Tag Archives: game shows

I’m *Not* the Next Contestant on The Price Is Right

29 Aug

I promised you a Lollipop Tuesday and my darling ducklings, I have delivered.

Happy Lollipop Tuesday y’all.

For those of you unfamiliar, well, I don’t blame you. I haven’t been diligent and its been quite some time since my last installment. I’ve been holed up in my apartment, not seeking out the unfamiliar but instead drinking and yelling at my cats. It’s comfortable. I like it here.

But there is a whole world of strange activity just waiting to be explored and darnit, I promised you I would explore it. So to check out what this is all about and hear tales of everything from infiltrating Scottish Country Dance meetings to competing in the World Pinball Championship, click here. To continue the saga, read on. Because this week I have a treat for you; I wandered over to audition open call for the contestant search for The Price Is Right.

Did you know these existed? Silly me; all my life I thought the college kids and military members and seemingly ordinary folks who run down that aisle were genuinely surprised to have been selected. But they’re not. They’re the result of nationwide open calls in major cities like the one at which I found myself. One day I’m thumbing through huge local paper looking for mischief and the next, I’m standing in a long, tired line at a casino with America’s finest, hoping to win a trip to sunny California and a chance at a Showcase Showdown.

I’m using the term “America’s Finest” quite loosely. I’m pretty sure I was one of a handful of folks who showed up as a result of advertising. Everyone else appeared to have wandered up from the casino after reading the welcome sign. Makes sense. Gamblers make excellent game  show hopefuls.  Well played, casino manager. Well played.

I have to admit that I think I’d make a stellar Price Is Right contestant.  No one knows prices on everyday products like a born and

The Welcome Sign

bred poor kid.  I’ve been blessed with the superhuman power of totaling grocery orders within three dollars just by watching the items roll down the conveyor belt.  Once, when attempting to split the cost of groceries perfectly in half with David, I put half the order in front of the little bar separator and half behind it.  The result was only 15 cents apart.  FIFTEEN CENTS.  That’s game show worthy, friends.  I’m a Showcase Showdown champion just waiting to be discovered.

In case you’re wondering how this sort of thing works, here’s the rundown.  I arrived at the casino, followed the signs to the upper lobby, and found a room with a bunch of ropes that helped to herd the cattle.  At the entrance was a gentleman who greeted me with a form to complete and wished me luck.  At the front of the room were two cameras and folks being recorded.  In the middle was a cross section of the human race that I have not yet encountered in my lifetime.  

There were cat totes.

There were beer cans.


There were helping hands.


And there was me.

It was a smorgasboard of America and it was a beautiful thing to behold.  

While in line filling out the form that waived any and all rights, I overheard folks in line saying that at the cameras up front, we had to talk for thirty seconds on why we should be on The Price Is Right.  


I do auditions all the time.  I can give them a two minute monologue, dramatic or comedic, classical or modern… but thirty seconds of me talking about something real?  I don’t know about that.  

Luckily there was about an hour’s worth of cattle ahead of me so I had time to put something together.  But in all the time I stood there, I couldn’t think of one good reason I should be picked over anyone else.  I could make something up, but I didn’t want the Price Is Right police coming after me for falsification of Price Is Right records. I have no way of knowing how serious this is.  So I went with what was true: I’m a hermit, I have a blog, I have a Lollipop Tuesday series where I try new things, and flying out to CA to be on a game show would make an excellent story.

I thought it sounded good, but since I didn’t have a script and I’m easily excited and I’m awkward, I accidentally threw in something about pole dancing. 

Where it all fell apart.

I didn’t mean to.  I’m still not really sure how it happened.  I think I was giving examples of some of the things that I’d already tried and written about and while I meant to say family-friendly things like the Civil War Reenactment and ice skating, I actually said pole dancing.   I tried to come across as so normal and television-worthy that I overcompensated. With how overly excited I was and how big my eyes were, I sincerely doubt they’ll ever believe I have trouble getting out of my apartment.  I went from hermit Jackie who wants a challenging adventure to slutty mcslut pole-dancing Jackie who is overly excitable and might attack Drew Carey with her violently chipper demeanor. 

Dammit.   That will never hold up next to all the parents who said they wanted to get on the show to get a new car for their kid.  Well played, parents.  Well played.

