On "Pass the Buck", this 13-week game show that aired in the spring of 1978, four contestants competed to list off items in a certain category to win money in a progressive jackpot. An example question would be "Name someone who would wear a hat or head covering on the job". Each contestant would then give an answer, and for each acceptable answer, $25 was added to that game's pot. If an unacceptable answer was given, however, the next player could give an answer, and if accepted, eliminate the other player from the game. The player who was out would then go to "The Bullpen", which was located on the left side of the stage next to host Bill Cullen. The last player remaining would win the jackpot and then play the "Fast Bucks" bonus round for a possible $5,000. In this round, the player faced 4 columns of answers. The bottom level had four correct answers, the next level had three, the next level had two, and the top level had one. The player had 15 seconds to give as many answers as ... Written by
I never saw Pass the Buck when it first aired on CBS since the Minneapolis affiliate blacked out the show in favor of syndicated programming but I caught part of an episode on another website and I thought it should have lasted longer than 13 weeks.
First of all, it was a simple format, contestants naming items in a category. It also enabled the home audience to play along. There was plenty of drama, also an essential to a successful game show when there were numerous answers mentioned and a contestant tried to come up with an acceptable response or risk being sent to the bullpen. In the bonus round, the drama built when the contestant tried to reveal the hidden answers en route to $5000.
Bill Cullen was also the reason why the show should have lasted longer, keeping the game moving and injecting humor. Unfortunately after a few weeks on the air, NBC debuted it's first Goodson-Todman game since Match Game was canceled in 1969 Card Sharks and the fast paced show hosted by Jim Perry sent Pass the Buck packing after 13 weeks. A bad break for a show that had a lot of potential. Pass the Buck didn't pass.
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