Beat the Clock (1969)

(ended 1974)


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Beat the Clock (1969)

Show Summary

Eight years after Beat the Clock ended its network run, the folks at Goodson-Todman productions revived this durable game show for syndication. It turned out this stunt contest was a success, lasting five years in first-run syndication. Two male-female couples (usually married but could also be engaged) competed to complete stunts within a 60-second (or less) time limit, this time with the aid of a celebrity guest. As with the network Beat the Clock, the stunts were the centerpiece of the show, and they were often very messy. Examples: • Putting on oversized underwear and then stuffing 12 balloons into it without breaking any. • Springing six mouse-traps using a large sausage tied to a fishing pole, and the partner freeing the mouse-traps. • Throwing three custard pies through a wooden cutout that their mate stood behind, while the pie-thrower was blindfolded. A huge on-stage clock counted down the seconds, as the host provided commentary and encouragement. If the couple completed their stunt, they walked to a large board containing the letters in the show's title (BEAT THE CLOCK); the couple chose one letter and won the cash prize of between $25 and $200. Each couple competed in two stunts per show. Between each round, the celebrity guest tried to complete his/her own stunt. The couples predicted whether the celebrity would complete the stunt, and won $50 for a correct guess. Both couples competed in the grand-prize stunt to decide the day's winner. The winning couple received $500 and a prize package (usually luggage, a camera and/or a set of World Book Encyclopedias). Rather dour prize packages, but the stunts on Beat the Clock were fun as always, and the celebrity stunt segment livened the proceedings. Veteran emcee Jack Narz was the first host of the syndicated Beat the Clock, with Gene Wood serving as announcer. In 1972, Wood (just four years away from his best-known announcer's role on Family Feud) replaced Narz as host, one of his rare hosting gigs. Ironically, Narz served as announcer for the Monty Hall-hosted Beat the Clock in 1979. Beat the Clock was the only Goodson-Todman show ever taped in Canada.moreless