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The Newlywed Game is an Americanmarker television game show that pits newly-married couples against each other in a series of revealing question rounds to determine how well the spouses know (or don't know) each other. The program, originally created by Nick Nicholson and E. Roger Muir (credited on-screen as Roger E. Muir) and produced by Chuck Barris, has appeared in many different versions since its 1966 debut. The show became famous for some of the arguments that couples had over incorrect answers and even led to some divorces.

Many of The Newlywed Game's questions dealt with "making whoopee", the euphemism that producers used for sexual intercourse in order to get around network censors. However, it became such a catchphrase of the show that Bob Eubanks continued to use the word throughout the show's many runs, even in the 1980s and 1990s episodes, when he could easily have said "make love" or "have sex" without censorship.


Bob Eubanks is the host that is most often associated with The Newlywed Game. Eubanks was, at the time the show signed on in 1966, the youngest emcee to host a game show at age 28. He hosted all versions except the 1984 ABC version, a special Valentine's Day week of specials hosted by Jim Lange; the last season of the 1980s version, which Paul Rodriguez hosted; and the first season of the 1990s version, which Gary Kroeger hosted. The 1997 revival featured a different format than the best known format of the show; after one season of disappointing ratings, Eubanks was brought back to the show as host and the classic format was revived.

Johnny Jacobs was the announcer of The Newlywed Game during its entire 1966-74 and 1977-80 runs, however Tony McClay subbed on occasion; very early in the show's run (as evidenced on the July 26, 1966 episode), the announcer was originally Scott Beach - Barris' original choice as host prior to Eubanks' audition.

Jacobs died in 1982, and when the 1980s version surfaced and renamed The New Newlywed Game Rod Roddy was the announcer on the Jim Lange version, Bob Hilton announced from 1985-1987, then Charlie O'Donnell took over from 1987 until its cancellation in 1989. John Cramer announced in the 1990s.

A new version, primarily sponsored by, began production for GSN in 2009 and began airing in April, hosted by Carnie Wilson with announcer Brad Sherwood. The show's second season premiered on October 12, 2009, with Randy West replacing Sherwood as announcer as the show moved to Los Angeles. Wilson will host 39 episodes; Eubanks will finish the second season as host.

Rules of the game

For the first round, the wives were taken off the stage while the husbands were asked three questions. The wives were then brought back on stage and were asked for their answers for the same three questions. Once the wife gave her answer, the husband revealed the answer that she previously gave, which was written on a blue card. A match for that question was worth 5 points for the couple.

The roles were reversed in the second round, where the husbands were taken off the stage and the wives were asked four questions before the husbands were brought back on stage to give their answers. The first three questions in this round were worth 10 points each, and the final question was worth 25 points. The maximum possible score for any couple was 70 points. The number of questions in the second round was reduced from three to two (excluding the final question) in 1987 and also in 1997.

Originally, in the first year of the first ABC version, the husbands went off-stage first while the wives had to predict what their husbands would say. The first four questions in this round were worth 5 points. Then the wives would go off-stage as the husbands would be asked four 10-point questions and a 35-point bonus question, which usually decided the game. The maximum possible score was 95 points.

The couple with the highest score at the end of the second round won a prize that was "chosen just for you" (in actuality, the couples had requested a certain prize and competed with other couples that had requested the same prize). By 1987, this practice was eliminated.

The grand prize was never a car or cash, but it could include just about anything else: appliances, furniture, home entertainment systems, a trailer or motorcycles, trips (complete with luggage and camera), etc. In the 1997 remake, the grand prize was always a trip (dubbed "a second honeymoon").

Prior to taping the show, each couple was asked to predict the total points they would earn. In the event of a tie, the tied couples would reveal a card showing this predicted score. The couple that had the closest guess without going over their actual total, won. If all the tied couples went over, the couple who had the closest guess would win. An exact guess awarded a additional prize to the winners.

For the first half of the 1988-1989 season, the scoring system was changed: correct answers paid off in cash ($25 to start with, three questions worth $25 in round one, two worth $50 in round two), and during the final question the couples could wager any part of their earnings up to that point. All couples kept their money (maximum of $400), but only the winners took home the grand prize.

This scoring format was dropped, and the old one reinstated, when Paul Rodriguez took over as host in December 1988, although the number of couples competing was then reduced to three.

1996-1997 version

When Gary Kroeger took over in Fall 1996 the show was overhauled with a new format. Like the 1988-1989 season of The New Newlywed Game, three couples competed in a series of rounds.

