Here (in no particular order) are my top 10 game show classics.

1). CONCENTRATION/CLASSIC CONCENTRATION      (NBC 1958-73/1987-91, Synd. 1973-78)

Before there was ever Sesame Street, I learned to count from 1-30 with Concentration. I've always liked this classic game where contestants matched prizes & then try to solve the rebus puzzle. I liked playing all the home versions from the countless Milton Bradley box games to the Tiger hand-held electronic game.

Hugh Downs really juggled his duties doing both Concentration & The Today Show. When Downs left in 1968, he trusted announcer Bob Clayton to host the show because he knew Clayton could keep the formula going.

The 1987 version had 25 numbers on a computer board. Alex Trebek made a great host. During the mid-run of the series, contestants dressed casually. Marjorie Goodson-Cutt (Mark Goodson's daughter) made a great model.

I always like it when contestants matched WILD CARDS! The Trebek version offered $500 for that feat (with an extra $500 if the 3rd was found). The Downs/Clayton version awarded a new car whether or not that contestant won the game or not.

In 2000, NBC had plans to revive Concentration after the Sydney Olympics were over. But NOOOO, NBC opted to have a 3rd hour of The Today Show. Concentration would've returned on my birthday (Oct. 2), but Caesar's Challenge still remains as the last NBC daytime game show (1994).

2). CARD SHARKS      (NBC 1978-81/CBS 1986-89)

A great game with contestants predicting whether the next card is higher or lower.

Two contestants played. Before playing their cards, they had to win a hi-lo toss-up question. One player would predict how many people out of 100 would answer a question a certain way. The other guess whether that number's higher or lower than the number guessed. The player who's correct got to play the cards. On the CBS version, they added 10 people poll & educated guess questions.

If the player guessed exactly right on 100 person polls or educated guesses, the player won $500. For 10 people poll, $100.

The player then played the cards & had to guess right right on 5 (3 for tiebreakers) to win. At any time, the player could freeze their position. Best 2/3 was played & the winner got to play the Money Cards.

The Money Cards had players betting & predicting higher or lower starting with $200. When they reached the Big Bet, the player had to bet @ least 1/2 the money. Best possible payout; $28,800 (Perry)/$32,000 (Eubanks).

On the CBS version, Jokers were placed in the Money Cards. Jokers helped the player try to win the second part of the bonus game. Adults had one free joker (while on kids week; they had two) & could win up to 3 jokers.

Then they placed the jokers on any of the 7 cards. If they placed it on the right card, the player won (ADULTS; A NEW CAR/Kids; Trip to Hawaii).

Yes, they even had a fast sounding Price Is Right siren... whoop-Whoop-WHOOOOOOOOOOP!

You know me by now, Woo Woo Woo Woo Woo! Moe, Larry, The Cheese! Moe, Larry, The Cheese!

MEMORIES: What did CBS's Card Sharks had in common with Rick Rosner's game shows Hollywood Squares (86) & Just Men!? NO, it wasn't for female contestants only. (GAME SHOW WITCH: DRAT!) Those three game show gave away four cars in a row!

It would've been better if Bob Eubanks had utter the cry John Davidson & Betty White used, "On the Count of 3, 1-2-3!"

3). TIC TAC DOUGH (CBS 1978/Synd. 1978-86/1990-91)

Before Hollywood Squares, there was Tic Tac Dough. It first premiered in the 50's near the quiz show scandals.

Wink Martindale hosted this classic. Contestants earned their Xs & Os by answering questions. Tic Tac Dough earned the player a win & a chance to face the Dragon!

The Bonus game; player chooses from 1-9 trying to reach $1,000 or get TIC & TAC for the instant win before hitting the dragon.

Thom McKee made Tic Tac Dough popular with his 48 show stay & winning $312,750. When he was on, a new rule was added. If the O player lost after tie games, the O player would get $250 per tie game.

In the Over 80's Tournament, Wink asked an old lady about her 4 boyfriends. She quotes, "I get up in the morning with Will Power, Take a walk with Arthur Idas (arthritis), Come home with Charlie Horse And go to bed with Ben Gay!"

The 1990 version (as Jay Sherman would put it), IT STINKS! The pots were bigger, but were reset to zero after ties.

The bonus round had them trying to find X or O (whatever they chose) & try to beat the rappin' dragon. But the rappin' dragon slayer gave the player the instant win.

