The Match Game

NBC (ended 1969)




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The Match Game

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You mean there's a Match Game back in the 1960s? Yes it sure is. But this 1st incarnation of what became one of the most popular wild game shows ever is a quite different creature to say the least. Y'see, this edition of The MATCH GamE employed a staid but reliable format that earned the show a 7-season run and guaranteed host of The MATCH GamE Gene Rayburn a permanent place in game show history. Debuting Monday December 31, 1962 on NBC-TV "In Living Color", The MATCH GamE pitted 2 teams of 3 players each (2 contestants each paired with a star team captain for a total of 6 contestants). Rayburn posed a simple question (e.g., "Name a green vegetable" or "To a rich man, ($)_______ dollars is nothing."). Each team member without consulting the others writes his/her response on an index card with a crayon. Rayburn then calls for each player's answer, one at a time. The teams earn points for each correct answer as thus: * Two players match: (10 points from December 31, 1962 to February 8, 1963) 25 points (February 11, 1963-September 26, 1969). * All three players match: (20 points) 50 points. Play alternates between the 2 teams until 1 scores 100 points or greater than that win. The winning contestants shared $100+ and to go on to play The Audience Match. In The Audience Match, the team tried to predict the Secret No. 1 answer of a 100-member polling group (usually, a previous studio audience, but it could also other groups such as women or college students and on January 2, 1964 The Number of People that totaled 100 of less than that). The questions are like before and each player tried to guess the "Best Answer" to match. Rewards were paid thusly: * One correct match: $50. * Two correct matches: $100. * All three right matches: $150. The highest possible payout is $450 making the game's possible maximum winnings $550+. The teams play the game again with the new game. Starting on March 27-31, 1967, The Telephone Match is added, where a home viewer is called and asked to match his answer to a question with the answer from a pre-selected audience member by a number up to 100-plus audience members. The two players share a growing cash jackpot for matching answers – $500 plus(+) $100 per day until it's an correct match. The MATCH GamE cancelled it's long 7-Season run on Friday September 26, 1969 on NBC-TV along with Bob Stewart's "Eye Guess" & "Personality" & Ralph Andrews' "You Don't Say" and but don't expect to see very many episodes on GSN (the old Game Show Network). Thanks to NBC's practice of reusing videotapes to record shows (and since The MATCH GamE was aired live in the beginning) only 11 episodes - all but a set of 5 couples of Black & White Kinescopes from 1963 to 1965 - are known to exist. A color video studio master from 1969 also is rumored to be around but hasn't been repeated. As we all know, The MATCH GamE returned nearly 4 years later in 1973 on CBS-TV in what'll become a much funnier contest called MATCH GAME 73 (1973). That's not to say there were plenty of funny, classic moments on this 1st Edition. A note on the episode guide: since the show ran Monday-Friday of each week, and the guests were the same for all 5 days, each episode listed is actually a week's worth of episodes (1752 in all). The MATCH GamE is "A Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Production" in association with the NBC-TV Network. The Broadcast Report of The MATCH GamE: December 31, 1962-September 26, 1969, NBC-TV Monday-Friday at 4:00-4:25 p.m. in Living Color. *The 1st theme song was "A Swingin' Safari" written by Bert Kaempfert from December 31, 1962 to September 1, 1967. *The 2nd theme song called "The MATCH GamE" is performed by The Score Production Band from September 4, 1967 to September 26, 1969. In the later edition of The MATCH GAME (1979-1982) they also has a portion of the show were if they had time left they would play a game with the audience. The question is read and the one panelist will write an answer and the person in the audience will guess and if they got it write they will get $50.


    Cast updates: Match Game, Gossip Girl

  • Gene Rayburn

    Gene Rayburn


    Johnny Olson

    Johnny Olson

    Announcer (1962-1969)

    Don Pardo

    Don Pardo

    Sub-Announcer (1964-1965)

    Mel Brandt

    Mel Brandt

    Sub-Announcer (1966-1967)

    Wayne Howell

    Wayne Howell

    Sub-Announcer (1963)

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