Nine celebrities, seated in a three-by-three tier as in a tic-tac-toe board, joined two contestants one of them a champion in a game known best for the celebrities' witty answers to questions. The object was to win an otherwise standard game of tic-tac-toe by determining whether a celebrity was giving a correct answer to a general knowledge question or bluffing ("agree" or "disagree"). Contestants selected a celebrity, for which host Marshall read a question; a correct decision to agree or disagree by the player allowed him/her to place their mark in that box, while the opponent's mark was placed there if said decision was incorrect (unless it led to tic-tac-toe, in which case the contestant had to earn the box). During the first complete game of a show, a "Secret Square" game offered the contestants a bonus prize package for a correct answer. The contestant winning the best-of-three match was champion and returned to face a new challenger. Five-time champions retired un-defeated with... Written by
Brian Rathjen <email@example.com>
Celebrities were not required to give the right answers for any questions. They were briefed before each show to help them with possible bluff answers, but were hearing the actual questions for the first time when each show was taped. Certain celebrities were often asked questions pertaining to specific categories. For example, Paul Lynde frequently got loaded questions just so he could come up with an initial funny response. See more »
Six years after launching their first game show Video Village, Merrill Heatter and Bob Quigley came up with a show that would eventually be the best comedy game show of all-time, Hollywood Squares.
The game was really simple since it was based on tic-tac-toe. But what made the show stand out was the humorous bluff answers from the many stars who sat in the nine boxes throughout the show's 15 year run. Among the many celebrities who appeared on the show were Wally Cox, Cliff Arquette (as his Charley Weaver character),Rose Marie, George Gobel and in the center square, Paul Lynde. His quips were very funny and rescued the show from a slow start into a very funny show.
Heatter-Quigley made the right choice in hiring Peter Marshall over Bert Parks as "The Master of the Hollywood Squares." Though he never hosted a game show he got better and better throughout the run and it paid off with a couple of Emmys.
I really enjoyed the show, even the nighttime syndicated version that aired once (later twice) a week. It was a true game show classic and X got the square.
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