Hey: lesson learned.  When auditioning for a family friendly show, make no mention of stripper-related activities.  I’ll get it right next time.  

Pat Sajak, I’m lookin’ at you. 


Regis Philbin Ruined My Brain

17 Jan





Regis Philbin: Ruiner of Brains and Dreams. Image: "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire"


I have wasted an incredible amount of brain storage for useless pop culture trivia and I fear I will never get it back.

As I approach my quarter-of-a-century life celebration, I’m forced to again wonder how much I can possibly fit inside my brain before other material is pushed out.

Of course, I wondered the same thing in 4th grade and I’ve managed to make room for a decent amount of information since then.

But I can’t help but consider the useless knowledge I’ve racked up in the dusty attic of my cerebrum.  2nd edition rules for Dungeons and Dragons, the proper execution of raids in World of Warcraft, the names, titles, and prior affiliations of bands and artists from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, the entire plotline of Battlestar Galactica…  these are all fine details that have proven to be of absolutely no worth in real life.

Unless we are attacked by cylons.  Or wizards.  Then I’m President, no question.

The unfortunate reality of the situation is that these are all areas of study that were self-chosen.  And I’ve decided that there is only one thing to blame: Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.  Well, my incredible affinity for geeky hobbies and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.

Long before people were just handed a million dollars at the beginning of the show only to waste it away, people actually had to work their way up a frightening ladder of trivia in order to have that beautiful, dirty money rain from the sky like confetti. 

Regis would pull the check out after every ladder rung was successfully climbed, just to show the contestant a taste of what could be theirs if only they would walk away.

I watched at home on the edge of my seat.  All the answers up to the $32,000 mark were pop culture questions!  I only had to watch the most recent shows, listen to the most popular music, and watch the most popular videos to successfully work my way up the ladder to being a millionaire.  I spent time committing strange and random facts to memory, like who invented the lava lamp (for your information, it was Edward Craven Walker).  I even prepared for the possibility that a friend would need me when they were in the hot seat and practiced strategies for looking up the answer to a random question in less than 30 seconds. 

My 8th grade math teacher compounded the problem, by reviewing homework and approaching critical thinking questions with the same rules as the popular game show.  He had actually entered to be a contestant and in anticipation of winning a place in the hot seat, he practiced strategies in the classroom.  If I didn’t know something, I could phone a friend,  try 50/50, or poll the entire class.

That turned out to be a policy other teachers were really not okay with.

Somewhere within the deep, dark crawlspaces of my subconcious, I truly believed that someday I would be called upon to represent the human race and be tested with a vast array of pop culture trivia, after which I would undoubtedly win and sprinkle my friends and family with greasy one dollar bills. 

No one ever called.

The popularity of Millionaire began to decline and Regis Philbin bid adeiu.  New game shows were introduced that had nothing to do with knowledge.  America didn’t want to learn things, it wanted to watch people do ridiculous, degrading tasks for money in one minute or less.  They wanted to see beautiful women open suitcases full of cash.  They wanted to hook people up to lie detectors and see how much they can be humiliated before their friends and family before they step off the stage.

The Internet boasted information overload, Americans became dumber, and I became obselete.

I have no idea who is on the top 10 list for music or videos right now.  I don’t know even one song by Justin Bieber, and I had to google his last name just now to make sure I spelled it correctly.   I’m not entirely sure what’s on T.V. these days and I only browse Netflix’s Instant Queu long after popular shows have gone to DVD.

I have become old and oblivious.

If Meredith Viera called me today and asked me if I wanted to be a millionaire, I would admit in the affirmative and then immediately tell her I’m unworthy out of humiliation.   I am no match for today’s game show quizzes.

I wish I could do something with that space in my brain.  I wish I could go back and fill it with another language or Calc 3 or origami, but I can’t.

I can, however, embrace the new path of T.V. game shows.  I can attempt to move three eggs across my kitchen floor only by fanning them with an empty pizza box.  I can practice pulling tissues out of a box one by one as fast as possible and by only using one hand.   I can speed sort M&Ms by color and place them into separate cups one at a time until I am the grand master of the world at M&M speed sorting.

And so I shall.

Guy Fieri and the producers of Minute to Win It: I’ll be expecting your call.


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