Joe Garagiola's Memory Game was a Q & A game where contestants had to memorize not only the answers, but the questions as well.


NBC: February 15, 1971 – July 30, 1971


Merv Griffin Productions


Joe Garagiola


Johnny Olson


Five contestants representing a number 1-5 were all given booklets, each containing a different set of eight questions & answers to be played in that round. They each had 30 seconds to study & memorize the material. When the time was up, host Garagiola collected the packets and started asking questions from those packets which were inserted into a case on his podium. The player in the #1 position (usually the champion) was asked a question first, then decided whether to answer the question or pass the question to another player by calling them out by number. The passing concept went on & on until a buzzer sounded, causing the last player to be passed to, to be forced to answer. All players were given $50 to start the game, and each correct answer added money to their scores, but an incorrect answer subtracted money from their scores. The round continued until all 40 questions were asked.

The game was played in three rounds. The first round had questions worth $5, second round questions were worth $10, and the round three question were worth $20.

The player with the most money at the end of the game won a $1,000 bonus, and returned the next show to face four new challengers. Championship players who won three days in a row won a new car and retired undefeated.



Merv Griffin


NBC Studio 8G, New York City, NY


72px-TV-G icon svg

Broadcast historyEdit

Memory Game was one of eight shows NBC attempted to program in the 1:30 PM (12:30 Central) time slot between 1968 and 1975; like most of the others, CBS' As the World Turns and ABC's Let's Make a Deal (formerly seen on NBC) soundly defeated it in the ratings.

Three weeks after this show's cancellation, NBC moved Garagiola to another daytime game, Sale of the Century, which he hosted for the rest of its original run. Three on a Match, hosted by Bill Cullen, replaced Memory Game on the NBC schedule.


According to The Encyclopedia of Daytime Television by Wesley Hyatt (Watson-Guptill Publications, 1997), Griffin did not identify his production company on the end credits of the program. The talk-show host and entertainment mogul never gave any explanation for his decision.

Episode statusEdit

Much like other NBC games of the era, most episodes of Memory Game are believed to have been wiped as per network practices. Five episodes are known to exist at the UCLA Film and Television Archive.