GSN (Daily): 6/15/2003 – 10/24/2003
|Budd Friedman Digital|
National Lampoon Productions
National Lampoon's Funny Money was a short-lived, comedy-themed game show where two contestants competed by answering comedy-related questions while facing three celebrity comedians head-to-head for a fabulous vacation.
Jimmy asked three comedy toss-up questions to both contestants. On each question, the player to buzz-in first with a correct answer scored 2 points (referred to as "Funny Money Dollars" (billions of them in most episodes, bazillions of them in the pilot)) and the honor to choose one of the three comedians to perform for 45 seconds. On each performance of each comedian, each time a laugh meter reached the green zone, the contestant who choose the comedian in control scored one additional point.
Before the show, the Funny Money staff went to the magazine's website nationallampoon.com and found some crazy unusual pictures. The pictures were shown to the comedians and they each gave funny captions for each picture. The contestants were given those same captions and locked in as to which caption would get laughed at most. Each correct answer was worth 5 points. Two pictures were played.
Round 3: Comedy Recall
In the final deciding round, all three comedians (one at a time) (or a special guest comic) performed on stage for a short routine. When he/she/they were finished, host Jimmy posed questions to the contestants about what they heard & what they saw. The player to buzz-in with a correct answer scored 5 points. The question portion was played in an unmentioned time limit, and when time was up, the player with the most points won the game. The loser of the game won a fake funny consolation prize (such as cedar chips or chocolate laxatives) in addition to a real one.
In the pilot bonus round, the winning contestant selected one of the comedian's to be his/her partner. Each comedian held an envelope containing a trip which the contestant would win if the bonus was successful. The chosen comedian went off stage and into a bathroom. The winning contestant was equipped with a Verizon cell phone and earpiece to which the comedian would communicate through. Now the winning contestant was put in the "hot seat" by telling jokes himself/herself; all of which were provided by the chosen comedian. If the laugh meter (sponsored by Frito-Lay in the pilot) could hit the funny zone four times in 45 seconds or less, he/she won the trip inside the envelope.
In the series bonus round, the winning contestant faced a board with the show's logo divided up into 12 numbered wedges. Behind those wedges was a still from a popular or unpopular comedy movie. To win, the contestant had to identify the movie's exact title. To reveal pieces of the puzzle, the winning contestant got help from the comedian of the contestant's choosing. That chosen comedian gave one last performance for as many seconds as the winning contestant's winning score (with a minimum base time of 30 seconds). When the time was up, for each moment the laugh meter hit the green funny zone, the winning contestant selected one wedge on the board, so when the time was up and the chosen comedian joined up, the winning contestant chose as many wedges as there were funny zone hits. Then the pieces were revealed and the winning contestant had five seconds to confer with the chosen comedian & to think of an answer. If the winning contestant named the correct exact movie title, he/she won the trip. Regardless of the outcome, they won $300 for each wedge revealed. In the event that the bonus round was lost, the sound of a crying baby was heard when the puzzle was revealed.
During its short run, National Lampoon's Funny Money did three celebrity specials featuring celebrities playing for charity. On these shows, The winning celebrity of each game won $2,000, while in the bonus round, the celebrity still earned $300 for each laugh, then had a chance to double his/her grand total by guessing the movie picture.
The first special pitted Fernwood/America 2-Nite stars Fred Willard & Martin Mull. The second show was a special episode celebrating the 25th anniversary of the film National Lampoon's Animal House, featuring Scarecrow & Mrs. King star Martha Smith who played Babs and St. Elsewhere's Stephen Furst who played Flounder. Martha won that day having scored 28 billion "Funny Money dollars" (thereby receiving the 30 second base time), and picked up $2,600 for her charity. Stephen won $1,000 for his charity. Another special saw ventriloquist Ronn Lucas & Scorch playing against veteran magician Lance Burton.
Harrah's Resort, Las Vegas, NV (Sundays only)
Universal Studios Hollywood (Weekdays)
GSN's very own website once had an Interactive version of the program where you can play along while watching the show. they even had a interactive version of the show through your mobile phone by Goldpocket Interactive.