Is The New “Match Game” Doing Justice to the Original?

Anyone still around that remembers the Match Game from its first run? The show was first conceived and aired in 1962 and has been revived a few times over the past several decades. The original host of the show was Gene Rayburn, and the guest judges of the show changed from time to time as the program went on. As game shows go it was one of the more popular around and was one of those that many people would tune in to given a chance, but it did manage to wrap things up occasionally and go away for a while. Today the show is back and it’s already into its third season so it seems to be that it might be living up to the original show, but there are some reasons that it might and some that it might not match up to the original.

There’s nothing like the original.

This is true of pretty much anything. Even if the original wasn’t all that great, which doesn’t describe the Match Show in any way, it was the one that came before and the one that set the tone for whatever came next. Trying to ditch the original means that the producers would have had no faith at all in the show and were just trying to use a gimmick to get peoples’ attention. It’s been done before but in the case of this game show the producers saw gold and they went for it, which was a wise move this time. Even if it had to be revised more than once over the years the idea has been sound enough that those in charge have been smart enough to realize that it’s not played out yet and might have a lot more go left to it. Even if the current Match Game is great, and it is for the most part, a person can’t deny that the original will always be what’s remembered as lighting the fire that got the whole thing smoking.

The talent has been a lot more recognizable in this current version.

This is something that you can’t really equate between the original and the current incarnation since stars tend to come and go. While it’s very true that this show has featured some of the greats like Wayne Brady, Taye Diggs, Kenan Thompson, James Van Der Beek, and even Ice T, it’s still the kind of show that seems to attract those celebrities that don’t have a whole lot to do at that point and can take the time out to be celebrity guests. Also think of it this way, back in the day those celebrities that were on the show were hot in their day as well. The show did feature Betty White at one point remember. But one big difference is also the exposure these celebrities have received in their careers since back in the day social media was confined to a newspaper and how fast it could be delivered to a doorstep, and then how long it would take someone to read the Entertainment section, if they ever did. Today’s celebrities do have a lot more exposure and it’s a lot easier to get to know them since their likeness is plastered upon just about anything and everything it can be.

Alec Baldwin is a great host.

In the past you would have never thought he would actually agree to this kind of a job, but Alec Baldwin has grown and matured quite a bit since his younger years. He used to come off as one of the biggest egotists in Hollywood and in truth he kind of still does. But that’s perfect for a game show host and as a result he’s able to do the job without much effort. Today’s show is very similar to the version played in the 1973-79 version and features two full games, each with their own contestants. Baldwin has obviously learned the game well and perhaps even watched the game back in the day, but he also brings a new level of humor and feeling to this current game that has been evolving throughout the history of the Match Game. His sense of comedy has been getting deeper and deeper throughout the years until finally he’s able to stand toe to toe with the true comedians and actually pull of his own comedic act with a straight face and to great applause most times. In other words, he’s become what the people want to see.

The current Match Game is carrying on the tradition of the show more or less and is doing it justice, but it’s not out to replace the original or even do better than it. One great thing about the Match Game is that it’s been evolving for decades now and each time it comes back it gets a little better. So really the question is if the current Match Game is carrying on the tradition in the proper manner. And the answer? Oh yes, definitely.


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