Shut up, Louie! This is MATCH GAME, not The Family Feud.
So Saturday night was my first night in charge of Match Game at the DSI Comedy Theater. Normally, Ross White is in charge of the proceedings, but he's at school for two weeks, and as DSI's resident Match Game fanboy, it came to me to start the show off on its month-long run at the theater.
As I started to put the show together, it looked like a big mess; most of the Match Game regulars just couldn't make it for the first show--out of the six people Ross and I had proposed for the panel, four had to bow out. Katy Jack was happy to reprise her role as Martha Stewart, and Dave Siegel was eager to come back into the fold as Ronald Reagan. I got PT to come back as John Belushi, and tapped Kit FitzSimons to do Rod Serling, and Tommy Barbour as Dr. Evil. That gave me five celebrities, and I was fine with that. Then, five minutes before showtime, I was given a gift when Scott "There's No Way In Hell I'm Getting On Stage To Do Match Game" Jennings came up to me and graciously asked, "Do you need me to do Louie Anderson?" I was touched, honoured, and tickled, and we had our six celebrities.
The show rocked like thunder. The crowds were small all weekend, but the people in attendence really seemed to enjoy what we were doing. I came on and introduced myself as your host, Ross White. That actually got a good reaction--and dammit, Ross White should ALWAYS host the show, even if he isn't here! As somebody told me afterwards, Ross White is a star, just like the rest of the celebrities.
Jennings was fabulous as Louie Anderson, in every sense of the word fabulous. His take on Louie was hilarious, as he insisted that we were playing The Family Feud and that he should be hosting the show (when he wasn't consuming candybars). At the end of the show, I had to grunt and groan and shove Louie out of the studio...when we got to the Green Room, Scott told me he actually had a lot of fun, and that really made me feel good.
Just before showtime, Dave asked if he could switch from being Reagan to being Ted Kennedy; he had hosted the 9:30 show as Reagan, and wasn't really feeling it. I was fine with having Ted Kennedy on stage, and as it turned out, Dave's Senator Kennedy is even funnier than his Reagan. Dave was hilarious, with a great accent, drinking like a fish, and coming on to Martha Stewart. At one point, he passed out on the table, and I bent down to shout his name in his ear to awaken him--Dave snapped his head up and did a perfect spit-take in my face. The crowd loved it.
Kit's Rod Serling was fabulous, even though he forgot his tie, socks, razor, and comb (which he found to be an amusing tale afterwards.) I loved the fact that he didn't sit down the whole time, since we always see Serling standing up. Kit ended up in the role of protecting Martha Stewart's honour, which was hilarious. One of the big keys to the Serling performance came from an unexpected source: Mike Bamford is the Match Game TechKing, and every time Rod Serling would speak, Mike would start playing the "Twilight Zone" theme. Hilarious. Then, one time when he didn't play the music, Kit picked up on it and started doing a bit on how he was free, liberated from the weirdness that was pursuing him his whole life! ...and then the music came back.
This post is getting long, but I do want to give applause to Katy Jack for her as-always feisty and put-upon Martha Stewart performance, and to say that I'm really looking forward to her perky Rachel Ray. Tommy did a great Dr. Evil and even brought his own Mr. Bigglesworth. PT is, well, PT is always damn funny, and it was great to see his leering Belushi.
So thanks to Dave Siegel, Kit FitzSimons, Katy Jack, Tommy Barbour, PT Scarborough, and Mike Bamford, with a special thanks to Scott Jennings for coming in at the last second. It was a great show, and Match Game will be returning each and every Saturday in January at 11:00 pm, 10:00 Central. Come by the DSI Comedy Theater and enjoy the hilarious hijinks as we match the stars!