old word for a horrible pilot
Unsold Pilot: (1986)
Chuck Barris Productions in the
1980s was pretty much a non-factor when it came to creating new formats.
His 4 shows that he had in the 80s were revivals of arguably his 4 best
shows from the 70s in Treasure Hunt, The New Newlywed Game, The All-New
Dating Game & The Gong Show with "True" Don Bleu. Pilots for other
shows were made, but never came to fruition. Two pilots from this
era are floating around in the trading circuit. One of them is a
revival of Dollar A Second, an old 50s stunt show where contestants do
various stunts in order to keep the clock going and to make more money.
I'll talk about this pilot later, since it was god-awful. However,
this week I have the second pilot floating around the circuit. It
combines the art of ripping off a very successful show, a hideous logo,
set & a host who's better off as an announcer. It's the pilot
simply known as Bamboozle.
Hosting this pilot is Bob
Hilton. Now, don't get me wrong, I enjoy Bob Hilton. I enjoy
him as an announcer for great shows in Blockbusters, The New Newlywed
Game among other things. As a host, he's way below par. He
doesn't seem to get the basics right. He also doesn't seem to gel
with the format, nor the others on the show.
But to be perfectly fair, it's
easy to see why. The format is nothing more than a gigantic To
Tell The Truth rip-off. Three panelists, comprised of two
celebrities and one contestant ask three people claiming to have done
something amazing or is something amazing. One is telling the
truth and the other two are trying to, not fool but bamboozle the
contestant. How do they determine who's the truthful player and
who's trying to bamboozle the contestant?
Well, like that other show that
Bamboozle is ripping off, the panelists ask the subjects questions.
Now, there's no buzzer or sound that ends the questioning. Or at
least any sound that wound up on the finished product. The pattern
the way the questions are asked is that Panelist #1, or in this case
Stuart Pankin asks Subject #1 a couple questions, then it passes onto
Panelist #2, or in this case the contestant asks Subject #2 a question
or two, then it goes to Panelist #3, or in this case Elaine Joyce and
she asks Panelist #3 a couple questions. After one round of
questioning, Panelist #1 asks Subject #2 a question, then Panelist #2
asks Subject #3 a question and finally Panelist #3 asks Subject #1 a
question. Finally, the panelists ask the subjects they haven't
questioned yet a question. Now if you were confused just by
reading that, then watching the actual show would give you a migraine
and dizzy spells.
So, basically, there's nothing
that sets this show apart from Goodson's superior show.
After all of the questioning,
the two celebs give their opinion on who is telling the truth instead of
Bamboozling them. Then after that, the contestant gets the last
word on who is telling the truth. Then after, an admitted cool
reveal, we see who's telling the truth and who's been bamboozling them.
If they are right, then they get $1,000 and get to continue playing.
If they get bamboozled or i.e. fooled, then the person who fooled or
i.e. bamboozled the contestant
wins $1,000 and the contestant must leave the show. Bob Hilton
also said that if a contestant correctly guesses 5 times in a row, they
win the car. But still, if this was the format they decided to go
on, it's just outright pathetic.
Let's get to the set quickly
before I give my final thoughts.
It's flash, and hideous. It's ghastly, it's just ugly.
And if you take away all of the neon lights that surround the Subjects,
it's just a cheap, basic set that is completely unappealing. Not
only that, the logo for the show is nothing more than a light on the
Panelists side. It just reeks of cheapness. Oh, I forgot the
center light in the middle of the floor that looks like it was ripped
from the old Bullseye Logo. And the music, oh god the music.
Now, if Chuck Barris were to create the music, it would have sounded
good. This just sounds more like pathetic march through the
vaudeville stage music than a game show theme from this era. Hell,
even though Break the Bank from 1985 might have stunk, but the theme
There ya go. Bamboozle.
If you're still bamboozled about the pilot, then you're not the only
one. Even watching it back several times again for this induction
still leaves my head aching. Hilton doesn't work as a host, the
format is a blatant To Tell The Truth Rip-off, the set is hideous and
that's about it really. Bob would continue to announce The New
Newlywed Game before he was replaced by Charlie O'Donnell (R.I.P.), who
ironically was the announcer for this pilot and the best thing about
this pilot. When the announcer is the only good thing about a
pilot, then you need to go back to the drawing board and try again.