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Hollywood Squares was a noon-time addiction some 7-8 years ago, in the good old days when I used to go home for lunch.

The Hollywood Squares was an American television comedy and game show in which two contestants play tic-tac-toe to win money and prizes. The ‘board’ for the game is actually a 3 × 3 vertical stack of open-faced cubes, each occupied by an entertainer (or “star”) seated at a desk and facing the contestants. The stars are asked questions and the contestants judge the veracity of their answers in order to win the game.

Although The Hollywood Squares was a legitimate game show, the game largely acted as the background for the show’s comedy in the form of the ‘zingers’, or joke answers, often given by the stars prior to their ‘real’ answer. The show’s writers usually supplied the zingers; in addition, the stars were given question subjects and plausible incorrect (bluff) answers prior to the show. (The show was scripted in this sense, but the gameplay was not, as a contestant’s success was based upon knowing whether the celebrity’s ‘real’ answer was correct.) From Wikipedia

In those days, the show was hosted by Tom Bergeron. Whoopi Goldberg, the show’s co-producer, was the permanent centre square, and regulars included Rosie O’Donnell, Gilbert Gottfried and Bruce Vilanch. The banter, the inside jokes, the one-liners and repartees, and occasionally, the cross-fire…absolute manna for lunch.

Hollywood Square Sampler (From Season 1, 1966-81, hosted by Peter Marshall)

Peter Marshall: According to Movie Life magazine, Ann-Margaret would like to start having babies soon, but her husband wants her to wait a while. Why?
Paul Lynde: He’s out of town.

Peter Marshall: When a couple has a baby, who is responsible for its sex?
Charley Weaver: I’ll lend him the car. The rest is up to him.

Peter Marshall: James Stewart did it over twenty years ago when he was forty-one years old. Now he says it was “one of the best things I ever did.” What was it?
Marty Allen: Rhonda Fleming.

Peter Marshall: If you’re going to make a parachute jump, you should be at least how high?
Charley Weaver: Three days of steady drinking should do it.

Peter Marshall: Do female frogs croak?
Paul Lynde: If you hold their little heads under water.

Peter Marshall: In what state was Abraham Lincoln born?
Paul Lynde: Naked and screaming like the rest of us.

Peter Marshall: Paul, can you get an elephant drunk?
Paul Lynde: Yes, but he still won’t go up your apartment.

Peter Marshall: Charley, you’ve just decided to grow strawberries. Are you going to get any during your first year?
Charley Weaver: Of course not, Peter. I’m too busy growing strawberries!

Peter Marshall: True or false: A pea can last as long as 5,000 years.
George Gobel: Sometimes it sure seems that way…

Peter Marshall: If you were pregnant for two years, what would you give birth to?
Paul Lynde: Whatever it is, it would never be afraid of the dark.

Peter Marshall: Charley, what do you call a pig that weighs more than 150 pounds?
Charley Weaver: A divorcee.

Peter Marshall: Imagine you are a child in your mother’s womb, can you detect light?
Paul Lynde: Only during ballet practice.

Happy? Now go hire the DVD, catch the re-run, buy the book,
or copy-paste the jokes to everybody in your address book.

KJ Joseph, our STC and Rajagiri batchmate, has published a book, Fail Fast, Move Faster.

Joseph Pally is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology, a prestigious engineering school in Madras, India, and holds two post-graduate degrees from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA.

He is a well-known software scientist, he is credited with the invention of ZCubes and many other advanced software technologies. He is the CEO of ZCubes, Inc., a high-technology company and leads several software companies and institutions. He lives with his small family in Katy, Texas, USA.



“The truly successful ones have the ability to overcome their mistakes, learn from them, and never repeat them again. Fail Fast, Move Faster is all about mistakes and how to handle them. In a world that looks up to success and perfection, the author gives an honest, real-world view of how great things actually happen. Bold, different, innocent, charming, inspiring and fun.” Ashok Rao, CEO & Producer

“Traversing from the tales of intrepid youth to entrepreneur and engaging family man, Fail Fast, Move Faster reminds us all that life is most definitely a magnificent journey. Share joy, sorrow, invigorating failure and success that is merely a stepping stone. There is no destination, take the lessons to heart and bash on, regardless.” Michael Hidalgo, Venture Capitalist.

