Dick Martin
Wanda (Janelle Price)
Charlie O'Donnell
Syndication (Weekly): 9/1978 - 9/1979
Payson-Odin Productions
20th Century Fox Television

The Cheap Show was a parody game show that had some slapstick comedy in it.


Two couples compete to win cheap junk prizes and save their loved ones from slapstick "torture", with the winning couple getting the chance to win real prizes at the end of the show. There were two rounds, with the 1st consisting of 2 questions, the 2nd consisting of one question. Two celebrities composed a panel (with a seat reserved for a third, who was always a "no-show" for a comedic reason). In each of the rounds, a question was asked to the panel. One celebrity gave the correct answer, while the other gave a bluff.

Each couple was divided, with the female at the contestants' podium, and the male trapped inside "The Punishment Pit". The first answering contestant guessed which celebrity was telling the truth; if the player was correct, that couple scored one point and a cheap "prize" (such as an old bee smoker or a burned-out hair dryer), while the other player's loved one was "punished" (either with a pie in his face, Gunge slime, or some other sloppy substance). If the player was incorrect, her own loved one received the punishment and the opposing couple won the point and the "prize".

For the next question of the first round, the other couple was given the guess, and the same procedure was followed.

The first two questions were worth one point apiece, and the question in the second round was worth 20 points (which rendered the first round useless from a competitive standpoint). Whichever contestant had the most points "at the end of two rounds" advanced to the bonus round.

The Semi-Colossal Prize Sweepstakes FinaleEdit

This was the final round of the show. A wheel was set up in the studio with twelve numbered spaces, each of which correlated to a numbered envelope on a "prize wall". Each space also had a hole. To determine the prize the couple would win, a large white rat, referred to on the show as "Oscar the Wonder Rodent", was placed on the wheel while it was being spun. The hole Oscar crawled into determined the prize that was won.

At this stage in the show, no cheap "booby prizes" were awarded as they were in the main game; the winning couple won standard game show fare, such as appliances or trips. In addition, the couple was asked before the wheel was spun to guess the hole they thought Oscar would crawl into; if the rat crawled into that hole, the couple won the grand prize (usually a car) in addition to the prize associated with that space.



"This is Dick Martin, and remember: it's not whether you win or lose, it's how much it costs you! See you next time!"


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