Sunday, April 17, 2011

Game Time: Runaround (1972)

Merrill Heatter & Bob Quigley's last Saturday morning game show was 1972's Runaround, part of NBC's ill-fated "Terrific 10" block. Actor-ventriloquist Paul Winchell served as the series host, aided by puppet partners Jerry Mahoney & Knucklehead Smiff. The series, unfortunately, lasted just the one season here in the States, and, just as unfortunately, there are no clips available on YouTube.

However, Runaround would gain new life in England in 1975, and lasted 6 years. Actor Mike Reid (EastEnders) hosted this version for most of its run, and we'll see Mike in this clip, uploaded by ErnestMaples, taken from October 1976.

As you can see, the British copied the original format, right down to celebrity guest stars appearing in skits.

There was an unpleasant network practice in the 70's of "wiping", or erasing, tapes of daytime game shows, and I suspect strongly that this fate has befallen the American Runaround, which is a shame, as I have fond memories of watching the show as a 9 year old.

Rating: (for the US version) B.

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