Although "Magnificent Marble Machine" was short-lived, and received it's share of criticism, host Art James kept the show moving in the same low-key and friendly style he had used on his prior game shows like "Say When!" and "The Who, What, Or Where Game". Art James was probably the most under-rated game show host in television history and many fans of the genre believe his talents as a host should receive greater recognition. Written by
Did You Know?
This show was a notorious flop and the first problem was the "marble machine." It was huge, unbalanced and very uncooperative. It was about 20 feet high and 14 feet wide and almost impossible to play. The carpentry shop at NBC had wisely decided not to build it because they could see from the designs that it had a lot of flaws and questionable engineering. It was subcontracted out to an independent scenery shop. It was shipped in sections to NBC on a Friday but was back in the workshop the next week. In removing the largest section from the truck at the NBC loading dock it fell and cracked wide open. It was repaired and some of the problems were corrected when it was sent to NBC. It was still a fragile giant. Normally a set would move out of its studio after taping so that another show could use the space but the "marble machine" would break each time it was moved so the tapings were held day after day until there were enough for the first half season. Fortunately that was several more shows than were needed as the show was yanked before the end of 1975 and no one ever heard from the "Magnificent Marble Machine" again. See more
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