Monday, October 20, 2008

Remembering Jack Narz

I thought it'd be worth mentioning right now because of the pretty decent tribute GSN is giving. At one point a few months ago, I thought it'd might be a good idea to do some sort of "remembering the greats of 2008" towards the very end of the year, which explains why there haven't been remembrance posts yet in regards to Beverlee McKinsey, Harvey Korman, Estelle Getty, etc. I don't think I'll be doing that after this year, and instead I'll just write about celebrity passings as they happen.

Anyway, yet another loss for the game show community. I don't think many people in the fandom knew that Jack was having health problems. Unlike a lot of game show fans, I didn't grow up watching him on Dotto, Seven Keys, Beat the Clock, Concentration, or Now You See It. But thanks to GSN and tape trading, I've had the opportunity to see much of his work, and he's in no doubt one of the best old school hosts I have ever seen. I love any host who is very personable and friendly with the contestants, loves his job, and is good with the games he has to work with, and this man was no exception. I think my favorite show of his so far is Now You See It. I love word games, and this I think was one of the better ones and I wish then-network head of CBS, Fred Silverman, gave it more of a chance.

One other thing to point out. I'm a huge fan of Betty White, and at the Dollar Tree about a year ago was a DVD of three episodes of her 1950's sitcom, Life with Elizabeth. And to my surprise, Jack Narz was the narrator! I always like to see early work of celebrities, and this certainly was no exception.

Now onto GSN's tribute. This week, during the GSN Live block, we will see his week of Match Game '74 at 1:30 pm, and a week of him on Password Plus from later in the run at 2:30 pm (all times Eastern). Note that on that week of Plus, he switches places with brother Tom Kennedy (a.k.a. Jim Narz) on an episode! That will definitely be worth seeing. I agree with some people who say that the skipping of Match Game episodes has gotten to be somewhat ridiculous, but I think in this case, it's worth it. I usually feel that way about celebrity tributes; because, yes, I find it truly annoying when networks skip episodes, but there's still something to look forward to. And I'd much rather GSN air a full week's worth of shows with Jack -- or any other celebrity for that matter -- and give some sort of a proper tribute with what's available instead of them just airing one episode of something at 3:30 am, and then calling it a night. That would have been pretty crappy, and I'm glad they didn't go that route.

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