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Hollywood Squares

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Hosts

Bert Parks 1965 (Pilot)
Sandy Baron 1965 (Pilot)
Peter Marshall 1966-1981
John Davidson 1985 (Pilot), 1986-1989
Tom Bergeron 1998-2004

Sub-Hosts

Joan Rivers
Jim J. Bullock
ALF
Shadoe Stevens
Rosie O'Donnell (1998 - Secret Square Round Only)
Peter Marshall (2002 Game Show Week)

Announcers

Kenny Williams 1965-1981
Shadoe Stevens 1986-1989, 1998-2002
Jeffery Tambor 2002-2003
John Moschitta 2003-2004

Sub-Announcers

Richard Stevens
Howard Stern
Henry Winkler
Rod Roddy (2002 Game Show Week)
Shadoe Stevens (2003 Game Show Week)

Broadcast
Pilot1
Pilot: 4/15/1965
The Hollywood Squares (1966)-Logo
The Hollywood Squares 60s Logo
Hs66
Vlcsnap-2014-01-14-14h15m23s163
NBC: 10/17/1966-6/20/1980 (Daytime); 1/12/1968-9/13/1968 (Primetime)
Syndicated: 11/1/1971-5/22/1981
Hs85 open
Pilot: 12/12/1985
Hs86
Syndicated: 9/15/1986-6/16/1989
Hs98
Hollywood Squares Logo 2001
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Syndicated: 9/14/1998-6/4/2004
Packagers
Merrill Heatter/Bob Quigley Productions (1966-1981)
Century Towers Productions (1986-1989)
Moffitt-Lee Productions/One Ho Productions (1998-2002)
Henry Winkler-Michael Levitt Productions (2002-2004)
Columbia TriStar Television/Sony Pictures Television (1998-2004)
Distributors
Rhodes Productions (1971-1980)
Filmways Television (1980-1981)
Orion Television Syndication (1986-1989)
King World (1998-2004)

The long running game of celebrity tic-tac-toe.

RulesEdit

Here's the Peter Marshall way of explaining Hollywood Squares:

"The object of the players is to get three stars in a row either across, up & down or diagonally. It is up to them to figure out if a star is giving a correct answer or making one up; that's how they get the squares."

Here's how John Davidson explains the Game:

"The object of the game is to simply win Tic Tac Toe, three squares across, down, or diagonally, or acquire as many squares as you can."

Here's what it means:

The object of the game is to get tic-tac-toe. That's three Xs or Os in three stars' squares (one for each square), either across, up & down or diagonally; or be the first contestant to capture five of the nine squares. Xs are almost always by the male contestant (dubbed Mr. X), while the Os are almost always by the female contestant (Miss Circle).

Here's how they do it:

The two contestants competing takes turns picking off each of the nine celebrities seated in a great big tic-tac-toe board. On each star, the host asked a question to that star afterwhich the star would usually give a crazy answer (classified as a zinger) followed by his/her real answer. After hearing the real answer, the contestant in control decided to either agree, meaning the star is correct, or disagree, meaning the star answered with a bluff. Sometimes a star would come up with no answer; when that happens, the host would ask the contestant to answer it himself/herself or pass it up. On a pass, the question would be thrown out, and a new question would be asked to the same celebrity. In any case, if the contestant's judgment/answer was correct, he/she gets the square (hence the phrase "X/Circle gets the square" {Peter would say, "Put an X/a circle there [insert answer and/or extra information]}); if the contestant's judgment/answer was wrong, his/her opponent gets the square unless it would mean a win; when that happens nothing would be placed in that square because a win had to be earned by the contestant in control. Up until the later episodes in the 1998 version, if a player could not win with five squares on the board, his/her opponent automatically got the remaining square and the five-square win.

The first player to get three-in-a-row or five squares wins the game and money for that game.

Secret SquareEdit

In certain games, one of the squares would be dubbed the "Secret Square". The contestant who picked that square would usually have sounds going off to let the contestant, the star, and everybody else know. Then the star would be asked a special question (usually multiple choice). The star gave an answer but without a zinger and if the contestant can correctly agree or disagree with the star's answer, he/she won a bonus prize or prize package. On two of the versions, the host would tell everybody who the Secret Square was if not chosen.

