|Paul Winchell with Jerry Mahoney|
NBC Saturday Mornings: 9/9/1972 – 12/2/1972 (with reruns until 9/1/1973)
Runaround was a kids game show with lots of running involved.
The basic format of the game involved nine children being shown a skit or demonstration, and Winchell asking a question relating to it. Each question had three possible answers displayed on rectangular trilons numbered 1, 2, and 3. The children made their choices by running towards their chosen answer; just before the correct answer was revealed, however, Winchell would say "Runaround… now!", at which point they would have to jump onto a different area; the idea was to give opponents the "runaround" in case they were merely following their movements.
After a while, Winchell would would press a finger-clicker (a toy device that made a clicking sound). Players still moving or not on one of the three answer areas when he did so were eliminated from the round (sent to a penalty area at the side of the stage). The studio lights would then dim, and the area for the correct answer would light up. Players with the correct answer took a pink ball from a large bowl near the middle of the stage, while those with an incorrect answer were eliminated from the round. After less than two players remained, all children came back into play. Each player had a transparent tube, into which the balls were dropped (this was a substitute scoring device for tote boards, which the show did not have). The player with the most balls at the end of the show was the winner and received a grand prize package.
"Runaround… now!" – Paul Winchell
"When you hear the click, stick!" – Paul Winchell
"Last chance!" – Paul Winchell
"Let's see who's right with the light!" – Paul Winchell
A British version of the show was produced, airing from 1975 to 1981 on ITV. It was hosted by Mike Reid until 1976, followed by Leslie Crowther and then Stan Boardman from 1977 to 1978, with Reid returning for the rest of the run. While the basic format remained the same, the balls came in two colors: yellow worth one point (for a correct answer) and red worth two points (for being the only contestant to choose the correct answer). A music-themed revival called Poparound aired on ITV from 1985 to 1986 and was hosted by Gary Crowley.
A Dutch version of the show called Ren je Rot/Kies je Ster (Translated as Run Run Run/Select Your Star) was hosted by Martin Brozius and was assisted by Lars Boom.
A German version of this show was made as well called Eins, Zwei oder Drei? (Translated as One, Two, or Three?) began on December 10, 1977 and was the very first show on German Television to be licensed from the United States. Michael Schanze hosted the first eight seasons, until 1985, when he was replaced by Birgit Lechtermann, who hosted the show for ten years. The third presenter from 1995 on was Gregor Steinbrenner, who also presented the 25th anniversary of the show in 2002, which was celebrated by staging a 25 hour quiz marathon. Daniel Fischer, who debuted in 2005, was the fourth presenter. The fifth and current presenter is the comedian Elton, who debuted in 2010.
NBC Studios, Burbank, CA
Last 1:21 of a September 1972 episode (followed by the show's tel-op slide for a few seconds)