Beaufort News

'Not So Newlyweds' get reacquainted

  • cfoss@islandpacket.com
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  • Bob Eubanks, former host of the long-running game show "The Newlywed Game," greets fan Susan Safranek after bringing his "Not So Newlywed Game" to Sun City Hilton Head's Magnolia Hall on Thursday. "I wanted to say thank you," Safranek said, "because he's made my life happy all those years."
    Bob Eubanks, former host of the long-running game show "The Newlywed Game," greets fan Susan Safranek after bringing his "Not So Newlywed Game" to Sun City Hilton Head's Magnolia Hall on Thursday. "I wanted to say thank you," Safranek said, "because he's made my life happy all those years." Jay Karr/The Island Packet

    In 1966, "The Newlywed Game" made its debut, and Bob Eubanks became famous for asking naive married couples -- with a suggestive voice and a raised eyebrow -- "Where's the most interesting place you've ever made whoopee?"

    On Sunday, more than 40 years later, the 73-year-old asked local couples the same titillating question.

    Although each couple have been married more than 25 years, the answers still were a mystery to some.

    Eubanks' latest endeavor, "The Not So Newlywed Game," came to Sun City Hilton Head's Magnolia Hall for two shows at 3 and 7 p.m. Sunday, pitting four couples against each other in a series of revealing question rounds to determine how well the spouses know -- or don't know -- each other.

    While Larry and Carol Della Vecchia, who have been married 35 years and have eight children, correctly answered the question, "What is your husband's most annoying habit?" (they both said Larry talks too much), they didn't see eye-to-eye on the "makin' whoopee" question.

    After much thought, Carol said the strangest place the two had ever "made whoopee" was the couple's bed.

    "We've never done it anywhere strange. I'd have to say in the bed, and it's been a very long time," she said to loud laughter and applause from the crowd.

    Larry returned and answered, with some hesitation, "the floor."

    Carol: "When did we ever do it on the floor?!"

    Larry: "I don't remember, but that's all I could think of."

    As with the original "Newlywed Game," which appeared in several versions since its 1966 debut, one spouse left the stage while Eubanks asked the other three questions. There also was a bonus multiple-choice question at the end.

    Participants Cathy and John McCabe -- who have been together 43 years, the longest of the four couples -- were contestants on the show back in 1968.

    They won a living room set after answering the bonus question, "How old were you when you met?"

    "We're still together after all these years," Cathy said. "It was fun to play and look back."

    Eubanks first took the game show on the road in the 1970s and played at about 300 shopping centers during a five-year span.

    About five years ago, he went back on tour and added a motivational talk to the show.

    The event kicked off with a talk by Eubanks, who touched on relationships, the importance of first impressions, maintaining people skills and technology in today's society. Also featured were some of his favorite clips and contestants from the television show.

    Joel and Candace Spiegel, who have been married for 27 years and have four children, volunteered for the game at Sun City a few days before the event.

    Although they didn't win the grand prize -- a $50 gift certificate to Bonefish Grill on Hilton Head Island -- they had fun, and enjoyed "looking back."

    "We tried to anticipate what the questions were going to be, but we couldn't," said Candace, who said husband John was a "Big Mac" in the romance department. "But it was still fun."

    Eubanks said he does about 30 shows a year, crisscrossing the country from his home in California. He has four children, including a seven-year-old son with his second wife, Debra, an event planner.

    While the venue of the "Not-So Newlywed Game" changes, the classic questions do not, he said.

    "I always use the same questions now because I know they work, even with the shyest couples," he said. "What I learned on the show was that people don't want to know about you -- they want you to know about them. They will tell me things they wouldn't tell a grand jury. You simply take yourself out of the equation and make them the star."

    Winners Jim and Helene Humper, who have been married for 30 years, didn't volunteer early, but were picked by Eubanks from the crowd when another couple didn't show.

    The two said they used to watch the show often, but participating wasn't what they expected.

    "I was afraid my mind would draw a blank, but I wasn't too surprised by his answers," she said smiling at her husband. "It was wonderful."

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