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Author Topic: Name Tags vs. Nameplates  (Read 720 times)

calliaume

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Name Tags vs. Nameplates
« on: October 29, 2019, 10:46:49 AM »
This has been a strange interest of mine - when I first started watching game shows in the 1960s, virtually every show used nameplates to identify the contestants (Jeopardy, Eye Guess, etc.) or they didn't use anything at all (Chuck Barris' shows).  The first show I remember using name tags was The New Price Is Right (for logistical reasons, as far as I know - people who have been in the audience can explain that better); the first one I remember using name tags regularly just for identification was Family Feud (probably because with ten contestants on stage and moving around as well as a relatively inexperienced host, it was almost a necessity).  Now many shows use them (Pyramid and The Newlywed Game seem to be the holdouts).

My guesses as to the reason for the changeover are:

1) Most games aren't like Jeopardy where the contestant doesn't leave his/her podium after the introduction - they move around, so it's easier for the host to see the name accompanying the contestant.
2) It became cheaper and quicker to make a name tag than it is to have a stagehand set up the name on the podium.
3) Keepsake for the contestants.

Thoughts and corrections welcome.

Clay Zambo

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Re: Name Tags vs. Nameplates
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2019, 11:04:33 AM »
Nametags allow the viewer to see the player's name in a tighter shot, too.
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Kniwt

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Re: Name Tags vs. Nameplates
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2019, 11:39:45 AM »
An interesting counterexample is the UK's Impossible (or "!mpossible" if you prefer), with 24 contestants on a giant set. Each has a nameplate, and the nameplate is removed from the main set and placed on the podiums for the final round. Since the nameplates are removable, I suspect they could also be given to the contestants as keepsakes (although, perhaps, they don't want to keep making several dozen "John" or "Mary" nameplates).



(ETA: Another type is where the contestants' names are just displayed electronically on set, usually as part of the scoring display.)

Unrealtor

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Re: Name Tags vs. Nameplates
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2019, 01:48:10 PM »
ISTR, other than TPIR's stickers, nametags aren't usually keepsakes. I remember multiple anecdotes around here or its predecessors of contestants with even very uncommon names not getting to keep their name tags after the show.
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BrandonFG

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Re: Name Tags vs. Nameplates
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2019, 02:23:31 PM »
Might depend on the show. I've seen a few former Wheel contestants' name tags, and they were more common names.

To Curt's three points, maybe make it easier for the viewer to identify the player, and maybe even have someone to root for? It's prolly easier to say "I want Karen to win!" instead of "the lady in purple". IIRC, the original 21 had nameplates with the contestants' full names...or was it simply "Mr. Van Doren/Stempel"?
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calliaume

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Re: Name Tags vs. Nameplates
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2019, 03:15:45 PM »
IIRC, the original 21 had nameplates with the contestants' full names...or was it simply "Mr. Van Doren/Stempel"?
Based on a quick Google search, it looks like the latter. Cullen TPIR, of course, just had the contestants' last names, which looked really odd to me as a kid.

TLEberle

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Re: Name Tags vs. Nameplates
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2019, 03:23:10 PM »
Might depend on the show. I've seen a few former Wheel contestants' name tags, and they were more common names.

To Curt's three points, maybe make it easier for the viewer to identify the player, and maybe even have someone to root for? It's prolly easier to say "I want Karen to win!" instead of "the lady in purple". IIRC, the original 21 had nameplates with the contestants' full names...or was it simply "Mr. Van Doren/Stempel"?
It was "Honorific Surname." The version hosted by Maury had the entire name on the screen.
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TimK2003

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Re: Name Tags vs. Nameplates
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2019, 12:12:59 AM »
This has been a strange interest of mine - when I first started watching game shows in the 1960s, virtually every show used nameplates to identify the contestants (Jeopardy, Eye Guess, etc.) or they didn't use anything at all (Chuck Barris' shows).  The first show I remember using name tags was The New Price Is Right (for logistical reasons, as far as I know - people who have been in the audience can explain that better); the first one I remember using name tags regularly just for identification was Family Feud (probably because with ten contestants on stage and moving around as well as a relatively inexperienced host, it was almost a necessity).  Now many shows use them (Pyramid and The Newlywed Game seem to be the holdouts).


The Joker's Wild was rare in that it started with contestant names on the podiums (albeit very briefly at the beginning of the CBS run), then went nameless for the rest of the CBS run and into the syndie run, then switched to nametags for the rest of the syndie run.

Bob Zager

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Re: Name Tags vs. Nameplates
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2019, 11:02:16 AM »
...the first one I remember using name tags regularly just for identification was Family Feud (probably because with ten contestants on stage and moving around as well as a relatively inexperienced host, it was almost a necessity)...

The original pilot w/Richard Dawson used BOTH name tags and name plates (well not exactly "plates," but the same type of concept).

SuperMatch93

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Re: Name Tags vs. Nameplates
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2019, 11:23:53 AM »
The original pilot w/Richard Dawson used BOTH name tags and name plates (well not exactly "plates," but the same type of concept).

I seem to remember Whammy! doing that too. Did any other shows do that?
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aaron sica

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Re: Name Tags vs. Nameplates
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2019, 11:55:39 AM »
The Joker's Wild was rare in that it started with contestant names on the podiums (albeit very briefly at the beginning of the CBS run), then went nameless for the rest of the CBS run and into the syndie run, then switched to nametags for the rest of the syndie run.

I remember noticing that Joker's Wild added nametags, but couldn't remember when. I'm thinking after at least 1980?

Bryce L.

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Re: Name Tags vs. Nameplates
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2019, 12:31:45 PM »
The Joker's Wild was rare in that it started with contestant names on the podiums (albeit very briefly at the beginning of the CBS run), then went nameless for the rest of the CBS run and into the syndie run, then switched to nametags for the rest of the syndie run.

I remember noticing that Joker's Wild added nametags, but couldn't remember when. I'm thinking after at least 1980?
I want to say at the start of the $1,000,000 Tournament of Champions in 1980.

isucgv

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Re: Name Tags vs. Nameplates
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2019, 04:05:58 PM »
Fandango went from nameplates on the original set to name tags when the set was updated in 1987 and then back to nameplates I think in 1988? 

Neumms

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Re: Name Tags vs. Nameplates
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2019, 04:29:22 PM »
Is Press Your Luck is the only show to go from name tags to nameplates?

BrandonFG

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Re: Name Tags vs. Nameplates
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2019, 04:37:20 PM »
No, but you’re talking about two different versions. Tomarken had nametags; Whammy used tags and nameplates.
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