NBC (ended 1987)


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Show Summary

Wordplay was a word game played for laughs.

Two contestants competed.

The Wordplay game board consisted of 9 words, in three rows of three. It looked a little bit like this.


The lines and equal signs show how certain words were connected to each other (each one is connected to at least one other).

As you can see, the first and third rows were on a level with each other; the middle row was one row higher.

Alternating turns, the contestants would each pick a word, and a panel of three celebrities would give their definitions (getting more than a few yuks from the audience at times). It was up to the contestant to pick which one was right. If correct, they would earn the amount of money behind the word. If incorrect, their opponent would have a chance to guess the word. If both guessed wrong, it's placed as a block! Two words were played per round, and three rounds per game.

The dollar values were as follows: $25, $50 and $75 in round one, $50, $100, and $150 in round two, and $100, $200, and $300 in round three. Also, if the word was connected to any other of the money words from the previous rounds, the player would get that added to the amount of the played word.

One of the 9 words was the bonus word. If the contestant who picked it & guessed the definition correctly, won a trip (whether the player won or lost).

The player with the most money at the end of three rounds won the game and played the bonus round, called Double Definition.

If there was a tie, a 7th word was played. The champ would pick a word, the stars would just say the defination (sans the wit). The champ could either guess it or have the opponent guess, hoping the challenger would be wrong.

In Double Definition, the winning player faced a board with 24 squares (6 across, 4 down), and tried to make a path from one side to the other. The player would be presented with two definitions for one word, and had to figure out what the word was. (Like Type of Fish/Massachusetts Cape, where the answer would be "cod). The player had 45 seconds to accomplish this feat. There was no limit on guesses, but if the player passed a block would go up and s/he would have to work around it. If the player was successful in conquering Double Definition, they would win a cash jackpot that started at $5,000 and went up by $2,500 everyday until won (the highest pot ever won was $27,500). If the player couldn't get it done, they received $100 per correct guess.

Champions could return up to a max of three days.

This turned out to be Tom Kennedy's last hosting job on a game show after a long career.

Other Wordplay trivia; the game show replaced the 35 year old soap, Search For Tomorrow.

Mousketeer Lonnie Burr was a contestant on that show.

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Game Show