The Original Hollywood Squares (1966-1981)Edit

NBC Daytime VersionEdit

The daytime version uses the "rollover/straddling" format, that means the show can end with a game still in progress and had to be continued/finished on the next show. Two contestants (one a returning champion, the other the challenger) played a best 2-out-of-3 game match. Each game was worth $200 and the winner of the match received $400 total (when the show started, the payoff was different, winning the first game was worth $100 and winning the match was worth $400 more [$100 for the game & $300 for the match] for a total of $500). The first game of every show (unless it was an unfinished game in progress) was always a secret square game. The secret square was a progressive jackpot prize package which started at about $1,000 {for the broadcasts of 1966} with another prize added each day when not claimed {from 1967 to 1980}. Starting in September 1976, the winner of the match picked a star for a prize; each star had an envelope with a prize inside with the big prize being $5,000 in cash, whoever the winning player chose won the prize inside that envelope. Champions stayed on the show until defeated or if they won five matches at which point they won special prizes; from 1966 to 1976 the bonus prize for winning five matches was a brand new car {$2500 from 1966-1967 and later became $2000 from 1967 to 1980}, but in the final years of the daytime version, the bonus was upped to $5,000, two new cars (later $10,000 and one car) and a luxury trip, for a total of over $25,000 in cash & prizes.

There was also a slightly different tie game rule in the Marshall version, than existed in the later versions (first player to earn 5 squares). A player only won a game, without getting 3 in a row, by earning squares sufficient to shut out their opponent from possibly getting 3 in a row. In most cases, this was achieved by earning 5 squares, but it is mathematically possible to earn as many as 6 squares, without getting 3 in a row, and still not shutting out the opponent from potentially getting 3 in a row (specifically, a player can get 3 diagonal squares even after the opponent has already earned the other 6 squares; this occurred at least one time in the history of the show). The player still needed, in this version of the show, to earn that shutout square themselves.

In the final episode of daytime series (which by that point had an altered contestant area and new theme music), the contestants playing that day were tied one game apiece, but there wasn't enough time to play a tiebreaker game. So to make up for it, both contestants won an additional $200 and played the prize game in which they each selected a star and won a prize for their troubles ($5,000 being one of them). Then after the final commercial break, the Hollywood Squares staff gathered around the contestant area for one last goodbye.

Nighttime/Syndicated VersionEdit

The nighttime version was much different, for it uses the self-contained format which became standard on future versions of the show. It aired on both NBC and in syndication. Two contestants played the game for the entire show and each completed game was worth $250 ($300 on NBC). In addition, the first three games were all secret square games which offered a different Secret Square prize package, originally up to two were played with the second played if the secret square prize package went unclaimed. Should time run out in the middle of a game (signified by an annoying loud horn aka The Tacky Buzzer), the contestants were awarded $50 for every square captured to their score. The player with the most money at the end of the show won the match and a bonus prize (a car on the weekly syndicated version). If the match ended in a tie, one final question was played with the star of one contestant's choosing; if the contestant can agree or disagree correctly, he/she won the match; otherwise, the match went to the opponent. In the event a contestant should finish with nothing, that contestant still won $100.

By 1979, the syndicated version used the prize game, with each envelope containing either prize worth over $5,000 ($5,000 cash & a new car were the top prizes). In addition, only the second and third game each featured a secret square, a change made the previous season. In 1980, the show moved to the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada and invoked rule changes. The Secret Square was eliminated, each game won a prize package, and players who won the most games won a trip plus qualified to compete in a tournament, which ended with Eric Lloyd Scott winning a $100,000 prize package which included $20,000 cash, a Domes America dream home (yes, an actual house), and a Midas Midavan RV. If the show ended during a game, the player with the most squares won the prize for that game.

Storybook SquaresEdit

Main article: Storybook Squares

During the third year of the show, a short-lived Saturday morning kid's version of Hollywood Squares was in effect. It was called Storybook Squares. In this version, the stars playing (usually the same ones from grown-up Hollywood Squares) dressed up as fairy tale characters, historic people, etc. This version lasted for four months in 1969, from January 4 to April 19, but it came back for special weeks in 1977.

Like the normal version, two contestants competed (with a boy as X and a girl as O). The game was played exactly the same as the original Hollywood Squares, but no money was involved. Instead, the children played for prizes for each game won (both players earned a prize for a tie game). Two Secret Squares were played.

In 1977, the show was brought back as a series of theme weeks. This time, teams with three generations of family members (for example, grandmother/mother/daughter) faced off, and each game was worth $300, with each team earning $50 per square should time run out (similar to the short-lived NBC primetime version from 1968). The kids played for the first segment of the show, and their parents squared off in the next game, and the grandparents for the rest of the game, unless time was running out (in which case all three players on each team played).

