CBS Daytime


June 4, 1984-January 3, 1986


Johnny Olson, Gene Wood


Mark Goodson Productions

“It’s a game for the uninhibited, and our stars this week are Abby Dalton and Soupy Sales. Watch their bodies do the talking on...



Two previous Mark Goodson series, “Showoffs” and “Password Plus,” were married in this entertaining show. Tom returned to CBS for this game of pantomime and puzzles.


Two celebrity/civilian teams compete. In Round One, a contestant stands behind the podium while his/her partner pantomimes  up to five words being shown on a hidden screen. The podium player has 60 seconds to guess, and may pass on any word and come back to it. About halfway through the run, teams who got through all five words before time ran out won a $500 bonus.


Afterward, the podium player is shown a brief paragraph with seven words missing, describing a particular subject. Whatever words the team guessed are added to their respective blanks, and the player gives a guess. If correct s/he wins $100 for the team, otherwise a player from the opposing team gets to pick one of the blanks not yet filled in and gives a guess. Those players alternate until the puzzle is solved.


In Round Two, the celebrities guess and the contestants do pantomime. Puzzles are worth $250 each, and the first team to $500 wins the game and the right to play the Sweepstakes. If neither team has reached $500 after Round Two, a $250 puzzle is played with no charades portion, just the two contestants revealing blanks and guessing.


In the Sweepstakes, a player acts out more charades with the partner guessing. This time, they have 60 seconds for up to 10 words, worth $100 each. After the 60 seconds has elapsed, another 20 seconds is put on the clock, and three more words are played. If all three are guessed correctly, the amount won in the 60-second portion is multiplied by ten.

Contestants continued playing until they won six games or they lost two games, whichever happened first.


Aside from the MAJOR flaw in the front game (it’s not that bad I suppose, but the fact that Round One is completely worthless just gets to me), this is a great game, combining two very different skills, and finding a unique way to merge them into a single format.


Tom shows how a little can go a long way here. He’s casual, sometimes forgoing looking into the camera in favor of just chatting with the audience in the studio. He’s flip, declaring the series to be “The Official Game Show of the Olympics” early in the series’ run. Most of all, he’s clearly having the time of his life, not trying to stifle his laughter watching a particularly good (or bad) charade. And when Tom’s having fun, the viewers are having fun.