Treasure Hunt

(ended 1982)


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Treasure Hunt

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Welcome to the Treasure Hunt guide at Ladies and gentlemen, this bonded security agent has just placed a check for $20, one of these 66 surprise packages. Today, someone could win any one of the fabulous prizes or that grand prize of $20,000 on ... TREASURE HUNT! Thus begun an episode of this five-a-week remake of Chuck Barris' Treasure Hunt, where female contestants hoped to select a box that contained the hidden grand prize check (worth anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000). This daily version differed from the 1973-76 edition as follows: Instead of ten contestants opening boxes and three of them getting a number to come down to the stage, host Geoff Edwards had several people holding balloons. When he gave the signal, those people popped their balloons. Only one of the balloons contained a large star. The lady who had the star would go to center stage to face the returning champion. One of these two contestants would advance, and it all centered around two surprise packages. The challenger selected one of the two surprise packages at the podium; the champion got the other box. Upon the call of Edwards, both boxes were opened, one containing a pop-up jack-in-the-box and the other nothing. The contestant selecting the former box advanced to the best part of the show. The "best part" had the contestant selecting one of 66 boxes on stage, each containing a cash amount and an unknown prize. After host Edwards revealed the cash amount (between $700 to $1,000), he offered the opportunity for the contestant to keep the cash or take whatever was inside the box. Prizes ranged from cars, trips, furs and jewelry, furniture and appliances ... ... or they could be "klunks," which, like Let's Make a Deal zonks, were worthless nonsense prizes. There were lots of them, from paper cups and hunter's nets to heads of cabbage, T-shirts and Matchbox cars! To be fair, some of these "klunks" led to good prizes or even worse "klunks!" Then, of course, inside one of the boxes was a check for $20,000 (plus $1,000 for each show it was not claimed, up to $50,000). It was this box the contestant hoped she'd pick. Regardless of the contestant's choice, here's where the fun started. Edwards led a skit aimed at making the contestant believe she had won a "klunk." Everybody had a part in the proceedings, with live animals, members of the show's acting troupe and crew (and their children), announcer Johnny Jacobs, Edwards and ... of course ... even the contestant herself! Whatever the outcome, that contestant was declared champion and received opportunities to participate again. Two such "Treasure Hunts" were conducted per show. At the end of the program, the show's bonded security agent revealed the whereabouts of the check if it hadn't already been found. By the way, Geoff was quite good at memorizing the skits. Before each taping, he had to memorize all 66 skits (some of which were used on The New Treasure Hunt in 1973-76) that were tied to each of the boxes. He never once forgot a line (and quite often, had to cover for others who did). Why the crash course in memorization? Due to security issues, no cue cards were allowed. And yes, Emile Aturi (the show's bonded security agent) really was a security guard at the Burbank Studios, where Treasure Hunt was taped. Now, Emile, will you verify the fact that you did hide the check before each show? "Yes, I did." Geoff routinely tried to get Emile to say smoething to break the tension at the show's end, but again, security precautions forbade Emile to say anything other than "Yes, I did." Well, that was almost all he said. On a Friday show, when Geoff asked the usual question, Emile broke character and asked, "Do you have a cue card?" That really broke Geoff up!moreless