Our middle school selves thank her.
Think back: It's a Saturday night at your first boy-girl party. Sure, it's supervised and Tommy's dad didn't let him come because of what he did to Amanda's hair, but this finished basement is still rocking pretty hard. As the twilight turns to the full-dark of 9 p.m., the party really gets swinging. You've had four sodas, your shoes are off, and someone just pulled out Twister: "the game that ties you into knots." Sexy, dangerous knots. Unboxing the hormone-charged, forbidden vinyl, you spread the color-spotted mat out onto the floor and whoa. You've just become a (wo)man, and you owe it all to Eva Gabor. Well, kinda.
According to a new history of the game by Nancy Groves of The Guardian, it all started in 1965 when Reyn Guyer, soon-to-be co-inventor of Twister (the game, not the movie — or the weather event that took Dorothy to Oz), was working for his dad's company trying to make cool stuff on the cheap. In typical American fashion, Guyer thought something along the lines of "bigger is better" while designing a play mat, and so began Twister.
After the game's invention, Guyer pitched it to Milton Bradley who realized the same thing you did in junior high: it was the sexiest of sexy sexiness. Their head of development, Mel Taft, thought the game didn't have a chance, until he took it home and played it with some friends. Some sexy friends? Cue getting it on The Tonight Show with the country's then-favorite horn dog Johnny Carson.
Famous for his semi-hard humor, Carson had Eva Gabor on that night, and Twister's fate (and in turn yours) was sealed with three simple words: "What's this, Johnny?" Eva was interested, which made Johnny interested, which made the audience interested. One low-cut dress wearing round of the stocking-feet game later, and our souls were forever enraptured and everyone rushed out to buy the clothed key party in a box.
Twister became "the game of 1966," Guyer told, and thank goodness for that. Without Twister, so many first boners could have gone un-boned, so many boobs ungrazed. So thank you, Ms. Gabor. Thank you for your immeasurable contribution to world culture and adolescent sex. We're truly in debt to you.
Image via Youtube