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The Dating Game

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Jim Lange (1965-1980)
Bob Eubanks (sub, 1978)
Elaine Joyce (1986-1987)
Jeff McGregor (1987-1989)
Brad Sherwood (1996-1997)
Chuck Woolery (1997-1999)


Johnny Jacobs (1965-1980)
Tony McClay (1980)
Bob Hilton (1986-1987)
Charlie O'Donnell (1987-1989)
Virginia Watson (1996-1997)
John Cramer (1997-1999)

The Dating Game
ABC Daytime: 12/20/1965 - 7/6/1973
ABC Primetime: 10/6/1966 - 1/17/1970
Syndication (Weekly): 9/10/1973 - 9/1974
Syndication: 9/4/1978 - 9/1980
Syndication (Daily): 9/15/1986 - 9/8/1989
The Dating Game Sherwood
Syndication (Daily): 9/9/1996 - 9/1999
Chuck Barris Productions/Barris Industries (1965-1989)
Brian Graden Productions (1996-1997)
Columbia TriStar Television (1996-1999)
Station Syndication Inc. (1973-1974)
Firestone Syndication (1978-1980)
Bel-Air Program Sales/Barris Program Sales (1986-1989)
Columbia TriStar Television (1996-1999)

The Dating Game (also known as The New Dating Game and The All-New Dating Game) is the long-running dating game show where one girl or one guy had to choose between three batchelors or batchelorettes to go out on a date for which the producers pay.

Datinggame toplogo


Classic versionEdit

Generally the bachelorette would ask a series of questions to each of the three hidden bachelors. The same question could be asked to multiple bachelors. The questions were written in advance by the producers. Certain kinds of questions such as name, age, occupation, and income cannot be asked. The process continued until time ran out. The bachelorette would make her choice based solely on the answers to her questions. After making her choice, the bachelorette met the two unchosen bachelors before meeting the chosen one. When all said and done, the dating couple went out on a dream vacation which was paid by the producers. Occasionally, the bachelor would ask questions to three bachelorettes.

1990s versionEdit

For this revival's first season, two formats were used.

The basic format for this show, used throughout the first year, was for the bachelor/bachelorette to pick from two facts about the three potential dates. Once it was picked, the person in question would reveal the reason behind the fact to the hopeful single. After a round of questioning, the bachelor/bachelorette chose their date. All three of the potential dates had their names revealed before the questioning started as well, something that wasn't done on any version of TDG prior.

During a part of the first season, in addition to asking the questions, the bachelor/bachelorette got to see all three contestants at the outset of the game (who all had headphones on so they couldn't hear what their potential date was saying about them), and would pick who they thought was the best looking of the bunch. After that, the question round was conducted in its usual fashion, with the bachelor/bachelorette picking who they thought had the best personality out of the three. After the choices were made, the contestant was then prompted to choose between their choice for best looking or best personality. Sometimes the guy chosen would be the one chosen for both looks & personality; in later shows when that happened he/she won a $500 bonus in addition to the trip.

This format was mostly disliked by fans of the original show so the next year they switched back to its original format and theme with new host Chuck Woolery at the helm.


Many celebrities appeared on the Dating Game over the years; here are a few of them:

  • Adam West - 1966
  • Jeremy Clyde - 1966 (of Chad and Jeremy fame)
  • Michael Richards - 1967
  • Danny Bonaduce - 1972
  • Kathryn Minner, "The Little Old Lady from Pasadena" - 1966
  • Kathy Garver - 1966; December 31, 1970 and January 1, 1971
  • Sally Field and Robert Vaughn - 1966
  • John Ritter - 1967
  • Groucho Marx - 1967 (as a prank on his daughter Melinda, who was Bachelorette #1)
  • Donna Loren - 1967
  • Paul Lynde - 1968
  • Richard Dawson - 1968
  • Bill Bixby - 1968 (he appeared on the show four times and was never selected)
  • Deep Purple - 1968
  • SteveonDatingGame

    Steve Martin appeared twice on THE DATING GAME, in 1968 and 1970.

