"From the Chuck Barris stages in Hollywood, California... here come the newlyweds!"Game Show
that sent Bob Eubanks to stardom. This Chuck Barris
production debuted in 1966 on ABC
, coinciding with a pre-emption of CBS
' then-popular Password
. Four couples, all married for less than two years, answered questions that bordered on the bawdy. In the first round, the wives predicted their husbands' answers, and the second round reversed the roles.
Some modern viewers know the show best for Eubanks' supposedly Unusual Euphemism
for sexual intercourse, "whoopie". This impression is probably due to modern viewers' Small Reference Pools
, since the euphemism was very well-known in the 1970s — it comes from a 1920s pop tune that was covered more than 300 times between 1930 and 1975. It was only when the popularity of the euphemism faded in the 1980s that Eubanks' use of it became notable.
At the end of the show, the couple with the most points won a prize that had been selected just for them. In truth, each Newlywed Game
couple declared in advance which prize they wanted to win, and each episode featured four couples who had chosen the same prize.
Carnie Wilson was the original host of the current Newlywed Game
, which debuted in 2009; she was replaced by The View
's Sherri Shepherd in 2010. It was announced in September 2009 that the show would start featuring same-sex couples. Among its roster have been celebrities such as George Takei
of Star Trek
(Nobody over 50 Is Gay
, indeed!), Davy Jones of The Monkees
, and Christopher Knight of The Brady Bunch
- Bonus Round: The 25-point Bonus Question during the classic Eubanks years (originally 35 points). There was also a bonus round for Season 1 of the GSN version, where the winning couple faced off against a "Goldywed" couple for an extra prize.
- Double The Dollars: In a way with Round 2, where questions were worth 10 points
- The Announcer: Scott Beach announced on the earliest episodes, followed by Johnny Jacobs, and finally Tony McClay. Rod Roddy announced on the 1984 version, followed by Bob Hilton for part of the 1985-89 version and Charlie O'Donnell for at least the latter part of the same era. Los Angeles DJ "Ellen K." announced the 1996 version. The 2000s version was announced by Brad Aldous, then Randy West, then Gary Kroeger.
- Game Show Host: Bob Eubanks is the best known. Jim Lange hosted a week-long attempt in 1984, Paul Rodriguez for part of the 1988-89 season, and Gary Kroeger for the 1996-97 season. Carnie Wilson was the original host of the current version, followed by Sherri Shepherd.
- Studio Audience
This show provides examples of:
- Crossover: Crossed over with The Dating Game in the 1990s.
- A Day in the Limelight: Played with on a 1978 episode where announcer Tony McClay walked out at the top of the show and began to carry on with the show as if Bob were absent — until Bob walked out and tapped Tony on the shoulder.
- Die Hard on an X: The NBC game I'm Telling! was basically The Newlywed Game for kids.
- The ESPN game Teammates was The Newlywed Game for professional athletes.
- And The Neighbors was The Newlywed Game for... neighbors.
- Failure Is the Only Option: A lot of questions seemed to be written intentionally to get a husband and wife to have a fight before bed that night. It became a running gag among the fandom of just how many couples who appeared on the show didn't make it past those two years.
- To give an example, any question about the wife's body shape, which one of her family members the husband would want to have an affair with, which of her friends he'd most like to disappear, etc. On the other end, a Sherry-era question asked wives through pizza euphemism to describe their husband's endowment: medium mushroom, large pepperoni, or extra-large sausage. Naturally all the husbands said extra-large sausage, and two of them got it right, but one wife said "medium mushroom" because "We don't allow pork in our house."
- Freudian Slip: At least twice, Bob said "25 point boner question" instead of "bonus".
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: While numerous "damns" and "hells" were uttered throughout the show's history, probably the most famous instance of profanity was bleeped ... and it also provided the most famous answer in the show's history. The question: "What's the wierdest place you've ever had the urge to make whoopie?" to which a husband named Hank responded, "On the freeway" (which got laughs and remarks from Bob). No one was prepared for what Hank's wife, Olga would answer: "In the ass" (with the profanity bleeped). Cue the uproarious laughter and Bob trying to clarify the question (a location, not a body part), but Olga persisted wth her answer.
- For years, Bob (as well as producer Chuck Barris) denied that the incident had occurred, leading to speculation that it was all an Urban Legend, and others insisting that a wildly different version of the incident (the answer always involving a synonym or euphanism for sodomy) had taken place, and had either aired or had never made it to air (the offending question replaced and the second round re-taped). Finally, during a 2002 game show bloopers special, Bob finally admitted that the incident took place and provided the footage. Incidentally, the episode featuring the "in the ass" response — a "maternity day" episode — had aired several times on Game Show Network (GSN). (And for what it's worth — Hank and Olga won the episode, and took home nursery furniture, a set of encyclopedias and a washer-dryer.)
- Have a Gay Old Time: A question asked of the women in the "Bunker" episode was "My husband is a closet ____". Made even better when Pat Berg — a sedate, conservative lady in her 50s who looked a whole lot like Edith Bunker — replied "queen".
- Real Song Theme Tune: It's an instrumental arrangement of "Summertime Guy". Eddie Rambeau was to have sung it on American Bandstand but was told he couldn't because Barris, who composed the song, was then working for ABC.
- The Paul Rodriguez version used "The Book of Love" as its Theme Tune from the second episode onward, complete with Synchro-Vox applied to pictures of early 20th-century married couples.
- Shout-Out: When he appeared on The Hollywood Squares in 2003, Eubanks was given the question "Married couples spend an average of 800 hours doing what?" and answered with "I was going to say making whoopie, but she's no longer on the show, is she?"
- Unusual Euphemism: "Whoopie".