The team with the most money at the end of the game won a large prize, such as a car or exotic vacation.

NoteEdit

At one time, the entire set was shaken by an earthquake. Everybody left the studio except for Paul Lynde who stood pat in his square.

(The New) Hollywood Squares (1986-1989)Edit

After five years off the air, a new version of Hollywood Squares was instituted. It was played with a new set of stars and with the original version's semi-regular, John Davidson, at the helm. Plus, the show's new announcer was none other than LA DJ Shadoe Stevens, who was also one of the squares. In this version, just like the original version's nighttime version, two contestants played for the entire show and for each game won the winning contestant won $500 and starting in season two, the third and all future games were worth double or $1,000. The second game of each show was a secret square game and it was usually played for a trip (which had John coin the phrase "Pack Your Bags" upon a secret square win). Time running out was now signified by a double car horn; by that time each square claimed was worth $200 ($100 in the first season), with that amount awarded should a player finish with nothing. The player with the most money at the end of time became the champ. If the match ended in a tie, one final question was played with the star of one contestant's choosing. If the contestant can agree or disagree correctly, he/she won the match; otherwise, the match went to the opponent. The winner of the match went on to play for a brand new car.

The Car GameEdit

To start, the new champion chose one of five keys by drawing out of a small bowl. Then he/she selected one of five cars at center stage under the show's logo that he/she thought the key chosen would start that car. Once the car was chosen, the champion went inside the chosen car alongside a good-luck celebrity of his/her choosing (all nine on Friday shows or when a champ is retiring) and on the count of three turned that key. If that key started the car, the champion won the car and retired from the show; otherwise, he/she returned to play the next day with the same key and one fewer car to choose from. If the champion won five days in row and did not win the car after the first four, he/she won the car that was left.

Each week featured a different set of five cars, all of the same make. In the event that a champion on Friday returned the following Monday, the lowest-valued cars were eliminated corresponding to the number of prior attempts and the champion selected a new key from the remaining cars available.

In the final season, each of the nine celebrities held a key, and all five cars were available each day, no matter how many times the champion had played for the car. The champion had to pick a key each day, and the celebrity who held that key would be one of the good-luck celebrities. Five stars held keys for each individual car; four stars held keys that didn't start any car. To compensate for the increase in difficulty, champions could simply stay on until winning a car or until they were defeated.

The cars that was available on the show were, Ford (on the pilot), Cadillac, Isuzu, Hyundai, Toyota, Jeep, Volkswagen, Buick, Mazda, Lincoln, Mercury, Merkur, Chevrolet and Renault.

NotesEdit

The show became infamous for its April Fools prank played on John Davidson in which two "contestants" (they were actually stunt people) got into a fight after the so-called Ms. Circle (Annie Ellis) caught the so-called Mr. X (Greg Barnett) cheating by peeking behind John's card. It ended by having the fake Ms. Circle push the fake Mr. X off the contestant area after which the audience said, "April Fools', John!" After the commercial break and John's explanation, the two real contestants (with one of them going for the car automatically since this was his final day on the show) came aboard and the game played as normal (the contestant going for the instant car win pretended to be sick), but only two games and the tiebreaker were played that day.

During one of the weeks a record of four cars were given away in one week; during that week the Renault GTA convertible was the car that was won those four times.

The New Hollywood Squares was the first game show ever to go on the road for special weeks. It went to Radio City Music Hall and Hollywood, Florida, among others.

To celebrate the 100th episode of The New Hollywood Squares, there was a very special "Announce-Off" between Shadoe Stevens and his brother Richard Stevens. Richard Stevens became the main announcer for a few months before his brother returned.

(The All New) Hollywood Squares/H2 (1998-2004)Edit

In 1998, after a nine-year hiatus, syndication giant King World acquired the rights to the show and produced yet a new version. The new show was hosted by Tom Bergeron (who also hosted the video game version for the Wii), and comedienne/actress Whoopi Goldberg became executive producer as well as the center square. Other regulars included award show writer/comedian Bruce Vilanch, Canadian-born Caroline Rhea, actor Martin Mull (who later became the permanent center square in the show's final season), and the always loud Gilbert Gottfried. Shadoe Stevens was once again the announcer on the show until 2002, when he was replaced by Jeffrey Tambor in Season 5 (2002-2003 season), followed by John Moschitta in the final season (2003-2004 season).

