Down You Go, derived from the children's game Hangman, was the originator of the "guess-a-letter, guess-a-word, guess-a-phrase" game hook also employed by Wheel of Fortune one year later and to this day. Down You Go took a somewhat high-brow approach to the concept by inviting the home audience to send in phrases displayed as blanks on a large board to challenge a panel of four "literary" celebrities. The host, Dr. Bergen Evans (a recognized linguistic expert from Northwestern University), asked each panel member in turn to guess a letter. If the letter did not appear in the phrase, Dr. Evans would intone "down you go" and that panelist could guess no more letters in that round. If the letter was in the phrase, it was hung in front of each appropriate blank. After each letter guess, the panel huddled and could offer to guess the phrase. When the last panelist went "down", the round ended and the home contestant won a cash award. If the panel guessed the phrase, the contestant settled ... Written by
Art Graham <Art.Graham@ibm.net>
Did You Know?
This was one of the few series to be aired over all four commercial networks. The final broadcast (over NBC) was 8 September 1956. See more