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Author Topic: Broadway’s Connection to Game Shows  (Read 1394 times)

PPatters

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Broadway’s Connection to Game Shows
« on: March 07, 2021, 02:16:35 PM »
I’m a huge Broadway fan (though, living on the West Coast, I don’t go as often as I’d like). Of course, I’m also a game show fan. One interesting thing I found is just how many game show folk were affiliated with various versions of Bye Bye Birdie. (Of course we all know Paul Lynde was in the OBC and movie, but Gene Rayburn was Dick Van Dyke’s replacement. Charles Nelson Reilly was his standby. Dick Gautier was Birdie. Peter Marshall was the leading man in the original London production with Chita Rivera. Even Rose Marie had a stint in a regional production starring Jerry Van Dyke.) My obsession even led me to buy several original programs from various productions, including the Broadway and West End productions.

Are there other musicals that produced so many game show regulars? Of course, I know Bert Convy was in the OBC for Fiddler and many other game show panelists came from Broadway, but I wondered if any were quite as prolific as Birdie.
Patrick (check out ZonkSpinBlank)

SamJ93

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Re: Broadway’s Connection to Game Shows
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2021, 03:22:21 PM »
One that I remember because my high school put it on when I was a lad--How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying. Charles Nelson Reilly played antagonist Bud Frump (but not in the movie version), star Robert Morse appeared on quite a few game shows in the 60s and 70s, and Robert Q. Lewis has a small part in the movie version. (Edited to be more accurate)
« Last Edit: March 08, 2021, 02:40:39 PM by SamJ93 »
It was Bob Barker. He was eating a bologna and cheese-ball sandwich.

calliaume

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Re: Broadway’s Connection to Game Shows
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2021, 03:38:54 PM »
Not a show, but the 1975 Tony Awards had a few game show connections.


PPatters

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Re: Broadway’s Connection to Game Shows
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2021, 09:42:46 PM »
One that I remember because my high school put it on when I was a lad--How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying. Charles Nelson Reilly played antagonist Bud Frump (but not in the movie version), star Robert Morse appeared on quite a few game shows in the 60s and 70s, and Robert Q. Lewis was a member of the ensemble as well.

I knew about Charles, but I hadn’t known about RQL’s role in the ensemble. How interesting. Thanks for sharing.

Not a show, but the 1975 Tony Awards had a few game show connections.

Larry and Bobby — we lost them far too soon. I knew they both had Broadway connections; I’m glad to see they did get some nice Tony exposure. Thanks for sharing the picture.
Patrick (check out ZonkSpinBlank)

Matt Ottinger

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Re: Broadway’s Connection to Game Shows
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2021, 10:56:19 PM »
One that I remember because my high school put it on when I was a lad--How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying. Charles Nelson Reilly played antagonist Bud Frump (but not in the movie version), star Robert Morse appeared on quite a few game shows in the 60s and 70s, and Robert Q. Lewis was a member of the ensemble as well.

I knew about Charles, but I hadn’t known about RQL’s role in the ensemble. How interesting. Thanks for sharing.

For clarity, I'm pretty sure RQL was only in the movie version, not on Broadway.

I'm a big fan of both as well.  There are a few of us here.  You're probably right about Bye Bye Birdie, but there are all sorts of fascinating connections between the two worlds, especially since a lot of people from the Goodson-Todman stable were Broadway performers (or at least wanted to be) while all the big game shows were based in New York.
This has been another installment of Matt Ottinger's Masters of the Obvious.
Stay tuned for all the obsessive-compulsive fun of Words Have Meanings.

Clay Zambo

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Re: Broadway’s Connection to Game Shows
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2021, 09:28:09 AM »
John Michael Higgins has some theatre credits, including one Broadway show.

Alan Ludden did a lot of summer stock, often with Betty White, but I don’t believe he ever played *on* Broadway.

Matt’s right, as usual; the Broadway-TV connection faded a great deal as GS production traveled west.
czambo@mac.com

aaron sica

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Re: Broadway’s Connection to Game Shows
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2021, 09:30:41 AM »
Not a show, but the 1975 Tony Awards had a few game show connections.



No lie, this picture kind of gives me chills. Original "Showoffs" host and replacement host in the same picture, and less than 3 months after this picture was taken, Larry Blyden would no longer be with us. Echoing PPatters's statement as well. We definitely lost them both too soon.

nowhammies10

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Re: Broadway’s Connection to Game Shows
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2021, 10:02:24 AM »
Charles Nelson Reilly also originated the role of Cornelius in Hello, Dolly! in 1964. He's on the OCR, available now wherever fine music is streamed.

Jimmy Owen

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Re: Broadway’s Connection to Game Shows
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2021, 11:17:00 AM »
Dick Van Dyke hosted a couple game shows while looking for Broadway opportunities.
Let's Make a Deal was the first show to air on Buzzr. 6/1/15 8PM.

