1980s: Announcer Jay Stewart (who also modeled on occasion) once wore fruit and what appeared to be whipped cream on an immense hat. Jim, walking over, dipped his finger into the cream and took a lick...but discovered that it was actually shaving cream.
1980s: On one episode, Jim was getting ready to introduce the contestants when the lights went out on the set. Without missing a beat, he said something to the effect of "And now we'll introduce (lights go out) the man who will pay for our electric bill, then we'll get the hell out of here." note (Normally, Jim introduced the returning champion at the start of the program and Summer Bartholomew introduced the two challengers.)
1984: This exchange...
Jim: In the children's nursery rhyme, "The Farmer in the Dell", what stands alone? (Bill buzzes in) Bill. Bill: His wife. (buzzer) Jim: Only if the cheese was very, very old.
The five models, who held cards meant to spell out "H-A-W-A-II", were in fact spelling out MAAH=.
Despite having a $45 lead, and never having been to Hawaii before, Alice refused as Jim laid down cash on her podium — $100, then $300. Following a "Going once...going twice...", he stopped himself and laid down another $200 for a total of $500. Her last refusal drove him to tears as he threw to a commercial break.
When the show returned from commercial, Jim (having regained his composure) began wondering "If I had offered her $19,200....$19,300.....", and THEN Alice jokingly made the "buzz-in" gesture, causing Jim to go on another rant and jokingly calling her a "cruel lady".
April 8, 1985 (nighttime): On Alice's last episode (begins about 12 minutes in), her last Instant Bargain was a $1,590 Mexican cruise for $15. Before even giving her a chance to say "no", Jim frantically dug out all the cash in his pockets — a staggering $2,000 — and put it in crumples on Alice's podium.
Jim: Let me ask my Greek Chorus over here... (makes conductor gestures at the audience) Audience: TAKE THE BARGAIN!
After Alice refused, Jim nonchalantly said "Of course, she never buys." and started to walk off before realizing he had left the $2,000 on Alice's podium, then ran back yelling "Gimme my money!"
1985 (nighttime): A similar moment to the MAAH= blooper happened when, during the last Instant Bargain, Summer and the four models were holding up cards, trying to spell out "A-R-U-B-A", but the one of the models flipped over the wrong side, causing it to read ARUUA before correcting herself.
Jim: A trip to Aruba, or as Karen would say..."ARURU".
1985 (nighttime): At the end of another Instant Bargain, Summer couldn't get off the turntable quickly enough. When the Sale Surprise bell rang, she had to hand Jim the envelope from behind the Fame Game board.
November 28, 1985 (nighttime): An Instant Bargain featured a less-than-cooperative robot.
1987: This bit from International Invitational Tournament Finals...
Jim: What do you call the Japanese poem of 17...(Tim Holleran buzzes in) Tim? Tim Holleran: Uh...(buzzer)...MiyoshiUmeki! (audience loses it) Jim: ...17 syllables that almost always refer to the season of the year? It's either Miyoshi Umeki or haiku.
December 1988: On another occasion, Summer forgot the "Sale Surprise" envelope, so Jim had to ask the producer what the surprise was worth note ($600, coming out of a certain lovely brunette's salary).
March 24, 1989: From the final episode...
Jim: In 1955, a longtime rivalry came to an end when the AFL merged with...(JohnRambo buzzes in) John? John:The NFL. (buzzer) Jim: No, no! The AFL merged with what other trade union? The CIO.
Nicholas Parsons (UK, 1972-83)
8 January 1973: Parsons harking around prizes to a contestant named Elisabeth. While his ham-like delivery would put it here, it kinda loses its comedic edge when you realize he's basically yelling at a woman who doesn't have enough money to buy anything.
"Would you like to own a mink coat, Elisabeth? WOULD YOU LIKE TO OWN A MINK COAT, ELISABETH?!"
Tony Barber (Australia, 1980-91)
13 May 1981: As then-hostess Victoria Nicholls describes a makeup table for the Gift Shop, she asks a nearby stagehand to get the powder for her. He then comes in carrying two giant powder applicators and whacks Victoria with them, completely covering her face in powder.
"In rhyming slang, which article of clothing does a Cockney call his 'Dirty Dicky'? (realizes his mistake) Let me put that another way—in rhyming slang, what does a Cockney call his 'Dicky Dirt'?"
25 June 1984: In perhaps the show's most famous blooper, Tony Barber is hit on the head by the lowering safe as the Cash Jackpot ($66,000) is introduced.
August 1985: During the "Australia vs. USA Challenge" Finals, Alice Conkwright (representing the USA) buzzes in early on this question, leading to Tony cracking up.
Tony: In the familiar tale from the Arabian Knights... (Alice buzzes in) USA, Alice. Alice:Sinbad the Sailor. (buzzer) Tony: No. (loses it after looking at the card again) What did Aladdin rub in order to summon the Genie?
April 1986: Daphne Fowler (then Daphne Hudson) buzzing in at inopportune moments (such as after a question had already been answered) multiple times throughout the Ashes.
15 April 1986: Tony loses it again in another international tournament, this one being the UK/Australia "Ashes", when British player Alan Dargan asks for the poofternote (British/Australian slang for "homosexual", considered to be offensive)Boy George in the Fame Game. Even Pete Smith chuckles a bit during the prize description. (Just so you know, the offensive word was bleeped in broadcast.)
14 November 1986: Tony, wearing a golf cap, offers to lower the price to $5 on a set of golf clubs in the Gift Shop if he could hit a golf ball through the giant Shopping door. He does, so why is it here? Because it sounds like he breaks something when he makes the shot.
2 March 1987: Tony and two male models pretend to be the Three Amigos in a Gift Shop segment.
Tony: Whenever there is injustice... Model #1: ...whenever there is misery... Model #2: ...whenever there is hatefulness... Tony: There you will find us, for we are the Three...Amigos!
29 June 1993: Heat 1 of the Comedy Special, with one of the contestants being Jane Kennedy of "The Late Show". This particular episode was the focus of a Late Show sketch where former Sale host Tony Barber assisted two of Jane's Late Show colleagues, Mick Molloy and Jason Stephens, in an attempt to help her win via a hidden earpiece. She ultimately lost, and she angrily gave them the board game she got for participating.Here's the complete sketch.
Livinia not-so-sneakily hitting the "What's Good for You" buzzer to get them to buy the first Gift Shop. Dr. Andrew Rochford and Giaan Rooney protested, since they didn't actually buzz-in, but Livinia defended her actions, stating that it was for charity. Tony, after consulting the judge via the Temptation Hotline, allowed the sale, throwing in $500 cash as well.
Tony telling the "What's Good For You" team that they could take $15 (as opposed to the usual $5) from the Temptation team after uncovering the Burglar in the Fame Game, to Ed and Livinia's protest, then saying that he only did that to scare them.
Livinia using the headbutt to buzz-in at the Vault.