PayoffsEdit

In the beginning for the first four months, the payoffs were the same as the 80s version. For the first two games were worth $500, the third game was worth $1,000, but the fourth and all future games were worth $2,000. Should time run out in the middle of a game, each square was worth $250 (also awarded as a consolation prize should a player not have any money when time runs out).

Later the payoffs were doubled meaning that first two games were worth $1,000, the third game was worth $2,000, but the fourth and all future games were worth $4,000. Should time run out in the middle of a game, each square was worth $500 (also awarded as a consolation prize should a player not have any money when time runs out). The highest anyone has ever won with this payoff structure was $12,000 (won by a Mr. X named Tom); it was also the highest front game score in the overall history of the show.

The player with the most money by the end of the show won the match and played the bonus game. The tiebreaker was the same as the previous versions except that the player who has won more games, more squares overall or won the last game played (whichever came first) had the option to play the question or pass it to his/her opponent, with a miss by either player giving the opponent the win by default.

Secret SquareEdit

For the first few months, there were two Secret Square games; the first in game two, and the second in game three. Later, should the Secret Square's prize not be won in the second game, it carried over into the third game. By season two, only one Secret Square game was played each day, but it did revive the progressive prize filled jackpot featured in the daytime version of the original. This was now called the "Secret Square Stash".

Bonus GamesEdit

Bonus Game #1Edit

For the first three seasons as well as early in the fourth season, the show revived the Peter Marshall bonus game in which the winning contestant picked a star and won a prize inside the chosen star's envelope, with the biggest prize being a new car. Later months had the contestant make a judgment on the star's answer to one final Secret Square-style question in order to win the prize. Failure to do so in the first season won a consolation prize of $2,500 in cash.

Bonus Game #2Edit

After several taped weeks through the fourth season, a new bonus game was instituted. In this bonus, the winning contestants picked a star to partner with in this round. As before each star had an envelope, only this time instead of prizes, they contained money amounts, ranging from $1,000, all the way to $5,000. The amount revealed by the selected star became the scoring amount for the round. Now the winning contestant had 60 seconds to answer as many three-choice questions himself/herself as he/she can for the value inside the envelope. The star partner can help by conferring but only the contestant can answer. When the time was up, host Tom gave a category to one final open-ended question, and the winning contestant decided whether or not to answer that question in a "Double or Nothing" fashion. This bonus was the more complicated and controversial of all bonuses and there were very few contestants picking the option of going for the final question, and it was terminated after season four, with the highest payout being $60,000.

H2Edit

In 2002 at the beginning of season five, Whoopi Goldberg left the show and former Happy Days star Henry Winkler took over as executive producer and sub announcer. The new announcer at that time was semi-regular Jeffrey Tambor, and subbing during Game Show Week was Price is Right and Press Your Luck announcer Rod Roddy. Plus, the set was completely overhauled for a new and literal golden look to the show, with the contestants standing instead of sitting as in previous seasons. Also there were now rotating center squares with one of them being the original Master of the Hollywood Squares Peter Marshall during Game Show Week (he also hosted the main game portion on Thursday of that week). In addition, the theme song was changed to a remixed version of "Square Biz" by Teena Marie, called "Hollywood Square Biz".

Also starting with the fifth season, all Secret Square questions were visual questions.

In season six, the show revived the best 2-out-of-3 game match format with each game being worth $1,000 ($2,000 for the whole match). If a player did not win any money during this season, he/she received acknowledged parting gifts. The scoring format from the first five seasons was used during theme weeks where certain groups of people (lifeguards, celebrity lookalikes) played. In addition the "Secret Square Stash" was discontinued, allowing different prizes to be played for each match, regardless of whether the previous match's prize was won or not. Also world's faster talker John Moschitta became the new announcer with first announcer Shadoe Stevens being the sub announcer during the second Game Show Week.

The Master ReturnsEdit

On December 12, 2002, during Game Show Week, both Marshall and Bergeron traded places with each other. This was the only time Marshall would host an episode of Hollywood Squares since the his version went off the air in 1981. In the episode, Marshall hosted the first portion of the show, with Bergeron taking over for the bonus round much later in the episode.

