Wednesday, August 24, 2016


The NFL season starts soon (I think) and this story from a sports site is pretty typical. Except for the game show reference.

New England coach Bill Belichick mentioned $64,000 Question during a press conference. The sports site helpfully tells its readers that the show was "the 50s version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire." The writer ignores that little rumpus about the show and other 1950s game shows. Or maybe he just doesn't know about it.

$64,000 Question wasn't as blatantly rigged as, say, Twenty One. But the pushy sponsor Revlon still tried to manipulate results in ways that would make modern-day S&P people apoplectic. Wikipedia (usual caveats) offers a good summary of the shenanigans.

Despite its iffy reputation $64,000 Question gets at least a little respect. The show appeared on GSN's top 50 special, TV Guide's top 60 list, and Game Show Forum's 50 greatest list. I don't want to sound like a prig, guys, but the show really doesn't deserve a place on such honor rolls. These odorous 1950s efforts should go on a separate list. Let's call them Rigged But Important.


  1. He ignored the scandal because it wasn't important to explaining why someone would pick the number $64,000.

    Besides, the article links to further information, including the scandal, and a reference to the original expression "that's the $64 question."

    1. The rigging should have been mentioned, especially because the writer went into some detail about the show's gameplay and how Belichick might have performed as a contestant. It wasn't just a passing reference.