I’ve really had a good time this past week watching Christmas shows of game shows either on GSN’s 12 Days of Christmas this year, or watching some favorite Christmas episodes that I’ve recorded over the past few years.
As much as I agree with anyone that earlier episodes of Wheel of Fortune featured more charm and that it’s a better show without multiple gimmicks and fluff, I do admit that it’s nice looking forward to the Christmas shows ever year. I saw one from December 25, 2006 again and I did find it pretty enjoyable. It seems as though on this episode in particular, the show is more focused on the holiday theme than the extra things, which made it more fun to watch.
I think the Passwords did a really good job at getting into the holiday spirit. I love decorated game show sets, and Password Plus in 1979 did a really good job with theirs, and the Christmas puzzles in the game really help the mood as well. Super Password I enjoy just as much, and knowing that Bert was a singer, it really makes me wish that there was another instance where he sings a Christmas carol or two, like he did (albeit briefly) with “Mele Kalikimaka” in 1984.
Super Password’s 1984 holiday episode brings me to another show, the Pyramid Christmas show from 2003. I have my issues with Donnymid, but I always thought this was a high point in this version of the series. I find it really easy to get cozy and comfortable with the Christmas categories, with EVERY category both in the main games and the winner’s circle being holiday related. It’s one instance I think where the style of writing kind of came in handy. It also makes me wish we could see more of the possible Christmas shows from the Clark eras, including one from $25,000 Pyramid in 1986 -- hint, hint, GSN.
Seeing the holiday episodes of To Tell The Truth from 1990 were a real treat, and seeing them as well as a couple from the Collyer era also make me wish that television syndication was run differently back then, so we could have seen the same style of holiday charm on the 1969-78 version, which I thought were the truly the show’s best years. And as for another panel show, I’ve Got A Secret could really produce some great Christmas cheer.