The Return of the Key GameEdit

H2 also re-instituted the key bonus round from the John Davidson version but with a new twist. The bonus was split into two halves, in the first half, winning contestant had 30 seconds to capture as many stars as he/she can. On each star host Bergeron read a true/false statement about the celebrity chosen, and all the contestant had to do was to agree (true) or disagree (false) on that statement. For each star captured, an incorrect key from a board of nine was eliminated. When time ran out or if he/she went through all the stars, Tom and the contestant went over to the keys alongside the grand prize he/she is playing for. The number of bad keys according to the number of squares captured were blacked out (with one additional key blacked out for each new attempt at the same grand prize during season five), and the contestant had to choose from the ones still lit. For themed weeks, one key is eliminated at the outset in addition to any keys eliminated for stars captured. For the final season (minus theme weeks), champions always had nine keys to work with regardless of how many times they were playing for the grand prize. Once the winning contestant chose a key, if that key worked, he/she won the grand prize; if not, then the winning contestant still picked up $500 (later $1,000 but reduced to $500 during the final season) for each square captured. The winning contestant can also win the grand prize if he/she captured all nine stars (which happened on four occasions) or got enough right so that the winning key would be the only one left.

Prize StructuresEdit

Here are the grand prizes for season five:

  • 1st: Car
  • 2nd: $25,000 (in safe)
  • 3rd: $30,000+ Trip Around the World (in steamer trunk)
  • 4th: $50,000 (in safe)
  • 5th: $100,000 (in safe)

Nobody ever made it to the final prize though the highest somebody tried to win was $50,000. During special weeks, the bonus was played for either $25,000 for charity, or a car during special non-celebrity weeks.

Here are the grand prizes for season six:

  • 1st: $10,000+ Trip (in steamer trunk)
  • 2nd: $10,000 (in safe)
  • 3rd: $40,000+ Luxury Car
  • 4th: $25,000 (in safe)
  • 5th: Trip Around the World (in steamer trunk)

Only one person made it to the final prize, but that contestant managed to win four of the prizes. During special weeks, the bonus was played for $10,000.

Returning ChampionsEdit

In the first season there were no returning champions; at that time two new players competed every day. Starting in season two champions stayed on the show until they won five matches or defeated, and in matches with returning champions, the challenger always began the first game.

TournamentsEdit

Tournament of ChampionsEdit

Starting in Season Two, the show began having an annual Tournament of Champions each May, with the season's biggest winners returning to compete for additional cash and prizes. The format changed each season:

Season 2: Six five-game winners came back to play again. Play was as normal, except the Secret Square was worth $2,500, which was added to the score. The bonus game was also played for cash, from $5,000 to $15,000. The two contestants who earned the most money came back for a two-game final, playing by the same rules as the semi-finals. In addition to the other cash won, the champion won an extra $50,000. The final bonus round was worth up to $15,000.

Seasons 3 & 4: Eight four-game winners compete in a semi-final game. The two top winners return on Friday. The Secret Square prize was an actual prize, again added to the final score, but was the same each day so no one has an advantage. The champion won $25,000 and the trophy, and a Jaguar was among the prizes in the bonus game. Season 4's tournament was similar to that of the previous year, except that the bonus game winnings were taken into account. The final grand champion won a Mercedes-Benz in addition to the money.

Season 5: Season 5 had a "Close but No Cigar" week to decide who would join the seven undefeated winners in the normal tournament. The bonus round was played for a $25,000 Bloomingdale's shopping spree until Friday, when it was replaced by a cruise on the RMS Queen Elizabeth 2. The winner of the tournament chose one of the celebrities who then revealed a cash amount of up to $50,000 inside a sealed envelope.

Season 6: The winner of the tournament played the standard bonus round and chose one of the captured celebrities, one of whom was holding an envelope with up to $100,000 in it.

College ChampionshipEdit

Each year from season two to five had 14 college students competing. Seven quarter-final games were played. The four contestants with the highest overall totals move on to the semi-finals. The two winners played in the final game, where the winner won a $25,000 savings bond (later a car), as well as a trophy for their university. Secret Square and bonus round prizes were added to the totals to determine who moved on.

In 2001, Goldberg was not present during some tournament shows, having Caroline Rhea & other celebrity guests taking over center square. In the Finals, comedian Jiminy Glick took over center square.

In season 5, the bonus round was played for $25,000 (savings bonds in the quarter-finals, cash in the semi-finals), and the grand champion automatically won a new Jeep Wrangler.

NotesEdit

On October 1, 1999, a well known happening occurred in which Gilbert Gottfried said "YOU FOOL!" after the contestants missed six consecutive tries on their decision whether they agreed or disagreed. The seventh time Gottfried and the contestant agreed, finally winning the square and the game.

