Sunday, January 31, 2016

Thankful Sunday--January 31, 2016

I am thankful for Buzzr TV.

A few months ago, we started to get Buzzr TV which is a channel that plays only old game shows. It's good for some mindless fun from time to time whether it is a trip down memory lane with Monty Hall and The Price is Right or watching new-to-me shows* like I've Got a Secret and What's My Line.

I find it particularly interesting to see how the old game shows worked with chalkboards and cardboard signs. No flashing lights or music for drama--just game playing. And some good playing at that. This channel also plays the original commercials that aired with the game shows. After watching several, it seems to me that commercials from 50 years ago were more about convincing you that they had a good product than entertaining you like today. For example, one was a man shaving the fuzz off a peach with a Remington razor.  No sports heroes or funny lines--just a man shaving a peach. And when he was done, I was convinced that a Remmington razor could give a close, gentle shave.

All and all, I feel like I'm watching a piece of cultural history when I watch these old shows. That was especially evident yesterday when I saw an episode of I've Got a Secret that introduced Velcro to most of the country for the first time.** The contestant's secret was that she could walk on the ceiling. She demonstrated this by hanging upside down with only the help of Velcro. She appeared with a space technology engineer who was using Velcro to develop things for astronauts.

So all my life, I've heard about Velcro and the space program and yesterday I saw how most of the country learned about this. It was really cool. And for Buzzr TV letting me see this bit of our history, I am thankful.

*I have heard of these shows, but have not seen most of them before.

**Original air date was January 1, 1962.

But wait, there's more:
Contrary to popular belief, NASA did not develop Velcro. It was developed in 1948 by Swiss engineer, George de Mestral. He patented it in 1955. However, NASA did develop many uses for it in the space program and helped popularize it. Velcro first became commercially available in the late 1950's.


  1. I knew the story of how velcro was conceived, but not the name of the person who came up with it. Velcro is used a lot in the OT world--adaptive clothing, making fasteners for splints, etc., and I have a love/hate relationship with it. It works well but it seems to catch hold of things I don't want it to and has sometimes ruined clothing.

    I remember What's My Line! Your TV channel sounds fun.

    1. Before Velcro, there were a lot of buttons and snaps and ties that were used. As you know, it has been a Godsend to many challenged people including my boys who were late to learn how to tie their shoes. However, I have had it catch on some knit things and snag them, also.

      Buzzr TV is fun. I particularly enjoy the shows from the 50's and early 60's.

  2. I vaguely remember What's My Line but I don't remember I've Got a Secret at all. Possibly if I saw it I might remember though. I definitely can remember 1962. Dang I am old!

    1. On I've Got a Secret, a contestant came on with a secret such as they could walk on the ceiling or dug 31 days to get his dog out of a coal mine and a panel of 4 celebrity judges ask yes or no questions to try to guess the secret. It is much like What's My Line.

      I can remember a few things from 1962 myself.

  3. I am always impressed by how polite and well-spoken everyone is on those older shows (Henry Morgan on IGAS is probably the most "on the edge" of any of them). John Daly the host of "What's My Line" is a real pro, and you can't help but wonder what a conversation with him would have been like (because like a lot of the old-time newsmen, he had pretty much seen it all in the mid 20th Century). I find WML pretty fascinating. It's too old for me, but I remember watching IGAS and TTTT when I was a kid. I'm not sure if Daly, or Arlene Francis or Bennett Cerf would have given you the time of day back then, but they come across as interesting people who apparently knew "everyone."

    1. Have you seen Johnny Carson on them? It's interesting to see him in his early days. As most of the other panelist, he was pretty smart and well versed.

      I remember WML with Wally Brunner in the late 60's and early 70's. Arlene Francis was always on with him. Brunner was also a news correspondent before that job. I didn't realize so many journalist hosted these shows. But the shows did cover a lot of current events. Yesterday I saw an interesting one. It had the helicopter pilots on that rescued Alan Sheppard after he returned from his flight. Another piece of history that was current news at the time.

    2. June - I have seen Carson on the shows. I must admit, though, that right now the old game shows have been surpassed by old Johnny Carson Tonight show episodes. It's shown on (some?) cable stations on "Antenna TV" which is a broadcast sub-channel of LA's KTLA 5. We're lucky on the west coast to get Johnny at 8:00 and 11:00PM. I love the old shows (they show the 1-hr shows from the early 80s through 92 during the week, and the older 90 min. shows on the weekends. Corny jokes, magic acts, younger celebs, Aunt Blabby and Floyd Turbo; it's all just as great as it was before.

    3. I have seen two of the Johnny Carson shows that they are playing now, but I'm usually heading to bed at 11 PM. The first show was really fun and even though it was old, it was still very topical. The next time, my kids were visiting and I insisted that they watch the show with us. Unfortunately, it was a night that the monologue bombed and I'm not sure that Wally and Theo were very impressed.

      I think that I'll start recording them so we can watch Johnny more regularly.


What do you think?