"I've Got a Secret" debuted on the heels of the successful "What's My Line?" Though "Secret" had somewhat similar rules, there were other elements that gave the show its own distinctive flavor. As with "Line," four celebrity panelists try to guess an unknown-to-them secret, which the contestant (or sometimes group of contestants) whispered in the host's ear; the secret was always shown to the television and studio audience. Each panelist has one 30-second period to ask questions that will help them try to guess the secret; if a panelist fails to guess the secret before the buzzer sounds, the contestant(s) receive(s) $20 and the next panelist gets a turn. The process repeats until either the secret is guessed or if all four panelists are unable to guess the secret, meaning the contestant receives the maximum payout of $80 (during the early years, each panelist had two questioning periods, with $10 paid per unsuccessful try). Usually, a skit or demonstration of the secret followed each ... Written by
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Did You Know?
The show's longtime sponsor, Winston cigarettes, canceled a scheduled appearance on the panel by Groucho Marx because he insisted on smoking his cigar. A similar appearance by Ernie Kovacs in July 1956 was canceled for the same reason, but the sponsor had a last-minute change of heart and allowed him to appear - complete with cigar. See more
Referenced in It Happened to Jane
Plink, Plank, Plunk (I've Got A Secret)
Written and Performed by Leroy Anderson
from 1952 to 1961 See more