PilotsEdit

1965 Parks VersionEdit

On April 15, 1965, a pilot for The Hollywood Squares was shot with Bert Parks as the host instead of Peter Marshall, along with many of its first regulars: Charley Weaver, Rose Marie, Wally Cox, Abby Dalton, and Morey Amsterdam along with Gisele Mackenzie, Jim Backus, Vera Miles and Robert Q. Lewis making up the nine boxes. The gameplay was very similar to the actual series as well. Where each completed game was worth $250 with the winner playing the best two out of three matches. A few differences between the pilot and the actual series are these:

  • The Contestant Area is reversed with Miss Circle on the left podium and Mister X on the right podium.
  • Instead of asking the contestants "Do you agree or disagree?", the host would ask the contestant, "I ask you, Mister X/Miss Circle, is that question right or wrong?" If the contestant gets it right, the host would say, "And he/she gets it right. X/Circle gets the square!" If the contestant gets it wrong, the host would say, "I'm sorry, that's wrong. X/Circle gets the square!"
  • Jim Backus (Mr. Thurston Howell III of Gilligan's Island fame) was the center square in the pilot. However, the late Ernest Borgnine (of McHale's Navy fame) was the first center square when the show premiered on October 17, 1966.
  • There is no "Secret Square" round at all in the pilot.
  • When a contestant correctly guessed the celebrities' answer right or wrong, a very short and out-of-place victory cue would be played.
  • After a contestant (either Mister X or Miss Circle won his or her two games) a new challenger comes into play.
  • Sometimes one star would answer the question, then another star would blurt out a "Zinger". Even Bert Parks himself would even set them up to do so for example:
    • Bert Parks: "This question is about age...who is older, Dean Martin or Joey Bishop?"
    • Charley Weaver: "I know Dean Martin drinks whiskey that is older than Joey Bishop!"
    • (After contestants’ misses) Morey Amsterdam: "Bert, you know, The Twentieth Century was going to do a story on Dean Martin but they couldn't get a liquor license."

In conclusion, the show was disjointed. There's a good reason for it. According to The E! True Hollywood Story documentary from 2003, it was revealed that the taping session was riddled with technical and other problems. Audience members started to walk out, and the producers even handed out $10 bills to tourists at the Farmer's Mart to fill in the seats. Tapings finally wrapped up at two in the morning. CBS’ head of daytime Fred Silverman in 1976 told former webmaster Steve Beverly, "Bert Parks was a terrible host, If they'd offered us Peter Marshall, then I might have changed my mind!" Both NBC and CBS have shot down the pilot twice but for NBC's case, they apparently saw enough there to work with to green-light it after a second look, but this time with "The Master" Peter Marshall himself as host instead of Parks. (NOTE: Marshall says in his book Backstage With The Original Hollywood Square that there was a second pilot shot, this time with comedian Sandy Baron as the host, even though Marshall himself claims that he thinks he spotted it on tape in 2005. As of now, there's no confirmation if the Baron Squares pilot exists or not. Also, Sandy Baron would later serve as a panelist on the actual show itself.

1985 Davidson VersionEdit

After The Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour died an ignominious death in daytime on NBC in 1984, Orion Television wanted to keep the franchise alive. They did so by taping an all-new pilot for the revival on December 12, 1985. Sadly, Peter Marshall was not invited along for the ride, so former "semi-regular" square John Davidson (who would incidentally go on to do the 1986-1989 show itself) became the host instead. along with: Burt Reynolds, Loni Anderson, Jackie Collins, Marla Gibbs, Apollonia Kotero, Dick Butkus & Bubba Smith, Steve Landesberg, Tony Danza and Dom DeLuise joining in on the classic "Star-Studded" game of tic-tac-toe fun.

Each game was worth $500, with game #2 always being the "Secret Square" game. On this particular pilot, one of the most interesting questions occurred when former late night King Johnny Carson did a walk-on cameo appearance (which you can see below) for a question. After stealing the show (and about three minutes of air time) the game continued. Whoever had the most money at the end of the game went on to play the bonus Game.

The Bonus GameEdit

The bonus game for this pilot was simply pick a car: a celebrity was along for good luck, and if the car was the "pre-selected" car (a 1-in-5 chance), the contestant wins the car he/she picked.


