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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Peter Tomarken RIP

The host of "Press Your Luck was killed in a plane crash Monday. According to the story, "Tomarken, 63, and his wife, Kathleen, 41, had volunteered their services for a medical flight that was picking up a patient in San Diego for transfer to UCLA Medical Center. Moments after its 9:36 a.m. takeoff from Santa Monica Municipal Airport, the 1973 Beechcraft 36 plunged into the Pacific Ocean."

At the risk of sounding like one of those awful pop culture-obsessed Gen X/Yers, this news honestly unsettles me. "Press Your Luck" was a big part of my childhood. I used to watch it everyday before school on USA. Granted, the show was a piece of crap. The "trivia" questions were embarrassingly easy even for a 10-year-old, which is what I was when I watched it. "This 'super' game is played at the end of the NFL season. A. Super Game; B. Super Bowl; C. Superman." Stuff like that. The questions merely were an excuse to trot out poorly animated Whammies. My favorite was the Madonna Whammy. Sexy.

And then there was Tomarken, who presided over the proceedings with poise, wit and bland handsomeness. You will be missed, my game show friend.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's not forget that Peter was an instrumental character in the development of the game show network. His work means I can waste entire Saturdays watching 1981 episodes of Family Feud.

In memorium, I suggest a whammy poem such as those that Pete read at the end of each Press Your Luck episode

The money grubbing little guys
The pilots tinted red
Instead of taking money
crash
Now Peter's dead

11:15 AM  
Anonymous cheddar said...

I'm with Steve on this. I'm crushed.

11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Press Your Luck was part of a triumvirate which I attribute to obesity scourge that only really became publicized in the adulthood of generation X.

As a child, how could I possibly be outside playing when Pyramid led into Press Your Luck and then that led right into Price is Right?

It was a full two-hour dose of excitement that led a kid pretty close to the lunch hour.

Peter,
I hope your obituary lists my round, pastey, cottage cheese belly because it's truly one of your children.

12:22 PM  
Anonymous mark said...

that show was great. i loved it as much as Chuck W. on scrabble (which i'd watch at 'sully's' during lunch.. that or supermarket sweep..)

4:15 PM  
Anonymous Nick P. said...

I think the Red Barron whammy might have had something to do the the crash. The FAA shouldn't rule it out.

11:27 PM  

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