CBS Daytime: 4/23/1979 - 5/30/1980
|The Bud Austin Company (1978-1980)|
Jay Wolpert Productions (1979?-1980)
Burt Sugarman, Inc. (1980)
"(Two great stars and their contestant partners are going to have) Close calls... Narrow escapes... Split-second decisions... and (a chance to win) $25,000 in cash! A combination guaranteed to make you say... WHEW! And now here's the host/star of our show, Tom Kennedy!"
Whew! (later known as Celebrity Whew!) was the cult favorite where two contestants charge by correcting weird sentences known as "Bloopers", block the other person, and get by an assembly of wacky Villains for $25,000.
The game was played in up to three rounds. In each round, the contestants faced a six level game board. The first five levels have five hidden bloopers worth $10-$50, and the sixth level on top had only three hidden Bloopers worth $200, $350 and $500 respectively. All the Bloopers hidden on the board were under a specific category. One contestant played the "Charger" who stood behind a weird green arrow podium, while the other player played the "Blocker" who stood behind a mean red stop sign podium.
At the beginning of each round, the Charger was sent backstage out of sight and out of hearing allowing the Blocker to replace Bloopers with blocks on the board. The Blocker's job was to place six blocks anywhere on the board but with two limitations: The Blocker can place no more than three blocks on any one of the first five levels, and only one on the sixth level.
Once the blocks were placed, the Charger came back on stage. The object for the Charger was to charge his/her way up the board in 60 seconds by correcting one blooper in each level. On each level, the Charger called out a money amount to expose a Blooper which host Kennedy read in its entirety. A typical Blooper would go like this: "General Armstrong Custer was defeated by Sitting Bull in the infamous battle of Little Bugle Horn." (The answer to the blooper would be "Big".) If the Charger can correct the Blooper he/she won the money amount that's there and moved up to the next level. If the Charger cannot correct the Blooper he/she stayed on that level and went to another Blooper. The charger also moved up to the next level if he/she went through all the Bloopers without correcting a single one. If at some point the Charger uncovered a block he/she had to wait out for five seconds (by virtue of having the audience chant "4, 3, 2, 1"), the Blocker would also win the money attached to the exposed block. The blocks were held by the bonus game villains. If the Charger can make it to the top before time runs out he/she wins the round, but if time ran out the Blocker wins the round.
If at any point the Charger feels that he/she is not going to make it to level six in time, all he/she has to do is yell "LONGSHOT!" which stopped the clock and caused the Charger to jump directly to level six. On a Longshot, the Blocker pressed one of three secret buttons on his/her podium to place a secret block on the top level, and it may be in addition to a previously placed block on the same level. The Charger then selected one of the three level six dollar amounts to play for. If the Charger found and corrected a Blooper, the Charger gets the amount chosen and wins the round. But if the Charger did not correct the Blooper or if he/she found one of the two blocks, the Blocker wins the round (plus the amount attached to either block, if found).
In round one, Tom would announce two categories for the first & second boards (one for each board); the challenger or the winner of a coin toss in case of two new players would decide to either charge or block on the first category.
In round two, the roles were reversed meaning that the Charger became the Blocker and the Blocker became the Charger.
Round 3 (Tiebreaker)Edit
If both players each won one round, the third and final round was played. In this round, Tom announced one last category for the tiebreaker board, and the champion or the loser of a coin toss now decided to either charge or block.
Last Weeks RulesEdit
In the final weeks of the show, the rules were changed so that every show would end evenly. If a contestant won the first two rounds, the final round would be played by the game's winner only. The blocks were now placed randomly by computer (presumably the bonus game villains). Should the player win that round, he/she won additional money (and bonus seconds).
The first player to win two out of three rounds wins the game, keeps the money (maximum of $2,250), and goes on to face the Gauntlet of Villains for $25,000 in cash.