I only liked that turkey because Henry Mancini took the time to write the theme song. 4). LET'S MAKE A DEAL (NBC 1963-68/1990-91, ABC 1968-76,   Synd. 1971-77/1980-81/1984-86)

Indeed a classic! Monty Hall hosted this game for most of its run except when Bob Hilton hosted the 1990 NBC version for 2 months.

Contestants wore crazy costumes hoping to make a deal with Monty. They traded items or money that they could keep or go for either the box on the display floor Jay Stewart brought down, the big box, the video wall (1990-91 only) or one of the 3 curtains. It could either be a valuable prize or a dreaded ZONK (live animals, Baby Jay in a playpen, etc.) Some games were pricing games mostly married couples would play.

Near the end of the show, two players could trade their winnings for The Big Deal of The Day!

There were 3 doors & no ZONKS! Each player chose a door hoping to win the Big Deal of The Day!

Other features included;

THE SUPER DEAL (1975-77 synd) The winning Big Deal contestant could trade what they won for the Super Deal. The player would pick 1 of 3 doors. If it was $2,000 or a mystery amount, that's what they won. If it's the $20,000, the player got back their Big Deal + $20,000!

DOOR #4 (1984-86) Sometimes played in the middle of the show. People wore number badges from 1-36. The model would push a button that would choose a random number. The lucky player got $1,000. Then had a choice of keeping the money or spinning the wheel. If the player spun the wheel, payouts were a new CAR, $2,000/$3,000/$4,000. But there was $100/$200/ZONK! If the player was Zonked, Monty gave the player a t-shirt that read, "I was Zonked by Monty Hall!" If they kept the $1,000, the player would spin just for fun.


On a "Wonder Years" episode, Fred Savage dreamed that he was on LMAD! Monty dyed his grey hair black for that episode.

In a 1984-86 episode, Monty made a deal with Emile Sitka. He took $500 & avoided being ZONKED! If he had been ZONKED, Emile might have poked Monty in the eyes! Why? In 1947, Emile was a supporting actor in 3 Stooges shorts & was the only supporting actor who worked with ALL the Stooges (Moe, Larry, Curly, Shemp, Joe Besser & Curly Joe De Rita).

Monty hosted other game shows, including It's Anybody's Guess. A game where players had to guess a pre-determined answer to a loaded question (IE: Name someone who wears a toupee). An old man guessed MONTY HALL! Audience roars & Monty tells him, "Next commercial, come to my dressing room & pull on my hair!" The theme song to that show was also used as Big Deal cues in the 1980 version (along with Sexy; see Musical Memories).

LMAD's been taped in LA, Las Vegas, Vancouver & Orlando.

5). PASSWORD/PASSWORD +/SUPER PASSWORD (CBS 1961-67/ABC 1971-75/NBC 1979-82/1984-89)

"The Password is..." Classic. I've grown up with this show also. And on Game Show Network, I'm able to see the old episodes with many classic guest stars (Carol Burnett, Irene "Granny" Ryan, Bob Crane, etc.). Password's the first game to team celebrities with civilian contestants & feature a bonus round.

In addition, Password + & Super Password added a puzzle which 5 Passwords linked to a bigger puzzle.

Allen Ludden did a wonderful job as host. Tom Kennedy & Bert Convy also did fine jobs as well.

MEMORIES: On "Before They Were Stars" Wyonna Judd showed a clip of her Password appearance back in 1973.

In 1988, Patrick Quinn (aka Kari Ketchum) made his Super Password appearance. He won $58,600 on the show & Alaskan viewers tipped police of this phony con artist. When he tried to collect his winnings @ Mark Goodson offices, he was chased by the police who arrested him. The Goodson company didn't give him anything for lying... not even lovely parting gifts!

6). HIGH ROLLERS (NBC 1974-76/1978-80/Synd. 1987-88)

A very classic game of luck. Before doing Jeopardy!, Alex Trebek hosted the NBC run of this game show.

Two contestants played as the object was to remove all 9 numbers from 1-9. To get control of the dice, they had to answer a toss-up question correctly. Otherwise, their opponent controlled the dice. The person controling the dice can either roll or pass to the opponent hoping a bad number's thrown (a number that can't be made). The player would win if the opponent threw a bad number or knocked the last number off.

The 1978/1987 version, players could win prizes if they cleared a column. There was always an easy column that can be cleared with one roll of the dice (sometimes two columns).

The player that won the best 2/3 got to play the Big Numbers for $10,000.