    Steve Martin - 1968 & 1970
  • McLean Stevenson - 1968
  • Strawberry Alarm Clock - 1968 (Drummer Randy Seol appears as one of the three eligible bachelors and is chosen)
  • Jackson Bostwick - 1968
  • Joanna Cameron - Late 1960s
  • Farrah Fawcett - 1969
  • Iron Butterfly - 1969 (Bassist Lee Dorman appears as one of the eligible bachelors and is chosen)
  • The Carpenters - July 1970
  • Ann B. Davis - 1970 and 1971
  • Maureen McCormick - 1971 and 1973
  • Brandon Cruz (The Courtship of Eddie's Father) - 1972
  • Barry Williams - 1972
  • Ron Howard - 1972
  • Michael Performs

    Michael Jackson performs “Rockin’ Robin” during the show’s opening.

    Michael Jackson - 1972 (He performed “Rockin’ Robin” during the intro; he appeared in the second half of the show.)
  • Butch Patrick - 1972
  • Vincent Price - 1972
  • Kenny Rogers and The First Edition (Mary Arnold and Terry Williams both did episodes)- 1972
  • H.R. Pufnstuf - December 25, 1972
  • Dick Clark on "The New" Dating Game - 1973 (He was finding a date for one of his dancers on American Bandstand)
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger on "The New" Dating Game - 1973
  • Suzanne Somers on "The New" Dating Game - 1973
  • Willie Aames - 1978
  • Christopher McDonald - 1978
  • Murray Langston (as The Unknown Comic) - 1978
  • Rip Taylor - 1978 (the 3 bachelorettes were all fat and ugly, because of his own game, The $1.98 Beauty Show)
  • Famous Amos - 1978
  • Tom Netherton (The Lawrence Welk Show) - 1978
  • Andy Kaufman (as Baji Kingan) - 1978
  • Jimmie Walker - 1978
  • Robert Wuhl - 1978
  • Phil Hartman - 1979
  • Paul Reubens (as Pee Wee Herman) - 1979
  • Bob Saget - 1979 and 1980
  • Jennifer Granholm, current Governor of Michigan
  • Cuba Gooding Jr. - 1986
  • Dick Martin
  • Don Johnson
  • Tom Selleck
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Michael Richards
  • Jim Carrey
  • Michael G. Brown ("General Hospital") - 1988
  • Cheryl Hines - 1996


72px-TV-PG icon svg



Main - Chuck Barris
Background Music - "Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf" by King Richard's Fluegel Knights
Bachelor Intro cue - "Spanish Flea" by Herb Alpert
Bachelorette Intro cue - "Whipped Cream" by Herb Alpert
Date cue - "Lollipops and Roses" by Herb Alpert
Prize Intro cue - "Boston Bust-Out" by Jimmy McGriff
Think cue - "Ladyfingers" by Herb Alpert
Think cue - "Lemon Tree" by Herb Alpert
Times Up cue - "Love Sickness" by Milton Delugg
Turntable cue - "Fantail" by Count Basie


Open Theme - Chuck Barris
Close Theme - "Little Rosie" by Chuck Barris
Bachelor Chooser Intro cue - "Spanish Flea" by Herb Alpert
Bachelorette Chooser Intro cue - "Whipped Cream" by Herb Alpert
Post-Bachelor Intro cue - "Mother Trucker" by Chuck Barris
Prize Intro cue - "Boston Bust-Out" by Jimmy McGriff


Original - Milton Delugg
Alternative - Chuck Barris

Main (1997-1999) - Steve Kaplan


Chuck Barris

National AdvertisingEdit

Clarion Communications (1986-1987)
Barris Advertising Sales (1987-1989)

