|Jack Narz (July–September 1960)|
Red Rowe (sub, 1960)
Monty Hall (September 1960–1962)
CBS Daytime: 7/11/1960 – 6/15/1962
|Merrill Heatter/Bob Quigley Productions|
Video Village was a giant board game with people as the tokens.
Jack Narz served as the host (introduced on-air as "the Mayor") from the show's premiere until September 9, 1960, after which he departed for personal reasons. Red Rowe filled in as Mayor for the week of September 16 (including the final nighttime episode); the following Monday, Monty Hall replaced Narz and hosted through the remainder of the show's run.
Kenny Williams served as the announcer (the "town crier") throughout the show's run. Joanne Copeland (later to become the second Mrs. Johnny Carson) served as the show's original hostess during its time originating from New York City. Shortly after Hall joined the show and Heatter-Quigley moved Village to CBS Television City in Hollywood, CA, Copeland was replaced by Eileen Barton.
Two contestants played the role of tokens on a human-size game board with three streets: Money Street, Bridge Street and Magic Mile. Players advanced according to the roll of a large six-sided die in a chuck-a-luck, rolled on the sidelines by a partner (almost always a spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend) and called out by announcer Williams. After Video Village moved to California, the die was replaced by an electric randomizer. Any time a player landed on the space their opponent was on, they could either take an extra turn or force their opponent to return to the beginning of that street.
Game Board Squares
The squares changed throughout the show's run, but some of the more notable ones included:
- Money Squares – Located on Money Street, contestants received between $5–$20 depending on the space.
- Bus Stop, Do It Yourself and Take A Chance – Players landing on any one of these spaces had to draw a card and follow the instructions written on the card.
- Jail – Located between Money Street and Bridge Street, contestants could be sent here either by landing on a "Go to Jail" space or drawing a card which instructed them to do so. To get out, the contestant had to successfully predict whether their roll would be either even or odd.
- Ask the Council – Located on Money Street and Magic Mile, the contestant was asked a humorous, open-ended question. He/She won cash if the audience — acting as the "council" — was judged to agree.
- Finders Keepers – The first player to land on this space received a prize.
- Shops – Located on the Magic Mile, these were five themed "stores" (Bank, Appliance Store, Jewelry Store, etc.) which each contained a prize that was associated with it. The first contestant to land on the store's space won that prize.
- Safety Zone – Any player landing here was safe from any penalty imposed by their opponent.
- 1-2-3 Go – Any player landing on this space remained on it until getting a 1, 2, or 3.
- Exchange Places – The very last square on the board before the two "Finish" lines, the unlucky contestant who landed here had to change places with their opponent, no matter how far back he/she was.
The first contestant to reach either of the two "Finish" spaces (they had to do so by an exact roll) won the game and the right to return to play in the next game. Both contestants kept the cash and prizes they accumulated. On the final nighttime episode in 1960, the winner of the last game won a $100 bonus and the runner-up received another $50.
A board game based on the show was once released by Milton Bradley in 1960.
The music for Video Village was provided by a live combo led by musical director Sid Wayne, cosisting of an: organ, drums, xylophone and bass. Additionally, when Monty Hall became host, the "Village Bus", a golf cart-like vehicle, was added to shuttle contestants from the finish line back to start at the conclusion of the game. While driving it, Hall and hostess Eileen Barton would sing "The Village Bus Song", added to showcase both hosts' musical abilities.
Lyrics to "Video Village":
Oh, Video Village is the place.
Where people wear a happy face.
There's so many things to see and do.
For you, and you, and you!
Lyrics to "The Village Bus Song":
Oh, hop aboard the Village Bus, and away we go.
I lead and I will really try to drive it nice and slow.
We bump, bump, bump and beep, beep, beep.
But no one seems to fuss.
Oh, what fun it is to have them both with us.
Yes, oh, what fun it is to ride the Village Bus!
An Australian version of the show has aired on the Seven Network in the mid-1960's hosted by Danny Webb. Each episode of the show ended with children singing a song featuring these following lyrics:
Goodbye from Video Village.
That's it today.
See you at Video Village.
Next time, you're this way.
Merrill Heatter & Bob Quigley
CBS Studio 52, New York City, NY (1960–1961)
CBS Studio 43, Los Angeles, CA (1961–1962)
- Video Village Jr. – a short-lived kids' version that aired on Saturday mornings from 1961 until 1962.
- Shenanigans – Spinoff revival aired from 1964 to 1965
Full Episode with Red Rowe