Round 1

Each spouse was shown a videotape of their mates who gave a statement mostly about their spouse. The tape was paused near the end which gave the spouse in control a chance predict how his/her mate completed the statement. Then the tape played again, and a correct answer earned 10 points. First the husbands tapes were shown & the wives took a guess, then it went the opposite direction.

Round 2

Host Kroeger asked the couples a multiple-choice question in which one half of the couples had given answers in advance, and the other must guess what they chose. Each match again earns 10 points. First the wives predicted what their husbands said, then the process was reversed.

Round 3

In this round before the show, either the wives or the husbands gave some very weird facts about themselves. Host Kroeger gave the facts to the other half of the couple, whom were equipped with heart-shaped signs that say "That's My Wife/Man!" If they recognized that fact, all they had to do was to raise the sign and yell out "THAT'S MY WIFE/MAN!" If correct, they win 10 points for their team, but if wrong they lose 10 points for the team. Only the first person to raise the sign can win or lose. Seven facts were played.

Round 4

In this final round of the game, host Kroeger read a series of choices (ex: Candy or Potato Chips, Rocket Scientist or Space Cadet, Ketchup or Mustard, etc.) and the wives held cards with one of the choices on it. Then the husbands chose one of the two things that most applies to them. Each match earns points, they were seven questions and each question was worth 10 points more than the previous question with the last question worth even more. So 310 points were possible for any couple who answer all seven questions correctly in this round.

  • Question 1 - 10 points
  • Question 2 - 20 points
  • Question 3 - 30 points
  • Question 4 - 40 points
  • Question 5 - 50 points
  • Question 6 - 60 points
  • Question 7 - 100 points

The couple with the most points wins the game and wins a second honeymoon trip.

This format was mostly disliked by fans of the original show, so for the second season of this version, it reverted back to its original format and theme, with original host Bob Eubanks back at the helm.

2009-Current version

The first season of the current GSN version retained the classic format, but only used three couples and the addition of a new endgame featuring a couple from a previous version, referred to as "Goldyweds".

In Round 1, three questions were asked of the wives, and the husbands try to match the wives' responses for 5 points apiece. The roles were reversed for Round 2, with the first two questions worth 10 points. The third and final question, worth 20 points, was called the " Dimension Question" and was based on one of the "29 dimensions" used by the site to match up couples. (In some episodes which had couples that first met on, no mention of eHarmony or a specific "dimension" was mentioned for this last question). The maximum possible score for any couple for the first season was 55 points. The couple with the highest score won a second honeymoon vacation.

The winners then played a Bonus Round against the Goldyweds, who were a couple that had appeared on a previous version of the show (usually, one of the Bob Eubanks-hosted versions). In this round, the wives were taken off-stage and asked 5 questions during the commercial break. The husbands would take positions in the front of the stage as their wives sit on chairs in the back. The questions were worth increasing values from 1-5 points (for a maximum possible score of 15 points for either couple). The couple with the most points won a bonus prize, usually a piece of Sony technology.

In the show's second season, several changes were made in the gameplay. The game was still played with only three couples, but the husbands were first to give responses to three questions for the wives to guess at 5 points each. (On some episodes, the third question for the husbands was a "Maybelline Beauty Question", quizzing the husbands on their wives' beauty routines.) Then the wives would respond to FOUR questions; the first three worth 10 points each (on occasion, the third was still a " Dimension Question"), and the fourth being a two-response bonus question, with each part worth 15 points (couples would receive 15 points for getting one of the two responses right, or 30 points for both), making for a maximum score of 75 points per couple. As before, the highest-scoring couple won a second honeymoon trip, but no Goldywed Bonus Round was played.

In the event of a tie during either the main game (in either season) or the endgame (in the first season), standard Newlywed Game "prediction" tiebreaker rules apply.

"In the butt"

The Newlywed Game was the subject of an urban legend for many years. The story, which had several variations, had Bob Eubanks asking a contestant "Where is the weirdest place where you have ever had the urge to make whoopee?" in one episode. The contestant supposedly responded "in the butt", implying anal intercourse. Eubanks denied that the incident occurred for many years.

However, on a 2002 NBC special, The Most Outrageous Game Show Moments, Eubanks reluctantly presented a clip from a 1977 episode where he asked a wife named Olga where the weirdest place that she and her husband Hank had the urge to "make whoopee" was. After drawing a blank, and prodded by Eubanks to give an answer, the wife responded "In the ass" (with "ass" bleeped out). As everyone in the studio laughed uproariously, Eubanks clarified the question, asking for the weirdest location.

