Four years after NBC had cancelled it, Match Game returned, retooled and refreshed, airing on CBS this time, and eventually adding a night-time version airing in syndication. It wasn't that CBS was unwilling to try the show in primetime, something NBC never considered with the original 1962-9 version, but by 1973, primetime game shows were out of vogue.
Gene Rayburn returned as host, with Johnny Olsen as announcer. On at least one occasion, Olsen also sat on the panel, subbing for Charles Nelson Reilly (ex-Ghost & Mrs. Muir, Lidsville). Richard Dawson (ex-Hogan's Heroes) & Brett Somers were the other regular panelists, but it didn't seem to matter who'd join the party for a given week. The questions were a little more over the top and borderline risque than the original series, and the new format added a bonus game in the form of the Super Match round, done in 2 parts, an audience match and a head-to-head with one of the panelists. More often than not, Dawson got the call, though Reilly got his share as well. Then again, they did appear to be the more cerebral of the panel, anyway.
As we all know, the series would return to NBC in 1983, fused together with another classic, Hollywood Squares, in a 1 hour series produced by Mark Goodson (Bill Todman had passed on), but without the participation of Squares MC Peter Marshall or producer Merrill Heatter. Ironically, the Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour took the place of the series, Fantasy, hosted by Marshall and produced solo by Heatter (partner Bob Quigley had retired after Squares ended its first run in 1981) when it launched in October '83. Jon Bauman, aka Bowzer from Sha Na Na, who'd been a panelist on Match Game a number of times, was tapped to succeed Marshall as MC of Hollywood Squares. The story goes that Gene Rayburn wasn't too thrilled with that, and by the time this incarnation ended, Rayburn's friendship with Bauman, if there was one, was dissolved. The fact that Marshall was left out of the mix may have actually doomed the project before it began.
I digress. Let's get back to the topic at hand.
Matchgameproductions uploaded this 1978 episode, which marked the end of Richard Dawson's tenure as a panelist. By this point, Dawson had the distinction of appearing on two shows on two different networks at the same time, as he was also hosting another Goodson-Todman game, Family Feud, over on ABC, and after 2 years of that, it was time to move on from Match, once and for all. Note that the poster dedicated this to the memory of Dawson, who passed away a few months back.
No one is really sure if Gene and the writers had to get permission from Bill Cosby to use "Dumb Donald", since that character was also part of Fat Albert & The Cosby Kids, another CBS series, hence the more frequent use of Dumb Dora. One of the show's writers, Dick DeBartolo, also was a writer for Mad Magazine at that time, but the irony there was that the only time I'd read a parody of the series in comics, it was in the pages of a rival humor mag, Cracked. Go figure.