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House to House

Producer: Walsh/Gross
Host: Bill Boggs
Announcer: Alan Kalter
Taping Info: Mar 8, 1982, Studio 8H at NBC, New York City
Made it to Air: No
Availability: UCLA Archive

When I was finding shows to research in the UCLA archives, this show came up and said the host was Bill Bonds. Now, as a native Detroit suburbanite, this piqued my curiosity. Could this be the Bill Bonds, the longtime anchorman of the ABC and the CBS/FOX station? The man who once challenged former Detroit Mayor Coleman Young to a fight on live TV? The man now in his 70s reduced to doing commercials for low-priced furniture, shyster lawyers and potato chips? Bestill my heart!

Unfortunately, it was Bill Boggs. The guy from Food Network. Darn you, MELVYL typo. I'll just have to get over it, and move on to the actual game. And it really isn't much of one, sort of a Newylwed Game for families. Two families consisting of the parents and four kids sit on either the left or the right of the stage and there's this big house-shaped scoreboard in the center. The four kid limit had to be enforced vigorously, since one of the families had 14 kids! One family's set was decked out in yellow, and the other in orange. Did I mention this was 1982?!? Where's in the name of Crockett and Tubbs are the pastels?

The first question is asked to each family — "The mother has put a note on the fridge door to don't touch the food. Do you (as kids) touch the food." The kids had already answered this question offstage, and have their classic card ready with the answer. The parents are then asked 1-what will the kids say, 2-what do you predict the kids will say? Huh? Why should #1 be any different than #2? Anyway, you get $200 for getting #1 right, and $100 for getting #2 right. Both families did this. And then, for some inexplicable reason, they go to the audience to get their responses to the question. Why?!? And if you look carefully, you can see announcer Alan Kalter in the audience. And if you look even harder, you see him leave before the end of the segment to do his announcing duties.

Round 2 is the same as round 1 with the roles reversed — kids asked what parents will do. Both families ace it again. And then a "bonus" question is asked for each team, in this case, "what article of clothing would you buy from the following list?" Kids tried to guess what mama picked. $500 if correct. Round 3 was the same as Round 1. At the end of the game, the family on the yellow side had $1,300 (they got the $100 part on the Round 3 question wrong), while the family on the orange side had $900 (they missed the bonus).

The final round was the bonus board. In this round, you wagered some amount on a final question. Bill Bonds would then go over to the trusty board to get the multiplier, and if you answered correctly, your bet would be multiplied by that amount. In this game, the multiplier was 5, and both families got the final question correct. So, let's see how they did:

  • The orange family had $900. They wagered $899. So, they should finish with $900 + 5($899) = $5,494, right? Nope, they finished with $900 + 4($899), or $4,496.
  • The yellow family had $1,300. They wagered $900. So, they should finish with $1,300 + 5($900) = $5,800, right? Nope, they finished with $1,300 + 4($900), or $4,900.

They can't even do the math right! Instead of being a multiplier, it's a multiplier minus one. What if the multiplier was one? Would the bonus round have been useless, because the multiplier was zero? Anyway, the yellow family (the one with the 14 kids) won and they got the $4,900 plus a home entertainment system. No word if the $4,900 was divided into 16 chunks of $306.25 so they could avoid the game show tax.

There's nothing much that could make this game work, it was pretty doomed from the start. Except maybe getting Bill Bonds to yell at the families for dumb answers, challenging them to fights and wagering his toupeé. I can dream, can't I?

A Pilot Light Bonus: Bill Bonds (who I want as the host, not who was the host) struggles through a promo (from Impossible Funky)

This pilot has been viewed 7107 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