Joe Garagiola
Johnny Olson
NBC Daytime: 2/15/1971 – 7/30/1971
Merv Griffin Productions

Joe Garagiola's Memory Game was a Q & A game where contestants had to memorize not only the answers, but the questions as well.


Five contestants, all women and one of them a returning champion (or designate), competed and were spotted $50 at the start of the game. Before each round, they were each given a booklet containing the questions and answers to be used in that round. The time they had to study the material varied per round. Once the study time period elapsed, the show's assistants collected the booklets and Garagiola began asking questions at random from the booklet.

The champion – who was seated in the Number 1 position – could elect to answer or call out an opponent's number (2 through 5). That player could answer or call any of her opponents to answer, and so on until a "time's up" buzzer sounded. At that time, the active player at that moment had to answer. A correct answer was worth $5, a wrong answer lost that amount. Play continued in this fashion until all the questions were exhausted.

Subsequent rounds were played with increased stakes ($10 in Round 2, $20 in Round 3). The winner at the end of the show won a $1,000 bonus and returned the next day to meet four new challengers. If a contestant stayed on for three days, she retired undefeated and won a new car.



Merv Griffin


NBC Studio 8G, New York City, NY


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Broadcast history

Memory Game was one of eight shows NBC attempted to program in the 1:30 PM (12:30 Central) time slot between 1968 and 1975; like most of the others, CBS' As the World Turns and ABC's Let's Make a Deal (formerly seen on NBC) soundly defeated it in the ratings.

Three weeks after this show's cancellation, NBC moved Garagiola to another daytime game, Sale of the Century, which he hosted for the rest of its original run. Three on a Match, hosted by Bill Cullen, replaced Memory Game on the NBC schedule.


According to The Encyclopedia of Daytime Television by Wesley Hyatt (Watson-Guptill Publications, 1997), Griffin did not identify his production company on the end credits of the program. The talk-show host and entertainment mogul never gave any explanation for his decision.

Episode status

Much like other NBC games of the era, most episodes of Memory Game are believed to have been wiped as per network practices. Five episodes are known to exist at the UCLA Film and Television Archive.

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