September 1981-September 1982


Daily Syndication


Johnny Jacobs,

Tony McClay


Chuck Barris Productions

"Ladies and gentlemen, this bonded security agent has just placed a a certified check for $NN, one of THESE sixty-six surprise someone may win any one of our fabulous prizes or that GRAND prize of $NN,000 on...Treasure Hunt!"


Geoff returned to his first hit game for another season of big cash and big laughs.


The show was substantially the same as the original series, with a few differences:


The show had returning champions, although since there wasn't much of a game involved on "Treasure Hunt" they made it a point not to tarnish the word "champion." Geoff used the term "continuing winner."


A different selection process was used for the audience game. Instead of ten contestants receiving gift boxes, every female in one section of the audience received a balloon with a needle tied to it. One had a star hidden in the balloon on the other end of the string. When Geoff gave the audience the signal, everybody popped their balloons, and the contestant with the star came to the stage.


The audience member selected one of two boxes onstage, while the continuing winner got the box not picked. When Geoff gave the signal, they opened their boxes, and whoever had the pop-up surprise won the right to select a treasure box and come back for the next game.


The cash award envelopes were significantly reduced, now between $500-$999.


The grand prize was now a growing jackpot. The check started at a value of $20,000 and grew $1,000 per day. During the show's first week of taping, the check was found rather quickly for a $23,000 payoff. This probably gave the producers a bit of a scare and for the next couple of weeks, the check was a flat $20,000. Soon enough, the growing jackpot returned. When the check reached $50,000, the jackpot "froze" until won.


The prizes were somewhat lower budget on this show. Usually (but not always) the treasure boxes contained a single prize instead of the spectacular prize packages of the 70s version. Also, the grand prize check was the only cash prize available.


Also as a result of budget restraints, the bevy of fabulous babes assisting Geoff on the original series were gone, replaced by a single model, the beautiful-enough-to-replace-10-women Jan Speck. Geoff and Jan actually had pretty good chemistry together, flirting (innocently) with each other during prize descriptions and skits. Geoff was right about one thing; he once remarked that "If we used Jan now the way we used her then, N.O.W would come at us with rolling pins." Even by the standards of game show models, Jan was dressed in incredibly sexist revealing outfits. Of course I'm a complete pig so it's not like I'm complaining about that.


If  you have cable, once in a blue moon you'll see Jan pop up in 80s flicks. She plays a reporter in "Short Circuit" and also plays a flirtatious brunette in the Chevy Chase film "Modern Problems," which, according to the Internet Movie Database, is the only movie in which Dabney Coleman has ever appeared nude. Well, my life is richer for finding that out.


Chuck Barris, despite being named as executive producer in the credits for this version, actually had very little to do with the show, which is why Geoff agreed to host this version.


Between this and the original series, the original, like all original things, is higher quality; 66 torturous skits instead of 30 meant some skits were forced or anticlimactic; the good outweighed the bad, quality-wise, but you could sense a strain in this version. Despite this, Geoff seems to be having more fun. The absence of Chuck Barris meant a sense of stability backstage that was lacking in the original series. As a result, Geoff is relaxed and actually seems to set out to develop a rapport with the cast members who appeared with him in skits. There's a sense of joy in this version that makes it a blast to watch, even when the skit isn't that great.

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