Thursday, October 5, 2017


One hundred years ago today, in Mineral Point, Wisconsin, Allen Ludden was born.

From Wikipedia:
Allen Ludden (October 5, 1917 – June 9, 1981) was an American television personality, emcee and game show host, perhaps best known for having hosted various incarnations of the game show Password between 1961 and 1980.

Ludden was one of the early pioneers of television in the field of game shows, beginning with the archaic 'General Electric College Bowl' which pitted students from one school against a team from another school.  But from there he became synonymous with 'Password', so much so that an episode of 'The Odd Couple' was centered around it. In that episode, Ludden appeared with three other members of the Television Crossover Hall of Fame - Felix Unger, Oscar Madison, and Ludden's wife, Betty White.

'The Odd Couple' 
- "Password" (1972)
Oscar and Felix appear together on Password and Felix is sure that they can win.

'O'Hara, U.S. Treasury' 

- "Operation: Lady Luck" (1972)
A compulsive gambler turned bumbling crook, planning to build a stake by selling $1,000,000 in counterfeit bills. jeopardizes Jim O’Hara’s attempt to catch a ring of counterfeiters.  Ludden and Betty White were recruited to assist Secret Service agent Jim O'Hara.

- "Horse of a Slightly Different Color" (1974)
... The Interviewer
Thoroughbred-owner Katherine Wells finishes an interview at the track, then in confidence tells her horse trainer that she is quitting racing, having sold her prized thoroughbred for $5,000,000, and that, after its morning workout, the transfer would be official. Before his new owner and a camera crew, Oxford Don starts his quarter run, yet a different horse finishes - with no time to switch to a "Horse of a Slightly Different Color."


Although not identified as playing himself, nothing prevents his fictional televersion from taking on this kind of softball entertainment news job.
From Wikipedia:
Ludden is mentioned in passing in an episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show entitled "Don't Break the Chain" (Season Two, Episode 10), in reference to his allegedly sending the character Lou Grant a chain letter.

Although he didn't appear in the series, the mention of Ludden is proof that he existed in Toobworld..  Lou also mentioned that he hosted 'The GE College Bowl', so like 'Password', that early game show has a fictional televersion.

And because he was best known as a game show host, and especially because a fictional televersion of 'Password' has become part of the TV Universe, the following shows support his tally of shows in his resume.  (But we did need those first three to make it official.)

  • 'Password Plus' 
  • 'Password All-Stars'
  • 'Match Game 73' 
  • 'Liar's Club'
  • 'Stumpers!'
  • 'Tattletales' 
  • 'The General Electric College Bowl' 
  • 'Card Sharks' 
  • 'What's My Line?' 
  • 'Allen Ludden's Gallery'

From Wikipedia:
A walkway at the Los Angeles Zoo was named in his memory (Betty White is a board member at the Zoo) and an artificial lake in Mineral Point was named Ludden Lake in his honor. A Labrador Retriever was named "Ludden" and donated to Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, California, by Betty White in memory of her late husband.


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