CBC: (September - December 1989?)
There have been many shows that have the format that To Tell The Truth have made famous. The format being: Subjects A, B, C claim to be a true story. One of them is actually telling a true story, whereas the others are lying. Then its a panel or contestants job to figure out which is which for a prize of sorts.
Many shows have tried to do something like this and a good chunk have failed miserably. We've talked about Bamboozle, which was a badly done unsold pilot by Chuck Barris and Sweethearts, where it was like The Newlywed Game and To Tell The Truth had a baby and Charles Nelson Reilly was the godfather of the abortion.
In 1988, The Canadian Broadcasting Company, also known as the CBC, decided to try a format like this, but instead of having a panel or contestants, they got the audience involved and offered up the audience some cash to the lucky audience members who saw through the lies. So, let's belly up to the diner and order some Baloney.
Ok, it's Canada, so the best would be Wayne Cox or Pierre Lalonde for this type of show, the worst being Blake Emmons. Who do we got?
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it's our friend from Card Sharks 2001 and Hold Everything!, Pat Bullard. Oddly enough, this is his first ever game show that he's hosted. And his lack of hosting skills is as present here as it was on those two other exciting inductions. Here, he also shows off his lame quips and mini-mullet that would be more prominent on Hold Everything! It should be noted that in Canada, he actually became the first person to out-dull Alan Thicke in a Dull-off. So, there ya go. But thankfully, he's not the only one to make us cringe.
Yes, he's flanked by an over the top waitress in the "Lovely Cindy", played by Denise Pidgeon. While she was decent in her role, she could be overbearing at times as the perky sidekick to Pat Bullard's dullness and mini-mullet that he was sporting. So, she's kind of like the Vanessa to Pat Bullard's Phil Moore. That reminds me, I need to roast him in the future. However, on some days, she would run late, who fills in?
Well, it's the cook known as "Big Mack", performed by Lou Pitoscia. I don't know if he appeared regularly, but he's easily the best out of the bunch. He played a bumbling cook and he would give the most Canadian intros you've ever seen. Or at least good to a Canadian delicatessen cook. But then again, he's going up with Pat Bullard. He could break wind and it would be better than anything Pat Bullard can do. He had some good quips and overall did a great job.
With the main cast out of the way, it's time to get down to business. The format is like every other show that did this. The Lovely Cindy or Big Mack will reveal a category on a traditional carousel, where Comedians A, B and C tell stories A, B, and C. One is true, the others are a complete farce or as they call it, "Baloney". After the stories are told, it's up to the audience to decide which story was infact the true story. How do they decide?
Well, they use the most modern technology of them all. By turning a knob to make their suggestion. Well, it could be worse. I mean, they could have several "Lovely Cindy"'s about taking orders from the audience, who are sitting at diner tables, or deli tables, as the show is set in a deli. However, the show looks more like a diner than a deli. But that's neither here nor there.
After the votes are tallied, The "Lovely Cindy" or "Big Mack" cover up the pictures that correspond with the comedians story with a slab of Baloney. Well, it's just some board with the show logo on it, but that's ok. The audience members who pick the right story split a jackpot of $1,000.
Well, as much as I'd like to say there was more to the show, there isn't. That's pretty much the entire show in a nutshell. And like bad deli food, it comes back up, regurgitated for two more rounds with the same thing for the same prize. It gets to the point where it depends on the ability of the comics, and since Big Mack is funnier than the comics they had, it gets boring, fast.
Not to mention, this was a Canadian show, so we didn't know most of the comedians, such as Stevie Ray Fronsee and Billy Riback, who were the mainstays of the show. Riback appearing on the pilots and the rest of the shows. Either way, the show only lasted 13 episodes and was thrown out like all the moldy Bologna that you find at a deli.
This could have been a better show than it was, provided it was casted right and had a better gameplay element. Having the audience play the game instead of someone that we care about made the show really self-serving, which is something that wouldn't be tolerated at a true deli. Sadly, if Big Mack were hosting, this would have gotten maybe 20 episodes instead of 13. But then again, the selection of comics and hosting and format killed this show. Sadly, Bullard's career wouldn't be killed as he had 4 other Game/Reality show hosting gigs after this. Especially with hair like this....
Sometimes I regret starting up this site, having to see stuff like that.
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