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Body Talk


Producer: Mark Goodson
Host: Vicki Lawrence
Announcer: Gene Wood
Celebrities: Bill Kirchenbauer, Richard Simmons, Elayne Joyce, Marcia Wallace
Taping Info: October 11, 1990 at CBS (but shot for ABC)
Made it to Air: No
Availability: Unknown

It has been said that Mark Goodson was obsessed with charades. First, there was Showoffs, which featured four celebrities, two contestants and an isolation booth. Then there was Body Language, which featured two celebrities, two contestants, puzzles and an irrelevant first round. Now, it's a new decade, so it's time for Body Talk, this time going back to four celebrities and dumping the puzzles. Vicki Lawrence, now a veteran game show host, helms this game that was probably cast during a session of Match Game '90, since three of the four celebrities and the host on this pilot were at least semi-regulars and the fourth (Elayne Joyce) was actually on the pilot of Showoffs.

The teams were gender-specific, with the two female celebrities teaming up with the female contestant and the two male celebrities teaming up with the male contestant. The first two rounds were pretty plain, with each team getting a 60 second chance per round at one longish charade for $200. The third round borrows from Name That Tune, where one celebrity from each team does a reverse auction on who can give a certain charade faster. The lowest bid goes and picks up a progressive jackpot starting at $100 if they get the charade, otherwise the other team picks up the dough. First contestant to $2,000 goes on to the bonus round.

There must have been something really freaky in Goodson's pipe this day. This bonus game was awful. Ten people were brought in from the audience and were each assigned a word. They had 60 seconds to give their words one at a time to the player. Frankly, it would have been better if all ten players were giving their words all at once. A player was allowed three passes. It was $100 per word, with the score multiplied by ten if the contestant got seven or more. This may not seem much written down, but when seen live on tape, it's positively ghastly.

This pilot was shot for ABC during the run of Match Game '90, so I don't know if it was meant to replace Match Game or become a companion and dislodge The Home Show and get Goodson out of the noon slot. It probably would have made it, if it wasn't for that awful, awful bonus round. This is the last known pilot done by Goodson before his death in 1992, it's a shame it couldn't be a better one.


This pilot has been viewed 10996 times since October 6, 2008 and was last modified on Dec 12, 2009 14:46 ET
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