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Celebrity Doubletalk

Producer: Bob Stewart/Filmways/NBC
Host: Jack Clark
Announcer: Don Pardo
Celebrities: Betsy Palmer, Bill Cullen, Florence Henderson, Darrin McGavin
Theme: "Brasilia" by Herb Alpert (same as The Face is Familiar)
Taping Info: October 23, 1967, probably New York City for NBC
Made it to Air: No
Availability: UCLA Archive

Several sources consider Cash on the Line, a Bob Stewart pilot from 1972, the original progenitor of The $10,000 Pyramid. However, the 1967 pilot Celebrity Doubletalk had an inkling of the eventual Pyramid as well. This show was intended to be a daytime offering and was backed by NBC, but considering the juggernaut lineup of games NBC had in 1967, it would have to had been real good, and this one wasn't.

The game involved two teams of two celebrities and one contestant. The contestant actually sat on the end rather than in the center. The host, Jack Clark, would tell each team that you will see a phrase on their monitor. The idea would be to say things that match the category, but not to give clues that would allow the other team to guess it. For example, if the phrase was "Something that is inflated", a team would have to say items that are inflated, but would be as misleading as possible to keep them away from the clue, such as "ego", "self-esteem" and "bra". If your team guessed the word correctly, you got the point. Otherwise, the team giving the clues got the point. Three points won the game and a prize. Sort of like the Pyramid bonus game, except you're trying to give bad clues.

The bonus game was somewhat similar to the main game of Pyramid. In one example, the category was birds. Betsy Palmer would come up with a bird on her own, and try to get Bill Cullen to say it. Once he did, he then thought of a bird and tried to get the contestant to come up with one. This would continue back and forth Go style until 60 seconds were up. The contestant got $20 per correct word. In the three bonus games on the pilot, the players got 12, 12 and 7 words respectively.

Since the game went really fast, they were able to get three complete main-bonus combos in the game. Like Password and later incarnations of Pyramid, players alternated celebrities each game and stayed for the entire game.

Snap Judgement, Concentration, Personality, Hollywood Squares, Jeopardy!, Eye Guess, Let's Make a Deal, You Don't Say, Match Game. These were the games on NBC daytime in 1967 and Celebrity Doubletalk couldn't beat any of them, which was partially the strength of the lineup and partially the weakness of the "bad clue" format. It took six years, but game show perfection would emerge from the seeds of this pilot.

This pilot has been viewed 5392 times since October 6, 2008 and was last modified on Sep 26, 2010 16:31 ET
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