This month we are looking at some classic game shows from the sixties and seventies. The Newlywed Game which aired a year after The Dating Game, debuted was often partnered with The Dating Game. The Newlywed Game was created by Robert Nicholson and E. Roger Muir and both shows were produced by Chuck Barris.
The premise of the show featured three couples, recently wed. The men would leave the set while the women were asked specific questions, and then the husbands were brought back to see how well they knew their spouses. In the second half of the show the women went off stage. Whichever couple had the most points at the end of the night received a prize.
The host was Bob Eubanks. His trademark phrase was “making whoopee” which is how he got around talking about sex without using words he could not say.
Apparently, the show led to several divorces. I read a lot of sources that made that claim, but I could not verify any couples that actually divorced because of the show.
In 1977 a syndicated version of the show was created that was identical to the original ABC entity. The show was canceled in 1980 when another one of Barris’ shows, 3’s A Crowd created a lot of controversy. In that show, a man’s wife and secretary would compete to see who knew him best. It resulted in so many complaints that all Barris’ shows were canceled.
However, the show was revived from 1985-1989 and again from 1996-1999. Eubanks continued his hosting duties in the first reboot until 1988 when he was replaced with Paul Rodriguez. The 1996 version was emceed by Gary Kroeger but after the ratings did not increase, Eubanks was brought back from retirement. Its first announcer was Johnny Jacobs who also hosted The Dating Game. In the other versions, there were a variety of announcers.
Barris wrote a song “Summertime Guy” for singer Eddie Rambeau. He was banned from singing it on American Bandstand because Barris was employed by the same network. Barris wanted to use the song for something so he had it arranged as an instrumental by Milton DeLugg and it was recorded by Trumpets Ole, a similar style of band to Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass who did the music for The Dating Game.
Most of the original episodes don’t exist any longer. Many were unairable due to color deterioration. A few episodes were somehow saved and have been seen on GSN, the Game Show Network.
Hasbro made board games for The Newlywed Game so everyone could argue at home as well as on the show.
Although I watched this show from time to time, I cannot say I watched it often or was a fan of the show. I do remember more contestants being mad than happy during their appearance on the show.
I think I consider it a blessing that not many of the original episodes exist. Once was probably enough to watch this game show.