The Dating Game In Popular CultureEdit

  • A pre-America's Funniest Home Videos Bob Saget appeared on The Dating Game for the 1st time.
  • Before he took over the hosting duties from would-be 2016 Presidential candidate Donald J. Trump Sr. on The New Celebrity Apprentice, Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared as a bachelor on The Dating Game.
  • Herb Alpert, who composed the instrumental themes "Spanish Flea" and "Whipped Cream" on The Dating Game, co-founded A&M Records in 1962 with his partner Jerry Moss. in 2000, A&M evolved into Interscope Records, which, in turn, is part of Universal Music Group.
  • On ABC's That Girl (1966-1971), Ann Marie (Margaret "Marlo" Thomas) appeared on the set of "The Mating Game."
  • Prior to this, in 2001, a Diet Dr Pepper commercial also called "The Mating Game" was a parody of the show as well. The commercial starts with a Jim Lange-type host asking the generic male contestant "So are you ready to meet your date?" as the male contestant responded back "Sure, he looks like a real stud to me!" following by a camera showing a half-smiling farmer along with his black cow as it then shows a shot of the set along with the logo while the announcer says that "not everything can be as good as the original, but Diet Dr. Pepper is. It taste more like regular Dr. Pepper!" while the husband on the left side of the bed says: "I'm so happy for them!" as his wife on the right side of the bed looks disgusted by her husband's remark, drinks a Diet Dr. Pepper[1].
Diet Dr00:17

Diet Dr. Pepper Mating game

  • Phil Hartman, following his appearance on The Dating Game, designed an album cover for the 1979 Poco LP Legend.
  • After appearing on The Dating Game in 1972, Ron Howard made his mark in the director's chair with 1977's Grand Theft Auto (not to be confused with the popular video game franchise of the same name).
  • The Dating Game was spoofed on the popular YouTube internet series The Annoying Orange. Appropriately, the episode was titled "The Dating Game". It was for Valentine's Day. The gameplay was similar as well as the name but the host was a lollipop, Art Sweetheart. Passion Fruit was the contestant and had to decide between three batchelorettes, a nerdy apple, a French Onion, and Orange. Passion eventually chooses Orange as her date.
Orange and Passion Fruit on The Dating Game03:56

Orange and Passion Fruit on The Dating Game

  • The Dating Game was also parodied on The Carol Burnett Show where it was titled "The Rat Race". The similar gameplay was in effect but also the couple could go to Tahiti. Carol Burnett plays a nervous nerdy girl named "Annie" having a terrible experience with dating. After looking at the batchelorettes, she chooses #3.
Rat Race (parody of Dating Game) on Carol Burnett Show07:27

Rat Race (parody of Dating Game) on Carol Burnett Show

  • Another Carol Burnett parody, called The Dater's Game, featured Lyle Wagoner as the host and Tim Conway as a newly-hired but very clumsy stage manager. Burnett, Vicki Lawrence and Kaye Ballard were the bachlorettes.  Mere moments before the show goes on the air Conway accidentally causes a wardrobe malfunction on Lawrence's dress, causing her to run offstage screaming.  Just as the opening theme plays, Conway, seeing no other alternative, covers himself with Lawrence's dress and sits in the Bachelor #3 chair.  The swinging bachelor, played by Harvey Korman, unwittingly selects Bachelorette #3 (Conway) much to the disgust of Burnett and Ballard.
The Daters Game (Parody of Dating Game) Carol Burnett Show08:21

The Daters Game (Parody of Dating Game) Carol Burnett Show

  • The show was also parodied on the hit NBC sitcom Punky Brewster. Here it was called Dream Date. This was where Betty Johnson appeared as a contestant trying to win the date with one Chuck McKinley (Johnny Brown from Good Times). The actor who played the host was future Supermarket Sweep host David Ruprecht.
  • Sesame Street also spoofed Dating Game, but it was named "The Eating Game" where the contestant would have to pick the right food for him/her. A plate is the contestant on the show. Instead of picking one food, she chooses them all since they look so delicious.
  • The Eating Game (The Dating Game Parody)- Sesame Street04:17

