Game Shows Wiki
Jack Clark
Unsold Pilot for NBC: 5/23/1965
Bob Stewart Productions

The 1965 Split Second was an unsold general-knowledge quiz unrelated to the more well-known show of the same name.

From the YouTube clip that has unfortunately since been removed, the object of the game, as host Jack Clark explained, was for contestants to "make contact" - or ring in with a signaling device on the desk in front of them, when they heard him read a correct answer. In addition, ringing in had to be done before a set of four timer indicator lights, on a panel in front of the contestants' desks, had all been shut off - the lights were arranged in a row (similar to what we might consider a progress indicator in a computer program now) and were shut off at a rate of approximately one light per half-second, meaning contestants had about two seconds to ring in when a particular answer was read.

The video clip removed from YouTube had only one question read, but it appears the humor in the game came from Clark's reading the scripted wrong answers. The spiel for questions were phrased similar to this: "In a split second...put the historical figure with the correct place." Clark would then proceed to read a series of answers which were humorously wrong, followed by a correct one. Example: "Nero at the Chicago Fire" (incorrect), "Abner Doubleday at The World Series" (also incorrect), "Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theater" (correct) - at which point one or more contestants could ring in with their contact buttons, and Clark would shout out, "Contact!" and credit the contestant for the correct answer.

Each correct answer was worth one point, and the first player to reach five points won the entire content of a kitty which started at $50 and had money added "at regular intervals", according to Clark, but the YouTube video clip wasn't long enough to show what such intervals were. The clip didn't also show what happened if all the clues were read and no contestant rang in for the correct response, or if a contestant incorrectly rang in for one of the humorous wrong answers. It's unclear whether there was a bonus round for the winner of the main game as there was on another of Stewart's shows, "Eye Guess".


"Java" by Al Hirt


  • The first few minutes of the pilot were once uploaded to YouTube, but later removed.