|Q. I/My aunt/uncle/etc. was a contestant in 1973. Can you find the tape?
A. No, most likely. As I mentioned on another page, many (perhaps only some) of those episodes were destroyed, and I don't even know who physically has the ones that do exist (except the Museum of Television and Radio has a small handful, and they charge an arm and a leg for copies). I'm guessing Sony (which bought out MGM) has them all and even if they wanted to do some kind of service of making copies for contestants, they very likely don't have the ability to do so since Filmways did such a rotten job of cataloging them.
Q. Will the show ever be released (officially) on DVD?
A. I don't know but it's a great idea. I was actually consulted for one such project, to recommend episodes (I highly recommended the "Beaverface" show) but that was apprently put on the backburner. Someone is selling some shows they got off the trading circuit, which means the video quality probably sucks.
Q. Are you sure you're not overstating Rose Marie's importance to the show? I remember she didn't appear so often in the GSN reruns.
A. Peter Marshall says Rose Marie was as much a part of the show as the NBC peacock. I will one-up him based on my research: NBC dropped its original bird in 1975 (they brought back an ultramodern version of the peacock around 1980) and Rose stayed on until the very end, in 1980, so she was even more a part of the show than the peacock.
Here's where the confusion comes in: Rose appeared thousands, no exaggeration, thousands of times. But she didn't appear every single week. She would do three or four weeks, take a week or two off, etc. She appeared in maybe every third or fourth show or so on the syndicated version. Remember, a vast majority of the shows rerun on GSN were from the syndicated series, only a handful from the 1968 prime time run and exactly one from the daytime version (and that just happened to be from a week Rose didn't appear). I don't know why people didn't see her so much on GSN unless it's a "luck of the draw" thing, because the recently added Guest Archive makes it obvious she was the show's most durable regular, perhaps even moreso than Paul Lynde.
Someone once bugged me to gather all of the dates in which Rose Marie appeared; after an hour and a half I'd only gotten as far as late 1967 before I finally gave up.
Q. That list of zingers that gets emailed all over the place claims they were ad-libbed and unscripted. Is that true?
A. No, ad-libs were the exception, not the rule. Most of the "zingers" were written by Bill Armstrong, Jay Redack, Les Anderson and Merrill Heatter (they also wrote a lot of the straight questions). There were a few ad-libs here and there by Abby Dalton and Wally Cox especially, and somewhere on this site there's at least one from Charley Weaver and even an apparent one from Big Bird. I believe Joey Bishop's line about the librarian contestant having to return all of her Secret Square prizes inside of two weeks was an ad-lib. Jonathan Winters liked to improvise, which is why his funny answers seem to meander a bit. There were likely a few ad-libs in the now-classic "Beaverface" nighttime show, including the "topper" line by George Gobel (known for being the best ad-libber on the show). But most of those funny answers were written in advance, including, very likely, all of the ones on the famous email list.
Q. Really? They were written in advance? Even Paul Lynde's?
A. Especially Paul Lynde's.
Q. So how did the stars get these if they weren't supposed to see the questions in advance?
A. They were pitched backstage as "something funny you might say," like a comedian being given punch lines without the rest of the joke, then getting on stage and hearing the straight man deliver the setups.
Q. Is every regular/semi-regular/most frequent guest on the show (besides Peter Marshall) dead now? Whatever happened to Wayland Flowers, is he still around? Who else is still around?
A. Alive: Peter Marshall, Rose Marie, Marty Allen, David Brenner, Gary Burghoff, John Byner, Charo, Abby Dalton, John Davidson, Phyllis Diller, Sandy Duncan, Nanette Fabray, Robert Fuller, Bill & Susan Seaforth Hayes, Florence Henderson, Earl Holliman, Arte Johnson, Rich Little, Kent McCord, Joan Rivers, Elke Sommer, Lily Tomlin, Leslie Uggams, Karen Valentine, Jimmie Walker, Marcia Wallace, Demond Wilson, Jo Anne Worley.