    The Eating Game (The Dating Game Parody)- Sesame Street

  • Sesame Street also had a variation on the premise and concept of Dating Game, only the contestant would have to choose a pet animal. This game show sketch was called "Pick Your Pet" and was the first game show spoofing skit on Sesame Street.
Pick Your Pet (Dating Game Parody)- Sesame Street05:04

Pick Your Pet (Dating Game Parody)- Sesame Street

  • A 1996 episode of the short-lived sketch comedy series called Muppets Tonight has a parody of The Dating Game called Muppet Match-Up hosted by Kermit the Frog in 1975, featuring the guest host for the episode, Michelle Pfeiffer as "Michelle Pfeiffer Manowitz" choosing between three bachelors: Bunsen Honeydew, Beaker and Animal. In true Dating Game style, Pfeiffer says she loves a man with a good sense of humor and proceeds to ask each bachelor in turn for their idea of a fun date. Bunsen suggest a scientific date at his lab, Beaker meeps something unintelligible in which michelle thinks is sick and not funny. However, When Animal is asked for his idea of a fun date, he gets to his feet and runs towards Pfeiffer yelling "MICHELLE, MICHELLE!" causing her to flee screaming. After showing the clip, Pfeiffer explains to Clifford that she ended up dating Animal, but hasn't seen him in years and wonders if he's changed. But of course he hasn't where at that moment, Animal appears on stage and chases Pfeiffer off while screaming her name.
Muppet Match-Up
  • Even Saturday Night Live parodied The Dating Game in 1992. The sketch was entitled "The Bensonhurst Dating Game". Joe Pesci, the host of that evening’s episode, played host Andy Perotta.
The Bensonhurst Dating Game (Saturday Night Live)05:47

The Bensonhurst Dating Game (Saturday Night Live)

  • Another SNL parody from 1980 featured Bill Murray as host, and Bob Newhart as a clueless, unwilling contestant pulled off the street and forced to choose between three perverse women; the skit was called The Dating Zone, which combined Dating Game with The Twilight Zone.
  • A 1992 episode of In Living Color parodied The Dating Game. The sketch featured Wanda (Played by Jamie Foxx) and the host (played by Jim Carrey).
In Living Color Wanda On Dating Game HD08:41

In Living Color Wanda On Dating Game HD

  • Another sketch-comedy show MADtv has also had a share of a few parodies of The Dating Game.
  • In a 1980 episode of Laverne & Shirley, Lenny & Squiggy both appeared as contestants on the same episode of the Dating Game (featuring a very accurate re-creation of the 60s-era set and Jim Lange portraying himself as host).  Unwilling to act like model contestants, Squiggy reveals Laverne and Shirley's names and phone numbers on the air, much to the girls' shock.  After the bacherlorette sees her choice of date, namely Squiggy, she refuses to go out with him, at which point Squiggy asks Lange to let Lenny be his date.
Laverne & Shirley - S06E06 - The Dating Game HD01:25:58

Laverne & Shirley - S06E06 - The Dating Game HD

  • The season 2 Saved by the Bell episode "Blind Dates" has a dream sequence where Zack Morris hosts a take on The Dating Game called The Blind Date Game and the bachelors are Teddy Kruger, Mason Voorhies, and Donald Chump (the three bachelor's names in general are spoofs of Freddy Kruger, Jason Voorhies and Donald Trump).
  • Tiny Toon Adventures also spoofed the show. Here it was also called Dream Date but with a longer title The Dream Date Game. It was the third & final short from a show devoted to dating. Buster Bunny was the host of the show and the three bachelors were Hamton J. Pig, Plucky Duck, and Montana Max (Monty for short) much to his chagrin. The picking batchelorette was Elmyra Duff even though she wanted to date Buster. But in the end, Elmyra chose Monty who by that point was dressed as a rabbit against his will.
  • A season 4 episode of California Dreams did a take on The Dating Game called St. Margaret's Charity Dating Game in an episode titled "The Dateless Game". Sly, Mark, and "Seashell" are the "Eager Guys" representing the "Bachelors" on the show, with Terri hosting. Terri predicts that the "Dream Man" is Eager Guy #3, "Seashell".
  • The 2001 Dreamworks movie, Shrek also spoofed the show. When the Magic Mirror told Lord Farquaad that he has to marry a princess to be a king, he shows the lord 3 bachelorettes (Cinderella, Snow White, and Princess Fiona). Farquaad didn't ask them questions. The Mirror just gives him some facts about the princesses. Farquaad chose Princess Fiona. The movie also used the "Whipped Cream" theme for this scene.
  • In 2003, Old Navy made a series of spoofs based on The Dating Game as The Denim Game where they showed off their clothes that were for purchase. One of the commercials featured former American Idol contestant Justin Guarini as a bachelor, while the other featured Morgan Fairchild (who has also appeared in the 2002 Old Navy Feud spoof Family Fleece.) as a bachelorette.
Old Navy denim game00:31

