The post card from ABC-TV Studios arrived only weeks after we’d said I Do. It was an invitation for us to audition in Beverly Hills, for The Newlywed Game.
Wow! Really? I accepted without hesitation because after all we were just about as newly wed as newlyweds could be. Just like that, we had an appointment.
I forgot to mention it to Duane.
What was I thinking? I married the quietest man on earth. When our audition appointment arrived, Duane almost packed his bags at the prospect of being on television in front of millions of people. But, I begged and begged. Reluctantly, he complied.
We were selected for the Saturday Night TV Show. That was a big deal. Saturday night was reserved for the more exciting contestants—obviously, they had misjudged Duane. However, the prizes were uncharacteristically amazing.
The day the show filmed, Duane couldn’t eat. I prayed he would make it through.
Once the cameras started rolling, Bob Eubanks assessed the situation and became convinced my outgoing personality had been the driving force behind our selection. He found us an amusing couple. He especially loved Duane’s answer to, “What do you think of when you look closely into your wife’s eyes?” Duane answered, “a cow.”
Apparently, my goldish eyes resemble the cows’ eyes on the farm where Duane grew up. He nervously responded in complete honesty.
It went downhill from there.
“What is the strangest place you ever necked behind?” Duane answered, “The freeway by my in-laws’ house.”
He announced to the world that we had necked! My parents were in the audience. I was horrified. Duane also revealed he would have married Karen had he not met me! KAREN? Seriously?
Could this get any worse? Yes it could.
The other two couples were doing equally poorly at this point. We went into the bonus round with a three-way tie.
FINAL question, “Kathleen, what do you remember most about your first date with Duane? Was it his do, his don’t, his duds or his dough?”
I quickly answered duds, because Duane was such a sharp dresser.
Duane came on stage for his FINAL question. “Duane, what will Kathleen say she remembers most about your first date – your do, your don’t, your duds or your dough?”
Duane hesitated, “Everything went wrong on our first date; so, I’ll have to say duds.”
The producers were as stunned as anyone. Yes, Bob probably wrote about us in his book…
Balloons fell from the ceiling. Fireworks exploded. Applause erupted.
We won The Newlywed Game!
We went home with $35,000 in prizes including a ski-boat, trailer, a kitchen full of appliances (refrigerator, double-oven gas range, dishwasher, AM/FM radio) and ta-da … floor tile.
We were newlyweds. We didn’t even have a kitchen! We really would’ve rather had the money, Bob.
So, would we do it again? I would in a heartbeat. And Duane? Not so much.