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Author Topic: How did "Whew!" gain cult status?  (Read 5128 times)

TimK2003

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Re: How did "Whew!" gain cult status?
« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2021, 08:32:08 PM »
For me, I think it was because it was something different, with so many individual game show elements that sucked you in.  Plus, it was definitely ahead of it's time.

From the host (I always loved watching Tom Kennedy shows in the 70s) to the music, the set, the comic book feel to it all, and most importantly, the rapid-fire pace the show went when the clock was running.  I can't think of too many other shows from that time frame that had used all of those elements together in one show.

3 years after Whew, there were two other shows that came out that were just as alluring as they had a lot of the collective Whew elements (mentioned above) in their shows:  Hit Man (another Jay Wolpert convoluted show) and Press Your Luck, which also had a cult following.

Maybe Whew, like some of the classic cartoons airing on TV at that time, were designed to be entertainment for both kiddos and for adults, but for totally different reasons.  I could care less about the questions, strategies and inside jokes when I watched it as a kid.  But now that I am watching it 40-odd years later, I'm watching the shows in a different light and am seeing things that completely went over my head back then.

Another show that I think has achieved cult status is The Big Showdown, which also had gameplay and strategy that no other game has replicated...and should.

Sodboy13

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Re: How did "Whew!" gain cult status?
« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2021, 12:51:45 AM »
That was part of the problem.  While most of us here seem to love the show, I can understand why the average viewer would be confused by it.  It does move very quickly and at the end of a round, most people might think "what just happened?"  There wasn't time to fully appreciate the humor.  It's one of those shows you have to pay really close attention to in order to appreciate it and most housewives (daytime TV was still primarily aimed at them at the time) didn't have the time to devote to it.

I'm reminded of Police Squad! getting axed after 4 episodes, with an executive from ABC explaining that the problem was "the viewer had to watch it in order to appreciate it." Worked out a little better for them in the long run than it did for this show, of course. But yeah, this game has a ton of moving parts, unique rules, an unusual question structure with clever writing, and a frenetic pace that even the board and sound effects operators had some trouble keeping up with sometimes. I can understand completely why it was not long for this world.

I agree that my couple weeks' worth of viewing have changed my view of the show from "intriguing obscurity" to "legitimately good show." The question writing is fun, smart, sometimes makes my brain scramble, and is occasionally bawdy in a way I can't believe was airing at 9:30am in 1979. I'll be watching every episode Buzzr airs for sure. That said, my go-to descriptor of Whew! as "advanced studies" in the world of game shows still stands.
"Speed: it made Sandra Bullock a household name, and costs me over ten thousand a week."

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BrandonFG

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Re: How did "Whew!" gain cult status?
« Reply #17 on: September 17, 2021, 08:27:59 AM »
Its a clever show, and Im surprised I left it off either of my Top 50 lists. I know I hadnt seen an actual episode by 2006, but that had to have changed by 2016.

Anyway its definitely a fun show, but I also understand why it didnt last longer. Like most Jay Wolpert shows, it was a little TOO clever for its own good. If Im alive in 1979, I dunno if Im watching this or Hollywood Squares. I still think its ripe for revival, but I think it would have to be streamlined a bit, unfortunately.

/And it would need a new title
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Jimmy Owen

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Re: How did "Whew!" gain cult status?
« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2021, 08:40:52 AM »


/And it would need a new title
Gridlock?
Let's Make a Deal was the first show to air on Buzzr. 6/1/15 8PM.

SuperMatch93

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Re: How did "Whew!" gain cult status?
« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2021, 08:53:47 AM »
/And it would need a new title
Charge! The All New Whew?
-William

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

tyshaun1

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Re: How did "Whew!" gain cult status?
« Reply #20 on: September 17, 2021, 09:11:41 AM »
Anyway its definitely a fun show, but I also understand why it didnt last longer. Like most Jay Wolpert shows, it was a little TOO clever for its own good. If Im alive in 1979, I dunno if Im watching this or Hollywood Squares. I still think its ripe for revival, but I think it would have to be streamlined a bit, unfortunately.

/And it would need a new title
I personally have never been a big fan of games that were light on game play and relied heavily on celebrities (Match Game, HS, and to a much lesser extent Pyramid) so Whew! would've easily been the move. Jay's shows are ones that would be great party games, but just never really translated over to TV and the casual viewer.

BrandonFG

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Re: How did "Whew!" gain cult status?
« Reply #21 on: September 17, 2021, 09:14:53 AM »
/And it would need a new title
Charge! The All New Whew?
Id seen Charge! suggested a few times and I like that. Gridlock could work, or even Blocked! At least those titles offer a better idea than simply Whew!
"Im not gonna miss a Biggie question, Sara.

Now celebrating his 19th season on GSF!

Jimmy Owen

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Re: How did "Whew!" gain cult status?
« Reply #22 on: September 17, 2021, 09:15:43 AM »
The end game of Rodeo Drive was a variation of the Gauntlet of Villains to an extent.
Let's Make a Deal was the first show to air on Buzzr. 6/1/15 8PM.

MikeK

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Re: How did "Whew!" gain cult status?
« Reply #23 on: September 17, 2021, 10:31:59 AM »
/And it would need a new title
Several years ago, I was tinkering with a Whew!-like game in podcast form.  The title I gave it was Mistake Prone.  (I would still like to try the podcast, but I have enough on my platter right now.)

BrandonFG

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Re: How did "Whew!" gain cult status?
« Reply #24 on: September 17, 2021, 10:48:23 AM »
Jay's shows are ones that would be great party games, but just never really translated over to TV and the casual viewer.
I never thought about this, but that's great way to put it.
"Im not gonna miss a Biggie question, Sara.

Now celebrating his 19th season on GSF!

gamed121683

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Re: How did "Whew!" gain cult status?
« Reply #25 on: September 17, 2021, 03:05:53 PM »
Jay's shows are ones that would be great party games, but just never really translated over to TV and the casual viewer.
I never thought about this, but that's great way to put it.

With some modifications, of course, I could definitely see Whew! as a party game. I don't know if you could do that with Blackout, though.

jage

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Re: How did "Whew!" gain cult status?
« Reply #26 on: September 17, 2021, 08:52:51 PM »
Maybe not easily done in person, but Blackout could be done easy enough as an online multiplayer game.

Otm Shank

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Re: How did "Whew!" gain cult status?
« Reply #27 on: September 17, 2021, 09:16:36 PM »
Well, to pick up a popular meme, how about Block or Charge?

Although I don't think it has long-term life, I definitely see it being rebootable for a short run. It certainly could take advantage of technology for refreshing the board, and the charger doesn't have to go offstage while the blocks are being made. For a fast-paced game, the interstitial parts are amazingly slow. I don't think the frenetic pace can be maintained for a whole half hour or hour, but the swings are too much.

I also think it's possible to play first-to-3 games (and maybe a modified short-charge playoff against the villains' blocks for a 2-2 game) when you play the games back-to-back.

Bryce L.

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Re: How did "Whew!" gain cult status?
« Reply #28 on: September 17, 2021, 09:51:26 PM »
I also think it's possible to play first-to-3 games (and maybe a modified short-charge playoff against the villains' blocks for a 2-2 game) when you play the games back-to-back.
Of course you'd probably need to resort to a player vs. villains extra round if someone wins 3-0, to keep the stretching to a minimum.

TLEberle

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Re: How did "Whew!" gain cult status?
« Reply #29 on: September 17, 2021, 10:02:21 PM »
No, you wouldnt. There are ways around that.
Travis L. Eberle