Hank's answer was "In the car", one that had drawn laughter and applause during the husbands-only segment with Eubanks quipping "I'm going to take the side streets hereafter."

The clip was later requested by fans and aired numerous times in future Most Outrageous Game Show Moments specials until the fourth episode in which Bob explained the clip was being "retired".

The clip also appeared (uncensored) in the 2002 film Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, about the life of producer Barris.

Same sex couples

In the 2009-10 season, The Newlywed Game allowed same-sex married couples to appear on the show. The first such couple was Star Trek actor George Takei and his partner, Brad Altman, playing in a special Celebrity Edition of the game against The Biggest Loser couple Damien Gurganius & Nicole Brewer, and My Fair Brady stars Christopher Knight & Adrienne Curry. This episode was the second to air for the new season on October 13, 2009, and had Takei & Altman winning the game and $10,000 for their charity, the Japanese American National Museum.

Theme songs

The theme music originally started off as a vocal song called "Summertime Guy". The song was written by Chuck Barris for singer Eddie Rambeau, who performed and released the song on a Swan label 45 rpm SP record. Minutes before the song was to be presented on American Bandstand in 1962, ABC informed Rambeau that he couldn't sing the song (because Chuck Barris was an ABC employee at the time) and a new song was needed.

Not wanting the song to go to waste, Barris commissioned Milton DeLugg a few years later to arrange an instrumental version of "Summertime Guy" for use as the first theme to The Newlywed Game. The theme music was performed by the Trumpets Olé in a style similar to Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, and was released as the last track on the LP album "The Trumpets Olé Play Instrumentals". To better fit the show's spirit, DeLugg preceded the pop song's melody with a sample of Mendelssohn's Wedding March.

The theme was re-recorded around 1973 by Frank Jaffe and Michael Stewart. Featured as the third track on the LP album Chuck Barris Presents Themes from TV Game Shows, it was used on The Newlywed Game beginning with the syndicated version in 1977. Then, Milton DeLugg, who was by this time Barris' house musical director, created a new, updated theme based on the existing melody for The New Newlywed Game beginning with Jim Lange's 1984 series of specials, and then for the first several years of the Bob Eubanks-hosted revival.

When Paul Rodriguez took over in 1988, the theme song was changed to the 1950s doo wop classic "Book of Love" by the Monotones. The Gary Kroeger version featured an entirely new theme; when Eubanks returned, a new recording of the classic theme was used for his first season (arranged by Steve Kaplan & Jim Latham), but dropped in favor of a new theme for the third season by Barry Coffing and John Blaylock.

The current Carnie Wilson-hosted version uses an updated looping version of the classic theme composed by Lewis Flinn.

Episode status

Most episodes of the original ABC daytime version are presumed to be wiped, and many of those that do exist are said to be un-airable due to color deterioration. However, a handful have been shown on GSN, most notably the 1974 finale. The ABC nighttime version's status is also unknown for similar reasons, although a few of the evening shows have been shown on GSN's former block "Game Show Saturday Night".

All later versions are intact and have rerun on GSN, except for the seasons hosted by Rodriguez and Kroeger.

Production companies

Chuck Barris Productions produced all versions from 1966-1989, with the 1987-1989 versions credited to Barris Industries. Columbia TriStar Television (CTTV), who owns the Chuck Barris game show library, produced the 1996-1999 revivals. Embassy Row, a New York-based television production company, produces the Wilson-hosted version for CTTV's successor Sony Pictures Television (who owns the formatting rights and, as of January 14, 2009, Embassy Row) and GSN.

Licensed merchandise

Hasbro produced three home editions of The Newlywed Game during its' 1960's/70's run on ABC. Pressman Games produced a version based on the 1980's New Newlywed Game. Currently, classic board games creator Endless Games, which specializes in board games based on several widely popular, long-running television game shows, including The Price is Right and Million Dollar Password, distributes home versions of The Newlywed Game, including two standard editions, a DVD edition and a "Quick Picks" travel-size edition.

In 1971, Pocket Books published a beginners' cookbook entitled The Newlywed Game Cook Book. It was compiled by Jody Cameron Malis and featured Bob Eubanks' picture on the cover.

The show's original theme music has been released several times on LP and CD, most notably as part of the GSN-approved Classic TV Game Show Themes CD from Varese Sarabande.

See also


  5. Sony Pictures Television Acquires Michael Davies' Embassy Row,

External links

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