The $25,000 Gauntlet of VillainsEdit
In the Gauntlet of Villains, the winning contestant faced 10 villains (aka the most cantankerous cads, notorious nogoods, demented derelicts, baddest bullies, zealous zenophobics, licentious lackeys, ospentacious ogres, spaced-out spartans, tragic comic book traders, lackluster lackeys and black-hearted brigands (to name a few) that ever stood between a game show champion and his/her money). The player's job was to get pass all ten villains within the time limit by correcting Bloopers which were now listened to instead of shown. The champion started with 60 seconds and received one additional second for every $100 won in the game (Ex: $1,230 gave the champion 12 seconds added to the basic 60 seconds making a total of 72 seconds to beat those villains). Since $1,500 was the highest any contestant can win in the game, the maximum time was 75 seconds. On each villain, host Kennedy read a Blooper and the contestant had a small amount of time to correct it. If the contestant can't correct the Blooper, the correct answer would be shown on that villain's "telly-belly" and the contestant had to stay on that villain, but if he/she does correct the Blooper, that villain's arm would drop, and the contestant moved on to the next villain. Each villain passed was worth $100, and getting past all ten before time ran out paid the champion $25,000.
Names of VillainsEdit
- Alphonse the Gangster
- Bruno the Headsman
- Mr. Van Louse the Landlord
- Nero the Fiddler
- Count Nibbleneck the Vampire
- Frank and his little friend Stein
- Kid Rotten the Gunslinger
- Jeremy Swash the Pirate
- Dr. Deranged the Mad Scientist
- Lucretia the Witch
If the contestant did not win the $25,000, he/she returned to play the next game as the returning champion; but if the champion did win the $25,000 and seeing that this was CBS' winnings limit at the time, he/she retired from the show. In later shows, players also retired from the show if they won five games in a row.
On November 5, 1979, up until its cancellation date, the show changed formats to incorporate celebrities into the show. There were still contestants playing except that the contestants and celebrities worked together as teams and sharing jobs to win money for the contestants.
- The format of correcting statements would later be reworked into the question round on Disney Channel game show Mad Libs, and the bonus round of the 2004 game show Balderdash.
- The entirety of Whew! is completely intact, as Burt Sugarman owns all the episodes.
- Some of the show's sound effects were later used in the 1988 game show Blackout.
- Some of the show's bonus round sound effects were later used in the 1990 game show Rodeo Drive.
"We pronounce our show WHEW! (There's a very good reason for that.) And you'll see why we call it that as you watch our show." - Tom Kennedy
"Now giving me the level...and the money/dollar amount...CHARGE!!!!" - Tom Kennedy
"Level (insert number), (insert money amount)!" - The contestant
"CHARGE!!!!" - Tom Kennedy
"BLOCK!!" - Tom Kennedy
"4...3...2...1!!!" - The Audience
Same level (insert number)!" - Tom Kennedy
"The Gauntlet and the clock will begin with the first bell. (DING!!)" - Tom Kennedy
"TIME'S UP!!!!" - The Villains
Start of BonusEdit
- "Make Love Not Money"
- "Here Comes The Sad Part"
- "A Big Walk For Nothing"
- "We Need Love Too"
- "Post No Bills"
- "He'll Fall In 4" (referring to Howard Wilson)
- "Villains: 5 Howard: 0" (referring to Howard Wilson)
- "On Guard, Howard" (referring to Howard Wilson)
- "Trick or Treat"
- "A Villain A Day Keeps The Money Away"
- "Woe Be To Mobely" (referring to Mary Ann Mobley)
- "We're Just Pawns In The Game Of Whew!"
- "Welcome To The Slalom Of Shame"
- "Villains: 65 People: 13" (July 30, 1979, referring to the Gauntlet win-loss record at that point)
- "We Want A Raise"
- "We're Cute, But Deadly"
- "This Turkey Again?" (referring to Alan Emrich)
- "Five Time Turkey" (referring to Alan Emrich)
- "Hi...Anxiety" (1980 Finale)
When a contestant wins $25,000Edit
- "It's IRS Time" (Carrie Fedora, May 1979)
- "Wanna Buy Swampland?" (Tony Smith, June 1979)
- "Touché!" (Howard Wilson, June 1979)
- "We Went Easy" (Randy Amasia, August 1979)
- "Calm Down!" (Steven LaBlang, November 1979)
- "OH NOOOOOO!!!!!" (David Jones, May 1980)
When a contestant runs out of timeEdit
- "Maybe Some Other Show"
- "Want A Kleenex?"
- "Some People Never Learn"
- "Eat Your Heart Out"
- "Devil Made Us Do It"
- "We Are Soooo Smart"
- "Want A Tissue?"
- "Happy Halloween!"
- "A Fiasco!"
- "Keep Your Night Job"
- "We're Sorry...Almost"
- "Act Like A Man"
- "Nice Guys Finish Last"
- "Remember Your Dignity"
- "Try And Collect" (1980 Finale)