Star Tribune:

One night in 1966, “Tonight Show” host Johnny Carson and a guest, the lovely Eva Gabor, were on the studio floor as they giggled and groped their way through a new game that was destined for tens of thousands of U.S. living rooms.

The agile Johnny attempted to slide one foot to a color destination under Ava’s arched back and lean back to plant his hand on another color, before they collapsed to the floor in laughter, delighting the in-studio audience of what was the country’s favorite late-night show.

The happy inventor of Twister in 1966 was Reyn Guyer, a 31-year-old promotions pitchman at his father’s St. Paul creative shop, who conceived the game in 1964.

“Believe it or not, I was working on a promotion for a polish for kids shoes when I got the inspiration for a game that uses people as playing pieces,”

Guyer, who is also the guy behind the Nerf Ball, continues to run a small company that invents toys and children’s learning products. And at the Chicago International Toy and Game Fair Guyer, a guy who doesn’t like croquet, will introduce another toy concept: KingsCourt, a kind of team-oriented croquet.

This game includes mallets for striking balls. But it’s simpler, involves teams and strategy and is more fun to play and watch.”

Photo by Star Tribune.

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