SONDHEIM AND GAMES

Stephen Sondheim was a game fanatic. He collected old board games, did lots of puzzles etc. etc. This fact has been covered thoroughly and I’m getting bored trying to update it and make it sound exciting so lets get to the meat. In 1966 Sondheim was invited to be a guest on a popular TV game show called ‘Password’. He accepted. His partner on the show was Lee Remick. They’d just worked together on ‘Anyone Can Whistle’ and, as can be seen in this rare and marvelous clip of the resulting episode, they clearly had a good time with each other. This is the pre-bearded Steve, the dorky child of the 50s who hasn’t found his physical confidence with an audience but is already erudite and sure of himself. He crushes the competition with his quick responses and, at the end when the guests congregate on stage shaking hands and chatting and smiling, he hangs back somewhat uncomfortably. Perhaps he already had that fence around him that kept him from having close personal relationships for many years? Or perhaps he was in awe of host Allen Ludden? Whatever. I like that he made himself available for a little pop culture guesting as he was to do years later with ‘The Simpsons’.

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