RatingEdit

72px-TV-PG icon svg

MusicEdit

1966-1969 - "The Silly Song" by Jimmie Haskell and his Orchestra

1969-1979 - "Bob & Merrill's Theme"/"Merrill & Bob's Theme" by William G. Loose

1979-1981 - Stan Worth
Open - "The Hollywood Bowl #2"
Close - "The Hollywood Bowl #1"
Prize Cue - "The Hollywood Bowl #3"
Unused - "No. Hollywood"

1986-1989 - Stormy Sacks

1998-2002 - "I Love Hollywood" by Jennifer May Mauldaur & Paul David Weinberg (remix in 2001)

2002-2004 - Teena Marie
Main - "Hollywood Square Biz"
Alternative - "Square Biz"

Spin-OffsEdit

International VersionsEdit

Here are a list of countries that did their versions of Hollywood Squares:

  • Arabia
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada (French language only)
  • Czech Republic
  • China
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Peru
  • Poland
  • Russia
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom

MerchandiseEdit

Main Article: Hollywood Squares/Merchandise

In Popular CultureEdit

  • An October 1987 cover issue of Cracked magazine spoofed Hollywood Squares as Hollywood's Biggest Squares.
  • In the 1991 episode of Tiny Toon Adventures called Acme Cable TV, an animated parody of Hollywood Squares called Toonywood Squares is one of the programs for the cable network. The panelists for the show were: Buster Bunny, Hampton J. Pig, Furrball, Dizzy Devil, Shirley The Loon, Gogo Dodo, Plucky Duck, Byron Basset & Babs Bunny as the Center Square with Montana Max (Mr.X) and Elmyra Duff (Miss Circle) as contestants. The host was Blink Winkleman. Prior to this, in 1992, Toonywood Squares has been referenced once again in the episode Two-Tone Town. due to Busters' fear of Tiny Toon Adventures getting cancelled, in which results him and Babs becoming has-beens, ending up making frequent apperances on the show.
  • In the 1997 episode of Animaniacs, Squares has been briefly referenced in a segment of the show called Acquaintances (parody of the NBC sitcom Friends) where Yakko Warner (voiced by Jess Harnell) stands behind his X podium exclaiming "I'll take Lisa Kudrow to Block!"
  • Hollywood Squares has been parodied multiple times on The Simpsons as the Springfield Squares hosted by Kent Brockman.
  • In the 2000 episode of Family Guy called If I'm Dyin', I'm Lyin', Hollywood Squares is parodied based on the Bergeron version with LL Cool J, Charles Grodin, Fran Drescher, Scott Bakula, Whoopi Goldberg, Suzanne Sommers, Dennis Rodman & Betty White as the panelists. In the parody, the host asked Jeremy the Terminally-ill boy on the left side of Whoopi Goldberg's center square "If there is anything lower than absolute zero," to which Jeremy responded, "my white cell count".
  • In the 2003 episode of King of the Hill called Vision Quest, where Hank Hill's son Bobby dreams that he's a panda named Bobby Panda appearing as the "center square" on Hollywood Squares, the other panelists who appeared in his dream were: Minnie Driver, Destiny's Child, Carson Daly, Bruce Vilanch, Erik Estrada & Larry Wilcox (from CHiPs), Rob Schneider, Croc Hunter (referencing the late Steve Irwin a.k.a The Crocodile Hunter) and Al Franken.
  • Homestar Runner referenced Hollywood Squares twice in the 2003 episode Email The Show, where Homestar says: Pom Pom for the block... as the term for the block refers to preventing one from getting three X's or O's in a row. The 2005 episode called Email geddup noise, Homestar refers to the center square (obviously referring to famous comics would often sit for long periods at a time).
  • In 2001, TV Guide ranked Hollywood Squares #19 as one of The 50 Greatest Game Shows of All-Time.
  • In 2006, GSN listed Hollywood Squares #11 as one of The 50 Greatest Game Shows of All-Time. the special was hosted by Bil Dwyer.
  • Hollywood Squares has been mentioned as a 2003 hour-long documentary on the E! True Hollywood Story.
  • Square One TV had their own version of Squares called Square One Squares. Difference here is that instead of nine celebrities, they had two players from Square One TV. They were asked math questions and one of them would be telling the truth and the other would answer with a bluff; it was up to the contestants to decide who's telling the truth to capture a square on the board and turn it into his/her color (red or blue). The center square was given for free; that was called a "Wild Square". In the event one of the contestants failed to block, the opponent got a free square of his/her choice (one that doesn't give him/her a win). The first to get three in a row or the person who claimed the most squares when time was up won the game and a Square One sweater. The loser received a Square One sweatshirt.
  • SCTV did a parody of Hollywood Squares as a board game commercial called The Hollywood Squares: Home Edition where you can play Hollywood Squares the way the stars play it in 1981. It featured Rick Moranis and Catherine O'Hara as the parents.
  • The short-lived ABC, late-night sketch comedy show Fridays did a parody of Hollywood Squares called The Hollywood Cubes in 1982, hosted by Dr. Erno Rubik.
  • In Living Color also had the Square Biz feeling. They parodied Hollywood Squares as East Hollywood Squares with actors from the show pretending to be celebrities. Peter Marshall, as himself, hosted the show.
  • Saturday Night Live parodied a version of Hollywood Squares in 1998 during the show’s 24th season premiere. The game was played as normal despite the entire board collapsing and severely injuring or killing the panelists. Prior to this, another Squares sketch (East German style) debuted in 1989 called Die Squaren Ost Berliner (The Square Shape East Berlin) where only four celebrities (Wilma Gutgast, Klaus Gruber-Handelmein, Jodel [half of comedy duo Zimmer und Jodel] and Josef Besselmeier [played by Billy Joel]) made up the panel while the rest of the squares were empty because the celebrities were "Defekten zu den Westen" (Defects to the West). (NOTE: Interestingly, this sketch aired two weeks after the fall of the infamous Berlin Wall in Germany.)
  • Mad TV also parodied Hollywood Squares and did the same thing like In Living Color; the actors pretended to be celebrities. The first time it was parodied, some actor played Tom Bergeron. The second time, Bergeron appeared as himself. The second time it was parodied, it was called Hollywood Squares Stars of UPN.
    • Another episode of Mad TV featuring a Wheel of Fortune skit with celebrity couples referenced Squares when, at one point, a drunk Kenny Rogers declared, "I'll take Whoopi in the center square, Wink!"
  • A 1998 episode of The Nanny called “Making Whoopie”, Maxwell (played by Charles Shaughnessy who also appeared on the actual show as himself) appeared on the Bergeron version as a celebrity square.
  • A 2003 episode of the short-lived NBC sitcom Watching Ellie, Ellie Riggs' sister named Susan (played by Lauren Bowles) prefers to go to Hollywood Squares instead of Family Feud.
  • In 2012, the cast of NBC's Parks and Recreation and GQ magazine joined forces to parody Hollywood Squares as a viral video and on their November 2012 "Men of the Year" issue of the magazine. Hosted by Nick Offerman.
  • Howard Stern parodied Hollywood Squares as The Homeless Howiewood Squares.
  • In 2011, Hustler made a porn parody film based on the 1986-1989 Davidson version called This Ain't Hollywood Squares XXX.
    This Ain't Hollywood Squares02:22