PPatters

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Re: Broadway’s Connection to Game Shows
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2021, 12:16:44 PM »
For clarity, I'm pretty sure RQL was only in the movie version, not on Broadway.

I'm a big fan of both as well.  There are a few of us here.  You're probably right about Bye Bye Birdie, but there are all sorts of fascinating connections between the two worlds, especially since a lot of people from the Goodson-Todman stable were Broadway performers (or at least wanted to be) while all the big game shows were based in New York.

Yeah, it’s very indicative of the power of where game shows are based. For example, even now when you watch the new Match Game and $100,000 Pyramid, the stars are definitely more apt to be New York-based (and several have backgrounds in Broadway, even if the height of their fame came from television or film).

Matt’s right, as usual; the Broadway-TV connection faded a great deal as GS production traveled west.

Yeah, I look at What’s My Line? for example and a slew of guest panelists and even more mystery guests came from Broadway. Of course, Bert Convy was in Fiddler, but also in the ‘60s very prominent on some of the Goodson-Todman panel games (like To Tell The Truth, which we know he also guest-hosted).

Dick Van Dyke hosted a couple game shows while looking for Broadway opportunities.

Very good point. I don’t think of him as a game show stalwart in the way others were, but he did host a couple of game shows and appeared in a few.
Patrick (check out ZonkSpinBlank)

carlisle96

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Re: Broadway’s Connection to Game Shows
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2021, 01:11:04 PM »
One that I remember because my high school put it on when I was a lad--How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying. Charles Nelson Reilly played antagonist Bud Frump (but not in the movie version), star Robert Morse appeared on quite a few game shows in the 60s and 70s, and Robert Q. Lewis was a member of the ensemble as well.
The George Fenneman-hossted treasure hunt in the film version was like a big game show -- I saw this show on stage with Matthew Broderick but I don't remember the treasure hunt

Clay Zambo

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Re: Broadway’s Connection to Game Shows
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2021, 03:08:41 PM »

Yeah, it’s very indicative of the power of where game shows are based. For example, even now when you watch the new Match Game and $100,000 Pyramid, the stars are definitely more apt to be New York-based (and several have backgrounds in Broadway, even if the height of their fame came from television or film).
...
Yeah, I look at What’s My Line? for example and a slew of guest panelists and even more mystery guests came from Broadway. Of course, Bert Convy was in Fiddler, but also in the ‘60s very prominent on some of the Goodson-Todman panel games (like To Tell The Truth, which we know he also guest-hosted).

Bert also was in the original production of Cabaret. (I keep confusing his songs in the two of them, "Now I Have Everything" and "Why Should I Wake Up", neither of which would be familiar to fans of the movie adaptations of those shows.

As for Pyramid, yes indeed to the guests - but also, and perhaps moreso, to Strahan, who could continue his GMA duties while taping Pyramid. Sure, he could get on a plane, but the logistics were way easier to have him stay in NYC with just a quick car trip between studios.
czambo@mac.com

SuperMatch93

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Re: Broadway’s Connection to Game Shows
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2021, 10:09:39 PM »
Gary Burghoff played the title role in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. On an episode of MG75, a contestant brought a piece of her son's security blanket for good luck and Gene offered it to Gary, not remembering that Linus was the one with the blanket.

EDIT: Gary played that role in the initial, off-Broadway run.
-William

"Game shows aren't about cruelty. They're about greed and wonderful prizes like poorly built catamarans." - Homer Simpson

Neumms

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Re: Broadway’s Connection to Game Shows
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2021, 10:05:33 PM »
As for Pyramid, yes indeed to the guests - but also, and perhaps moreso, to Strahan, who could continue his GMA duties while taping Pyramid. Sure, he could get on a plane, but the logistics were way easier to have him stay in NYC with just a quick car trip between studios.

He does the football pregame in LA, though. Not sure how many shoot days Pyramid does at a time.

jjman920

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Re: Broadway’s Connection to Game Shows
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2021, 10:37:45 PM »
As for Pyramid, yes indeed to the guests - but also, and perhaps moreso, to Strahan, who could continue his GMA duties while taping Pyramid. Sure, he could get on a plane, but the logistics were way easier to have him stay in NYC with just a quick car trip between studios.

He does the football pregame in LA, though. Not sure how many shoot days Pyramid does at a time.
Like most of the summer games, it's usually done over a two/three week span and, so far, always outside of football season.
Me: Of all of the game shows you've hosted besides Jeopardy!, like High Rollers or Classic Concentration, which is your favorite?
Alex Trebek: I'd have to say To Tell The Truth, because it was the first time in my career that I got to sit down while I was hosting.