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This article is about the Liar's Club TV game show. For the band of the same name, see 'Liar's Club . For the Mary Karr memoir, see The Liars' Club.

Liar's Club was an American comedy game show, produced by Ralph Andrews. It was first seen in 1969 with Rod Serling as host, and returned for a three-season syndicated run from 1976 to 1979. Bill Armstrong was the original host, soon succeeded by Allen Ludden, with Bill Berry and Joe Seiter sharing the announcing duties. It was later revived for almost one year from 1988 - 1989 as The New Liar's Club; Eric Boardman was the host, and former emcee Bill Armstrong was announcer. This version was produced by Blair Murdoch at CKVU-TVmarker in Vancouvermarker, with Stan Litke as the director for the first half of its run (though he didn't direct from CKVU, as he worked at CFAC/CKKXmarker in Calgarymarker), later replaced by Dave Stewart. The title is a spin on the Friars Club.


The New Liar's Club set

The show featured a panel of celebrity guests, who would be presented with an unusual object; each would give a ridiculous explanation of what the object was used for. Contestants (there were two on the 60s version, four on the 80s version and the first season of the 70s version, and three during the Ludden era) would place wagers on which star was telling the true story. They played for money in the 70s version; but they played for points in the 80s version. They started at 100 dollars/points at the beginning of the game and were allowed to bet in $10 increments up to $100 during the first season of the 70s version, half of their earnings during the Ludden era, and the 80s version's betting range was 10 to 50 points.

The Odds

The odds increase for each round:

Round 1 - 1-1

Round 2 - 2-1

Round 3 - 5-1

Round 4 - 10-1

For part of the Bill Armstrong season, the odds were 2-1, 5-1, 10-1, and 20-1, and each contestant would be paid out at different odds in each round(one player would have 2-1 in the first round, one 5-1, one 10-1, and one 20-1, and then the odds would change for the players in each round after), and contestants could bet everything they had in each round, not just the $100 maximum.

The Liar's Club Gallery / The Art Corner

This was always the last round of the game in which artwork was presented before the panel and contestants. Each celebrity would each offer their own title for the art. Each player would then make one last wager on which star gave the right title. Correct answers from the contestants won the wager at a 10-1 payoff. The player with the highest score won the game and a bonus prize (during the Ludden era of the 70s version and the 80s revival, a correct bet in all 4 rounds was also worth an additional prize). If there was a tie, the player who bet the most in the final round wins. If there was still a tie, the player who got the most right throughout the game wins. If there was still a tie, whoever came closest to their pregame score selection without going over wins.

Ludden-era Final Round

During Ludden's first season, the final round consisted of each celebrity describing his/her own unusual item; during Ludden's second season, this round became the "Liar of the Day Round" and in a departure from the first three rounds, it was now up to the contestants to predict which celebrity was the liar.


Regular panelists on the Rod Serling version included Jonathan Harris (Dr. Smith in Lost in Space).

Frequent panelists on the '70s version included Joey Bishop, Betty White, Dick Gautier, Fannie Flagg, David Letterman and Larry Hovis. Canadian comedian John Barbour was a regular panelist throughout the 80s version. The three other panelists initially changed from week to week. Later tapings had the same set of celebrities throughout.

Celebrity attorney/actress/producer Vicki Roberts,, was a regular researcher on the show who brought in many of the strange objects that were used on the show by scouring local antique shops in the Los Angeles area.

Celebrities who appeared, with John Barbour, during the rotation tapings included:

Jed Allan

Rebecca Arthur

Pete Barbutti

Heidi Bohay

Jim Byrnes

Robert Conrad

Teri Copley

Abby Dalton

James Doohan

Leslie Easterbrook

Teresa Ganzel

Beverly Garland

Bryan Genesse

Arlene Golonka

Dody Goodman

Jane Higginson

Lisa Howard

Anne-Marie Johnson

Bill Kirchenbauer

Paul Kreppel

Alison LaPlaca

Kate Linder

Alaina Reed-Hall

Stella Stevens

Marc Summers

Betty Thomas

Deborah Tranelli

Shannon Tweed

Jimmie Walker

Tonja Walker

Fred Willard

Jo Anne Worley

Don Yesso

Shannon Tweed, Jimmie Walker and Pete Barbutti would later join Barbour as the show's permanent celebrity panelists.

The Next Line

In 1991, a Canadian game show called The Next Line, hosted by Kevin Frank, was produced. It had many similarities to the New Liar's Club: both shows were taped at the same studio, and both used the same props with a few changes. The rules are very similar to Liar's Club in terms of the game and scoring, only rather than determine the correct description of an unusual item, players had to find which celebrity was giving the correct line to a cut-off video clip or song. Like The New Liar's Club, the show was also produced by Blair Murdoch and featured Pete Barbutti as a regular panelist.

Episode status

  • 1969: Only two episodes are known to exist, one of which was released (minus its final segment) on a "bonus disc" of The Twilight Zone Season One DVD set.
  • 1976-1979: Most of the first season was rerun on USA Network, while scattered episodes of the Ludden era circulate amongst traders. The series pilot with Larry Hovis, Betty White, Peter Marshall, and Pat McCormick is held by the UCLA Film and Television Archive.
  • 1988-1989: Entire series is believed to exist.

External links

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