Game Shows Wiki
Jamie Farr
Gene Wood
Unsold Pilot for NBC: 2/1/1986
Mark Goodson Productions

FARR: "Hi, I'm Jamie Farr, and we're here to play Oddball!" WOOD: "Let's meet the oddballs! From 227, Marla Gibbs; from Too Close for Comfort, Lydia Cornell; from Mama's Family, Vicki Lawrence; from Fall Guy, Nedra Volz. And the men: from Happy Days, Anson Williams; from Newhart, Tom Poston; from Falcon Crest, Daniel Greene; and Dick Martin. And here is the chief Oddball, Jamie Farr!"

Oddball was an attempted 1986 revamp of the short-lived 1964 Goodson-Todman game show Get the Message.


Main Game[]

The game was played in three rounds with eight celebrities separated by gender (four men vs. four women) and backed by a civilian contestant team captain. In each round, the contestants were isolated in a soundproof room while the celebrities each wrote down a one word clue (ala Match Game) which they thought would get their captains to say a secret word/phrase/name (ala Password). When they were finished, the clues were revealed with repeats and any other incriminating clues taken out of play. The contestants later came out of isolation and looked at the clues given by their teammates. Each player made a guess and the player who guessed the subject correctly won some money. The first word was worth $100, the second was worth $200 and the third was worth $400. On the third subject, the clues were not revealed on the spot. This time, when the players returned, they went back & forth picking off clues; revealing a repeat lost a turn. This went on until all the clues were used or one player guessed the subject, thereby winning the $400. The player with the most money won the game and the right to play the "One Shot Jackpot" game.

One Shot Jackpot (Bonus Game)[]

The "One Shot Jackpot" game was played with all eight celebrities. While the winning contestant went back into isolation one more time, each celebrity panelist gave a one word clue to one final word. When the champion returned he/she tried to guess what the word was. He/She only got one guess, hence the one shot. The champ picked off panelists one at a time and play stopped when somebody gave a repeat clue or the champ took his/her one guess. If the guess was correct, the champion won the One Shot Jackpot which started at $20,000 and $5,000 was added to it for everyday it wasn't won.


Marla Gibbs
Lydia Cornell
Vicki Lawrence
Nedra Volz
Anson Williams
Tom Poston
Daniel Greene
Dick Martin


For its production slate, the theme song from Final Jeopardy! can be heard playing.

The think music that played when the panelists wrote their clues was also used on The Price is Right for its pricing games Check Game, Make Your Move, and Cover Up.

The background prop intro for Oddball was also used from The Price is Right.

In the "Mark Goodson Production" end credits, a yellow computerized variant where the logo flies out of view with the sound of a jet was also used in the end credits on Super Password and the revival of To Tell the Truth in 1990.


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Oddball at The Game Show Pilot Light

YouTube Videos[]

Intro to Pilot #1
Full Pilot