Match Game '73

CBS (ended 1979)
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  • Episode Guide
  • S 7 : Ep 18



  • S 7 : Ep 17



  • S 7 : Ep 16

    MG79-16 (The Last Broadcast on CBS-TV)

    Aired 4/18/79

  • S 7 : Ep 15


    Aired 4/16/79

  • S 7 : Ep 14


    Aired 4/10/79

  • Cast & Crew
  • Betty White

    Semi-Regular (1973-1982)

  • Patty Duke

    semi-regular (as Patty Duke Astin)

  • Mary Wickes


  • Charles Nelson Reilly

    Regular (1973-1982)

  • Dick Martin

    Frequent Panelist

  • Photos (1)
  • show Description
  • This is the classic version of the ultimate classic game show that most people came to know and love. Originally intended to be simply an expanded CBS-TV remake of the popular 1962-1969 NBC-TV game show called The Star-Studded Big Money Match Game 73 (and it's annual updates) soon grew into a bonafide, no-holds-barred comedy fest, full of innuendos, double-entendres, pouting celebrities and much more debuts including one as the show's return on June 25-29, 1973 on CBS-TV. Host Gene Rayburn played straight man to the antics of the 6-star panel but frequently aided the fun. The game itself was straightforward. 2 contestants that's including a returning champion are competed. The challenger chose 1 of the questions (marked "A" & "B") in 2 rounds (marked "1" & "2") for which Rayburn read the question. While the questions were rather pedestrian early in the run (e.g., "Name a foreign car"), the questions quickly grew wild and wacky. Frequently, the questions involved a recurring list of characters such as Dumb Donald, Weird Willie and Old Man Periwinkle (the latter brilliantly portrayed by Rayburn); celebrities, politicians and news events of the time were also the butt of many of the questions. For example: "Wendy the waitress really likes it if you give her good tips. Give her a $10 bill, she'll put a sliced cherry in your drink. Don't tip her and she'll put in a _____." It was that blank that the six(6) celebrities separately wrote in on index cards. The contestant then was asked for his/her answer. One by one, Rayburn – who frequently critiqued the contestant's answer (he or she might say "cherry bomb" or "cyanide," which would be the definitive answer, while "dirt" would be a rotten answer) – then the audience critized each celebrity for his or her answer. The player scored 1 point for every match. Two rounds were player with the challenger going 1st in the second round of questions (or the champion if the challenger matched all 6 stars); celebrities who matched a player in the first round didn't participate in the second-round question for that contestant. The player in the lead after two rounds wins the game and $100 and played the Big Money Super Match. A tie-breaker round was played if necessary with gameplay like as before. If the tie wasn't broken after two(2) tie-breaker rounds, then a sudden-death fill-in-the-blank tiebreaker was played. A fill-in-the-blank phrase (e.g., _____ Bunny) was shown; each player wrote their response and the celebrities were polled from the audience for their answers. The first to match won the game. In the highly unlikely event that both players provided the same answer or there still was not a match, then (after a typical Rayburn comment like, "Gee, we're really doing well, aren't we?") the sudden-death tie-breaker was played again until there was a match. The sudden-death format was used right away for ties in the weekly syndicated Match Game PM (because of time constraints) that started in the 1975-1976 season only regulars Richard Dawson, Brett Somers and Charles Nelson Reilly played. The Super Match was played in 2 parts. In the 1st part (dubbed Audience Match), Rayburn read a fill-in-the-blank phrase in which had been given to a previous studio audience of 100 people (e.g., Cookie ______). The contestant asked 3 celebrities 1 at a time for suggested answers after which he or she could choose one or come up with one of his or her own. The three top answers were listed, with the No. 3 choice worth $100, the second-most popular worth $250 and the top choice worth $500. If the champion matched one of the top 3 answers, he/she won that amount of money and played the Head-to-Head Match for 10 times their winnings (equals ergo: $1000, $2500 or $5000). The player chose a celebrity, who was given another fill-in-the-blank phrase as before. If there was an exact match, the champion wins the Big Money. Even if the player didn't match, the champion kept his/her Audience Match winnings and faced a new challenger. Players returned until defeated or surpassing CBS's $25,000 winnings limit (done just once in March 1979). Richard Dawson was initially the only regular Match Game 73 celebrity; Charles Nelson Reilly and Brett Somers became regulars in September 1973. Dawson was far and away the most popular Head-to-Head Match celebrity partner (one history of the show reported he was responsibile for greater than $1 million in the champion's winnings). In 1976 as the show then called Match Game 76 Dawson parlayed his success in the highly-successful ABC-TV run of Family Feud. On June 28, 1978...The Star Wheel was added to the Super Match on Match Game 78 which the contestant spun to determine his or her celebrity partner. If the wheel stopped on certain areas of the wheel called the gold star area (designated "double"), the player played for 20 times their Audience Match cash (up to $10,000 on the CBS-TV show; $20,000 on Match Game PM); otherwise, they played for their regular jackpot. Some fans of the show believe the addition of the Star Wheel hastened Dawson's departure from the show on August 23, 1978 and though that's purely speculation. Match Game 73 as fans came to know, had many classic moments during its 7 Season run on CBS-TV (too many to list here). The show also spawned a successful syndicated entry (the once-a-week Match Game PM, which offered even higher cash prizes). After the CBS-TV show (and then called Match Game 79) ended its run on April 20, 1979. 5 Months later it continued its life as a 5-day-a-week entry on September 10-14, 1979 that series continued through September 10, 1982. A short-lived pairing with The Hollywood Squares in 1983-1984 on NBC-TV plus 2 self-contained revivals (ABC-TV in 1990-1991 and Syndicated TV in 1998-1999), soon followed. None managed to recapture the audience (or particularly in the latter version, the magic) of the one-of-a-kind original. Reruns of the classic Match Game 73 have perpetually been among the highest-rated shows on Game Show Network (now GSN). THE BROADCAST HISTORY of MATCH GAME 73: June 25-December 31, 1973 at 3:30-4:00pm on CBS-TV MATCH GAME 74: January 2-December 31, 1974 at 3:30-4:00pm on CBS-TV MATCH GAME 75: January 2-August 15, 1975 at 3:30-4:00pm on CBS-TV August 18-November 28, 1975 at 3:00-3:30pm on CBS-TV December 1-31, 1975 at 3:30-4:00pm on CBS-TV MATCH GAME 76: January 2-December 31, 1976 at 3:30-4:00pm on CBS-TV MATCH GAME 77: January 3-November 4, 1977 at 3:30-4:00pm on CBS-TV November 7-December 9, 1977 at 11:00-11:30am on CBS-TV December 12, 1977-January 3, 1978 at 4:00-4:30pm on CBS-TV MATCH GAME 78 : January 4, 1978-January 2, 1979 at 4:00-4:30pm on CBS-TV MATCH GAME 79 : January 3-April 20, 1979 at 4:00-4:30pm on CBS-TV. Syndicated on every TV Market from September 10, 1979 to September 10, 1982 and Distributed By JIM VICTORY TELEVISION, INC. "MATCH GAME 73-79" is A MARK GOODSON-BILL TODMAN PRODUCTION in association with The CBS-TV Network.moreless

