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 "And now we'll introduce (lights go out) the guy who will pay the bill for the lights, and then we'll get the fuck 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.
February 6, 1985 (nighttime): From John Goss's Lot win, one of the challengers jumps in early on this question...
Jim: On the banks of which famous river stand... (Chip buzzes in) Chip? Chip: The Hudson? (buzzer) Jim:Vienna, Budapest, and Belgradeare all on the Hudson...no, they're on the Danube. You lose $5. John didn't mind that at all.
February 27, 1985 (nighttime): This Instant Bargain from Helaine Lowry's final night. Helaine is obviously going for everything, while Karin is trying to become champion herself.
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, this happened...
Jim (having regained his composure, counting off $100 bills): If I had offered her $19,200...$19,300...(Alice does the "buzz-in" gesture)...oh, NOW?! You know, Alice, everybody in the audience said they would have that trip except you?! Back with this (the game)! You're a cruel lady, Alice Conkwright!
April 3, 1985 (syndicated): On Alice's third episode, there were three noteworthy moments (besides one of her opponents being former Tic-Tac-Dough champion Pieter DeVries, whom the show misspelled as "Peter")...
First, in the second Instant Bargain, which was a ladies' ring (normal price—$1,350, $ale price—$12) that Summer personally brought to Alice's podium. Alice tried the ring on, which caused Jim to tease that if she wore it, she bought it. Despite Jim offering $500 cash in addition to the ring, Alice turned them both down.
In the immediate question afterward...
Jim: In the 17th century, what European nation was ruled by a rebel leader...(Alice buzzes in)...Alice? Alice: Uh...(buzzer)...Queen Victoria. Jim: A rebel leader named Oliver Cromwell (who) wore a big ring with $500...England.
Then, in the third and final Instant Bargain (an electronic organ normally prized at $1,995, on $ale for $16), Jim literally got on his knees in front of Alice's podium and offered her $800 cash in addition to the organ. After Alice's refusal, Jim facefaulted before throwing a little tantrum while throwing to commercial.
April 8, 1985 (syndicated): 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!"
April 16, 1985 (syndicated): At the end of the first 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.
1985 (syndicated): 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".
November 28, 1985 (syndicated): 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 23, 1988: On one Instant Bargain, 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 AFLnote (American Federation of Labor) merged with what other trade union? The CIOnote (Congress of Industrial Organizations).
Nicholas Parsons (UK, 1971-83)
8 January 1972: Parsons harking around prizes to a contestant named Elizabeth. 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.note (For the record, she only had twenty-nine quid to spend at the Sale.)
"Would you like to own a mink coat, Elizabeth? WOULD YOU LIKE TO OWN A MINK COAT, ELIZABETH?!"
Tony Barber (Australia, 1980-91)
22 October 1982: On Victoria Nicholls' last day as hostess, she gets whacked in the face with two giant powder applicators by a stagehand during a Gift Shop segment.
"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.
3 July 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!
28 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.