Series / Truth or Consequences
that originally aired in 1940 as an NBC
Radio program with its creator, Ralph Edwards, as host. A decade later, it moved to television, first on CBS
from 1950-54, then back to NBC from 1954-65. The show also had three runs on syndication: one from 1966-75 and two short-lived ones in 1977-78 and 1987.
Contestants on the show were asked silly trick questions which they almost invariably failed to answer correctly. If they answered incorrectly, or failed to come up with any answer in a short time, Beulah the Buzzer went off. The host then told them that since they had failed to tell the truth, they would have to pay the consequences. Consequences consisted of elaborate stunts, some done in the studio and others done outside, some completed on that week's episode and others taking a week or more and requiring the contestant to return when the stunt was completed. Some of the stunts were funny, but more often they were also embarrassing, and occasionally they were sentimental (as when long-separated relatives were reunited within the context of the stunt).
The show was popular enough that the town of Hot Springs, New Mexico renamed itself
after the show in 1950 as part of a publicity stunt.Truth or Consequences
was one the first game shows to be broadcast on television, with an experimental broadcast on WNBT's first day on July 1, 1941. The show returned to the small screen as a prime-time series in 1950 with Edwards as host before being replaced by Jack Bailey
in 1954 upon return to NBC. The prime-time series ended in September 1956, then was relaunched as a daytime series in December with Bob Barker
as host. Another prime-time version aired simultaneously with the daytime version on NBC from December 1957 to June 1958 with Steve Dunne as host.
Barker stayed on for the rest of the NBC run and for the entire 1966-75 syndicated run. Bob Hilton hosted the second syndicated run and comic Larry Anderson hosted the third one.
The 1950 Looney Tunes
short The Ducksters
parodies this show (as "Truth or AAAAAAAAAHHH!!!"), with Daffy Duck
and Porky Pig
as the sadistic host and hapless contestant respectively.
- Game Show Appearance: Superman appeared on the radio version (Bud Collyer was the show's announcer).
- Game Show Host: Ralph Edwards hosted the original radio version and the CBS run of the TV show. Jack Bailey, of Queen for a Day infamy, replaced him when the show returned to NBC in 1954 until Bob Barker came along in 1956. Barker, Bob Hilton and Larry Anderson hosted the syndicated versions and Steve Dunne hosted the 1957-58 nighttime version.
- Studio Audience
- Progressive Jackpot: The probable originator with the "Mrs. Hush" contest. See Trivia page for further details.
This show provides examples of: