Geof’s noted at the IJSM I’m a fan of game shows. Why is that the case?
Well, for one thing, my reason is similar to that of legendary actress Betty White. She says game shows can keep your mind sharp. Now, was her opinion influenced by the fact she was married to a game host, the late Allen Ludden? Judge for yourself.
In any event, there’s one program on the USA Network that really broke the game show stereotype when it premiered last December. Smush — which several weeks after its premiere was moved from an 11pm ET time slot to a midnight time slot. Now, reportedly it’s being moved to a 4am ET time slot. That’s about the time I punch-in my time clock at work!
Ken Ober echoed Betty’s sentiments in Smush‘s premiere, saying that the brain can get quite a workout on the show. For example, the clues “Hanna-Barbera cartoon dog voiced by Don Messick + Basketball team coached by Mike Krzyzewski” give you the result “Scooby Doo-ke Blue Devils”. (Am I bribing the IJSM dean? Again, judge for yourself.)
As to how Smush breaks the mold, the set of the show is styled as an apartment. The set concept I assume, is partially borrowed from the basement setting of Ken’s signature show Remote Control — the late 1980’s MTV game that launched the careers of Denis Leary, Adam Sandler, Colin Quinn and Kari Wuhrer.
Another thing that breaks the mold, low-tech scorekeeping — kept by co-hostess Lisa Dergan — and a bonus game set in front of a mirror — where Lisa writes the key word or phrase with lipstick.
Now, with the move to 4am ET, it goes without saying Smush is on the chopping block. What killed it? Perhaps the late night time slot was a tough one. After all, at 11pm ET, Leno and Letterman are halfway into their respective shows. A better time slot would’ve been probably in the late afternoon or early evening.
In case you haven’t figured it out, what I’ll especially miss about Smush — when it is cancelled — is Lisa. To say the least, she was easy on the eyes. But, hey, if Denis, Adam, Colin and Kari went on to much greener pastures after Remote Control, wonder what Lisa will be up to next? (Am I hoping Lisa will knock on my door and invite me out on a night on the town in her limo? Judge for yourself.)