Wikipedia claims that MATCH GAME "pushed the boundaries of 1970s television standards." That may be the case, but it misses the point that the boundaries remained and were, in fact, key to what made their bickering so funny and so enduring. Charles and Brett and Richard and Gene were brilliant comedians because they knew how to deliver a dirty joke in a clean way, in the classic double entendre, which has become a lost art as content standards have waned. But this pre-pubescent MATCH GAME fan remembers all the innuendo (which the adult fan well catches) going over his head. In fact, what is very much part of the fun (watching it now at 40) is appreciating the tension in how the MATCH GAME team were so deft as to get away with so much while keeping the surface G-rated. Sex and sexuality are legitimate subjects for humor, and I have no per se moral problem with locker-room jokes. But the double entendre is not only funny, but respects the innocence of some in the audience through its "double meaning" (in a slightly different context, Ernst Lubitsch noted that if you tell the audience "2 and 2," they don't need to be told "4"). But when comedians can say whatever they want, you don't need a Bocaccio to write in "The Decameron" of a randy groundskeeper at a convent that "he tended all their gardens."
I was a teenager when I experienced the genius of Match Game, watching reruns on the Game Show Network with my mom. At first I thought it was hilariously tacky in the way so much of mainstream 70s culture seems to those of us who had our childhoods in the now ironically hip 80s. But the more I've watched it, and the older I've gotten, the more I'm convinced that my grandparents' generation was a lot cooler, a lot funnier, and a lot smarter and more sophisticated than anything my generation could hope to achieve.
Michael Gerardi also gets back in the game with a review of The Freshman and reminds me I should go watch the DVD of that movie I recorded a few weeks ago.
I'm sure everyone's already seen this, but it's new to me: Classic movies and others get the Grindhouse treatment! Example:
That Little Round-Headed Boy discovers Howard Hawks's Scarface, David Bordwell and Co. discuss movie sequels and RightWingTrash celebrates the Addams Family's contribution toward winning the Cold War:
Of course, Lurch turns out to be the opposite of what Haan imagines as a “poor weak victim of exploitation.” The butler carries around a cigar-store Indian to see who cares for a smoke. This is the same Indian that Klarpe was examining closely before with much distaste. The Addams family would get a similar reaction if Sheryl Crow came by for a visit.
The Russians decide that Lurch is a robot. Harris tries to explain the truth, but can’t convince them. At least Haan and Klarpe can calm down enough to enjoy a nice lunch. They’re impressed to get caviar, but Morticia explains that they’re eating eye of tadpole. (Blue-eyed tadpole is better, Gomez adds, but it’s out of season.) Klarpe adds that American beef is fine, but not as good as in his country. Wrong again, since he’s dining on alligator.
Terry Teachout's Entries from an unkept diary:
Though the metaphor embodied in its nickname is long dead, everyone in the world understands that a "movie" consists of "moving pictures," and it is in the nature of a picture--a photograph--that we take for granted its unfaked reality. A century ago, our great-grandparents were scared out of their wits when one of the villains in The Great Train Robbery pointed his gun at the audience and fired it. Nowadays we're more sophisticated than that, but most of us still cling to the belief that a film is in some attenuated but still meaningful sense a record of something that actually happened, if only on a soundstage.Will our children feel this way about film? I doubt it.
And Jon Hastings at The Forager Blog has started his movie club.