Wednesday, March 30, 2022

March Miscellany: Archie Bunker's Card Game & 1970s TV Guides

It's time for more "March Miscellany."  I have been doing something different, and posting multiple times throughout the month of March.  This is post #4.

Did you know that TV's "Archie Bunker" had his own card game?  Well he did, and my brother had the game when we were kids.  For those who don't know, Archie Bunker was a character from the TV show, "All In The Family."  The show aired on the CBS network, from 1971 to 1979, and was #1 in the television ratings for 5 years in a row.  In 1972, Milton Bradley created a card game, themed to the show's characters.

The contents of the game included playing cards, and "Ding Bat Tallies."

Each of the four main characters, were featured on the cards.  In addition, there were "Ding Bat" cards.

The Ding Bat Tallies were used in the play of the game, and also to keep track of the players' scores.

I remember playing this game as a kid, but now when I read the instructions, it seems kind of convoluted.  The game was intended for "Ages 10 to Adult."


Inside the lid of the box, there was a much simpler explanation given on how to play the game.  It was written as if it were being told by Archie, in his "unique" way of speaking.

While I was scanning the individual pieces of the game, my cat decided that she wanted to sit on the scanner!

Members from the cast of "All In The Family" appeared on the cover of TV Guide, at least eight different times. I was able to find two of those covers, within my collection of vintage TV Guides.  I'm including the covers here, along with the related articles from inside.

The cover art from this January 1979 issue, was drawn by the famous American caricaturist, Al Hirschfeld.

This article was written during the final season of the original series.  At this time, two of the main stars, Sally Struthers and Rob Reiner, had already left the show, and Danielle Brisebois had been added to the cast.

F.Y.I.....home pregnancy tests had become available in the U.S., just two years earlier.

F.Y.I.....don't smoke, even if the cigarettes are marketed as, "low tar."  They are still dangerous to your health.  The Surgeon General says so!

This issue is from September of 1979.  This was the first season for the "spin-off" of the show, "Archie Bunker's Place."  This new show was a success and ran for another 4 seasons.

This article was written by Carroll O' Connor ("Archie Bunker"), himself.  He reflects on what it was like working on the show for 9 seasons, and why he agreed to come back for the "spin-off" series.

Again....don't smoke!  Is that guy lighting his cigarette with a roasted marshmallow on a stick?

Attention Kmart shoppers!

Since this was a Fall issue of TV Guide, there were a lot of listings for new shows, and the season premieres of returning shows.  Let's take a look at some of those listings for the week.

"CHiPs" was doing the "disco thing" again.  I've previously posted a TV Guide listing for the show, which described the officers delivering a baby at a discotheque.  I want to see Ruth Buzzi and Nancy Kulp on roller skates!  And I guess NBC's attempt to "Out-Bond Bond" didn't work, because "A Man Called Sloane" was cancelled after only 12 episodes.  According to Wikipedia, it was the last series produced by Quinn Martin.

Michelle Lee alert! "Disney's Wonderful World" was showing The Love Bug.  According to the ad, it was the film's first time on TV.  I could have sworn that I saw it on TV, prior to 1979.

The retooled "All In The Family" was returning as, "Archie Bunker's Place," this week.  Martin Balsam was joining the cast as Archie's business partner.  Who could forget him in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, as private investigator, ARB-O-GAST?

Telly Savalas was guest starring on the 4th season premiere of "Alice."  "Who love's ya baby?"  And "The Jeffersons" was beginning it's 6th season.  To date, it is one of television's longest running sitcoms (11 seasons).

This was the 7th season for "Happy Days."  And Don Knotts was joining the cast of "Three's Company," as the roommates' new landlord, Mr. Furley.

Shelley Hack was joining the cast of "Charlie's Angels," after Kate Jackson's departure from the series.  To quote Bea Arthur in "The Golden Girls," "IT WOULD BE BETTER WITH SHELLEY HACK, ROSE!"

