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Author Topic: Word for Word Question  (Read 1794 times)

mmb5

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Word for Word Question
« on: September 05, 2004, 10:17:52 PM »
I'm busy adding a whole new slew of game show pilot descriptions to The Game Show Pilot Light, and I have a question for those who can remember back to the 60s.  On Word for Word, how were the words given by the players shown to the home audience?  I'm trying to find out whether the version used on a pilot (think pre-computer bowling score displays) was the same as the actual show.


--Mike
Portions of this post not affecting the outcome have been edited or recreated.

The Ol' Guy

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Word for Word Question
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2004, 11:27:58 PM »
What I remember in watching the show, it was very slow-paced. The player would announce their word, then spell it, slow and deliberately. If my memory holds, how the words were displayed was as follows - the game board behind the contestants had either two or three long vertical columns for each player. Using a guess for an example, let's say each of the side-by-side columns were a foot across. Think of the game board as a giant Etch-A-Sketch. When a player spelled a word, it appeared as though someone behind the board manually wrote the word (printing backwards) with a stylus, cutting through some type of opaque coating. Now this is how it appeared to the home viewer, and it makes some sense. If a person came up with a lengthy word, the writer could adapt the letter size to fit across the column. With those old-fashioned bowling lane overhead score lamps, you couldn't get around having the shadow of your hand in the picture as you write on the score sheet. I don't remember any shadows in the show. One player would announce and spell their word, then after that word was written in that player's column, the opponent would spell their word. I do not remember two words being written at the same time. Anyone else have different memories or the secret of the boards? I'd love to see that pilot. And seeing how I just got even older today, I guess I qualify;-)
« Last Edit: September 05, 2004, 11:38:33 PM by The Ol' Guy »

geno57

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Word for Word Question
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2004, 01:28:39 AM »
I was very small -- 5 or 6 years old -- when "Word for Word" was on, but I remember the show very well ... even the theme! It definitely sounded like a Merv composition, with female voices doing the "la-la-la" thing, punctuated by kettle drums a'la the end of the Jeopardy! think music.

Anyway ... I'm pretty certain that they had large sheets of plain ol' paper (newsprint?) fastened to the framework behind the contestants. Backstage, as the contestants spelled out their words, somebody printed them backwards with a marker, which bled through the paper and was plainly visible to the viewer.

High-tech, wasn't it?!

And by the way Ol' Guy, happy birthday!!!
« Last Edit: September 06, 2004, 01:29:32 AM by geno57 »

mmb5

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Word for Word Question
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2004, 08:43:26 AM »
Thanks guys.  This was exactly what was used on the pilot I saw.


--Mike
Portions of this post not affecting the outcome have been edited or recreated.

Neumms

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Word for Word Question
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2004, 01:30:25 AM »
Not to be a pill, but could any of you offer a brief description of the game? This is one I've never read anything about.

The Ol' Guy

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Word for Word Question
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2004, 09:02:04 AM »
Briefly, it's a tv-friendly version of the paper and pencil game where a long word is given to both players - "appendectomy" - and two players alternate calling out words of 3 or more letters made up of letters found in the big word - like cape, toad, map, and so on. Players continued until they could no longer come up with a word in the time allotted on their turn. They got 2 points per word that later were translated into seconds in a timed bonus game where the winner unscrambled up to five words. Pleasant way to spend a half hour back then.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2004, 09:03:46 AM by The Ol' Guy »

CaseyAbell

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Word for Word Question
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2004, 09:22:14 AM »
Matt has a couple links about the show on the Game Show Compendium describing the home game and the game itself.

Looks like Merv did indeed write the music for the show. Couldn't really find much more about the show on Google...except the Game Show Survival List says all episodes are lost.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2004, 11:03:22 AM by CaseyAbell »

uncamark

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Word for Word Question
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2004, 11:57:28 AM »
And someone else mentioned recently that the guy standing behind the board writing backwards was our old friend Eric Lieber, who went on to have regular shouting matches with Chuck Woolery and fire a lot of people who worked on "Love Connection."

The Ol' Guy

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Word for Word Question
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2004, 12:51:25 PM »
Well, maybe his inter-personal and social skills are shaky, but what nice penmanship! ;-)
« Last Edit: September 07, 2004, 01:03:59 PM by The Ol' Guy »

CaseyAbell

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Word for Word Question
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2004, 03:18:51 PM »
Couldn't find the Word for Word credit anywhere, but Eric Lieber's IMDB page lists an artist credit on, of all things, Dotto. At least he wasn't implicated in the rigging scandals (wink).
« Last Edit: September 07, 2004, 03:19:43 PM by CaseyAbell »

Craig Karlberg

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Word for Word Question
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2004, 05:33:30 AM »
WOW!  Seeing that the show aired its last episode on the day I was born(10/23/64).  I wish there was a clip of that last episode online somewhere.  Maybe I'll celebrate my birthday that way.

tvwxman

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Word for Word Question
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2004, 09:57:54 AM »
[quote name=\'Craig Karlberg\' date=\'Sep 8 2004, 04:33 AM\'] WOW!  Seeing that the show aired its last episode on the day I was born(10/23/64).  I wish there was a clip of that last episode online somewhere.  Maybe I'll celebrate my birthday that way. [/quote]
 You're 40?

Based on your off the wall posts, I had you pegged for grade school. Or AdamJK's bowling buddy.
-------------

Matt

- "May all of your consequences be happy ones!"

CaseyAbell

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Word for Word Question
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2004, 11:31:13 AM »
I doubt that clips of Word for Word exist. Apparently all the episodes are lost. That drawing on the board game cover may be the closest we'll ever get, unless somebody somewhere has some photos from the show.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2004, 11:45:39 AM by CaseyAbell »

Matt Ottinger

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Word for Word Question
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2004, 12:21:52 PM »
[quote name=\'CaseyAbell\' date=\'Sep 8 2004, 11:31 AM\'] I doubt that clips of Word for Word exist. Apparently all the episodes are lost. That drawing on the board game cover may be the closest we'll ever get, unless somebody somewhere has some photos from the show. [/quote]
 Well, based on the thread, at least the pilot epiosde exists!

I may be able to get my hands on an audiotape of an episode.  I met someone whose mom had been a contestant, and they recorded it at home when she appeared.  Of course, that tape wouldn't do a lot toward answering the specific, visual question that started this thread...
This has been another installment of Matt Ottinger's Masters of the Obvious.
Stay tuned for all the obsessive-compulsive fun of Words Have Meanings.

mmb5

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Word for Word Question
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2004, 06:58:17 PM »
[quote name=\'Matt Ottinger\' date=\'Sep 8 2004, 11:21 AM\'] Well, based on the thread, at least the pilot epiosde exists!

 [/quote]
 Well, not exactly.  The pilot I saw was Shopping Spree, whose main game was sold to Merv Griffin a year later.  If you open your encyclopedia to Word for Word, you will notice the strange credit "master word portion: created by Bill Derman".  This pilot explains the credit.

I only have a few more writeups to do, and I will have at least 20 new pilots to add to my pages.  Shopping Spree has the neatest back story of them all, as I've already teased.  Just wait a week.


--Mike
Portions of this post not affecting the outcome have been edited or recreated.