Game Shows Wiki
Bob Kennedy (1953)
Gene Rayburn (1956)
Bob Pfieffer (1953)
Don Pardo (1956)
Choose Up Sides 1953.png
Unsold Pilot for CBS: 9/24/1953
Choose Up Sides.png
NBC Saturday Mornings: 1/7/1956 – 3/31/1956
Mark Goodson/Bill Todman Productions

"It's the Space Rangers/Space Pilots! Against, the Cowboys/Bronco Busters! As everyone gets a chance to CHOOSE UP SIDES! With the man in the middle, your master of stunts, BOB KENNEDY/GENE RAYBURN!"

Choose Up Sides was a short-lived, Saturday Morning children's game show from the 1950s in which the audience was divided into two groups, the "Space Pilots" and the "Bronco Busters" ("Space Rangers" and "Cowboys" on the pilot).


Before a player's turn, they drew a postcard from a container that matched their team name (a rocket for the Space Rangers/Space Pilots, and a stetson for the Cowboys/Bronco Busters); the postcards were sent in by child viewers who wanted to be on that team. Afterwards, the two children who drew the postcards competed in a stunt of some sort.


On the pilot, after competing in the stunts, the children gained points on a ring-toss board with each peg marked with a number of points. The child who won the stunt would throw two rings for their team and the child who lost would throw one. The show had three "magic numbers" each show, which if the team's point total matched would win them 10 extra points and a special prize for the child who tossed the ring. The process repeated with different children from each team until the show ran out of time.

All children on both teams received a "sportsmanship prize", such as a camera, and the members of the winning team, along with several home viewers chosen from a pool of write-ins, won a grand prize, such as a watch.


For the series, the stunts were the type one might have seen on Beat the Clock (another Goodson-Todman show). The winning team for each stunt scored 100 points, with the losing team doing a consolation stunt for 25 or 50 points.

The consolation stunt was explained by "Mr. Mischief" (voiced by announcer Don Pardo doing a falsetto), a wall-puppet. The time limit for the stunt was originally a whistle which could go off at any time. This was later changed to a balloon in Mr. Mischief's mouth that would inflate until it burst.

Once per show, a contest called the Super Duper Doo stunt was held. Each week, a child was chosen to compete in an additional stunt for the possibility of winning a grand prize at the end of a four-week period. Two stunts are known to have been done:

  • Throw 15 oversized playing cards onto a ball covered with sticky tape suspended from the ceiling while standing in a box.
  • Blow 10 pieces of paper off a podium, trying to get them to land in a wastebasket that was set in front of them.

The grand prize, awarded to the player who scored the most points (one for each item), changed with each stunt.

If there was extra time at the end of the show, there would be team stunts to allow a team to catch up on points.

The children on the winning team won Grand Prizes (a bicycle for the children in the studio, and a camera for the children at home). The children on the losing team received the Sportsmanship Award (ice skates for both the children in the studio and at home).


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Hudson Theater, New York City, NY


Mark Goodson & Bill Todman


Choose Up Sides at Game Show Utopia

YouTube Videos[]

1953 Pilot
Opening to the Show
NBC Premiere Show