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Beat the Clock 

Classic game show where couples (and sometimes families) competed to win prizes by completing stunts within a time limit.




1956   1955   1952  


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Complete series cast summary:
Bud Collyer ...  Himself - Host 14 episodes, 1952-1956


"Beat the Clock" was one of televisions most durable game shows. Its popularity was derived from its simple format and wacky action. Two couples, preselected from the studio audience, had to complete various stunts within a time limit (usually 60 seconds or less) to win cash and prizes. Examples of the often-messy stunts (the centerpiece of the show) included blowing a plastic ship carrying a ping-pong ball from one side of a water-filled tub to the other, without allowing the ball to fall off; stuffing eight balloons in a lidded wastebasket without breaking any; and extracting three marshmallows buried in Jell-O using a spoon held in his mouth, then placing each marshmallow on a plate next to them. A huge clock counted down the seconds, as host Collyer provided commentary and encouragement. Couples who successfully completed their stunt won cash (usually $100 to $200, depending on the round) and a prize. After the first round of stunts, each couple got a chance to complete an ... Written by Brian Rathjen <briguy_52732@yahoo.com>

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Plot Keywords:

stunt | kinescope | non fiction | See All (3) »


Family | Game-Show








Release Date:

23 March 1950 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


"Sylvania" was the sponsor from the show's beginning on March 1950 until mid May 1956. "Fresh" (air scent and body cologne) was the sponsor from mid May 1956 until early September 1956. "Hazel Bishop" (women's make-up and cosmetics) was the sponsor starting in early September 1956. See more »


Referenced in Whose Line Is It Anyway?: Show No. 316 (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

I was a contestant in 1961
4 May 2016 | by lstolz-18869See all my reviews

I was a contestant in 1961and was picked out of the audience to do a trick by myself....I had to wear a jumpsuit which I put on backwards by mistake and was holding it closed in front...Bud asked me if I had butterflies I did not beat the clock so I got only a Polaroid camera,which I used for quite a few years...at the end of the show he asked my son who was 8 years old at the time and was in the audience with my husband to come on stage and asked him if he wanted to be a policeman like his father...he said no that they work too hard and he wanted to become a teacher...I wish I could get a copy of that episode it would be so nice seeing it again...bud was so nice to talk to...I do have a lovely 8X10 photo that was sent to me some time later,of Bud and me...I love it....

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