“Spirited and playful, these little anecdotes hit home the message that in the Colosseum of life every enactment reveals a lesson to the discerning audience.” Radhika Nair, Author

“Wonderful in it’s ability to deeply penetrate complex issues in a refreshingly simple way, this book will bring out the child in every adult and put the adult in every child!” Sundaram Srinivasan, Venture Capitalist, Poet & Author

“The elegance and simplicity in these short stories bring out the beauty of human life. Start believing in good old existence yet again…” Desh Kapoor, Author

“Traveling great distances in time and space, Fail Fast, Move Faster traverses great cultural divides in personal and professional life, with clever wit & humor. Joseph Pally creatively expands lifeʼs simple, real world mistakes into profound fundamental truths. Positive and endearing, yet complex in scope, the authorʼs message is simple: the proper attitude turns every moment & experience in life into a profound learning lesson. As a professional artist & actress from Cochin India, often immersed in dramatic plots of Indian fantasy, I appreciate the authorʼs skill in connecting to any reader by transforming simple real stories into lively, endearing, and poignant life lessons.” Divya Unni, Classical Artist & Actress, Sreepadam.

“Joseph Pally the innovative technocrat, we know. But Joseph Pally, the writer, is a revelation — one of the very few, who can entertain even, as they inspire. The chapters set in his native India ring so true — I know, because I have lived and worked in the same place.” Anand Parthasarathy, Chief Correspondent & Reporter, The Hindu.

Read About, Buy

Joseph Pally with yours truly, 1975 (More STC pics here and here)

I love books, their heft, feel and smell, and book collections…always envied the collections my uncles had, and when I was in class 5 or 6 put together my first collection in a wall-mounted shelf in my room – Balaramas, a few Amar Chitra Kathas, a dozen paperbacks…Arabian Nights, Bible stories, etc. – all numbered and stacked heightwise.

In a couple of years I moved all the embarrassing age-inappropriate stuff to the store, decided my collection would have to wait, focused on reading…started raiding the Rajagiri library, joined Ernakulam Public Library, Chavara, Eloor, started hanging out at Paico, touching and feeling books, righting crooked stacks – those days my biggest fantasy was to marry Paico swami’s daughter.

BTW, Jojo Jose, been so long…and thanks for all the books.

I discovered magazines during pre-degree. Was a sucker for anything billed as a special issue, bought a huge pile of stuff – India Today, Sportstar, Sunday, Illustrated Weekly, Sun…and once, from a paper mart, 20 years’ worth of Reader’s Digest.

My book-buying spree really picked up steam while at REC (enhanced cash flow)…couple of years and I had to get an old kitchen shelf refurbished to house the collection. After engineering I took a break and went to Delhi, spent most of the vacation bargain-hunting at CP and Darya Ganj, and came back fully loaded – Portnoy’s Complaint, Catcher in the Rye, Bell Jar…   

Next chapter, Chennai. Bought a huge stack of books from the roadside bhais between GPO and LIC – classics, best-sellers, books-not-available-at-the-shop-around-the-corner (Henry Miller, Anais Nin, HHGG, books on art, aircrafts), and lucky finds (Johnny Got His Gun, I Heard the Owl Call My Name, Illustrated Beatles Lyrics).

Perambur. Chacko’s stuff on the left side. Meri Junk on the right…the beginning of the Chennai collection.

Besant Nagar



Home. Complete works of Kurt Vonnegut, Joseph Heller, John Irwing, Tom Robbins, Tom Wolf…RDs from 1965 to 1995 in the shelf on the left. Peace.

My desert island collection…My people always found it a little strange, the way I used to take pics of my books and bookshelves, but think there is hardly anything as beautiful as a stack of books…

…and i am not alone. Check out John Mark Gleadow

Epilogue. Part of my bookshelf on goodreads.commy-books-5k
…to be continued.

From Check out the ‘Sponsored Links’ below.


Mulla was a let down, both as a movie and as a Meera Nandakumar vehicle, but loved the songs, especially Aarumughan…vintage Rimi Tomy. Now Aarumughan gets the full Nadir Shah treatment…Check out…

Thanks Chittapps.


റസൂല്‍ മിക്സ് ചെയ്താല്‍ ഓസ്കാര്‍
നമ്മള്‍ മിക്സ് ചെയ്താല്‍ പൂക്കുറ്റി






My wife and I were watching Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. I turned to her…“Do you want to have s*x?”
“No,” she answered.
I then asked her, “Is that your final answer?”
She didn’t even look at me this time, simply said “Yes”
So I said, “Then I’d like to phone a friend”

Thanks Manoj. For Dummies


Turn right under the Caltex hoarding to reach my office (see the board?)

Madras pic circa 1962 from The Hindu archives



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March 2009