Old Navy denim game

2003 - The Denim Game00:33

2003 - The Denim Game

  • The Dating Game was brought up in an episode of Family Guy when Peter Griffin called reference to a past appearance he made as bachelor #3. However, his answer to the bachelorette's question was significantly underwhelming compared to the other bachelors.
  • A recurring parody of The Dating Game on Let's Make a Deal (Brady) called The Dealing Game features Wayne Brady and Jonathan Mangum (both as a different character in each appearance) but rather than a date, each of them represents a curtain as both of them try to get the costumed contestant to pick their curtain while Model Tiffany Coyne plays the role as "Hostess".
  • In 2014, Vivid Entertainment (the same company that made The Newlywed Game XXX: A Porn Parody in 2013) has also made a porn parody spoof film of the show called The Dating Game XXX: A Porn Parody. It's tagline, (for which you can see both posters at the bottom of this description) says that "The Matchmaking Gameshow Throwback Is Back, Baby!".[2]


Additional TriviaEdit

Future sportscaster Al Michaels was once a contestant coordinator on the show.

Press PhotosEdit



Board Games based on the original 1965 version were released by Hasbro from 1967-1968 in three editions.

A Party Pak 45 rpm record narrated by Jim Lange was released in 1968, it was packed together with postcard invitations, name tags and scorecards for six people to play The Dating Game at home.

A Board Game based on the 1986 version was released by Pressman in 1987.

A video slot machine game based on the original 1965 version featuring an animated version of original host Jim Lange was released by IGT in 2004.[3] [4] [5]

In the late 90's, once had it's own online version of the show, currently, 3G studios developed a Facebook version based on the show in 2011.

International VersionsEdit

  • A Chinese version of this show aired in 1999 shortly after the 1996-1999 US run.
  • 12 Corazones - a similar Mexican version of The Dating Game but in order for the couples to win their hearts, they must perform stunts and dance.
  • Australia, entitled Perfect Match
  • UK, entitled Blind Date

Similar Shows/SpinoffsEdit

  • Double Up - a kid's version of the Dating Game with J.D. Roth as the host.
  • Singled Out - a spinoff similar to Dating Game but with 100 bachelors & bachelorettes (50 of each).
  • Bzzz! - a spinoff similar to Dating Game but at a much faster tempo


  1. Diet Dr. Pepper - Mating Game
  2. The Dating Game XXX, new from the makers of The Newlywed Game XXX (WARNING U.S. GAME SHOWS WIKI DESCRETION IS ADVISED)
  3. Info about The Dating Game video slots (Nickel version) by IGT circa 2004
  4. Info about The Dating Game video slots (Quarter version) by IGT circa 2004
  5. The Dating Game Video Slots sub website (via Internet Archives)


Official Website (Sherwood era/via Internet Archive)
Official Website (Woolery era/via Internet Archive)
The Dating Game @ Tim's TV Showcase
Josh Rebich's Dating Game Rule Sheets

YouTube VideosEdit

What's Bob Eubanks doing here?
Promo for The All New Dating Game (Elaine Joyce)
Promo for The All New Dating Game (Jeff MacGregor)

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