The Guinness Game

(ended 1980)


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The Guinness Game

Show Summary

The 1979 game show The Guinness Game was an attempt to promote the book of world records on television.

In this once-a-week show, three contestants were spotted $1,000. A stunt or feat, wherein a new world record could be set, was announced. The contestants bid (a la Jeopardy!) up to 90 percent of their bankroll on whether the attempt to break the existing world record would SUCCEED or FAIL.

The records were attempted onstage or directly outside the studios, and followed along as per a sports event as the race - usually against the clock - ensued. Contestants were paid accordingly as to the outcome of the record-breaking attempt; accurate predictions saw contestants paid off; while wrong predictions meant losing the money bet.

After three rounds, the contestant who had the most money went on to the bonus round. In the bonus round, the player had a chance to double their cash winnings plus win a new car, by predicting the outcome of yet another record-breaking feat. Incorrect predictions did not affect winnings coming in.

Record-breaking attempts featured on The Guinness Game were typically bizarre or outrageous. Some examples: eating 18 bananas in two minutes; four strongmen lifting a compact car and rotating all four tires in less than two minutes; the longest time walking on a rolling log; flipping the most quarters off an elbow; and a child solving a ridiculously complicated mathematical equation without the use of a calculator.

Safety was a recurring theme on The Guinness Game. Spotters and "catchers" were always on hand to spot potential hazards and prevent injury, and safety nets were almost always used in stunts involving heights (unless part of the stunt meant no nets). Paramedics, as well as firefighters in some cases, were stationed offstage in case an injury did happen. And, lest someone be tempted to try one of those stunts, an advisory message warned viewers "never to try this stunt at home."

On hand to authenicate all records was David Boehm, editor of the Guinness Book of World's Records, American edition. Records broken and authenicated actually went into the next edition of the Guinness Book.