Saturday, March 13, 2010

Saturday TV - Beat the Clock

Ah, game shows - who doesn't love them. And, of course, classic game shows can provide not only entertainment, but a portrait of the lives of people from their time period - their manner of dress, their jobs, their attitudes, the items that were given as prizes, and of course the prices that those items were valued at - all of these add up to an interesting slice-of-life picture of America at different times in its recent history.

Today's show, Beat the Clock, actually went through a number of different versions, but it was a perennial for almost 30 years. Begun on CBS in 1950, it moved to ABC in 1958. That version went off the air in 1961, but the show came back in syndication in 1969 and lasted until 1974. It then came back to CBS in 1979, but that version only lasted until 1980. A revival was tried in 2002, but personally I suspect that its low-key "let's just have some fun" attitude was too far out of sync with the modern "it-all-about-who-can-stab-who-in-the-back" emphasis of so much of today's TV game and reality shows that it never had a real chance.

The basic concept of Beat the Clock was pretty simple - a couple of contestants would come on, they would have a certain amount of time to complete a stunt, and if they did, they would have "beaten the clock" and would win a prize. There would also be "bonus stunts" which would allow the contestants to compete for a jackpot which, if it was not won on one show, would be carried over and added o on the next.

Our example today come from the first iteration of the show. I'm not sure of the exact date, but it's likely from the mid-50's. The host is Bud Collyer, who will be familiar to old-time radio buffs as the voice of Clark Kent/Superman on the Adventures of Superman radio show.

This and other episodes of the show are available to watch or download here.
There are also a couple of episodes available on this DVD: Game Shows Of The 50s: Beat The Clock / I've Got A Secret.

Until next time, Happy Treasure Hunting,
-Professor Damian


Post a Comment

Unless otherwise noted, all movies discussed on this blog and all associated materials are believed to be in the Public Domain. If you are a copyright holder for any of these materials, please email me. Unless otherwise noted, all material created for this blog by Professor Damian is licensed under a Creative Commons license as described below. Creative Commons License
Professor Damian's Public Domain Treasure Chest by Professor Damian is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Powered by Blogger Blogger Templates create by Deluxe Templates. WP by Masterplan