The "Couch Potato" Spud
Somewhere between hosting Nickelodeon
's Double Dare
and Food Network
, Marc Summers found time to host this 1989 syndicated Game Show
celebrating all things television.
Two teams of three people played, each named after an actual show ("Get Smart
", "The A-Team
") or a variation of one ("Bosom Buds", "The M*A*S*Hed 'Taters"). Marc asked a toss-up question worth 50 "Ratings Points", the team whose member correctly answered it then getting a chance to answer a series of three questions ether based on a specific series or on a genre of TV show. Each contestant on the team could only answer one of the three questions, if one incorrectly guessed or nobody buzzed-in, the other team got a chance to steal that question and any others left in the group. Once an Episode
, a television celeb rang the doorbell (the set was designed as an abstract living room) and enter to personally ask questions based on his/her show. Sometimes they walked right in, but other times they would enter in character (such as when Isabel Sanford came in delivering some dry cleaning or Norman Fell came in to complain about all the noise).
After four rounds of three questions apiece, the teams played the Couch-Up Round: two opponents had a face-to-face question as a graphic flashed 50, 100, 150, 200, and Couch Up. The team correctly answering the question would win the amount showing...but if the team behind got Couch Up and answered correctly, their score was immediately brought up to the level of their opponents. After six questions ("Twice down the couch" as Marc would say) the team in the lead won. The losing team got a "Canceled" graphic superimposed on them.
Acting as a Greek Chorus
to all this was show announcer Joe Alaskey, who played the "Wacky Neighbor
" in his own little abstract living room set. Some promotional material actually identified him as if his character was actually named Wacky Neighbor, although in-show his on-screen credit was just "Joe Alaskey as the Neighbor".
- Bonus Round: "Channel Roulette". A graphic with 12 spaces numbered 2–13 was shown. The team picked a "channel" and tried to identify a cast picture worth anywhere from $100 (easy pictures like The Beverly Hillbillies) to $1,000 (more obscure shows like Chopper One and Turn On). The team had 30 seconds to get $1,000 total in order to win $5,000... however, one channel was "Pay TV", which took away all of the team's money if they picked that channel and forced them to begin rebuilding toward the $1,000 goal.
- Consolation Prize: Called the "Cancellation Prize".
- Celebrity Edition: Among others, Game Show Hosts Week and Famous Moms Week. The former is notable for Peter Marshall appearing to plug 3rd Degree!, a series which was coming that Fall...except he was abruptly dismissed before it began taping and was replaced by Bert Convy.
- Game Show Winnings Cap: Champions could stay on for five days or until defeated.
- Golden Snitch: The "Couch-Up" round, which made all of your progress in the first part of the show moot if your opponent picked it and got the question right.
- Losing Horns: At some point after Jim McKrell took over as announcer, the time buzzer in the Channel Roulette round was a two-note horn similar to if you hit a Whammy on Press Your Luck. (Before that, it was the time-up buzzer from the main game.)
- Whammy: "Pay TV".
This show provides examples of:
- Follow the Leader: Aired while another TV trivia game show, Remote Control, was in its heyday and venturing into syndication itself.
- Could also count as Dueling Shows, especially given that Remote Control host Ken Ober gave Couch Potatoes a nice Take That during a "best of" marathon and accused the show of ripping them off.
- Once an Episode: A celebrity shows up to ask questions.