The Joker's Wild (partially found tryout version of Jack Barry game show; 1971)

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Tjw72.jpg

The show's logo from the CBS series.

Status: Partially Found

The Joker's Wild was an American game show that was created by Jack Barry and Dan Enright. The show was the duo's first production since the quiz scandals of the 1950's that all of there shows airing at the time was under investigation for rigging their shows for high ratings. The show became a success when it premiered on CBS on September 4, 1972 alongside other game shows premiering that day on the network like Gambit and The New Price Is Right (later renamed simply "The Price Is Right"). It ran for three years ending in 1975 and was brought back several times throughout the years, most recently in 2017 on TBS. While the show is best known when it premiered on CBS in 1972, the duo tried to get the show on the air as fair back as 1968 and a tryout series followed in summer 1971 on KTLA that just like the CBS series, was hosted by Barry.[1]

KTLA Format[edit | edit source]

Three civilian contestants spin a slot machine that is filled with three different categories and three jokers. The champion from the previous playing gets to spin first. The slot machine lands on different categories or jokers and the value of a correct answer is determinate on how many times the chosen category shows up on the board. ($25 a single, $50 a pair and $100 a triple) the jokers on the slot machine are wild and can be used to double the value of the chosen category. If the slot machine lands on three jokers and the contestant gives a correct answer, it's an automatic win/ The three player take turns in answer questions from the category of their choosing, correct answers earns the player the value of the question and wrong answers skips the player's turn. The first player to earn $250 will go on to the bonus game. The winning player gets to spin the slot machine for three prizes of various qualities (prizes are unknown). The winning player has up to three spins and three prizes are displayed on the slot machine. After the first spin, the winner could either keep the first set of three, or reject them all for another spin. On the second set of three the winning contestant could either keep the those prizes, or reject them all for one final spin, and whatever the champ got on the final spin was his/hers to keep.[2]

Availability[edit | edit source]

The series lasted three months on KTLA (exact months and number episodes are unknown) and the series was quickly forgotten when the well-known series premiered on CBS a year later. The previous efforts to air the show in 1968, 1969 and 1970 (as "The Honeymoon Game") are available online and the KTLA series is not so lucky. The only footage from the KTLA series available is a few brief clips from a 1972 promo for the CBS series. The whereabouts of the 1971 series are unknown and due to the age of this series and that it was only aired locally in Los Angeles, it's likely this will remain lost.

Videos[edit | edit source]

The CBS promo with clips from the 1971 series.
1968 pilot.
1969 pilot.
The Honeymoon Game pilot.


References[edit | edit source]