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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

TPiRetro: 20 June 1980


For today's retro recap, let's go back 32 years ago on this very date. As many game show fans know, this was the day NBC took the ax to Chain Reaction, High Rollers, and the classic original Hollywood Squares to make way for a new daytime talk show starring a sarcastic young comic from Indiana named David Letterman. That show, however, would only last about three months before NBC brought back game shows (500 cred points to anyone who can identify the two series that premiered when Dave bowed out of daytime TV -- answers at end of recap).

Meanwhile, over on CBS, viewers were treated to the following:

Episode #: N/A
Airdate: 20 June 1980
VTR date: N/A
Caption: "Hour Power"
First Four: Michelle, Richard, Bertha, REDACTED (R-L)
Today's Models: The Usual Suspects (Janice has the handoff)
Bob's Entrance: Door #2

Just for fun, I'm gonna hold off on identifying that last Rowbird for a little while. Let's see if any eagle-eyed Price fans can guess who it is just based on the airdate and gameplay of this rather notable episode. For the moment, all I'm going to tell you is that the contestant is female... there may be other clues as well. In the words of the Chief, "Good luck, Gumshoes!"

(Oh, and if you already know who it is, just bear with me and play along for a little bit. We want to see how many younger viewers we can fish in with this little tidbit of triviata.)

Bob begins with a brief monologue about the crew's reaction backstage to our Mystery Guest's T-shirt. That's your first clue.

1. Diversified Products home exercise equipment (DP)
REDACTED
Bertha
Richard
Michelle
600
350
625
700


$509





Hi-Lo:
Trip to Spain (6n, Melia Alicante, and an Airway 6pc luggage set shipped in via Studio 33 Railways; $4,151 ; JP, HH)

Nice use of the train in a nontraditional role!

(Hallstrom & Pennington Moving Company)
  • Pet'm 5-month flea & tick collar
  • Raid Crack & Crevice insect spray
  • Johnson & Johnson Befresh! toilet bowl freshener
  • Mycitrecin triple-antibiotic ointment
  • Peter Paul York Peppermint Pattie
  • Easy-Mask painting tape

Again, the GPs are described before the stage prize, but since that'd look bizarre in my format I put it here.

HI
Insect spray
Ointment
Tape

$2.79
$1.93
$2.19
Lo row must be less than $1.93

Candy
Freshener
Flea collar
LO
25¢
85¢
$1.09
WIN!

In 1980, having $1.93 in the Hi row was reasonably comfortable, though that flea collar was a tad worrisome.

Bertha's reaction? Naturally, she hugs Bob -- but instead of thanking him, remarks about how thin he is! Bob promises to go eat a sandwich during the break.

2. Gibson 30" gas range (HH)
(Bonus: $40 of Fonda paper plates)
REDACTED
Jackson
Richard
Michelle
425
495
500
599






$619

Lucky Seven:
1980 Mazda GRC hatchback (convenience pkg, AM/FM; DP)

We're playing with the original rules here, so no free digit...

5
$
4



-$1
$6
5
$
4
7


-$2
$4
8
$
4
7
8

EXACTA!
$4
5
$
4
7
8
5
EXACTA!
$4 WIN!

Why can't we see this more often today?

3. 1oz of Premex gold bullion (DP)
(ARP determined by value at close of business on taping date)
REDACTED
Jackson
Richard
Joyce
575
700
510
843
ALL OVER
495
497
498
325




$508



Hmm... maybe our Mystery Guest's whole problem is that she's dealing with numbers... she might be used to something else. (Hint #2...) And yeah, we had plenty of this one-upping going on even back then.

Time for a little Retired Game Theater, with today's guest star, Poker Game:
  1. Merit Students' Encyclopedia (JP)
  2. Catnapper leather recliner (JP)
  3. Chromcraft Convert-a-Bar 4pc bar set (HH)
  4. Magic Chef countertop microwave oven (HH)

Rules Refresher: Poker Game is played for the four prizes mentioned above. The player selects any two prizes, and the six total digits that comprise their prices are used to assemble the best possible poker hand. The player then has to decide whether to keep that hand, or pass it to the House and build his hand from the remaining two prizes. Either way, the player wins if his hand beats the one he leaves for the House.

From best to worst, Poker Game hands rank as follows: Five of a kind, four of a kind, full house, three of a kind, two pair, one pair, and high card. Straights do not count, and obviously flushes don't either.

(JP on prices)
Books
Chair
Bar set
Microwave
$550

$552


Four 5s
5
5
5
5
2
PLAYER
HOUSE







Richard keeps that hand, as well he should!

Books
Chair
Bar set
Microwave
$550
$600
$552
$444

Four 5s
5
5
5
5
2
PLAYER
HOUSE
4
4
4
0
0
Full hse.
WIN!

I may be in the minority on this one, but I don't miss Poker Game at all. It's too cheap, being played only with three-digit prizes, but that could've easily been solved by adding some bonus money to the proceedings (as they did with Clock Game). Even without that, however, there was just too little pricing skill involved here; you were looking for prices with repeating digits, period. Most Pricing Games involve at least determining which are the most/least expensive things on offer, but this one lacks even that. It's just a dated concept.

