"Beat the Clock" was one of televisions most durable game shows. Its popularity was derived from its simple format and wacky action. Two couples, preselected from the studio audience, had to complete various stunts within a time limit (usually 60 seconds or less) to win cash and prizes. Examples of the often-messy stunts (the centerpiece of the show) included blowing a plastic ship carrying a ping-pong ball from one side of a water-filled tub to the other, without allowing the ball to fall off; stuffing eight balloons in a lidded wastebasket without breaking any; and extracting three marshmallows buried in Jell-O using a spoon held in his mouth, then placing each marshmallow on a plate next to them. A huge clock counted down the seconds, as host Collyer provided commentary and encouragement. Couples who successfully completed their stunt won cash (usually $100 to $200, depending on the round) and a prize. After the first round of stunts, each couple got a chance to complete an ... Written by
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Did You Know?
, whose first TV appearances were in Goodson-Todman-produced anthology dramas, was also employed by G-T as a stunt tester for this program. He proved so agile at completing the stunts that his results couldn't be used to set time limits for contestants to complete them. So he was reluctantly let go. See more