Gameshow Network has been showing Match Game all day long today in tribute to the recently deceased Charles Nelson Reilly. There were tributes all over the place this week, in print, television and of course around the blogdom. Charles was a renaissance man - he studied acting with Uta Hagen, was a Tony winner, a brilliant director of stage and opera and one of the funniest humans who ever lived. He makes my sides hurt from laughing.
And wow, Gene Rayburn, the perennial host of Match Game replaced Dick Van Dyke as "Albert" in the 1960 Broadway original production of Bye Bye Birdie, while Gretchen Wyler replaced Chita Rivera as "Rosie". Coincidentally, Gretchen also passed away this week. Charles Nelson Reilly was also in this production of Bye Bye Birdie, playing "Mr. Henkel" and standing by for "Albert".