“Hello, I’m Chuck Barris. Welcome to the new and exciting Treasure Hunt, a demonstration show of a program that’s bound to stir up a lot of conversation. Why? Because it’s the return of the big money game show, only our program is fool-proof. Nobody can tamper with the results. And since nobody can tamper with the show, it becomes more exciting than ever. And that’s because $25,000 is sitting onstage in a box. And there’s a good chance that a contestant will put his or her greedy little hands on that box, not once, but twice in that half hour. And if you don’t think that’s exciting, then that’s because it’s not your cash. Since it’s my cash, I find this program concept quite taut. There is also various not-to-be believed prizes: a mobile home, a boat, and a salami that can be won. With my luck, the contestant will win the mobile home and the boat, and I’ll end up with the salami, which isn’t bad if the rye bread is fresh. And now, here’s the wildest and woolliest game show to come your way in years. The contestants will win what they get or lose what they get. Everything is happening as it’s happening. Ladies and gentlemen, the new and exciting…Treasure Hunt.”
And following that pitch, we’re treated to the not-for-air pilot of “Treasure Hunt,” taped in 1972.
“Ladies and gentlemen…this mystery celebrity…witnessed by this Lloyd’s of London bonded agent, has just placed a $25,000 check in one of these surprise packages. Tonight, six contestants will compete for thousands of dollars in prizes, and the chance of winning that $25,000 grand prize, on…Treasure Hunt.”
The opening theme
music is a different piece of music, a grandiose orchestral arrangement, with
Geoff being greeted by a group of cheerleaders (including Jane Nelson, who
stayed around for the series).
Geoff welcomes us to
“the show where anything can happen and it always does.” He shows us a
facsimile of the check that was hidden by the mystery celebrity before the show
Two games are played
during the evening. To start, three contestants (including men!) competed
against each other. Geoff reads trivia questions for one minute and the
contestants ring in to answer. The most correct answers at the end of the
minute goes on a treasure hunt.
But first, we pause
for a commercial, each commercial is preceded by a way-too-long montage of
models eagerly shaking the boxes and wondering which one has the money.
The contestant is given exactly 30 seconds to decide which box she wants (by pointing to it, they aren’t numbered in the pilot). Geoff offers the cash in the cash award envelope, but before the contestant decides whether to pick the money or the box, that’s the moment when Geoff takes the time to show the contestant some of the prizes that MIGHT be in the box. Our first hunter keeps $400 and winds up missing out on an 8-track tape…and a stereo system…and a car. The second contestant gives up $750 and leaves with TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND…lira.
At the end of the show, Geoff reveals the true identity of tonight’s mystery celebrity…James Brolin. Brolin reveals which box he hid the check in, and together, he and Geoff watch a clip of “a previous episode” with a $25,000 win.
|Up one level to THE NEW TREASURE HUNT|