The Name's the Same (1951–1955)

TV Series  -   -  Family | Game-Show
7.7
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Guests who have the same name as famous persons, fictional characters, or things, are quizzed by celebrity panelists who try to determine their name. Each panelist has ten questions; if ... See full summary »

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Title: The Name's the Same (1951–1955)

The Name's the Same (1951–1955) on IMDb 7.7/10

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Episodes

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Unknown  
1955   1954   1953   1952  
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Cast

Series cast summary:
Joan Alexander ...
 Herself - Panelist / ... (101 episodes, 1952-1955)
Robert Q. Lewis ...
 Himself - Moderator / ... (70 episodes, 1952-1954)
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Storyline

Guests who have the same name as famous persons, fictional characters, or things, are quizzed by celebrity panelists who try to determine their name. Each panelist has ten questions; if they fail, they have to give the guest a check for a small amount. A famous person also visits with a secret wish that the panelists guess. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

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Genres:

Family | Game-Show

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Release Date:

5 December 1951 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the show first began there were only three people on the panel and the top prize was $75. The panelists who ran out of questions or didn't make the correct guess paid the contestant a check for $25. However, in 1954, the panel expanded to the more familiar four person set up that was used on "What's My Line" and "I've Got a Secret" and the top prize went up to $80 and each panelist who didn't make a correct guess or ran out of questions now paid $20. See more »

Soundtracks

Shooting Star
(1st Theme)
Performed by Sidney Torch
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User Reviews

Justly forgotten...

As a fan of old-style panel shows and GSN's "Black and White Overnight," I was interested in seeing examples of "The Name's The Same," a panel show I'd never heard of. Having watched it evolve from its Robert Q. Lewis-hosted incarnation into the Bob and Ray version, I can say, frankly, that this forgettable show deserved to be forgotten.

There is nothing seriously objectionable about the show, but the game concepts are lame even for this genre. In the main segments, a panel of three (later four) tries to guess the name of "a regular person" who shares his name with a familiar object, action, or person (real or fictional). Examples included such names as "Marilyn Monroe," "Tom Sawyer," "A. Hog" and "I. Kick." In the original "special guest" segment (an obligatory panel show staple), the panel tried to guess whom the guest would LIKE to be. Later, the segment was altered: now the panel had to guess what the guest's special wish was. Often the wish involved the host or members of the panel ("I'd like to dance the rhumba with Audrey Meadows," and "I'd like to sing a duet with Robert Q." were two), and generally the wish was fulfilled on stage. As the show aged, the wishes became progressively sillier and it became very obvious that the wishes were "provided" for the guests.

The panel shows of the fifties and sixties were not known for their intellectual concepts, and "The Name's The Same" shouldn't be discounted strictly because of the inherent thin-ness of its focus. However, the members of the panel over the years, the hosts (with the possible exception of Lewis), and the special guests, failed to rise to the level of the great line-ups enjoyed by "What's My Line" and "I've Got A Secret." Panelists like Joan Alexander, Walter Slezak, and Meredith Willson were affable enough, but there rarely seemed to be anyone with the sparkle of an Arlene Francis, the cuteness of a Betsy Palmer, the wit of a Fred Allen or Henry Morgan, the intellect/pretension of a Louis Untermeyer or Bennett Cerf, or even the "love-her/hate-her" passion inspired by Dorothy Kilgallen. Even during those periods when a genuinely funny or interesting panelist like Gene Rayburn or Hal Block joined the show, the panel never enjoyed an interesting balance of types. The long runs of genuinely UNfunny panelists like Roger Price further doomed the show to oblivion.

When Bob and Ray took over hosting duties the show became even more insufferable. Long segments were devoted to "comedy" bits that bore only a tangential relationship to the game portions; Bob and Ray, so brilliant and subversive on the radio, became tedious, unfunny, and frankly, painful to watch.

"The Name's The Same" is worth watching for much the same reason other old panel shows are worth watching- it often gives one a chance to see familiar and beloved stars in a more down-to-earth mode, and it offers a window into the tastes and comedic mores of its time. It is not, however, a comedic gem, nor is it an example of exciting game-play. If offered a choice, I believe most viewers would prefer a bad episode of "I've Got a Secret" or "To Tell The Truth," to even the best episode of a show like "The Name's The Same."


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