Jeopardy-like game show featuring Ben Stein as both a host and a contestant. The second and third rounds of the game are played by Ben Stein himself as he tries to defend "his" money ... See full summary »




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10 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »


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Complete series cast summary:
 Himself - Host (45 episodes, 1997-2002)
 Himself - Guest Co-Host / ... (20 episodes, 1998-2002)


Jeopardy-like game show featuring Ben Stein as both a host and a contestant. The second and third rounds of the game are played by Ben Stein himself as he tries to defend "his" money against the lowly contestants. Written by Joe Pranevich <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Game-Show


TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

28 July 1997 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


The official disclaimer during the credits read: "'Ben Stein's Money' is the prize budget furnished by the Producer. Ben Stein keeps the money in the prize budget not won by the contestants at the end of each production period. If during the production period the winnings exceed the prize budget, Producer pays the overage." See more »


In the episode with Jon Scieszka and other authors, during their introduction, there's one shot with the scores at the first break (instead of all zero). See more »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Hobgoblins (1998) See more »


Water Music
Music by George Frideric Handel
Plays before the first commercial break.
See more »

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User Reviews

I came to enjoy this A LOT more than "Jeopardy!"
22 February 2008 | by (Topeka,Kansas,USA) – See all my reviews

I was once,many many many many moons ago,a "Jeopardy!" enthusiast. I could name off practically all the Tournament of Champions winners,watched the shows religiously and even tried out for the show,twice,both for the College Tournaments. Alas,no success. But I think what turned me off on that show was the fact that,among other reasons,the producers were far TOO willing to muck the formula of this show,adding in hokey,pointless Celebrity shows,gussying up the prize budget to make it look like something more like "The Price is Right" or "Wheel of Fortune" and worse still,making the returning champion format become indefinite (DAng You,Ken Jennings!!!). In short,to me,that show had traded in the integrity of being a sharp,intelligent quiz show in favor of ratings.

So around 1998,I found myself tuning in with much more enthusiasm to this Comedy Central offering. Going with the brash and bold premise of having the host,Ben Stein,put HIS money up for the prize,with he becoming one of the contestants after the first player is eliminated.Flanked by an irrepressible wiseacre(in seasons 1 thru 3,future talk show host and faux-misogynist Jimmy Kimmel,seasons 4 and 5 sexy little sprite Nancy Pimental,season 6,Jimmy's heavier,sardonic cousin SAl Iacanno),the show moved at a straight,quiz-to-question format and featured some seriously difficult questions,ranging in dollar amounts of $50(relatively easy;to me,QUITE easy) to $500(gnerally VERY tough),and the winner of the front-game had to have one more,ten question quiz format(reminiscent of quiz shows of yore like "21" or "The $64,000" Question,minus the scandal of course)head-to-head with Ben for all five grand.

Between the humor incorporated into naming the categories(which only went one question deep;one favorite was "The Wedding was so awful,at the reception they served Pacelbel") to the afore-mentioned wise-ass of Jimmy,Nancy,Sal or even Ben himself,I found this show both challenging and delightful. Half-hours flew by and even though the contestants rarely won a whole lot of dash,you'd better believe they earned every dollar of it. I'm not sure why the network decided to not keep this show running,but I'm glad that GSN has it and hope they keep it for a long,long time. Worth a look-see,whether familiar with it(As I was) or unfamiliar. Feel free to play along,too!

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