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  • Benhallums1

    User Score: 5567


  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (4)

    • (1st question - "The sexiest thing a woman can wear is BLANK". So far, 3 of the panelists answered with NOTHING) Richard Dawson: (to Jo-Ann Pflug) Do you have nude pictures of yourself? Jo-Ann Pflug: No. Richard Dawson: Would you like to buy some?

    • GENE: You're all invited to Betty White's divorce!

    • Gene: (to an audience member) I told ya to go before ya left the house!

    • Brett: (about Charles) First victim of school riot! Man with shirt inside-out found on school steps!

    Notes (293)

    • Michael Landon had appeared as a celebrity guest on the original 1960s version of 'Match Game'.

    • Goodson-Todman wanted Jack Klugman so badly for the first week that they agreed to have his then-wife on as a celebrity panelist. Her name: Brett Somers.

    • Each Broadcast of MATCH GAME 73 has been the weekday system for the 1st Weekday Show from June 25 to June 29, 1973 and finally repeated on July 2-6, 1973 for the real debut as the 2nd Weekday Show on CBS-TV.

    • Each episode is consisted of the week that each of the star panelists appeared on the show since Match Game was a daily show.

    • The Broadcasts of July 9-13, 1973.

    • Charles Nelson Reilly, Brett Somers and Betty White make their first Match Game appearences this week.

    • The Broadcasts of July 23-27, 1973.

    • The Broadcast of July 30-August 3, 1973.

    Show More Notes

    Trivia (8)

    • This week's episodes were not taped in 'Match Game's' usual studio (where 'The Carol Burnett Show' and 'The Price is Right' were taped.) Notice that the stage is gone and the audience is in bleachers.

    • This is the week where Gene Rayburn made a slip of the lip, referring to Kaen Lesko's dimples & came out nipples!  The audience & panel roared, but the CBS censors removed that blooper.

    • Charles is sitting in the first seat on the upper tier, not his traditional third seat position.

    • The October 31st episode was a classic bad day for Charles Neslon Reilly. Mark Goodson sits in for a late Charles on the first question. After some prodding, Gene reveals that Charles is having his "hair nailed on". When Charles arrives, Gene goes on and on about how lovely his hair looks. Then there's a question about who Charles is dressing up as for Halloween. Charles and the contestant match on "Brett".

    • In the April 18th, 1975, ""Match Game '75" episode, Which television show does Lynda Day George mostly appear in or co-star in?

    • One of the episodes this week, Gene mentioned the show being picked up in Germany and that they didn't have a word for "blank" in Germany, so they use "sniksnak" instead. For the rest of the episode, he uses "sniksnak" in place of "blank" and for much of the episode, Gene and the rest of the stars talk with fake German accents.

    • During some of the question rounds this week, they play different music, and sometimes Gene dances to the music while the stars are writing their answers.

    • The Friday show features a classic Match Game moment: Gene announces that Brett and Charles are leaving the show to go on tour singing country music with Bill Anderson. The two regulars are wearing western hats and answering all their questions in phoney country accents. The show ends with Bill on guitar singing a tune he wrote for Debralee, accompanied badly by Charles and Brett.

    Show More Trivia
  • Fan Reviews (26)
  • Contestants and celebrities are given a story, often humorous, with a word missing. The contestants score points by giving the same answer as the celebrities.

    By stat74, Jan 23, 2011

  • Match Game is one of my all-time favorite game shows. They couldn't have done a better job.

    By onceinabluemoon, Jun 18, 2007

  • Dumb Dora was so Dumb was a lead in for this show.

    By daisyduke71, Nov 25, 2006

  • One of the best shows EVA!!!!

    By wafflesandnety, Apr 25, 2007

  • Match Game was a game show that aired since the 60s throughout the 70s. It's host, Gene Rayburn, and the different celebrities from the panel made the show a fantastic hit.

    By ravenennis, Feb 20, 2007

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