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Hollywood Squares
by Billy Ingram

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The Hollywood Squares


Where else could you see a galaxy of entertaining stars in the morning? After Hollywood Squares became so popular lots of star studded game shows started springing up.

hollywood squares tv showPaul Lynde was the center square on The Hollywood Squares. Everyone believed that he came up with those witty comments off the top of his head. Not most of the time, there were answers provided to him, he just didn't know what the question would be until host Peter Marshall asked.

Lynde was joined over the years by regulars Charley Weaver, Rose Marie, Wally Cox, George Gobel and John Davidson - guest-stars on the big Tic-Tac-Toe board included literally hundreds of TV and movie stars (the great and near-great).George Gobel- Hollywood Squares

Peter Marshall: If you find someone lying unconscious in the street, should you do anything?

George Gobel: I'd probably crawl around him I guess.

hollywood squaresDID YOU KNOW: There was a prime-time version of the show that served as the mid-season replacement for 'Accidental Family' on Friday nights after 'Star Trek' in January, 1968. The primetime version was cancelled in the fall of 1968, but returned the next summer for a few weeks.

Peter Marshall, host of Hollywood Squares in the 1970sNBC also ran a kiddie variation of this game called Storybook Squares that aired from January to August, 1969 on Saturday mornings, with youngsters competing for fabulous toys with the 9 guest stars dressed as fanciful storybook characters. It was not successful but loads of fun.

Here's a rare audio clip - seven minutes of a 1970 daytime telecast. The quality is terrible, but that's all there is!

Peter Marshall: Charley, you've just decided to grow strawberries. Are you going to get any during your first year?

Charley Weaver: Of course not, Peter. I'm too busy growing strawberries!

For some reason, when I think of summer I think of The Hollywood Squares. I guess that's when I had the opportunity to watch it growing up. Here are some uncensored outtakes from the star-studded morning show.

Storybook Squares by Kevin S. Butler

'Storybook Squares' was a kid's version of The Hollywood Squares. (Sir) Peter Marshall and his Town Crier (Sir) Kenny Williams (the show's announcer) would introduce well known performers playing characters from kid's stories, from history. and from popular TV shows and movies.

EG: Soupy Sales as King Henry the VIII and Tom A. Edison, the late Bob Crane as Col. Hogan, Wally Cox as Paul Revere and Davy Crockett, Rose Marie as Pocahontas and Annie Oakley, Jim Backus as Mr. Magoo and Thurston Howell the III, Judy Carne as Little Miss Muffett, etc.

Two young contestants - a little Miss Circle and a little Mr. X - pick a star from the panel and that star is asked a question. The Storybook star had to try and give a correct answer to Sir Peter's question; the kids decided whether or not to agree or disagree with the star. The contestant who was able to get the most correct answers from the storybook stars in a row (similar to the game of Tic Tac Toe) won toy prizes and a trip for the family to a popular vacation spot.

The Storybook Squares also had a Secret Square segment.

The Storybook Squares only lasted one season on NBC TV's Saturday morning schedule. The concept returned years later as a special holiday edition of Hollywood Squares.

classic tv blog / peter marshallSince I brought it up in an earlier post, Kevin Butler writes: "There was a prime time edition of The Hollywood Squares that ran on Friday nights during the late-1960s. Peter Marshall, who hosted weekday morning version of the program, MC'd the prime time NBC TV network edition of the series as well.

"Most of the daytime stars appeared on the nighttime edition too but it was not a big hit and only lasted two seasons. The Hollywood Squares didn't return to nighttime until 1972, in national syndication. There was also a Peter Marshall syndicated nighttime version in the 1980s and Tom Bergeron's version. Of these, I prefer the Peter Marshall editions of the show."

Peter Marshall was one of those game show hosts that became so associated with the game that he probably wasn't in the running for other hosting gigs after his version of Squares went off the air in 1983 and the producers decided that the next incarnation of the show should have a new host, John Davidson. The combination of big name stars available for a day's taping and Peter Marshall's good-natured personality is what made Hollywood Squares an institution on NBC's daytime schedule during the late-1960s and 1970s. It really seemed like he was having fun up there and that shone through the screen.

For good measure, here are some of those funniest game show moments including a couple from Squares:

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