Thursday, April 17, 2014

To Tell The Truth:

This is an old article pending revision.

To Tell The Truth is a game show that has been on for a very long time. It is one of those game shows that had a radio format, where the stages weren't that big, and most of the gameplay can be completed in seated positions. This game show has been able to do this over the years while new technologies enabled game shows to have different formats.

It has an announcer, a host, and 4 panel members including long time regulars and recurring people that were hosting (or would become hosts) of other game shows.. There would be 3 guests that would say the things to the panel and each of them would claim to be the same person. Of course only one of them would match that profile, but all 3 of them lead very interesting lives.

"Black And White" Versions:

Bud Collyer hosted Beat The Clock, and also To Tell The Truth. He hosted beginning in 1956 until 1968. During this time there would also be a daytime version that ran from 1962-1965.

Various Color Versions:

There weren't that many color episodes made of the original version since it was mostly a prime time run. In 1969 Garry Moore became the host of a slightly updated version. There is an estimate of at least 860 episodes of just the daytime version. There are at least 200 prime time episodes. It is not known how many of both are color. Pay attention to the stage of To Tell The Truth. You might recognize it as a similar design of an older The Price Is Right set. Garry Moore became ill and unable to host for To Tell The Truth and Joe Garagiola eventually took over for 1977 until the end of the series. He hosted for 225 episodes, and was introduced by Garry Moore who says that Joe Garagiola is the new host of To Tell The Truth now. Garry Moore decided to announce his retirement from television on a segment of To Tell The Truth. Shortly afterwards there were minor updates to attempt to revive the show. The show didn't receive a full overhaul, and Joe Garagiola is similar performance as a game show host compared to Garry Moore. It did receive some updated music, and was eventually the game play was rushed. The show ended shortly after only a few months in 1978.

1980s Version:

Shortly after the end of the very long run of To Tell The Truth, successful ratings of second run syndication of the episodes inspired the producers to launch another version of To Tell The Truth. This time literally everything was completely different. It wasn't that long after the series had ended, and it would have been possible to make this version a bit more like the last one. (especially if it took place in the same studio as before). There was a different host named Robin Ward whose personality was more professional and less casual. A different logo was used. It was red. So was just about everything else. Many game shows of the 1970s (but not all of them) had red, brown, and white or gold sets and this studio was based on those. This stood out heavily compared to the previous blue sets. This is a "radio" game show. Like most of the game shows of the 1950s, along with the technologies that they had, nearly all game shows took place in a smaller studio with panelists and most everybody was in seated positions. Later on newer technologies and other things including designs would greatly expand the variety of game shows. This studio appears to be an attempt to make To Tell The Truth more like those other newer game shows. There was also new music, and also running lights (which were actually panels of lights). Overall, the set appears to be low budget the entire thing looks like it could be portable. There wasn't any stage doors. Instead everything was behind turntables that resembled rotating phone booths. And this game show was in the very beginning of the 1980s, where game show sets looked very advanced. The panelists were random guests. The other regulars were there but only showed up occasionally. It lasted for one year and produced 195 episodes.

Early 1990s version:

Like the early 1990s version of Match Game, there was a short version of To Tell The Truth. What was wrong with this version? Nothing except for production issues. After problems with the hosts, Alex Trebek took over hosting, which can be referred to as "The Jeopardy! Version Revival" because Alex Trebek is hosting a game show which has a studio that is designed similar to the Jeopardy! Set at the time. Both game shows had flashing letters of the shows' titles. Like the previous revival, it only lasted one year. Unlike the previous revival, it was more similar to the classic game show series. It has an updated version of the same theme music. Nearly everything was the same as it was in the 1970s with an updated look that is more appropriate to the theme of the game. Gordon Elliott hosted 40 episodes, Lynn Swann hosted 70 episodes, and Alex Trebek hosted almost all the other episodes. There were 195 episodes. This is the second time in To Tell The Truth where a person that has played sports professionally has hosted. It was Joe Garagiola in 1978, and Lynn Swann in 1990. Both people have served as interim hosts also.

In 2000, and once again about another decade later, another version was made and this time the look was completely different once again. A new logo was used but at least it still had the fingers crossing design. John O'Hurley, a host of a 21st century version of Family Feud, also became the host for this version. It was on for a few years, from 2000 to 2002. Over 265 episodes were produced, ending in 2001, but continuing to air until 2002.

Some of the panelists over the years were Bill Cullen who was a panelist on game shows and also a host of many game shows. His comedy was seen on all these shows, including To Tell The Truth. Others were Peggy Cass and the legendary Kitty Carlisle. She was on in most of the episodes, including the very beginning all the way to the 1990s series. She was even recurring in 1980 even if they did not have an official cast at the time. She made a special guest appearance on the John O'Hurley version. Regular panelists on that version were Messach Taylor and Paula Poundstone. Featured guests were muppets. Other game show hosts were panelists such as Dick Clark, Bert Convy, and Alex Trebek.

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