The re­make of the goofy game show was (blank)

Winnipeg Free Press - Section D - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Adrian Lee

TORONTO — Some of Canada’s best standup co­me­di­ans, plus the re­vival of a clas­sic game show? You fill in the blanks.

The Cana­dian re­make of Match Game — which ran for more than 4,000 episodes on NBC, CBS and ABC be­tween 1962 and 1991 and lifted names like Charles Nel­son Reilly and Brett Somers to promi­nence — kicks off its sec­ond sea­son on The Com­edy Net­work on Mon­day. The orig­i­nal show’s pop­u­lar­ity per­haps lies in the sim­plic­ity of its premise: con­tes­tants com­plete a phrase by fill­ing a blank and try to match their an­swers with those of an ever-chang­ing celebrity panel, their edgy ban­ter filmed in front of a stu­dio au­di­ence.

For the co­me­di­ans in­volved, it’s some­thing of an ideal sit­u­a­tion.

“Mostly, it’s us and our friends, hang­ing out and be­ing drunk and oc­ca­sion­ally play­ing the game,” jokes Dar­rin Rose, the show’s host, who de­scribes his job over­see­ing the panel as “like herd­ing cats.”

“It’s ba­si­cally a com­edy show that hap­pens to be a game show,” says Sean Cullen, one of the reg­u­lar pan­el­lists. “It’s an op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple to be funny and that’s a huge el­e­ment of the show. If it was just a quiz show, it would be a re­ally bor­ing quiz show.”

“I think co­me­di­ans want to just al­ways be our­selves,” added De­bra DiGio­vanni, an­other reg­u­lar pan­el­list. “So it’s pretty much just ba­si­cally show­ing up and let­ting it hap­pen, and that’s what all co­me­di­ans re­ally want in a way. We can say what­ever we want, we can do pretty much what­ever we want — the only thing we haven’t done is mur­der a man on cam­era.”

“That’s com­ing,” Rose in­ter­jects. “It’s go­ing to be so good.”

While Cullen in­sists that serv­ing as a pan­el­list does noth­ing to hone standup ma­te­rial, it’s clear there are still lessons to be picked up along the ban­ter-filled way.

“It’s a funny thing about the show — say­ing some­thing right on the nose, a dirty word, isn’t as funny as a eu­phemism,” says Rose.

While Rose ad­mits he was too young to watch the show in its first in­car­na­tion, both DiGio­vanni and Cullen grew up with Match Game.

“There was a time where we were grow­ing up and you’d come home from school and you’d watch the same TV as your par­ents,” says Cullen, 47. “There were only like three or four chan­nels… and this was one of the things that was on, and it was racy and weird, but you

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.