Showcase Showdown #1:
Richard
75
.75

TIE
Bertha
65
95
1.60

$4,660
Michelle
60
15
.75

TIE

Spin-Off:
Richard
75
WIN
Michelle
15

$5,447


4. Magic Chef refrigerator/freezer (JP)
(Train spotted on double duty today, with Engineer Holly!)
REDACTED
Jackson
Rebecca
Joyce
695
650
725
599






$638

She's not doing so well, definitely...

Barker's Bargain Bar, under its original name and with its original set:
  1. Authentic reproduction carousel horse (JP)
  2. Authontic reproduction French writing desk (DP)

Carousel horse
◄◄◄
Desk
$895
Bargain price
$750
$1195
ARP
$1350
$300
Difference
$600
AUTHENTIC REPRODUCTION OF A LOSS

Not much to comment on here...

5. Ivy Terrace 6pc outdoor furniture group (HH)
REDACTED
Jackson
Rebecca
Mamie
695
595
450
550
ALL OVER
430
395
350
425


$409





Our mystery player is gonna have to get serious if she's to escape the vultures! (Hint #3)

Money Game, still played at the GPT in 1980:
1980 Pontiac Phoenix coupe (accent stripes, steel-belted radials, ext grp, tinted glass, remote sport mirror, wire wheel covers, Protector Sound Shield; DP, JP)

They were also still using a car cue now forever better known as the Family Feud theme at this point...

$

48
31
65
$

60
07
23
$

84
63
92
$

$
F
B



60: FRONT
$

48
31
65
$

F
07
23
$

84
63
92
$

$
60
B


65: $
$
65
48
31
$
$

F
07
23
$

84
63
92
$

$
60
B


31: $
$
65
48
$
$
$
31
F
07
23
$

84
63
92
$

$
60
B


92: $
$
65
48
$
$
$
31
F
07
23
$
92
84
63
$
$

$
60
B


84: $
$
65
48
$
$
$
31
F
07
23
$
92
$
63
$
$
84
$
60
B

Win $272
($6,023; Stretch Limo)

I'm not 100% sure, but this may have been before El Cheapo became an official "thing." Even if it was, though, $6,007 would've been a weird price for a car. Maybe if we were playing like this with today's production team... but no.

And now, your final clue to our mystery guest is to be found in the Contestant's Row grid. If you haven't already figured it out, this one may be the giveaway:
6. Soundesign stereo system (JP)
A █ █ A
Nancy
Rebecca
Mamie
895
750
1010
995
GETTING TIRED OF THIS YET? BECAUSE I AM
695
650
680
575






$620

Alas, it was not to be. But as you probably guessed, this is a special circumstance where an F4 is spared the vulture attack.

That's because it would only be about two years later when a certain job became available on a rival network's game show.

That job would eventually be filled by our mystery player... who is none other than Vanna White herself!

So, shed no tears for Vanna. As the world surely knows by now, there were greater things in store for her... ;^)

In the meantime, Mamie gets to round out this day with a round of Cliff Hangers:
Coleman Valley Forge camping trailer (DP) & Shakespeare fishing equipment (HH; $3,383)

(JP on SPs:)
  • Superior Toy automatic card shuffler
  • Prelude III deluxe personal massager
  • Washington Forge 7pc cutlery set

Shuffler: $25 NO
$20
5 steps to 5
0 1 2 3 .
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

Massager: $20 NO
$32
12 steps to 17
0 1 2 3 45 6 7 9 0 1[ 11 12 13 15 166 17.
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

Cutlery: $55 NO
$57
2 steps to 19
0 1 2 3 45 6 7 9 0 1[ 11 12 13 15 16 16 1718 9.
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 WIN!

This was before the Threshold came officially into play, but if we were going by that, it would've been dead-even at 19! Not too bad!

Showcase Showdown #2:

Joyce
45
60
1.05

$638

Jackson
80
.80
$681
Mamie
20
85
1.05

$4,112


Showcases: Richard top winner, Jackson runner-up.

1. Unthemed
  • Capitol Victorian childrens' furniture (JP)
  • Broyhill living room group (HH)
    • World Carpets 40yd² carpeting
  • Gibson room air conditioner (JP)
  • Wurlitzer digital organ (HH)
Richard passes; Jackson bids $4,600.


2. Dian's a June Bride, and the Models Are Getting Her Ready With That Old Proverb...
  • Something Old: Replica antique ice box (HH)
  • Something New: Speed Queen washer & dryer (JP)
  • Something Borrowed: A week's use of a Rolls Royce
  • Something Blue: Marquis power boat (blue, of course!) w/Johnson outboard motor & Trail-Rite trailer (JP)
Richard bids $9,500.


Before the reveal, Bob does the deal where he polls the Peanut Gallery as to who they think has won; Jackson is the overwhelming crowd favorite. But let's see...
Moment
of Truth
2. Jackson
Living room
1. Richard
Boat
Bid
4600
9500
ARP
$6680
$12,292
Result
2080
2792

Jackson wins!
$7,361
$2,654


LEADER BOARD: 20 June 1980

Jackson
$7,361
Michelle

$5,447
Bertha

$4,660
Mamie

$4,112
Richard
$2,654

Joyce

$638
TOTAL WINNINGS
$24,872
(58.62% of $42,631 + $40 bonus)

And thus we conclude the story of the most famous First Four Leftover in Price is Right history, on one of the most infamous dates in game show history. ;^)

(Answer to trivia question:  Las Vegas Gambit and Blockbusters.)