Game Shows Wiki
Frank Nicotero
Street Smarts.jpg
Syndication (Daily): 10/2/2000 – 5/25/2005 (with reruns until 9/23/2005)
DAWN Syndicated Productions
Entertain the Brutes (2000–2003)
Telepictures Productions
Telepictures Distribution (2000–2003)
Warner Bros. Television (2003–2005)

"Think you're a good judge of people? (insert clip with a wrong answer) Think you know who's smart and who's not? (insert clip with another wrong answer) This is Street Smarts, the comedy game show where contestants show how smart they are, by predicting how dumb other people can be. (STREEEET SMARTS!) Think you've got 'em? Find out now!"

Street Smarts was a game show featuring two contestants trying to win cash by predicting how three street people answered a series of questions.


Two in-studio contestants compete in a game where they faced three on-the-street people, known as "street savants" for cash.

To start, the two studio contestants were introduced, as well as the three street savants, whose interviews were pre-recorded.

Round 1: Who Knew It?[]

In this round called "Who Knew It?" ("Who Knew?" in the pilot), the contestants tried to predict which of the three street savants gave the correct answer to a question. Three questions were played in this round, and each correct prediction was worth $100. Sometimes, two savants would answer a question correctly. Sometimes, as an aside, Nicotero would call for a wrong-answer clip to be played to add humor to the show.

Round 2: Who Blew It?[]

In this round called "Who Blew It?" ("Pick the Idiot!" in the pilot), the contestants tried to predict who gave an incorrect answer to a question; for each question, only two of the street savants are considered (one of whom answered correctly). Again, three questions were played this round, but in this round, each correct prediction was worth $200.

In addition, there was also a "Dunce Cap" placed in between the studio players. When a question was asked, and if either player thought that his/her opponent didn't know the answer, he/she then had to hit their buzzer and place the dunce cap on his/her opponent's head (In the pilot, the contestant chairs lacked the buzzers but the player would simply just place the dunce cap on the opponent's head). The "dunced" player was then allowed to hear the question in its entirety, and must then answer the question within 5 seconds. If the "dunced" player answered wrong, $200 goes to the person who hit the buzzer and the "dunced" player continued to wear the dunce cap. However, if the "dunced" player was correct, he/she won the $200 for himself/herself, and the challenger became the dunce (that is, the person who hit the buzzer originally). Also, only one dunce cap opportunity is available.

Round 3: Pick Your Pony/Brain[]

In this round called "Pick Your Pony!" ("Pick Your Brain!" in Seasons 4-5), each contestant picked which of the three street savants to play with for the entire round. Each question goes to an individual contestant, who must predict whether their "brain/pony" got the question right or wrong. Three questions are asked of each contestant, for a total of six in the round. Each correct prediction was worth $300. The "Dunce Cap" was back in play in this round, with its value upped to $300 as well.

The "right" reference is indicated in green; the "wrong" reference in red.

Final Round: The Wager of Death[]

The final round was called The Wager of Death because the studio contestants now wagered any or all of their current dollar total on any one of the three street savants. To start, the final question was asked before the final commercial break, after that, that's when the contestants, in secret, made their wagers, chose their street savant, and predicted whether the chosen savant answered the question right or wrong. A correct prediction added the wager, but an incorrect prediction deducted the wager. The player with the most money at the end of this round won the game. NOTE: The unused clips from this round would be shown during the first portion of the closing credits.

The winner of the game got to keep their cash. In the event that both players went all-in and predicted incorrectly, the game ended with no winner. If the game ended in a non-$0 tie, a final tie-breaker question was asked to the studio contestants. The first player to buzz-in with a correct answer won the game, but if that player buzzed in and was incorrect, the opponent automatically won the game. When a player buzzed in, he/she had the option to either answer the question him/herself or pass the question to his/her opponent; if the player buzzed in before the question was complete, and elected to answer it themselves, they had to give their answer based on what was heard; if the player passed, then the player being passed the question got to hear it in full.

On celebrity games, ties resulted in both charities getting the tied amount, bumped up to $1,000 (the minimum award for the winner of celebrity games) if it was below that amount or $0.

