show, probably more for the Whammies than the actual game, as we were kids at the time. We loved to see the contestants hit a Whammy and have their money taken away so we could see one of the animated Whammy graphics come on and make the money disappear. They had so many wonderfully creative ones from ones that blew up a little dynamite detonator, to Whammies dressed like Boy George and the Beatles coming in to sing a little line from a tune before taking the money away. I also loved the sound effect from when the Whammy was hit, it just sounded like a dramatic electronic “Uh-oh.”
The game consisted of a round of questions where three players compete for the right to spin on the big board and earn cash and prizes, then a round of playing the spins followed by one more round of questions and then a final round of spins on the big board. The winner at the end of the game was the player who collected the most money in cash and prizes. Part of the strategy for the big board was to spin a few times to collect enough cash and prizes then to pass on the remaining spins to another player who would have to play those spins in the hope that the passed spins would force that player to hit a Whammy to steal their cash and prizes. It was a fun and high energy show that got quite competitive and a player could hit three whammies and stay in the game. A fourth Whammy eliminated them from the game.
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If there’s one thing I could say about my childhood, it’s that I was a Game Show junkie. I loved to watch hours of game shows. I loved the thought of people competing for cash and prizes on the various television shows. I loved nearly all of them from the more luck based ones like “Let’s Make A Deal”, “High Rollers”, and “Card Sharks” to the ones where you actually had to know something, like “Jeopardy!”, “$25,000 Pyramid”, “Super Password.” In high school, I even tried out for a teen tournament version of Jeopardy! Unfortunately, I didn’t make it on.
I also used to get all the home game versions of all my favorite shows, and then eventually bought them as computer games when those started to surface, and then when digital handheld versions became popular, I bought those too. Now the latest incarnations are applications for Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch. These are probably my favorite versions as I have my iPhone with me all the time and there’s no mess or clean up like the old home game versions. Not to mention, no bulky boxes to store the games when they’re not in use.
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Tonight I met up for dinner with my good friend Vito Grandolfo, before we attended a screening of the classic campy film, “Mommie Dearest” starring Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford. The screening was part of the local FilmOut monthly movie series at the Birch North Park Theatre in North Park. Vito and I met up with some friends who were also planning to see the show. It seemed like a good and fun idea to go see a wickedly bad movie that definitely inspired some audience participation as fans of the movie shouted out some of the biggest lines from the movie back at the screen.
I had never been to the Birch North Park Theatre before. It was a nice venue for one as old as it is. It wasn’t too large and wasn’t too small either. It looks like the venue is able to be used for stage productions as well, tonight there just happened to be a huge screen parked on the stage. Before the movie began they did a raffle for a few prizes and even awarded one for someone who had come dressed as Joan Crawford. Additionally the screening had Billy Masters as an opening act. He came, shared some stories about the movie, how Faye Dunaway thinks the movie killed her career, and gave away some prizes. I’m not entirely sure who he is, but he was moderately entertaining. He said to watch out for his favorite part in the movie which occurs during the infamous wire hanger scene and the cleaning powder where Faye goes cross-eyed for a moment.
Continue reading Mommie Dearest Screening In San Diego
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