Child's Play (1982–1983)

TV Series  -   -  Game-Show
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A gameshow for grown-ups that's not as simple as it sounds.

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Title: Child's Play (1982–1983)

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Credited cast:
Michael Bondi ...
Gary Cohen ...
 Cast Member (1982-1983)
 Cast Member (1982)
 Host (1982-1983)
Johnny Gilbert ...
 Announcer (1982)
Cary Greenberg ...
 Cast Member (1982-1983)
Jewels Hanson ...
 Cast Member (1982)
Bob Hilton ...
 Announcer (1982)
Jesse Irwin ...
 Cast Member (1982-1983)
Andrew James Kushner ...
 Cast Member (1982)
 Cast Member (1982)
 Cast Member (1982)
Fred Saxon ...
 Announcer (1982)
Sascha Segan ...
 Cast Member (1982-1983)
Gene Wood ...
 Announcer (1982-1983)


A light but funny gameshow which enjoyed only a blip run during the early '80s, "Child's Play" pitted the wits of two contestants in a guessing game of deceptive simplicity. Young children were interviewed and asked to give their descriptions or definitions of everyday items, phrases, or events without using the actual word itself. Sometimes the responses were helpful; other times, inaccurate or misleading; but very often humorous and always insightful. Upon viewing such clips the contestants then had to guess at what the children were describing, with the player who had figured out the most correct answers winning the game. Written by Kay-22

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Release Date:

20 September 1982 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


The show was never able to make ratings headway against either Wheel of Fortune (1975) or Sale of the Century (1983), two hit game shows that NBC aired opposite it. CBS ended this series on September 16, 1983 and replaced it with Press Your Luck (1983). See more »


Version of Child's Play (1984) See more »


Child's Play
Performed by Score Productions, Inc.
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User Reviews

My all-time favorite game show
18 December 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

My 10 rating is ranking it only among game shows. If I considered it a comedy show and ranked it against the likes of Dick Van Dyke, Seinfeld, etc. I would still give it an 8--it was that funny.

Bill Cullen was THE best game show host, at least, for working with regular contestants. He had a way of putting them at ease and adding funny quips, poking fun at himself, and making all of the two dozen shows he hosted (O.K., I didn't see EVERY one of them) fun to watch.

Child's Play was simple, yet challenging. Two contestants competed in each episode. They would watch a video clip of a young child--usually from 1st-3rd grade--describing a word or term. Then the contestant would guess what the word or phrase was the kid was describing. If right, they got a point. (I like the simple scoring system.) If they couldn't figure it out, their opponent, having heard the first description, got to hear a second description of the same word, from a different kid, and guess again. If still wrong there was a third try from a third kid, with the first contestant getting the chance.

If nobody got it after three tries, Bill told us what it was and we moved on to the next word/phrase. The last few minutes saw a "Fast Play" round, where the children's descriptions were more accurate and either contestant could stop the tape and say what was being described by pressing a button. First one to get it right got 2 points. Whoever had the most points after this round was the winner and got to play for money on the bonus round.

The bonus round had two types during the run of the series. First had the contestants guessing based on written descriptions for a large prize. Later, they brought some of the Child's Play kids into the studio and the adult contestant had to describe terms to them, with the contestant winning if they could get the kids to understand what they were describing.

For most of the time, as I recall, the terms in the main round were shown on the screen for the viewer. I used to tape paper over that part of the screen so I could play along with the contestant. Later, they would not show the word, letting us play along, which was far better.

Either way, the laughter was provided by the hilarious things the children said. Couldn't watch without thinking about Art Linkletter's old "Kids say the darndest things" line. The children were hilarious. Many appeared regularly. Sasha Segan was a red-headed boy who spoke in a distinctive way of emphasizing words. He seemed to begin every description "THIS..." and then went on. To me, he seemed like a genius for his age because when you knew what he was describing, he was dead on accurate, just the things he said were sometimes confusing to people who didn't know what the word was.

One might think the producers were brilliant for coming up with so many kids giving so many tremendously funny descriptions, but while they did make the show by putting together the descriptions given by the kids, I think the kids were normal kids trying to describe things they knew, but having trouble because they couldn't use the actual word in their description. For example, to describe "Shoelace" they couldn't say lace or shoe.

I was a young adult when this was on, and only got to see it sometimes. Nearly 20 years ago, Game Show Network reran some episodes and I got to tape some of them. They seemed just as funny as the first time I saw them.

Child's Play was a game show totally based on having fun, not just watching contestants go wild over how much money they won. With no sexual innuendo, given the times, it really stood out from other game shows.

I enjoyed lots of game shows over the years, but none ever made me laugh as much, as often, as this one.

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