Deceased: Kenny Williams (1984), Morey Amsterdam (1996), Jim Backus (1989), Charlie Callas (2011), Wally Cox (1973), Totie Fields (1978), Wayland Flowers (1988; he died from AIDS, and is the most asked about celebrity in this category), George Gobel (1991), Paul Lynde (1982), Charley Weaver (1974), Pearl Bailey (1990), Joey Bishop (2007), Bill Bixby (1993), Harvey Korman (2008), Michael Landon (1991), Gypsy Rose Lee (1970), Roddy McDowall (1998), Jan Murray (2006), Anthony Newley (1999), Suzanne Pleshette (2008), Tom Poston (2007), Vincent Price (1993), Tony Randall (2004), McLean Stevenson (1996), Dennis Weaver (2006) and full time Storybook Squares regular Paul Winchell (2005).
Q. Is GSN bringing back the Hollywood Squares from the Peter Marshall years?
A. Not that I know of. They seemed rather definitive about never wanting to run it again, and are moving away from older game show reruns and toward a format that encapsulates reality programming, both original and reruns. The network won't even call itself "Game Show Network" anymore, just GSN, like the way American Movie Classics became AMC to play down the fact that they show more movies like "Predator II" than they do the older classics.
Q. So am I out of luck if I want to see them again?
A. Not quite. Hulu has a number of Marshall shows streaming online and may add others. And look for rare clips to pop up on Youtube.
Q. I get an error message every time I try to play Real Audio sounds on the Square Sounds II page. What's going on?
A. Shame on you for not reading the top of the page first of all, where it says Real Player Basic 8 or higher is needed for those sounds.
If you're having problems try the following:
1. Make double sure you've upgraded to Real Player Basic 8 or higher. You will need to upgrade or you will be out of luck.
2. If you are still having trouble trying just downloading the sounds before playing them.
3. If you are still having trouble and you swear to God you tried the first two, contact Real Networks tech support. Nearly everyone who's contacted me, though, say one or both of the first two solved their problems.
Please try these before contacting me. I probably still won't be able to help you though.
Q. The sounds on Square Sounds I work just fine on my old Real Player but the ones on Square Sounds II don't. Are you sure you know what you're talking about?
A. There is a reason for that. The two pages were created two years apart from one another. I used an older Real Producer for the first set of sounds. I lost Real Producer when my hard drive crashed, so when I got my computer back from the shop, I loaded the more recent Helix Producer (the older one wasn't available to me anymore). Sounds created with that device require the most recent player or higher, that's why your outdated player may work for I and not for II.
Q. How can I get an email address for Peter Marshall, Rose Marie or Merrill Heatter?
A. Peter Marshall, I'm sure, appreciates the fan mail he gets through his site. Here's the link. Wish I knew about the others...
Q. What time does the Bergeron version come on in my area?
A. I couldn't help you when it was on, but now I can: the answer is, it probably doesn't. The show aired its last original week the week of May 31-June 4, 2004, and aired that season's reruns during the summer. That was it. GSN reruns the show.
Q. What's the chance of the show being released on DVD?
A. I think that's a wonderful idea, I hereby promote you to President and CEO of MGM. (Well, if I could do that, the Hollywood Squares would already be on DVD.) No, I haven't heard anything, but surely if The Dean Martin Show and the Celebrity Roasts, Hee Haw, the older Carol Burnett Show episodes and the final, NBC season of The Red Skelton Show can find a home on DVD, I don't see why we can't do the same for Paul, Wally, Charley, Rose, Peter and the rest.
Q. Who owns the rights to the show?
A. Sony. Heatter/Quigley sold the rights to Filmways in the 1960s. In the corporate merger Darwinian food chain, Filmways was swallowed by Orion, which was swallowed by MGM/UA, which recently got gobbled up by Sony. I'm pretty sure they also own the 1986-89 Davidson episodes, too.
Q. So what episodes exist, anyway, and which were just found?
A. I've never gotten a 100% straight answer on this, but it's somewhere between 650 and 3,000. If it's 650 that means much of the syndicated version exists; if it's 3,000 that would cover nearly all of the series run, or at least 1969-70 on. For a much longer answer, click here.
Q. So what else did they find in that warehouse? Any High Rollers episodes, perhaps?
A. I honestly have no idea. I sure hope so, as I always had a thing for Ruta Lee and that brunette in the second version. (And no, I am not referring to Alex Trebek.)
