Game Shows Wiki
Arte Johnson
Jay Stewart
John Harlan
NBC Daytime: 10/3/1977 – 4/21/1978
Ralph Edwards Productions
Gemini Productions, Inc.

Knockout was a short-lived game show where contestants have to find out which answer in a group of four doesn't belong.


Main Game[]

The object of the game was to find one thing from a list of four items that was not related to the other three. For example:

  • New York Yankees
  • Tampa Bay Devil Rays
  • Miami Dolphins
  • Texas Rangers

The players would be shown four items (like the ones shown above) revealed one at a time (they didn't have to wait until all four items were revealed), and the first player to buzz-in would guess what doesn't belong (the answer for the example would be "Miami Dolphins"). A correct answer awarded a player a letter in the word "KNOCKOUT", which was displayed on his/her podium.

In addition to the letter, the player who gave the correct answer had a chance to earn more letters by figuring out the common bond of the remaining three items (in this case, "baseball teams") or by daring one of their opponents to answer. If the controlling player correctly guessed the bond, he/she got an additional letter. On a dare, if it was successful, he/she got two letters; if the dared player identified the bond, however, he/she got the two letters instead.

If the dare was successful, the contestant could dare the third player for another two letters or simply give the answer himself/herself for one letter. If the contestant scored a "six-letter play" by successfully daring both opponents and then solving the bond, he/she also won $300.

The first player to light up all eight letters in their "KNOCKOUT" display won the game, a prize, and a chance to play for up to $5,000 in cash in the bonus round.

Bonus Round[]

The bonus round was played in two parts. In the first part, three items with a common bond were revealed to the winning contestant, one at a time, with the player having to identify the bond. Giving the correct answer awarded $500 on one item, $300 if two items were needed, and $100 if all three were revealed.

In the second part, the contestant was given a chance to multiply what they had won in the first half of the bonus game by 10, making the grand prize either $1,000, $3,000 or $5,000. He/She chose the top, middle, or bottom line, after which a clue to a new bond was revealed, and was given five seconds to think about the bond to which all three belonged. If the contestant could identify the bond from that clue, the money was won.

Contestants stayed on the show until they won five games or lost twice. Champions who won five games won a new car.



''The Big Beat'' by Hal Hidey & Bruce Belland


Mark Maxwell-Smith


Knockout premiered and ended on the same days as To Say the Least.

Unusually for the genre, the show used a "cold open" where Arte would address the home audience himself and then ask the announcer who was playing that day, after which the show's theme would begin.

This is the only game show that did not have an official logo/titlecard in the opening and ending credits.

Four episodes are known to exist: an audio recording of the premiere and a general episode from 1978 circulate among collectors. An episode with an unknown airdate is held by the Paley Center for Media in New York, while Episode #75 is held by the UCLA Film and Television Archive.

A test pilot for a celebrity-contestant version was done on January 18, 1978; however, celebrities never did play on the series.

Broadcast History[]

Succeeding the short-lived It's Anybody's Guess, Knockout marked Ralph Edwards' third attempt at a daytime game on NBC in three years. After failing with two different short-lived versions of Name That Tune, which had become a major hit off-network, he banked on the appeal of former Laugh-In star Arte Johnson who had, in the intervening years since that show's cancellation, become a regular panelist on The Hollywood Squares and The Gong Show.

Johnson's popularity, however, was no match for ABC's Family Feud (which was hosted by Johnson's Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In castmate Richard Dawson), which was on its way to becoming daytime's most popular game at 11:30 AM Eastern (10:30 Central). Knockout got only six months before NBC replaced it with a revamped High Rollers. Edwards would opt to stick to syndication with Tune and later shows like The People's Court and a one-season revival of Truth or Consequences.


NBC Studio 2, Burbank, California


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British Version[]

A British version of Knockout called Odd One Out, hosted by the late magician Paul Daniels (and announced by John Junkin) aired on BBC1 from 16 April (April 16) 1982 until 19 April (April 19) 1985.


Knockout at (via Internet Archive)
Odd One Out @

YouTube Videos[]

Premiere Show (audio only)
Premiere Show ("More Action-Like")
A full episode from 1978
Celebrity Test Pilot

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