If on either the main or bonus game a player threw a double, they would earn an Insurance marker in use if they throw a bad number.

Contestants got to throw the dice, except in the 1974 version. Ruta Lee was the croupier.

The 1987 version (hosted by Wink Martindale) offerd mini games to be played after a game (Dice Derby, Full House, etc). These games were played with a die.

7). THE JOKER'S WILD (CBS 1972-75/Synd. 1977-86/1990-91)

This game marked Jack Barry's return to television after the 1950's quiz show scandals knocked 21 off.

Two contestants played the game where knowledge is king & lady luck is queen! Using a slot machine format, there are 5 categories & a joker. Contestants could earn up to $200 trying to reach $500. Three jokers meant the player could pick any category, answer it correctly & automatically win the game.

The winner went on to the bonus round where they had to reach $1,000 or better without having the DEVIL pop up, to win the money & a prize package. Money ranged from $25-$200. A natural triple gave the player an instant win (IE; $50-$50-$50). The player could stop anytime feeling the Devil might pop up!


In the upfront game, a natural triple jackpot was started adding prizes daily when no one spun 3 of the SAME category (NOT Jokers). One player did it after 3 weeks winning $26,000 in prizes, but lost the game!

In the 70's version, a Joker's Jackpot was used that started @ $2,500. Contestant had to win 4 straight games to claim the jackpot & would lose their winnings if they lost. This was added to the jackpot & would grow until it reached the CBS $25,000 house limit.

Also in the 70's whenever somebody won; 1). The Joker's Jackpot 2). The Devil Round 3). The Tournament of Champions

Russian circus music's heard! When hearing that, I would dance, kick my legs & shout HEY! According to Senor Jon Wood, it's the GOOFY win music!

In 1979, kids got to play this game known as Joker! Joker!! Joker!!!

The 1990 version (hosted by Pat Finn) was played differently. Only one shining moment, Thomas Van Dyke who stayed on the show winning 15 games racking up over $50,000 in cash & prizes.

8). THE MATCH GAME (NBC 1962-69/CBS 1973-79/ABC 1990-91/Synd. 1975-82/98-99)

A simple game where you had to fill in the blank.

The original 60's game had a great theme song (see Musical Memories). Two teams (a celebrity & 2 civilians) played. The questions were "Family Feud" type (IE; Name a card game) & teams had to match each other. If two people matched, 25 points awarded. If all three, 50 points.

The first team to score 100 points won the game (split $1 per point = $50). (I remember the ship's bell ringing in the key of G). That team played an audience match where they could win up to $450.

From 1967-69, a home player's game was featured. A member of the studio audience had to match what the home player guessed to a head-to-head type question. The jackpot started @ $500 & would grow $100 per unsuccessful day (which topped @ $2,600!). If they matched, they split the jackpot. (YES you guessed it, the ship bell rang!) I LOVE THAT SHIP'S BELL!

The 70's & up version used 6 celebrities & 2 civilians. Joke questions were used & the contestant had to guess what the celebrities would say. The person with the most matches after a coupld of rounds got to play Super Match.

On Super Match, the player had to guess how the audience answered a fill in the blank. The most popular was worth $500, then $250, then $100.

After winning that, they got to play Head to Head with a star for 10x the winnings. Later they used a wheel which was spun to determine which celebrity would play & if it landed on a bonus star, the jackpot was played for 20x the winnings.


There is two things Charles Nelson Reilly is well known for. One being a regular Match Game panelist, the other as playing the evil magician Hoo-Doo on Lidsville.

The funniest Head to Head moment. CUCKOO ___________ "Cuckoo, Friend & Ollie!"

9). TWENTY-ONE (NBC 1956-58/2000)

This quiz show will always be remembered in the movie "Quiz Show".

2 players compete in a q&a round & are placed in isolation booths neither knows their opponent's score. Each round has a category. The player chooses how many points to play for; 1 being easy & 11 the hardest.

After two rounds, either player can stop the game & the person with the higher score wins! A tie would result in a jump-in question.

The 1950's version had contestants playing for $500 a point & if they tied, they would play for $1,000 per point & so on.

The current version had players playing one game. If a 21-21 tie occured, a buzz-in question is played.

The stepladder winnings went like this; 1 win; $25,000 2; $50,000 3; $100,000 4; $250,000 5; $500,000 6; $750,000 7; $1,000,000

The current version offered a bonus called Perfect 21 where they have to guess right on true-false questions. They can risk going for more or stop. Best possible amount; $210,000!

