Classic game show where couples (and sometimes families) competed to win prizes by completing stunts within a time limit.




1955   1952  


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Complete series cast summary:
Bud Collyer ...
 Himself - Host (13 episodes, 1952)
Dolores Rosedale ...
 Herself / ... (5 episodes, 1952)
John Reed King ...
 Himself - Substitute host (3 episodes, 1952)


"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 Brian Rathjen <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

stunt | kinescope | non fiction | See All (3) »


Family | Game-Show






Release Date:

23 March 1950 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


For a brief time in the early 50s , as advertised on "Beat The Clock", Sylvania marketed a TV set that featured an electric "Halo Light" which formed a frame around the TV screen. It was meant to enhance the picture. It never caught on with the public and was eventually removed from their product. See more »

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User Reviews

"Next Time Might Be Your Time.............
19 November 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

...............To Beat The Clock!"

WEEKLY DOSE OF humorous situations created by obstructing otherwise simple tasks with silly complications. We don't know how else we could describe it!

HAVING VETERAN RADIO Actor Bud Collyer (he voiced the Man of Steel on THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN Radio Show) as the Host/MC, this mark Goodson-Bill Todman Production was a very popular series for over a decade; first ob CBS and later on ABC. There were no pretensions of its being High Art or PBS pseudo classy stuff. Fun of the participating contestants and the amusement of the viewers were paramount.

AFTER COMPLETING THE assigned task(s) within the allotted time limit, the in-studio folks chosen to compete would receive whatever prizes for which they were eligible. A typical stunt would be introduced by MC Mr. Collyer with something like this:

"Yes, Mr. Schultz, all you have to do is carry six eggs one at a

time up this ladder and put them in that bucket. You have 45

seconds to do. Ha, ha, ha, ha! But we didn't tell you that you

have to wear a pair of roller skates and be blindfolded!"

WELL, WE DO exaggerate, but you get the picture!

OVER THE YEARS we know that the show had many $ponsor$; but for some inexplicable reason we remember that Sylvania Light Bulbs was one of their early commercial advertisers.

IT IS TRULY strange how we can remember things like this, yet we cannot recall what our spouses told us this morning! Isn't tat right, Schultz?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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