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Magnificent Marble Machine Mania

Time for our weekly video clip. If the thought of Florence Henderson and Roddy MacDowall playing on a game show with a super cool-looking but ultimately disappointing gigantic pinball machine floats yer boat — have I got a clip for you! Hosted by Art James, The Magnificent Marble Machine ran for a single season on NBC in 1975-76. It’s an engaging show, very of its time with the requisite shag carpeting, lovely parting gifts and bloopy sound effects. According to The Encyclopedia of TV Game Shows, the centerpiece pinball field contained 250 pounds of nails, four miles of wiring, 38 gallons of glue, 23 coiled springs, and 25 two-pound balls slathered with 14 gallons of gold paint. A clumsy behemoth for sure — and the show’s use of a static overhead camera during pinball play doesn’t help matters much, either.

A game show lovin’ fool has uploaded the entirety of this particular episode. To get the full effect, watch parts one, two, three, four and five in order (in a cosmic coincidence, the blog Classic Television Showbiz posted these clips yesterday). The ’70s pinball action gets hot in parts three and four.

2 Thoughts on “Magnificent Marble Machine Mania

  1. I remember watching this show, and being fascinated by it. I’d probably watch a remake, although I doubt there would ever be one. This is far too analog for a digital world.

  2. Was there a TV show Florence Henderson wasn’t on during the 70’s?

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