Ken Ober
Lisa Dergan
Smushed Pilot
Pilot (Smushed): 1996
USA: 12/3/2001 – 2/7/2002 (reruns aired until 6/26/2002)
Diplomatic/Greengrass Productions/

Smush was the unfortunately short-lived fun word game show about merging words/phrases/names together to make one. The game itself was played similarly to the long-running category "Before & After" from Wheel of Fortune.


Four contestants competed against each other in a contest of "smushing" items together by virtue of clues given by host Ken Ober, for the right to play for $8,000.

Main GameEdit

The First Two RoundsEdit

In these rounds, Ober read rapid-fire clues in which the answers "smush" together. The first player to buzz in with the correct answer scored points, but an incorrect answer gave the opponents a chance to take a guess. Round 1 featured two-part clues which caused two answers to be smushed together. Each correct answer was worth one point. Later in this round, the remaining clues were visual clues. Round 2 had three-part clues with three answers "smushed" together, called "Smush Tris", with each correct answer worth two points. The final smush in the second round was called the "Smush Quad", so-called because it was a four-part clue, meaning four answers were "smushed" together; this clue was worth three points.

The player with the lowest score at the end of each of these rounds was eliminated from the game.

Hostess Lisa was the show's scorekeeper. She placed numbers above the player's names.

Round 3: Smush ChainEdit

In this round, Ober read seven clues one by one to a smush that would grow progressively longer. The contestant who buzzed in first would say just the answer to the clue (this served as the base of the smush and wasn't a smush in itself); on the remaining clues, however, the contestant who buzzed in first had to say the entire chain starting with the first word, ending with the answer to the current clue. The first clue was worth one point, the second clue was worth two points, and so on, up to seven points; for a maximum total of 28 points. At the end of the round, the player with the most points won the game and the right to play for up to $8,000.


At the end of each round, if there was a tie (for last place in either of the first two rounds), a tiebreaker smush clue was read, with the player to buzz in and answering it correctly advancing.

Money RoundEdit

To start, hostess Lisa wrote a word or phrase on a mirror in lipstick; this served as the root word for the next five smushes. Ober read five clues one at a time, the answers to which would smush to either the left or right side of the root word. The winning contestant had 45 seconds to answer these clues. For each correct smush given, the contestant was awarded $1,000. If the contestant made a mistake at any time, the clue and smush were thrown out; to prevent this from happening, however, the contestant could pass on a clue and return to it if time remained. If the contestant answered all five clues correctly before time expired, he/she won a total of $8,000.


The sound signifying a correct answer in the bonus round was the famous Final Jeopardy! "blong" on Jeopardy!

The ring-in sound would later be used on Distraction for the "Pissing Buzzers" round as well as on 100 Latinos Dijeron on the later episodes for Dinero Rapido.

Former Jeopardy! contestants Gary Gluck and Bob Harris competed on this show.

The show debuted at an 11:00PM slot, airing Mondays to Thursdays. Sometime in January, the show moved to Midnight, meaning it aired Tuesdays to Fridays. In mid-February, the show stopped airing new episodes, and reruns were shown with two episodes airing on Wednesday mornings at 4:00AM, where it remained until its cancellation.

This was the late Ken Ober's final game show that he hosted before his death in 2009.


Andy Poland, Diplomat 6 & Dirt Track Danny


Harry Gottlieb & Jellyvision


Official website of "Smush" (via Internet Archive)

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