Airdate(s):
April 21, 1975-June 27, 1975
Network(s):
ABC Daytime
Announcer(s):
Bob Clayton
Produced By:
Bob Stewart Productions

Bill: The male deer spent a fortune on his dental work because he had
Blankety Blank. Anne Meara! Can you fill in the "Blankety Blanks?"

Anne: The male deer spent a fortune on his dental work because he had buck
teeth!

Bob Clayton: Ladies and gentlemen, this is the "Blankety Blanks!" Starring
Bill Cullen!


Bill was quoted in a magazine article as saying this show "didn't get a fair shake." Let's see how it measures up...

Two teams comprised of a celebrity & contestant compete. To start, six hidden fragments of a sentence are shown, and Bill reads the category and a clue pertaining to the right answer.

He then randomly selects one of 100 cards rotating on the wheel next to him and scans it through a device on his podium. After scanning, we find out which of the four players has been selected and the dollar value, between $100 and $1,000 (also randomly programmed into the card), for a correct guess. That player selects which sentence fragment to reveal and gets to guess the subject. If right, the dollar value goes into their bank, although they haven't necessarily won the cash yet. If wrong Bill selects another card. Play continues in this manner until the subject is guessed.


After the puzzle is solved, the winning player's team is shown a "Blankety Blank," a sentence with 1-4 words missing, that can be filled in with a pun. If they guess correctly, the money becomes theirs to keep, and their opponents also get a strike. If wrong, the money stays in the bank, and should they guess another puzzle later, the dollar value is added and they can win the whole total on a Blankety Blank.
Contestants remained on the show until they amassed a total of three strikes.

Game show fans who remember the series don't remember it fondly, which is understandable. The game doesn't have much variety to it, and "draw a card, show a clue, guess, draw a card, show a clue, guess" could get a little tedious after a spell.
Bob Stewart was evidently fond of the show, as he restructured it several times more in future game shows like "Shoot for the Stars" and its spinoff, "Double Talk." Realistically, the show isn't that bad. The computer scanning and cards were a novel idea, and the set is rather spiffy looking, albeit low-budget.

The pilot for the series was videotaped February 10, 1975 with guests Anita Gillette and Soupy Sales. The game was nearly identical to the aired format, except that instead of numbers, clues were classified by letters in those clues (so for example, the letter Z might be hiding "THAT CRAZY LADY")

 

On May 19, 1975, Bill announced that the show was "starting things over" and the game had new rules that stayed in place for the remainder of the show's brief run.

 

For each puzzle, a category was announced but no clue. Contestants were credited the money amount  for solving the puzzle, and could win that amount again by solving the Blankety Blank.

 

The first side to accumulate $2,500 or more wins the game, all the cash credited, and the right to meet another opponent.


I sense Bill's love of bad puns is the same as my own because he is enjoying himself here. The game flows quickly, but it's a very mechanical game and Bill can't add much to it, try as he might.


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