COP-OUT

TAPE DATE

1972

NETWORK

Unknown

ANNOUNCER

Johnny Jacobs

PRODUCER

Chuck Barris

"Ann Elder...What is your favorite way of terminating an affair? (Ann answers, 'To fire my boyfriend') Do you think Ann was being honest, or do you think she was copping out and not telling the truth? We'll find out...and here are some of Hollywood's most exciting stars who will be helping you out!"

 

Geoff's second go at hosting a game show (or attempting to) was this less-than-riveting celebrity-guessing game from Chuck Barris.

 

Two contestants played with an eight-celebrity panel. Geoff would ask one celebrity a personal question. The celebrity would give an answer and then secretly lock in whether they're being honest or giving a cop-out answer. Geoff would then ask three of the other panelists what they believed about the answer. From that, the contestant in control would guess "honest" or "cop-out."

A correct answer earns $100 for the contestant. A wrong answer forfeits their entire score to the opponent plus an additional $100. (In other words, only one contestant had any money on the board at a given time.) The contestant in the lead...well, the contestant with the money when time is up wins the game.

 

I have almost nothing to say about this game. I think the most obvious thing here is the scoring flaw. Even if the game was good, that's a screwed-up way to keep score. One of the funny things...actually, the only funny thing about this pilot is that the flaw is exposed over and over again, as only one question is answered correctly in the entire half-hour.

 

I also think it's odd that this, Geoff's second known pilot, has a premise so similar to "Says Who?" Did Bob Stewart write him a letter of recommendation for Chuck Barris?

Another oddity is that like "Says Who?" this pilot seems to be produced with a primetime slot in mind. Geoff signs off by inviting us to "tune in next week." While this series ended up never seeing the light of day, the theme music lived to see another day; the music was used for "(The New) Treasure Hunt" when Geoff announced "There's nothing left in the box."

 

A somewhat interesting ironic footnote about this game. One of the celebrity panelists joining Geoff on this pilot is Richard Dawson. Four years after this pilot was taped, Geoff got a call from Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Productions asking to sign on as host of a new game they were developing, but Geoff had to pass due to a contractual obligation to Bob Stewart. When Geoff passed, Richard Dawson got the call to host "Family Feud."

 

Geoff is starting to settle into the role of game show host nicely on this pilot. He's noticeably more relaxed than on "Says Who?" and shows himself to be rather comfortable with the star-studded panel. Even Bill Bixby, who was notorious in Hollywood insider circles for turning large & green and breaking things when angry, doesn't seem to intimidate Geoff. Lucky for us, the third time would be the charm for Geoff, as America met him on his next series, "Hollywood's Talking."