The Joker's Wild (1972–1991)

TV Series  |  TV-G  |   |  Family, Game-Show
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A long-running quiz show hosted by TV veteran Jack Barry, and later by Bill Cullen. In this show, contestants would have to answer questions on a wide variety of topics, with the prize ... See full summary »

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1991   1978   1974   Unknown  


Series cast summary:
Pat Finn ...
 Host (2 episodes, 1991)
 Himself (2 episodes, 1991)


A long-running quiz show hosted by TV veteran Jack Barry, and later by Bill Cullen. In this show, contestants would have to answer questions on a wide variety of topics, with the prize money determined by a slot machine-style device. The winning contestant could then move on to a bonus round, where they would play a slot machine for a chance at even bigger prizes, but with the risk of losing everything. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

non fiction | See All (1) »


Family | Game-Show






Release Date:

4 September 1972 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(2350 episodes)

Sound Mix:



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Did You Know?


Originally, the bonus round featured prizes on the wheels. The contestant got a spin, and each window showed a different prize. The player could take the prizes, or make one more spin (they couldn't keep some prizes and spin others; it was all or nothing). Some of the prizes had circles around them; if all three windows showed circles, the player won a car. Very soon after it started, the circles were removed; instead; a car (or boat) was added to one of the wheels as a prize. Later, the wheels showed "Jokers and Devils", and soon after, dollar amounts and devils, which is how it stayed for the remainder of its CBS run and its syndicated run. See more »


[opening announcement]
Announcer: From Television City in Hollywood, here's the game where Knowledge Is King and Lady Luck Is Queen! It's "The Joker's Wild"! And now, here is the host of our show, JACK BARRY!
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Featured in It's Kind of a Funny Story (2010) See more »


Category Reveal Cue
Composed by Jean Leroi
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User Reviews

Jack Barry's Big Comeback
25 May 2005 | by See all my reviews

The original Joker's Wild was a ground breaker for two reasons. One, it was a successful comeback for host Jack Barry after being blacklisted for his involvement in the quiz show scandal. Second, it was the first game show to use synthesizers for its theme, breaking the traditional organ music used on many early game shows.

The game itself was outstanding. Even though most of the questions were easy, I really enjoyed the show and answered most of the questions correctly. Barry always asked contestants if they can come back on the next show if time ran out in the middle of the game since he was used to live TV.

By the 1981-82 season, the show began to jump the shark when audience members got a chance to "Face the Devil." I felt it was out of place and should't belong as part of the show. But the biggest jump was in 1984 when Barry died of a heart attack and Bill Cullen was hired as host instead of regular substitute host Jim Peck. Cullen seemed slow and didn't move the game along well.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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