ABC Daytime: 4/21/1975 – 6/27/1975
|Bob Stewart Productions|
OPENING SPIEL: Bill: "(insert a sentence with a Blankety Blank). (insert celebrity's name), can you fill in the 'Blankety Blanks'?" Celebrity: "(insert full complete sentence)." Bob: "Ladies and gentlemen, this is/it's the Blankety Blanks! Starring Bill Cullen!"
Blankety Blanks is the game show about solving puzzles & puns.
Two celebrity/contestant teams tried to solve puzzles and fill in "Blankety Blanks" on puns (for example, "When Richard Nixon spilled the coffee on Gerald Ford's lap, he said Pardon Me!"). To start, a category along with keywords and a puzzle was revealed. The puzzle had numbers (1-6) that hid six clues (all parts of sentences) to that puzzle. Host Cullen then randomly pulled out a card from a rotating wheel of 100 situated next to him and placed it into an electronic reader, which chose one of the four players and revealed a dollar amount from $100 to $1,000 in $10 increments.
The chosen player (either the contestant or the celebrity) in control chose a number in order to reveal a clue that would help him/her identify the mystery subject; unlike some celebrity-civilian games of the period, the partner could not assist the contestant or celebrity playing at the moment. A correct answer banked the team's designated money amount, but an incorrect answer (or no answer at all) meant the game continued as Cullen pulled another card, allowing another player (possibly the same one from the previous turn) to take a chance.
Play continued until the puzzle was solved, at which point the team who solved the puzzle got a chance to keep the money by solving the Blankety Blank in a pun; in this part of the game, the celebrity and the contestant were allowed to work together. Each correct Blankety Blank solve gave the opposing contestant a strike, with three strikes eliminating him/her from further play.
If a Blankety Blank guess was incorrect, no strikes were given and the amount that was played for was held until that team solved another puzzle.
In the pilots, letters were used instead of numbers in the main game. Unlike the numbers used in the series, the letters shown were used in the revealed sentence fragment (for example, "Z" may conceal "THAT CRAZY LADY").
Beginning on May 19, 1975, the format was changed somewhat to remove the key word from each front-game clue (the overall header, that is). The dollar values ranged from $100 to $750, and any money won from solved puzzles went into that team's bank and could be doubled by solving the Blankety Blank. The Strikes were removed, and the game was simply played until one team reached at least $2,500, thereby winning the game, keeping the money, and facing a new challenger.
By the final week, the wheel now only had 60 cards (with values as high as $500), and the goal was reduced to $2,000.
In any case, contestants stayed on the show until they were eliminated or had won at least $20,000 (which was never reached in the show's brief run).
The game was similar to Body Language.
Blankety Blanks was also the name of Match Game in Australia. The British Match Game had a similar title, albeit without the S.
Elysee Theater, New York City, NY