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Author Topic: From 1985: Matt Ottinger's game show opinions  (Read 1981 times)

tyshaun1

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From 1985: Matt Ottinger's game show opinions
« on: June 15, 2020, 12:56:25 PM »
Have we ever talked about this? This is a link (pulled from Newspapers.com, may need to get a free trial) to an article from the Lansing State Journal with Matt discussing his appearance on $OTC. It also reveals his opinions on game show and hosts of the time... some will surprise you.

https://www.newspapers.com/image/209266806

MikeK

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Re: From 1985: Matt Ottinger's game show opinions
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2020, 01:17:20 PM »
Can someone please screenshoot it or summarize it for us who don't want to subscribe for this?  Thanks.

DoItRockapella

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Re: From 1985: Matt Ottinger's game show opinions
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2020, 01:30:15 PM »
Can someone please screenshoot it or summarize it for us who don't want to subscribe for this?  Thanks.

It looks to me like Tyshaun already did:

https://www.newspapers.com/clip/53492027/lansing-state-journal/

That link work? I was able to read it without a subscription.

Thanks Tyshaun for finding this. Definitely some hot takes, at least by today's standards.
Tricia stared at them.

"That must be very boring, isn't it?" she blurted out.

"Yes."

"So why..."

"Except..."

"Yes? Except what?"

"Game shows. We quite like game shows."

-From The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy

calliaume

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Re: From 1985: Matt Ottinger's game show opinions
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2020, 01:39:07 PM »
The second link works.

Snarky! I wonder how Matt feels about some of these today.

Jeremy Nelson

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Re: From 1985: Matt Ottinger's game show opinions
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2020, 02:17:11 PM »
To be fair, 1985 Matt's opinion on Trebek and Jeopardy was the general consensus in those early days, and it's something I'd honestly love for the show to reference in any future history segments- they endured a lot of early public ridicule to get where they are.

Still share his opinion on Jim Lange though. Seems like a nice enough guy, but he just wasn't spectacular on any of his shows, and The Dating Game was designed for him to introduce the contestants and get out of the way.

Loogaroo

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Re: From 1985: Matt Ottinger's game show opinions
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2020, 02:18:15 PM »
I mean, he really wasn't wrong about the first year of Jeopardy! - Adam and I had taken to watching some of the really early episodes recently and there are a lot of issues early on that could be chalked up to lack of polish. Alex overexplains a lot, the set looks gaudy with all the glitter and the exposed neon lighting, there's a lot of unnecessary applause, many of the games are runaways going into FJ, and there always seemed to be at least one moment in each episode where at least one person (be it Alex or someone at the production table) momentarily loses track of the game and they have to get it back on the rails while the tape is still rolling.
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Dbacksfan12

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Re: From 1985: Matt Ottinger's game show opinions
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2020, 02:22:43 PM »
Out of curiosity, I'm wondering how Tyshaun came across this.

lol at the Jim Lange comment.  Based on similar comments on this board in the not-so distant past, I'd say many would agree.

Quote from: DoItRockapella
It looks to me like Tyshaun already did:
Your link was actually slightly different--it's just the article itself.  Which I greatly appreciated--I already burned through my free trial last year.
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calliaume

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Re: From 1985: Matt Ottinger's game show opinions
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2020, 02:23:44 PM »
I mean, he really wasn't wrong about the first year of Jeopardy! - Adam and I had taken to watching some of the really early episodes recently and there are a lot of issues early on that could be chalked up to lack of polish. Alex overexplains a lot, the set looks gaudy with all the glitter and the exposed neon lighting, there's a lot of unnecessary applause, many of the games are runaways going into FJ, and there always seemed to be at least one moment in each episode where at least one person (be it Alex or someone at the production table) momentarily loses track of the game and they have to get it back on the rails while the tape is still rolling.
And while Alex is now a national institution as Jeopardy host, he absolutely wasn't in 1985--there were a number of people (myself included) who refused to accept anyone but Art Fleming as host. (I was also influenced by the last show Alex had hosted, Battlestars, which was a poor fit for him, exacerbated by a few painful attempts to be as funny as the celebs.) Now I think of Alex as the host of the show and Art as somewhat similar to Bert Parks (albeit far more genuine and sincere).