Q. Where can I find the Zingers albums, books or the home game to the Hollywood Squares?
A. I found them all on Ebay...well, most of them. My copy of the 1974 home game is actually the one toy left over from my childhood that survived the Great Yard Sale of 1977. A free CD of the "Zingers" album was also made available in copies of at least one printing of Peter Mashall's book, "Backstage With the Original Hollywood Square."
Q. What about the episodes themselves? You seem to have a few.
A. I got them all from the videotape trading circuit. I do not sell them under any circumstances.
Q. Will you trade some to me?
A. I'm not trading right now, but that may change.
Q. I was once a contestant on the show. You wouldn't, by any chance, be interested in hearing my memories, would you?
A. Yes, yes, by all means yes! Tell me everything! If you have a tape or still pics you can send (copies, I would never trouble you for the originals), that would be an extra bonus! (Click here to read the memories of some who were kind enough to send them...)
Q. I remember some really funny things Charley Weaver and Paul Lynde said. You want to hear them?
A. Yes! A large number of the zingers you'll find on this site were actually emailed to me by fans. I'll put many of them up. Feel free to share any other memories of watching the show, too, I am putting them on yet another page.
Q. Okay, so who was that Oscar-winning Western actor who was caught sleeping in his square during a 1960s taping?
A. According to Backstage With the Original Hollywood Square by Peter Marshall, it was Jack Palance. (Michael Landon had to wake him up.) This was 15-20 years before those one-armed pushups on the Oscars telecast, when he got Best Supporting Actor for "City Slickers." (This was apparently on some trivia quiz, that's why the heavy interest by the many who emailed me!)
Q. Why don't you have more material (zingers, etc) on the Bergeron version than what precious little you have on the Square Sequels pages? Ditto the Davidson version...
A. Because that would defeat the whole point of this particular site, devoted to what I believe to be the greatest version of the Hollywood Squares ever. I don't want the Sequels pages to become some kind of monstrous "sub-sites" of their own.
Q. That list of the people who appeared on the Marshall and Bauman, Marshall and Davidson, etc. versions...are you going to list the people who appeared on the Davidson and Bergeron, Bauman and Bergeron, Bauman and Davidson, etc. versions?
A. No, my only interest is the people who appeared during the Marshall years and made later appearances on any of the three revivals. (Sorry, Brad Garrett.)
Q. You have Joe Blow listed on the Marshall and Davidson versions, but I know for a fact he appeared on the Bergeron version during the next-to-last week of 1999. What's the deal? Hate to nitpick, but...
A. That's okay, in fact it's great! That list is incomplete and not definitive (though I and others have triple-checked it against complete logs for the Bauman and Davidson versions and the database on the Bergeron version's website.) I consider it a "semi-final" list, but I encourage anyone who knows more than is indicated on that list to contact me about it, preferably with documentation. (That's how we found the first two winners in the "all four versions" sweepstakes, Jimmie Walker and Tom Poston.) Thanks for doing so!
Q. Are you sure the show was always in color? I swear I've seen a couple of black and white episodes.
A. You probably have. But still, the show was always broadcast in color from its October 17, 1966 debut on NBC, which was touting itself as "The Full Color Network" at the time. The 1965 Bert Parks pilot was shot in black and white but never aired in its entirety. There is a 1967 episode which I have (pics from it are on the site) that is in black and white. But that's because in those days, color videotape was so new, so rare and so expensive it was actually cheaper to make copies in black and white film. That's what this was, for all practical purposes, a cheap dub of the studio master. The actual show was broadcast in May 1967 in living color on NBC, peacock and all. (In fact, another copy turned up of that episode not long ago, and it has all original commercials and even the peacock, all still in black and white!)
Q. Yeah, well the Internet Movie Database says you're a liar on the color thing.
A. Well, they're wrong. I have heavy research and documentation on my side. So nyeh.
Q. I used to work at a TV station and the other day they threw out a bunch of old tapes but I saved them. A bunch of them have old Squares episodes on them, in fact I think one is the premiere! Would you be interested?
A. You are my new best friend. Contact me immediately.
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