Skip to main content

Newlywed Game Reunion: Things Never Change

I've always wondered why a couple would submitthemselves to potential humiliation for a half-hour and participate in The NewlywedGame just for a clunky color console TV or a burnt amber-upholstered dinette set. NowI'm really confused, as some of those people came to relive their television faux pasand be a part of The Newlywed Game -- A SilverAnniversary of Love and Laughter,produced for Game Show Network.

Actually, the once-naughty show is nearly G-rated bytoday's Jerry Springer-lowered standards. You can actually hear some of the rapportwithout the constant bleeping of four-letter words. That's because preternaturallychipper host Bob Eubanks -- presented in a virtual cavalcade of bad polyester in theflashbacks -- insisted on referring to "it" as "whoopee."

Give credit to the producers, who did more than just minethe tape library for nuggets of embarrassment. They tracked down some of the 21,000couples who've played the game to make up the audience for the special. Some of themdo represent interesting stories, like the couple who never saw their episode because itwas canceled in favor of the Watergate hearings. So, during the special, the pair's24-year-old daughter is exposed for the first time to the spectacle of her mom reducednearly to tears when Dad confesses that he'd spend money to improve her "tophalf."

Another guest failed to lose his goofy demeanor even afterhis bride pointed out that the dead weasel-looking thing on his head was actually a $900toupee. He attended the special, having lost the mate but having kept the cheesy rug.

But other resurrected clips should have rested in peace.Eubanks smirkingly introduces the couple that he said most embarrassed him on the air.This is basic cable, however, so when the clip rolls, it is bleeped into utterincomprehension. The original audience roars while Eubanks sinks behind the podium, but ifyou figure out the "joke," call me.

Americana, yes. Retro, yes. Historic television, not evenclose.

The Newlywed Game -- A Silver Anniversary of Love and Laughter will becablecast April 18 at 10 p.m. EST on GSN.