    This Ain't Hollywood Squares

  • In 1985, Sentry Insurance made a parody of Hollywood Squares called Sentry Squares with appearances by celebrity impersonators of Mr. T, Liberace, The Blues Brothers, Peter Falk/Columbo, Joan Rivers, Clara Peller/Where's The Beef? Lady, Slim Pickens, Boy George, and Michael Jackson as the panelists with Dale Ervin as its host.
  • In the 1989 movie, The Wizard, the Lucas Power Glove scene features a small television playing a clip from the 1986-1989 Davidson version featuring Jim J. Bullock.
  • The 1993 movie, Freaked, has a scene parodying Hollywood Squares as an introduction to one of the other eight freaks named the Worm, Nosey the Nose Man, Cowboy, the Bearded Lady, Sockhead, the Eternal Flame, Rosie the Pinhead, the Hideous Frogman, and a skeletal version of Paul Lynde as the center square in the film. The scene starts with Ortiz: The Dog Boy (Keanu Reeves/Not Credited) asking the question "Who has starred in the film The Exorcist II: The Heretic?" to The Worm (Derek McGrath) for which he replies "Olivia-Newton John" then Ortiz says "Olivia-Newton John. Okay, Ricky, do you agree or disagree?" in which Ricky Coogan (Alex Winter) says, "This is nuts. This is Crazy. Besides, it was Linda Blair."
  • In the Christmas Special of Pee Wee's Playhouse, the gang sees Joan Rivers on Hollywood Squares. Joan wishes Pee Wee and his friends Happy Holidays and shows off her Merry Christmas sweater.

Additional PagesEdit

Hollywood Squares/Quotes & Catchphrases

GalleriesEdit

To see pictures of the many logos over the years click here.
To see press photos, pictures & drawings of Hollywood Squares, click here.

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