Jeremy Nelson

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Re: From 1985: Matt Ottinger's game show opinions
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2020, 02:30:09 PM »
And while Alex is now a national institution as Jeopardy host, he absolutely wasn't in 1985--there were a number of people (myself included) who refused to accept anyone but Art Fleming as host. (I was also influenced by the last show Alex had hosted, Battlestars, which was a poor fit for him, exacerbated by a few painful attempts to be as funny as the celebs.) Now I think of Alex as the host of the show and Art as somewhat similar to Bert Parks (albeit far more genuine and sincere).

So...you're saying that the Art Fleming stans were the original LFATs?

/I kid...

I think people would have found fault in anyone who got that job whose name wasn't Art Fleming.

colonial

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Re: From 1985: Matt Ottinger's game show opinions
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2020, 03:20:28 PM »
One of my first "adult jobs" was at a radio station in New Jersey where the afternoon news anchor was a huge game show fan, specifically "Match Game." He was a casual fan of J!, and admitted that it took him several years to warm up to Trebek as host after growing up with Art Fleming.

I asked him what issues he had with Trebek. He said he had a hard time taking someone whose previous shows were "High Rollers," "Pitfall" and "Battlestars" seriously. He half-jokingly noted that, during that first Trebek J! season, whenever a contestant found a Daily Double, he expected Trebek to hand the player a pair of dice to roll.

The funny thing is, after appearing on WWTBAM and a few family members and friends telling me I should audition for J!, I heard from other older friends and relatives who said the same thing -- they love J!, but it took them a good 5-6 years to accept Trebek as the emcee. To them, he was no Art Fleming and, at least for the first few years, he was the usurper to the throne.


JD

BrandonFG

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Re: From 1985: Matt Ottinger's game show opinions
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2020, 08:09:29 PM »
Watching the first-season episodes, the show - and Alex - were definitely much looser, and a night and day difference from Art's versions. Looking at it from a 1985 POV, and assuming that as a viewer, I vaguely remember Art, I understand Matt's thoughts, as well as the fact that Alex had only hosted one other hard trivia game, nearly a decade prior. Years ago, I bought the J! DVD that included the first episode from '84, and could not stop laughing at how gaudy the set looked.

As for Jim Lange, he gives me traffic cop host vibes. Like Jeremy said, he seemed like a nice guy, but didn't bring anything spectacular to any of the games he hosted.
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Kevin Prather

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Re: From 1985: Matt Ottinger's game show opinions
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2020, 08:27:56 PM »
I asked him what issues he had with Trebek. He said he had a hard time taking someone whose previous shows were "High Rollers," "Pitfall" and "Battlestars" seriously.

I love this point because if you showed an episode of "High Rollers" or "Battlestars" to a Gen-Z'er, their jaw would be on the ground because they've only ever known the professorial Trebek.

Jeremy Nelson

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Re: From 1985: Matt Ottinger's game show opinions
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2020, 09:04:30 PM »
He's kinda the Ice Cube of game shows- the older generation knows him for something almost completely different than what younger fans know him from.

mystery7

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Re: From 1985: Matt Ottinger's game show opinions
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2020, 09:38:38 PM »
I love this point because if you showed an episode of "High Rollers" or "Battlestars" to a Gen-Z'er, their jaw would be on the ground because they've only ever known the professorial Trebek.
And then show them an episode of Classic Concentration where he's wearing one of those sweaters.

BrandonFG

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Re: From 1985: Matt Ottinger's game show opinions
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2020, 09:53:39 PM »
I love this point because if you showed an episode of "High Rollers" or "Battlestars" to a Gen-Z'er, their jaw would be on the ground because they've only ever known the professorial Trebek.
And then show them an episode of Classic Concentration where he's wearing one of those sweaters.
Keeping on this tangent, last week, I went to brunch with my girlfriend and her friends*. Somehow, the topic of old Jeopardy! came up, and I showed them a picture from one of the pilots. Naturally, they were very amazed by the set and Alex's pornstache, and someone compared him to Tom Selleck. :P

*/Don't worry; we were outdoors
//Social distancing and all
///I did miss brunch
"I'll say anything you want, because my baby's applying to.....Tic Tac Dough! What the f**k is this?
Now celebrating his 18th season on GSF!