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Producer: Barris/Fraser
Host: Bob Hilton
Announcer: Charlie O'Donnell
Celebrities: Stuart Pankin, Elayne Joyce
Taping Info: Sometime between February 1 and March 26, 1986 for ABC
Made it to Air: No, there would have been lawsuits Apparently there were lawsuits
Availability: It's available on the trading circuit.

The old saying goes that there are only five original stories that can be told, with the rest just being variations. That may also be true in the game show world, but you at least have to try a little bit to be a bona-fide show on your right. Bamboozle does not do this, since it is way too close to To Tell the Truth to be considered anything but a poor rip-off.

This version features Bob Hilton, long-time announcer but rarely the host (his gigs previous to this pilot were the failed revival of Truth or Consequences and The Guiness Game. Two celebrities are along for the ride with this pilot featuring Stuart Pankin of Not Necessarily the News and Elaine Joyce from, uh, from, er, The Don Knotts Show? There is also one civilian contestant. Three people are brought out each with a story, whether it's sport-playing pets (game #1) or elderly Tae Kwan Do black belts (game #2).

Each panelist, the two celebrities and the one contestant, ask two questions of each of the three story tellers. After the eighteen questions are over, the celebrities each offer their opinion on which of the stories is the correct one. The civilian player then makes her pick. If she's right, she wins $1,000. If she's wrong, the person who "bamboozled" her wins the $1,000. If the player wins five games in a row, they are retired and win a car.

Apparently it was such a rip-off of To Tell the Truth that Goodson-Todman sent a threatening letter to ABC, and Barris twice tried twice in court to remove the threat. Barris failed both times, but I think this show would have never had made the air anyway. From it being a blatant rip-off, to the horrible theme and incidental music (think synthesized circus music), the wooden hosting of Bob Hilton, the camera-hogging tactics of Stuart Pankin to the less-than-exciting stories, it was easy to see why this one didn't see the light of day, despite having the pedigree of Chuck Barris.

From the cheezy 80s graphics department, its Bamboo3le

And your host, Bob Hilton

Camera hogger Stuart Pankin

And good game player Elaine Joyce

One of these three people own a pet who plays a sport

While one of these grannies has a black belt in Tae Kwan Do

This pilot has been viewed 4623 times since October 6, 2008 and was last modified on Dec 12, 2009 14:46 ET
Feedback? Contact me at usgs-pilot at the usgameshows dot net domain