The maximum possible score was $4,600, which would require getting all predictions right, winning both Dunces, and correctly making an all-in bet on the Wager of Death.

Contestant Setting[]

During the first season, studio contestants sat in chairs with their scoreboards as flat-screen computer monitors (TV monitors in the pilot) next to them. They held rolling devices (flip cards in the pilot) for the street people's names, right/wrong paddles for Round 3, and writable flip cards for the Wager of Death.

In the next four seasons, the contestants stood behind a large podium. Behind the podium were lock in buttons used to choose a street player, select right or wrong, and reveal how they did on The Wager of Death. Their TV monitors in front of them showed the selections of the street players, right and/or wrong displays, and the wager, in addition to being scoreboards.

Theme Shows[]

Sometimes, shows took on a certain theme, with Nicotero interviewing the savants in a costume akin to the theme.

In November 2000, one episode revolved around the United States 2000 presidential election. Nicotero wore an Uncle Sam costume when questioning savants, and all questions pertained to American elections or political workings (such as "Why did Bill Clinton refuse to seek a third term?").

Revenge Episodes[]

A couple episodes had been known as "Revenge Episodes", in which savants who believed they had been humiliated on-air could get the chance to make money as contestants themselves. Some of the people who were invited back for "Revenge Episodes" were not humiliated, but simply very entertaining. One of these persons was Russell Fletcher who showed up as a savant and then was invited back as a contestant. Fletcher was mostly invited back to the show due to the enormous amount of e-mail and snail mail that was directed at him because of his showing of real knowledge in most areas of questions.

Celebrity Shows[]

Other shows invited classic television stars and game show hosts to play for their favorite charities. The house minimums for the winner and loser were $1,000 and $500, respectively.

One notable episode had Mark L. Walberg (playing for Goodwill Industries of Southern California) and Mark DeCarlo (playing for the M.S. Society of America) competing. Walberg won with $2 to DeCarlo's $1.

$100,000 Tournament[]

To celebrate the series being the first street-interview show in 20 years to be renewed for a fifth season, Street Smarts offered its winning contestants an opportunity to compete for $100,000 in a season-ending, single-elimination tournament for what proved to be its final season. On each episode the winning contestant was given the choice to either take whatever money he/she had won and leave, or forfeit the money and receive a spot in the tournament instead. Thirty-two contestants elected to give back their winnings to take the chance at winning $100,000.

The tournament took place over the final thirty-one episodes of the season, and each game was played for points instead of money. The first sixteen episodes comprised the first round, referred to as "The Thunderous 32" on air. The winners of those episodes advanced to the second round, consisting of eight episodes and called "The Savvy 16". The eight winners from those episodes advanced to the third round, consisting of four episodes and called "The Great 8". The winners would face off in the last two episodes before the final, called "The 'Phat' 4", and the winners of those two games faced off in the final match, referred to as "The Six-Figure Showdown", for the $100,000 grand prize.

The tournament concluded on May 25, 2005, with Teresa Lee winning the final match and the $100,000. The tournament final also served as the final episode of Street Smarts (as the series was not renewed for the 2005-06 season), and reruns continued until September 23, 2005.

Interactive Game[]

GSN once had an Interactive game on its website where viewers could play along while watching the reruns of the show.


International Versions[]

  • A French-Candian version hosted by Patrice L'Ecuyer called Les Beaux Parleurs (The Talkers) aired on Radio-Canada from 2001-2002.
  • A German version called Strassen Stars (Road Stars), hosted by Roberto Cappelluti, has aired on hr-fernsehen (or hr-tv) since 2004.
  • A British version hosted by Daisy Donovan called Does Doug Know? aired on Channel 4 in 2002.


  • Originally, the show was to have three "field reporters" who would appear on location with the savants and ask them the questions, with the main host only appearing in the studio. The idea was scrapped mostly due to lack of talent from those who auditioned, and Nicotero, who originally signed on as a field reporter, was promoted to main host as well as asking questions to all savants.
  • This was once paired up with Sex Wars during the latter's brief run.
  • This was the second game show to involve a dunce cap, the first being Win Ben Stein's Money.


Alan Ett & Scott Liggett


Victory Studios, Glendale, CA

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YouTube Videos[]

Official YouTube Channel

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