Match Game was a game show in which contestants would try to match the answers given by a celebrity panel
. The winner after (usually) 2 rounds of panel poll
ing then had to try to match answers with an audience
poll, with the help of three of the celebrities. If the contestant
was successful again, they were given one chance to match one celebrity exactly. (Depending on the incarnation
of the show, the contestant was allowed to choose the celebrity or used a giant spinner.)
There were 5 incarnation
s of Match Game
- The Match Game -- 1962-69
According to www.matchgame.org, very few episodes of this incarnation are known to exist.
- Match Game -- 1973-82
All episodes of this incarnation are known to exist; some of them are even aired on Game Show Network.
- Host -- Gene Rayburn
- Announcers -- Johnny Olson, Bern Bennett
- Producers -- Mark Goodson, Bill Todman
- Network -- CBS
- Air Times:
- daytime -- seen as "Match Game 7X" (7X=2-digit year) from '72-'79, "Match Game" '79-'82
- primetime -- Match Game PM (aired '75-'81)
- The Match Game Hollywood Squares Hour -- 1983-4
This incarnation is not in syndication.
- Co-Hosts -- Gene Rayburn (MG), Jon Bauman (HS)
- Announcers -- Gene Wood, Johnny Olson, Rich Jeffries, Bob Hilton
- Producer -- Mark Goodson
- Network -- NBC
- Match Game -- 1990-1
As of October 2001, this incarnation is in syndication on the Game Show Network. It's scary!
- Host -- Ross Shafer
- Announcers -- Gene Wood, Bob Hilton
- Producer -- Mark Goodson
- Network -- ABC
- Match Game -- 1998-9
This incarnation is not yet in syndication.
Match Game was popular during the 70's because the host and the celebrities were wont
to use "innuendo
and unscripted antics
" (www.gameshownetwork.com) during the game (have you ever watched some of the commercial
s for this show? they're great). My guess (since I never watched the show before a year ago) is that the lack of freedom to do such things in later incarnations of the show is what caused the show to lose its popularity. In a show like this, with guests like they had and statements like they used, upright
ness and placid
ity would be downright stifling
Popular guests on the show included Richard Dawson, of Family Feud and Hogan's Heroes fame (or infamy, if you like); Brett Somers, who joined the show upon the insistence of her husband (The Odd Couple's Jack Klugman) and really hit it off with Gene Rayburn; Charles Nelson Reilly, an illustrious Broadway actor who met Rayburn on the set of Bye Bye Birdie and was still on the show in 1990; Betty White, most recently known for the Golden Girls; Fannie Flagg, a popular comedian at the time; Nipsey Russell; Patty Duke Astin; McLean Stevenson, Gary Burghoff, and Loretta Swit, from M*A*S*H; Bert Convy; Marcia Wallace of the Bob Newhart Show; Dick Martin and Patti Deutsch, from Laugh-In; Bill Daily, from I Dream of Jeannie; Joyce Bullifant, from the Mary Tyler Moore Show; Eva Gabor; Debralee Scott from Angie; David Doyle from Charlie's Angels; Richard Paul from Carter Country; and Bart Braverman from Vegas.
From what I can tell, the celebrities enjoyed matching the contestants as much as the contestants liked winning the money. At least, they always liked gettin' the love.
Gene Rayburn, the host of the show (and so many others) for so many years, died in 1999, at the age of 81.
Incidentally, Match Game shows up in an episode
of the Simpsons
(#1F11) in which Bart has a fleeting courtship
with television fame, and daydreams about himself appearing on "Match Game 2034" as a has-been actor, the "I Didn't Do It
" boy. Amazingly enough, Charles Nelson Reilly
wasn't still on the show.