A new series called, "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century," was debuting that week.  Buster Crabbe, who had played the title character in the the 1930s serialized version of Buck Rogers, was guest starring.

The cast of "Hello, Larry" was visiting the cast of "Different Strokes," for a special one-hour episode.  Everyone remembers the "Different Strokes" spin-off, "Hello, Larry," right?  Well, don't feel so bad, it only lasted a season and a half.  In 2002, TV Guide ranked the series as number 12, on their list of the "50 Worst Shows of All Time."

I wonder what show ranked at number 1?  "Holmes and Yoyo"?  "Pink Lady and Jeff"?  "Joanie Loves Chachi"?  What would be your pick, as the worst show in television history?

****Post Update - 8-24-22****

Since originally writing this post, I have found two more issues of TV Guide, featuring Carol O'Connor as "Archie Bunker," on the cover.  Each issue also included a "cover story" article.

From March 29, 1980:

The article in this issue was about Martin Balsam (also featured on the cover), who played "Murray Klein," Archie Bunker's business partner.

From August 8, 1981:


Melissa said...

Cool stuff! The card game sounds like a variation on "Oh, Hell," which my friends and I played a lot during my college days.

TokyoMagic! said...

Melissa, I had never heard of that card game, but I like that name! As a kid, I remember a friend's parents talking about a card game called, "Hellzapoppin." But now when I tried to look it up, nothing comes far as card games are concerned. Maybe it's something they made up.


Growing up my next door neighbor had this game …. Be I never played it. My family loved watching the show . I think All In The Family is ranked as the most tv spin-offs:
ALL IN THE FAMILY, ARCHIE’S PLACE , GLORIA, THE JEFFERSONS , MAUDE, GOOD TIMES , 221 HAUSER STREET ( all thought no original characters except grandson Joey - the landlord of the rented out house his grandparents Edith and Archie lived in. ) I think I may have skipped a spin-off . Obviously many of those spin-offs also featured spin-offs … like Florence etc but I didn’t count those.

Did you ever see the episode Edith is going thru menopause and Archie is all excited about the Walt Disney World vacation kingdom opening and keeps carrying around the WDW preview guidebook and with excitement tries to show Edith that there is gonna be sining bears and Edith ( in a reversal of behavior ) yells at Archie to STIFLE IT!!!!

I had a board game …. I think it was called “Conspiracy” …… it’s rules and instructions were so confusing no one in my family ever played it……

TokyoMagic! said...

Mike, I think you listed all of the spin-offs! My favorite of all these shows (including AITF) was The Jeffersons, although I did like Maude, once I was older.

I do remember that episode, when Archie tries to tell Edith about the "Singing Bears" at WDW. Too funny!

DrGoat said...

Great post TM. My family loved that show. I remember the board game but by then, we had quit playing board games at my parents house. I do remember when Edith died. That episode and the following ones were the saddest thing on TV I've ever seen (fictionally speaking).
Sometimes I wish we still had TV Guides.
Thanks TM.

TokyoMagic! said...

DrGoat, that was very sad when they killed off Edith's character. I guess if Jean Stapleton was leaving the show, there were only two ways to handle it. They would either have to kill her off, or write a story about her leaving Archie.

It's a shame what happened to TV Guide. I stopped buying it many, many years ago, when they changed the format/layout of the magazine. Have they stopped publishing it altogether?


As grandpa like Norman Lear ( the creator of all in the family) is, actors agree that if you have any issues with the character you are playing …. Or if you wish to stop playing that character , Lear will Kill your character off so as to make you feel guilty or ashamed about the fate of your character. The one exception was Florida from Good Times.

When Edith died , America felt like their grandma died. I remember the episode when Archie found one of Edith’s slippers after she had passed….. that was really sad.

