The Shows
(alpha sort | update sort)

Show Me
Simon Says
Shopping Spree
Shoot the Works
Second Honeymoon
Shoot for the Stars
Smart Alecks
Smart Money
Star Play
Strictly Confidential
Star Cluster
Split Decision
Second Guessers
Scrabble (1990)
Play For Keeps
Play Your Hunch
Pot O' Gold
People On TV
Party Line
Pressure Point
Pyramid (1996)
Run For The Money
Says Who?
Razzle Dazzle
Quick as a Flash
Pyramid (1997)
A Question of Scruples
Talking Pictures (1968)
Talking Pictures (1976)
What Do You Want?
What's On Your Mind
Wheel of Fortune
We've Got Your Number
Up and Over
Twenty One (1982)
Twenty Questions
You Bet Your Life (1988)
You Bet Your Life (1991)
You're Putting Me On
Write Your Own Ticket
Word Grabbers
Whose Baby
Top Secret
The Big Payoff
The Buck Stops Here
The Choice Is Yours
The Big Money
The Better Sex
Tell It to Groucho
Temptation (1981)
$10,000 Sweep
The Couples Race
The Fashion Show
The Waiting Game
Three of a Kind
Tic Tac Dough
The Price Is Right (1972)
The Plot Thickens
The Honeymoon Game
The Love Experts
Now You See It (1986)
Nothing But the Truth
Change Partners
Child's Play
Combination Lock (1996)
The Challengers (1974)
Chain Letter (1964)
Celebrity Doubletalk
Celebrity Secrets
Celebrity Sweepstakes
Comedy Club
Concentration (1985)
Decisions, Decisions
Dollar a Second
Countdown (1990)
Countdown (1974)
The Confidence Game
Cop Out
Celebrity Billiards
Caught in the Act
Beat The Genius
Beat The Odds (1962)
Beat The Odds (1975)
Be What You Want
ABC Carnival '74
Across the Board
Bedtime Stories
Big Spenders
Call My Bluff
Card Sharks (1996)
Body Talk
Blank Check
Body Language
Duel in the Daytime
Fast Friends
Match Game (1962)
Match Game (1973)
Match Game (1990)
M'ama Non M'ama
Let's Make a Deal (1990)
Keynotes (1986)
King of the Hill
Let's Make a Deal (1963)
Match Game (1996)
MatchGame (2008)
Money Words
Monopoly (1987)
Money in the Blank
Monday Night QB
Missing Links
Key Witness
Going, Going, Gone!
Head of the Class
High Rollers
Get Rich Quick
Finish Line (1990)
$50,000 a Minute
Finish Line (1975)
Hollywood Squares (1965)
Hollywood Squares (1985)
Jackpot (1984)
Jeopardy (1977)
Jokers Wild
How Do You Like Your Eggs?
House to House
Hot Numbers
Hot Potato
$64,000 Question (2000)

The Links

Show a Random Pilot
Show Unreviewed Pilots
Bob Stewart Flow Chart


Producer: Goodson/Todman
Host: Larry Blyden
Announcer: Gene Wood
Celebrities: Elayne Joyce, Ron Masak, Linda Kaye Henning, Dick Gauthier
Taping Info: May 24, 1975
Made it to Air: Yes, but with a different host. Larry Blyden died in an automobile accident in Morocco on June 6, 1975 and was replaced by Bobby Van. The show lasted six months in 1975, replacing Password before it was replaced by the relocated Let's Make a Deal. Regis Philbin's The Neighbors was the show that was added to lineup when Showoffs was removed.
Availability: UCLA Archives. A portion of this pilot was shown on the clip show Game Show Moments Gone Bananas #3.

Showoffs ended up being one of the cursed game shows in history. It's intended host, Larry Blyden, died in an auto accident between the shooting of the pilot and the taping of the first episodes. He was quickly replaced by Bobby Van, who had never hosted a game show before. Sadly, Bobby would die just five years later due to cancer.

There have been charade-based game shows before and after Showoffs, such as Pantomime Quiz and Body Language. What made this show unique is that both teams would see the same charade, the second team would be in an isolation booth while the first team was doing their round. The mid-70s were part of Mark Goodson's isolation booth phase, he also used it in Double Dare and Family Feud.

Each team was made up of two celebrities and one contestant and were designated as the red and the blue teams - decked out in the long sleeve t-shirt style that was popular for about three weeks in the 1970s. Keeping with the casual theme, host Larry Blyden wore a muted sweater/shirt combo instead of the usual suit and tie. Playing for the reds was Elayne Joyce (a.k.a. Mrs. Bobby Van) and Ron Masak, while the blues had Linda Kaye Henning and Dick Gauthier.

In round 1, the celebrities alternated giving words to the contestant, while the other team was in the on-stage isolation booth. Once the first team was done, the second team played on the same words. If a word proved difficult, the other celebrity could give it a shot or the phrase could be passed, although only one pass was allowed per round. For round 2, the female celebrity and the contestant switched places. If the teams split the two games, round 3 was played with the male celebrity guessing the words or phrases. Winning two rounds won the contestant the match and a chance for the bonus. The winner of the match also won prizes, in this case it was a Tappan fridge and oven.

In the bonus game, the celebrities from both teams took turns in giving clues to the winner for $1 per correct guess in a 60 second round. A second bonus round with just the contestant and one celebrity was then played for thirty seconds to figure out the multiplier from the money in the first round times ten for one correct, times one hundred for two correct or times one thousand for three correct. In the pilot, the winning player got seven correct in the first bonus round and all three correct in the second bonus round for a $7,000 payday.

There were two peculiar things with this pilot. It had fee plugs, which is very unusual for a pilot. Secondly, the opening emphasized the fact that they were in a theatre (part of the acting motif, I guess), so the opening showed the entire audience. The show did not change between the pilot and the first episode (except for the host), which was somewhat customary for Goodson-Todman pilots of the 70s, this was more a dress rehearsal than an actual show.

There really wasn't much to change about this game. If you didn't want to see a celebrity-based charade game, nothing was going to change your mind. If you did, then this was a fine choice, definitely better than Celebrity Charades or Acting Crazy up in Canada. And unlike Body Language, the first game did matter.

This pilot has been viewed 4216 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