A Gem of 1950’s Television

Earlier in the week, I was watching videos of some of the greatest speeches in history, because I am a nerd. However, after a video of Robert F. Kennedy’s announcement and subsequent speech regarding the assassination of MLK (which, if you’re interested in such a thing, is a must-watch speech), I stumbled upon something entirely different. In the list of suggested videos, I was enticed to click on a video titled “Last Witness to President Abraham Lincoln Assassination I’ve Got A Secret”. To my surprise, it was a clip from a 1950’s gameshow called I’ve Got A Secret.

I was immediately hooked. I found the premise of the show, as well as the retro 1950’s television style to be immensely entertaining. The basic premise of the show is that a contestant with some sort of secret or quirk is brought out by the host, and their secret is subsequently told to the host and the audience. Following this revelation, a panel of four people (whom, based on my research, are all relatively famous personalities from that era) ask the guest simple yes or no questions regarding their secret in an attempt to guess what it is. Each panelist is timed, and following the questioning period of each panelist, the contestant is rewarded with $20 until their secret is guessed, or until each panelist has had the opportunity to question them, resulting in a total potential winnings of $80.

The host and panel of I’ve Got A Secret are a huge part of what makes the show so entertaining. During its nearly 15 year lifespan, the show had a number of hosts and panelists. My personal favorite lineup consists of Garry Moore as host, with a panel of Bill Cullen, Jayne Meadows, Henry Morgan, and Faye Emerson. Their back and forth banter and witty personalities make for some of the show’s best content. It is worth mentioning that Betsy Palmer is also a fairly entertaining panelist. However, based on what I have seen, a lineup consisting of anyone else is inferior comparted to the one mentioned above. They make for the most entertaining episodes by a long shot.

 

panel.jpg
Cast: Host (standing) Garry Moore, Panel (seated from left to right) Bill Cullen, Jayne Meadows, Henry Morgan, Faye Emerson

 

 

There are many different aspects of I’ve Got A Secret that make it so entertaining. On the surface, it is a fun game show. The very nature of the guessing game makes it very fun to watch. But beyond that, the show is downright fascinating. It provides a glimpse into American culture from a time before many of us (or even our parents) were alive. Things were so much different in the 1950’s. I’ve Got a Secret is a prime example of both the good and bad of 1950’s culture and society. Much of the fun in the viewing of this show is comparing and contrasting the differences between then and now. For much of the show’s run, its primary sponsor was Winston Cigarettes. Not only is the show littered with Winston advertisements (something that would never fly today), but a carton of Winston cigarettes were given to each contestant in most of the clips I have found. This could absolutely never happen today. As a matter of fact, in one clip, which I was unfortunately unable to find again to put in this article, host Garry Moore gave a carton of Winstons to his guests, who were two small boys who couldn’t have been more than 12 years old. While he did tell them to be sure that they gave them to their dads, could you imagine if a television host today handed two small children cartons of cigarettes? It is small cultural differences like this that make the show so interesting. If you can look past the occasional comment that could be deemed as sexist or inappropriate by today’s standards, the show has great entertainment value.

 

I would highly recommend the show to anyone who thinks they might be interested in this glimpse of 50’s culture. There are literally dozens upon dozens of clips from the show available on YouTube. All you have to do is search “I’ve Got A Secret” and you will be provided with hours of quality content. Just make sure you have plenty of free time before you start watching. I have spent hours watching clips and full episodes of I’ve Got a Secret since I discovered it.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to check out some of the other articles from me and the rest of the Mid-American Culture staff!

My twitter: @BigRedAFerg

Mid-American Culture Twitter: @M_American_C

Weekly Playlist: I’m Just Sayin’ You Could Do Better

 

 

Top Ten LCD Soundsystem Songs

I only started listening to LCD Soundsystem a couple months ago, but they quickly became one of my favorite musical acts. The impassionate singing, songwriting, and production from James Murphy all combine to make something truly special. He manages to make every song feel distinct and unique, whether it be soft or hard. Narrowing my favorites down to ten was a project, but I did it. Let’s begin. Continue reading “Top Ten LCD Soundsystem Songs”

The Best Non-WWE Wrestling Match Of All Time

There have been countless phenomenal wrestling matches to have taken place outside of a WWE/WWF ring over the years. The likes of AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura at New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Wrestle Kingdom 10 and Kazuchika Okada vs Kenny Omega from NJPW’s Dominion 6.11 event come to mind from recent years, as do a vast number of classic matches from the sport’s territorial days. However, in my humble (but correct) opinion, the greatest wrestling match to ever take place outside of World Wrestling Entertainment took place in Smoky Mountain Wrestling at their Night of Legends show in the year 1994. The show, which took place at the Civic Coliseum in Knoxville, Tennessee, featured an incredible showcase of talent which was presented to a sold-out crowd. Smoky Mountain Wrestling is probably the most underrated and undervalued wrestling promotion to exist in the last 30+ years. The Night of Legends 1994 show is absolutely deserving of its own article discussing all of its greatness and, if I have anything to say about it, it will eventually get one. But ultimately, one match stands out above the rest from the super-card booked by Smoky Mountain. That match is, of course, the classic tag-team bout between The Heavenly Bodies (Gigolo Jimmy Del Ray and Doctor Tom Prichard) and The Thrillseekers (Chris Jericho and Lance Storm).