It’s sad ….. when a show is over,and the characters and that period is long gone , but there’s always some comfort knowing that the actors are still around …. They are almost like family members if that makes sense. Like Mary Tyler Moore Show…. Knowing that most of the actors were still alive it was like the beloved characters are still with us. So sad that in such a short time they all passed so quickly. Like Bob Newhart Show…. Only two cast members are left. Watching these shows also makes me think of seeing them new with my grandparents and dad etc … now long gone. It feels like the 70’s were not that long ago …. But they we’re over half a century ago!! I feel old…… and kinda sad.

TokyoMagic! said...

Mike, I know what you mean. I watch a lot of the game shows on the Buzzr channel and the shows on MeTV. I used to look all of the stars and guest stars up, to see what else they had done, and whether or not they were still alive. It's depressing. Most of them are all dead now! And you are right, when I watch these shows, it doesn't feel like it was that long ago that they were originally being aired. Time goes by very quickly! And yes, it is very sad to think about how long ago that actually was, and how many of those people are now long gone. :-(

K. Martinez said...

Wow! I had this game and I remember the cards and Ding Bat Tallies. I had completely forgotten until now.

Love the cat paws!

My cousin used to collect TV Guide and he had every single issue from the 1960's and 70's. It was fascinating to look at.

I watched all the Normal Lear shows as a youngster. That included All in the Family, The Jeffersons, Maude, Good Times, Sanford and Son and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. Loved them all.

I didn't realize The Love Bug played on network TV back in the 70's.

Always loved Telly Savalas and Martin Balsam.

Never was a fan of Happy Days, but liked Angie, Three's Company and Taxi. I had forgotten Taxi was that far back.

That Japanese flick "Yog - Monster From Space" sounds like fun.

My favorite titles are "CHiPs Goes Roller Disco" and "Planet of the Slave Girls". Too hilarious!

What an era!

Thanks, TM! I love looking at old TV Guides and this one was a good one!

TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, I have pretty much every issue of TV Guide from 1977 to 1983/84. I really should post them more often. They really are fun to look through.

Yes, "Taxi" was a part of ABC's Tuesday night line-up. That was a very popular night for that network. I really liked "Angie" and was disappointed when it was cancelled. I actually went to see "Angie," "Happy Days," and "Three's Company" filmed/taped live. I plan to do a post about that, eventually.

I somehow missed that listing for "Yog"! It does sound like a fun one. I see that it was released the same year as "Trog." Yog....Trog.....I wonder if they are related? ;-)

Chuck said...

Oh, man - a Diff’renot Strokes and Hello, Larry crossover! And right at the height of my Kim Richardson and Dana Plato crushes, too. How on Earth did I miss that one?

Cool game. Thanks for sharing!

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, I do remember watching "Hello, Larry" on occasion, but I don't remember this crossover show. And I knew who Kim Richard's was from "Nanny and the Professor" and also Disney's "Escape to Witch Mountain," but I didn't realize until fairly recently that she is now on one of those "Real Housewives" shows. I also didn't know until fairly recently, that she is Paris Hilton's aunt. Who knew?

Melissa said...

Mike, I also remember a later All in the Family episode where Archie is proudly wearing his souvenir WDW shirt.

"Lou and Sue" said...

TM! I love your cat! At least what I can see of her. Her pads are multi-colored...a very pretty cat. Is she the one you rescued?

I only saw bits and pieces of All in the Family, growing up, and I don’t remember my parents watching it, but I think my grandma did. I must be recalling the times she had it on while at my house. Now, I’ll have to find that WDW episode and watch it.

Fun post!

TokyoMagic! said...

Sue, thanks! I happen to think she is very pretty, too! :-) And yes, she is the one I rescued, along with her two daughters. All three of them are black and white, with very similar markings.

Funny, I also only saw bits and pieces of "All in the Family" when I was a kid. I do remember my mom and my brother (who is three years older than me) watching it. I did watch it in reruns, so I feel like I have probably seen most of the episodes, now. As far as Norman Lear shows go, I prefer "The Jeffersons," and I did watch that show regularly, in it's "original run."