Best possible score; $4,145,000!

MEMORIES: Seeing the movie of how Herbert Stempel was forced to lose to Charles Van Doren.

David Legler becoming the all-time game show champ with $1,765,000. He will be dethroned when somebody wins the big jackpot on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

In the first few shows of the new version, they had the Tom Scott Orchestra. NBC had to cut the band. Better luck if Name That Tune gets revived.

10). THE (NEW) PRICE IS RIGHT (CBS 1972-up/synd. 1973-77/1985-86/1994-95)

"Here it comes, the lonliest network game show on daytime television. The fabulous 60 minute Price Is Right!"

Indeed a classic! Contestants were told to "COME ON DOWN!" when Rod Roddy (Johnny Olson) called their name. Contestants bid on an item & try to come closest without going over won it. If they bid perfectly, a $500 onus was won.

The winning player got to play one of the 70-up pricing games. Some games offered bigger prizes, some cash & some, A NEW CAR!

The 3 winners of each half got to spin the big wheel in the Showcase Showdown. The object is to come close to spinning a $1.00 without going over. If the player spun $1 in one or two spins, $1,000 + a Bonus Spin was won. If the bonus spin landed on either green section (5 or 15 cents), $5,000 was won. If it landed on the $1, $10,000!

The two winners of the showdown would play the Showcase. Each winner has a fabulous Showcase to bid on. Whoever's closest without going over won the showcase. If they are $250 or less away, they won BOTH SHOWCASES!

My favorite pricing games are all CA$H games;

1). Punch-A-Bunch Contestant had to guess higher or lower on small merchandie gifts to earn a punch & can win up to 4 punches. There are 50 holes to punch & the player can win from $50-$10,000. They can either keep what they punched or look in the next hole. There's also 4 Second Chances that the player punched another hole & add to what they have. The Second Chance is featured on $500-$250-$100-$50. Best possible score; $10,900!

Punchboard memories: When Tom Kennedy hosted (85-86), a gentleman only earned one punch. Kennedy told the audience, "It only takes one punch to win $10,000 & he did it!"

In 1996, a gentleman punched $5,000 & GAVE IT BACK! The audience was dismayed, Janice called him a gambling man as Barker reluctently looked in the next hole to discover he won $10,000!

In 2000, Lilia pulled a "Hurricane Arlene" (see The Grand Game) by winning $10,000 on the punchboard & $11,000 on the Bonus Spin! "Hurricane Lilia!"

2). The Grand Game!

When you hear the end theme to "Family Feud", you know you're playing the Grand Game! Contestant starts @ $1 & tries to guess 4/6 grocery items that are under the target price (ie $2.98). For each correct pick, the player would move up to $10/$100/ $1,000. Then they could either take the $1,000 or pick the last product (few ever quit with $1,000). If they chose the wrong product, you got nothing. The right product pays $10,000!

Grand Memories;

The 1st $10,000 winner chased Bob Barker around. She's a big fat lady who was like a "Treasure Hunt" clone.

In 1988, a little old lady I nickname "Hurricane Arlene" won $10,000 on Grand & $11,000 in the Bonus Spin. She was $800 shy of winning BOTH SHOWCASES!

3). It's In The Bag

This game has 6 grocery items & the player had to match the price with the product. Starting @ $1,000, each correct guess would double their winnings. Players could quit anytime or try to go all the way to win $16,000!

What do those pricing games have in common win a $11,000 bonus spin & a DOUBLE SHOWCASE WIN?


I get so excited, I do my Curly! "Woo woo woo woo woo! Moe, Larry, The Cheese! Moe, Larry, The Cheese!"

Or in my 3 Scrooges Fanfic; "Noel, Louie, The Peas! Noel, Louie, the Peas!

It's great to see a player getting that. But it's better that these things occur.

SEPARATE DOUBLE: IE; one player wins a double showcase, another $11,000 on the wheel. I've seen it done 5 times!

SEPARATE TRIPLE: IE; one player won Grand Game, another player $11,000 on wheel, another player BOTH SHOWCASES!

BI-SLAM; IE; The SAME contestant winning $10,000 Grand Game & $11,000 Bonus Spin (Hurricane Arlene or Lilia).

GRAND SLAM: IE; The SAME contestant wins $10,000 on Grand Game, $11,000 on the wheel & BOTH SHOWCASES! What are the odds of that happening?

Have your pets spayed or neutered.