The match was the result of an angle built up by Smoky mountain in the weeks leading up to the Night of Legends show. The basic premise of the feud was that the Thrillseekers, the babyface team, were viciously attacked in a parking lot by The Heavenly Bodies, the storyline’s heel faction. This attack garnered instant heat with the fans, as at previous Smoky Mountain show, The Heavenly Bodies had come out on the losing end of a “Loser Leaves Town” match. Seeing the polarizing team back in the promotion loaned instant credibility, as well as an immense amount of heat. To allow The Thrillseekers to get their revenge following the attack, the Smoky Mountain promotion decided to lift the “loser leaves town” sanctions against The Heavenly Bodies for one night only: The Night Of Legends.

 

thrillseekers
The Thrillseekers: Lance Storm (left) and Chris Jericho (right)

The match itself begins with The Heavenly Bodies entering the Knoxville Civic Coliseum with their manager, the great Jim Cornette. Before The Thrillseekers make their entrance, Cornette cuts a short, but epic, promo. After this short segment, a racecar pulls up to the entranceway, which is portrayed as being driven by The Thrillseekers. however, the lights go dark and the tag-team enters from the back entrance and immediately begins striking at The Heavenly Bodies. On commentary, the legendary Jim Ross is quick to point out that Thrillseeker Chris Jericho had suffered a broken arm in a “motorcycle accident” within 24 hours of coming to the ring to contest The Heavenly Bodies. While Jericho had actually suffered a broken arm within 24 hours of the bout, it was actually sustained while doing in-ring training prior to the Night of Legends event. Jim Cornette, who was also the owner and booker of Smoky Mountain Wrestling, discussed the utter shock and panic caused by Jericho’s injury in a later shoot interview with Kayfabe Commentaries years later. In what I found to be an immensely funny moment, Cornette addresses the added panic he felt when he realized that the arm Jericho had broken was the arm he would use to blade himself in the match, referring to it as his “juice gettin’ arm”. Regardless of how the injury was suffered, it added an incredible amount of drama to the match and Smoky Mountain was brilliant to use it to add to the Thrillseeker gimmick and to use it to enhance the storytelling of the match.

 

 

bodies
The Heavenly Bodies: Dr. Tom Prichard (left) and Gigolo Jimmy Del Ray (right) managed by Jim Cornette (middle)

The next several minutes of the match are characterized by a great amount of action. The Thrillseekers and The Bodies seem to trade the upper-hand back and forth as several tag-ins, spectacles of impressive teamwork, and of course, Jim Cornette shenanigans make this sequence immensely entertaining. Just shy of the 13-minute mark of the match, Chris Jericho is thrown into the ringside barricades by Doctor Tom Prichard. It was directly following that spot when Jericho bladed his forehead. What followed was one of the goriest, and yet most inspiring sequences of events in professional wrestling history. Unbeknown to the crowd, and most of those involved in the show, Jericho had taken an aspirin prior to the match. The blood thinner paired with a sloppy, broken-armed blade job led to unimaginably heavy bleeding from Jericho. As the bleeding continued, The Heavenly Bodies began to truly take the upper-hand as The Thrillseekers were seemingly reduced to hopeless underdogs. After a brutal beat-down of Chris Jericho, the referee stops the match out of fear for Jericho’s health. However, after impassioned pleading from Chris Jericho and epic commentary from Jim Ross about Jericho’s toughness, the referee decides to restart the match. Jericho, bloodied to the point of no recognition at this point, is quick to deliver a martial arts kick to Gigolo Jimmy Del Ray. Jericho covers the Gigolo and a 3-count follows. Jim Cornette and The Heavenly bodies are absolutely stunned by the turn of events as an almost lifeless Jericho is helped out of the arena by his partner, Lance Storm.

 

 

smw blood
Chris Jericho being helped out of the arena following the match’s conclusion

I do not possess an adequate amount of words to describe my love of this match. The storytelling is simply superb. The underdog babyfaces being attacked by an iconic heel team and then being able to seek their revenge at the biggest show of the year is just great. The Heavenly Bodies are an absolutely iconic team and their pairing with the infinitely talented team of Chris Jericho and Lance Storm was a phenomenal booking decision. Lance Storm’s amazing talent can sometimes be overshadowed in this match because of Jericho’s legendary performance. He doesn’t get the credit he deserves. He is a spectacular wrestler and his abilities are showcased perfectly in this match. While the match may not be a technical masterpiece (one of the participants had a broken freaking arm, after all), it was still an amazing piece of entertainment. I can’t recommend this match enough to anyone who enjoys professional wrestling, or even just great entertainment. It truly is one of the better wrestling matches of all time.

 

Thanks for reading! Be sure to check out some of the other great articles by me, as well as the rest of the guys at Mid-American Culture!

My Twitter: @BigRedAFerg

Mid-American Culture Twitter: @M_American_C

 

 

The Best and Worst of WrestleMania 34

Sunday night’s show was certainly a mixed bag. This year’s edition of the Showcase of the Immortals delivered some truly great matches, and, unfortunately, some definite disappointments. Here are what I consider to be the two best and two worst matches from Wrestlemania 34.

Continue reading “The Best and Worst of WrestleMania 34”

Cincinnati Reds and… Music???

As long as I can remember, I’ve been a Cincinnati Reds fan. Also as long as I can remember, I’ve been a fan of music. Would you imagine these two things being correlated in any fashion? I know it may seem weird, but there exists quite a lot of music related to the Reds. I got laughs out of them, so I thought I’ll share some today. Let’s begin. Continue reading “Cincinnati Reds and… Music???”