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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » "Simon Says" (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Starrpower
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Years ago, probably in the 1970's, I remember seeing a game of "Simon Says" played on TV. I think it was performed by Ray Bolger (the scarecrow from "Wizard of Oz") but I could be wrong about that. I also think this performance might have been on a "Wide World of Sports" or similar program.

Does anyone remember such a show? Any chance a video exists?
Vandy Grift
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If it wasn't the "Wide World of Sports" it may have been "Battle of the Network Stars". There was a show where you could watch Mr T,Tony Tenille, Daryl Dragon, and Tony Randall play the game. LOL
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Lambertmoon
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I think it was on Battle of the Superstars on ABC. Every year they would have the Superbowl champions battle it out with the World Series champions. I remember the guy you're talking about because he was hired as an entertainer at a Christmas party for a company I used to work for in the 80's. It wasn't Ray Bolger. It was a guy whose specialty was Simon Says and he could mess people up at will.
acmp
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This sounds better than most 'Reality TV' stuff they're showing at the moment
acmp<><

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Starrpower
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It was actually quite entertaining. I can't imagine how anyone could actually make an entire show out of it as it only lasted about 5 minutes (Lambertmoon?)But this was NOT in the 80's, it was around 1974-75, as I was a kid then. And I really, really think it was Ray Bolger; in any case, it seems to me it was an older vaudeville-type guy, not someone that would have been doing it in the 80's (I did a web search and there are guys still doing this. How can it be an entire show?) Also, this was during the era when they used to have variety acts on Wide World of Sports that were very loosely sports related (like Franco Columbo blowing up a hot water bottle, or "World's Stongest Man" competitions, or dogs running goofy obstacle courses.)

Of course, I could be wrong about all of this. That's why I'm asking.
Starrpower
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It was actually quite entertaining. I can't imagine how anyone could actually make an entire show out of it as it only lasted about 5 minutes (Lambertmoon?)But this was NOT in the 80's, it was around 1974-75, as I was a kid then. And I really, really think it was Ray Bolger; in any case, it seems to me it was an older vaudeville-type guy, not someone that would have been doing it in the 80's (I did a web search and there are guys still doing this. How can it be an entire show?) Also, this was during the era when they used to have variety acts on Wide World of Sports that were very loosely sports related (like Franco Columbo blowing up a hot water bottle, or "World's Stongest Man" competitions, or dogs running goofy obstacle courses.)

Of course, I could be wrong about all of this. That's why I'm asking.
Lambertmoon
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Star-

I tried to find the guys name. I couldn't find it either. His Schtick (sp) was solely "Simon Says". You're right about it only lasting a couple of minutes. It was sort of a funny segway between events. This is the show I remember him being on. They had competitors like Lyn Swann, Dwight Stone, Kyle Rote Jr etc..From all sport categories. I could be wrong.

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Ellen Kotzin
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I LOVED Batle of the network stars!!! I always rooted for abc.

Ellen
Lambertmoon
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This highlight is of the first episode I found on a website.

NBC's Captain Robert Conrad explodes after his team is dropped from first place to second in the running relay, due to a protest by Kojak himself, Telly Savalas. He challenges ABC Captain Gabe Kaplan to run it off in a one-on-one race. Kaplan wins, meaning ABC keeps the first place position.
Vandy Grift
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Robert Conrad was always out of control on that show. Gabe Kaplan ran his *** into the ground. Mr T also freaked out once while playing a game of....you guessed it. Simon Says.

Lambertmoon, I know the guy you are talking about. The expert. I remember seeing him on TV a few times. I can't picture him. I just picture a skinny guy, maybe in a white suit? I do remember the guy though.
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Lambertmoon
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Vandy-

That's the guy. He had to be in his late forties or fifties back then. I think they even had Howard Cosell do the play by play for the Simon Sez game. I remember my company listing his credits on the party flyer. I hung out at the bar... but he was very good.
Starrpower
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So ... how does a guy like that work a party? It seems that, after 5 minutes, the gig is done. How much more is there to do after the game is over?
Lambertmoon
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It was a corporate party with other entertainment. It lasted a lot longer than 5 minutes. Maybe 45 minutes to an hour in total. You can hire people for almost any specialty.
I'm not sure if he did anything after Simon Sez. I didn't know I would be quizzed on it 20 years later.
ed rhodes
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Well, I took a look on internet movie data base.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001961/

There doesn't seem to be anything here about Bolger appearing on a "Battle of the Network Stars" type program!
"He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad." - Rafael Sabatini, Scaramouche
Starrpower
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Well, Ray Bolger could have been a figment of my imagination -- although it wasn't "Battle of the Network Stars" -- it was "Wide World of Sports." That I'm pretty sure of. But apparently others saw this guy, too, whomever he was. I don't mean to quiz you, Lambertmoon (although you were the one who claimed to have seen him!), and I KNOW you can find some bizarre entertainment out there, I'm just intrigued with the idea that what should be a less-than-5-minute bit (it seems he was so good he eliminated everyone in very little time) could actually work a party. I mean, if it was 45 minutes, who would care? Heck, even *I* can present "Simon Says" in 45 minutes!
Lambertmoon
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My guess is that ABC hired him for a number of gigs. You recall him on Wide World of Sports, I recall him on Battle of the Superstars and Vandy recalls him on Battle of the Network Stars. I did a quick search and all I can come up with is this excerpt from Jumpingtheshark.com that says

The Conrad-Kaplan incident was unbelievable. I have been telling people about it for 20 plus years, and I still can't believe what an insane little man Conrad was....but that wasn't the shark-jump moment. That occurred years later when Mr.T refused to leave the Simon Says competition.

I didn't see The Simon Says guy listed in any credits (IMDB). I guess if you really need to know you can look to buy a copy of the Mr. T episode.

As far as the party I was at...True he could eliminate people rather quickly but it was his presentation that made it entertaining. He cracked jokes, kept key people in rather than eliminate them. He had a routine, did his homework, knew who the VIP's were.
Starrpower
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You could be right.

Did the guy continue on to make crap of Mr. T? My guess is he could zero in on whomever he chose to make 'em the "loser."
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