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Funny / Match Game

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  • From the original 1962 pilot, the question was, "Name a big dog." All of the contestants named a large breed of dog while Peggy Cass wrote "Lassie." Everybody lost it.
  • May 19, 1973: Even Pilot A had several of these. One that stands out in particular is a Deadpan Snarker moment from Dawson himself:
    Gene: [after Dawson said something in French] He speaks French! You spoke French!
    Richard: Yes, I was in Paris during the war. I was in the army.
    Gene: On our side?
    Richard: [beat] No, I was a Japanese nurse.
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  • 1973: A contestant in the Head-to-Head match has the phrase "Marriage _____". The contestant picks "marriage certificate"; the chosen celebrity says "marriage go-round", having misheard and thought Gene said "merry". The celebrity's answer is picked-on and joked about for the next three whole games by the other panelists.
  • An early episode in '73 had Jaye P. Morgan as a celebrity sitting next to Bert Convy. When she answered correctly, they had a technical problem where the light wouldn't go on for the contestant matching her. Jaye P. irritably said "I can't get turned on!" Cue Gene and Bert trading off comments of "Oh, we'll get you turned on" and a mock-kiss from Convy.
  • Pretty much every go-between between Brett and Charles. In one instance, while Brett was complaining about Charles' ugly sweater...
    • ...she absentmindedly wrote "Skiing" as her answer, which Charles was very quick to deride her for:
      Charles: This is a very sick lady! I think the nurse should come and take her!
  • There was once a PM question where Brett and Charles couldn't play because they had matched on the last question. As a result, Richard Dawson impersonated Brett and Fannie Flagg impersonated Charles, to much derision from the real Charles and Brett.
    • Dawson and Betty White had done the same thing about a year earlier, but Fannie's Charles impersonation was the highlight of the whole thing.
  • Gene Rayburn's occasional mock fights with the cameramen are hilarious, especially in one January 1980 instance where one decided to whack Gene on the head with the camera!
  • Almost everything involving Gene, especially his entrances (like running around the studio, or breaking down the doors). Also notable is when he climbed over the audience to reach Camera 5.
  • On one occasion, Brett's answer obviously did not match the contestant's, but Brett barked "Don't you dare buzz me!" at Ira Skutch (the judge) before revealing her answer. When she did, Skutch gave her answer a sound which resembled a raspberry. It cracked her up.
  • One unaired moment had Gene committing a Freudian Slip when introducing contestant Karen Lesko:
    Gene: ...and with a great deal of pleasure, we introduce Karen Lesko. Hi, Karen. You know John.
    Karen: Yes, I do.
    Gene: Doesn't she have pretty nipples... uh, uh, pretty dimples there? [audience applauds for about twenty seconds] This woman has very pretty dimples in her cheeks, doesn't she?
  • When a contestant was picking celebrities for the Audience Match:
    Contestant: I haven't tried Betty yet.
    Gene: I've tried Betty.
    • Followed by Betty's real-life husband (Password host Allen Ludden) storming down from the top row in mock-rage.
  • The "Admiral (Blank)" incident.
    • It starts off innocuously enough with Brett being the contestant's first selection: Admiral (Richard Evelyn) Byrd. The contestant then selects Richard...
      Richard: Present!note  What did you say?
      Gene: I said "Admiral (blank)".
      Richard: That's very good. Anything else you want to say to me?
    • Having known Richard long enough to know his patterns, Gene suggests Richard has drawn a blank, but demands an answer immediately. However, Richard rebuts Gene with this:
      Richard: I can give you a million of them—Halsey, Perry, I can give you all those. I'm trying to think of a good one. Admiral... color television! Might be a winner. Don't think I've ever drawn a blank.
      Gene: Now, you kidding me? Is that your answer, "Admiral color television"?
      Richard: I happen to think that Byrd is the winning answer, so I'm now giving another choice.
    • The contestant selects Charles last, whose response, The Admiral & the Lady, draws boos from the audience. Having heard the three choices, "Byrd" is the one selected. Richard wants the contestant to remember what he told her, as his face shows nervousness. The $100 response: "Halsey."
      Richard: Didn't I mention him? Worth every penny.
    • The $250 response: "Byrd", which scores a match. Things then go haywire.
      Gene: All right, audience, what do you think is under the big one?
      Audience: (in unison) TV!
      Gene: Admiral TV? Now, don't embarrass me! I don't want Richard to be right on this thing.
    • Richard puts up a dollar's wager that "TV" winds up being the top answer. The $500 reveal is delayed, mainly because Gene's giving stagehand Earl time to change the top response if it's TV—which happens to be the $500 audience response.
      Gene: EARL! YOU'RE FIRED! Pick up your hammer and your saw and your nails, and get out of here, Earl!
      Richard: Earl! (gives Earl the dollar he had wagered) God bless you, my boy!
  • Gary Burghoff was late one day due to not setting his alarm clock for Daylight Savings Time, so Johnny Olson filled his place. During the usual showing of the stars at the beginning of the show, the camera cuts to Johnny in Gary's place, reading off the cue cards; for himself, he announces "me, Johnny Olson".
  • January 21, 1975: "Betty White said, 'I have the smartest dog in the world. He loves to watch television and when he sees Allen Ludden, he (blank)s the set.'" The contestant matches four celebrities with "tinkles on".
  • January 6, 1976: During Super Match, the contestant is given "Fog (blank)". Sadly, the contestant struggled on an answer, before choosing "Cloud", not "Horn", which was Richard Dawson's answer. Afterwards, Charles Nelson Reilly informs everyone that fellow panelist Marvin Hamlisch had just written a song called "Fog Cloud", which he performs.
  • 1977: An incident where Dawson insisted he said "Ate" instead of what he pulled out, which was in the question. His protests eventually led to Skutch pulling out something that was usually not heard on Match Game — a foghorn sound typically used on The Price Is Right.
  • June 26, 1978 (daytime): The first spin of the Star Wheel. Not only did it land on Dawson to the panel's dismay, but even Dawson himself got up and left with the rest of the panel.
    • Earlier, Dawson joked that if the player landed on the star markings on the wedges, "Chuck Woolery comes out and punches you in the mouth."
  • August 11, 1978 (daytime): The $250-answer for the Super Match of "Jockey (blank)": Strap.
  • October 1979 (daytime): Cuckoo, Friend, and Ollie.
  • On one episode, Gene got fed up with Charles Nelson Reilly's snark and forced him to take over as host.
  • Charles Nelson Reilly once made his entrance by commandeering one of the contestant's seats. McLean Stevenson also pulled this in '74.
    McLean's card: Out for Surgery.
  • Gary Burghoff's impression of a Price is Right contestant.
  • Unfortunate Implications abound:
    Gene: At Sir Irving's knighting, the queen slipped with her sword, so instead of being knighted, Sir Irving was blanked (the card was clearly hinting for "gored")
    Contestant Ron Curry: Uh, Bar-Mitzvahed.
    (Gene, the celebrity panel, and the audience erupt into laughter)
  • On one episode, while a retired female challenger was being introduced, the following exchange occurred, which sent Gene and the panel into hysterics:
    Gene: Now, we welcome you and ask you to tell us about yourself.
    Contestant: I live in Orange County... I'm retar— I mean retired...
  • September 1980: A heated argument over the success of the Shogun miniseries results in Charles smacking Gene with an answer card. Gene puts on an act and can be heard mumbling, "That son of a bitch really hit me!" McLean Stevenson "takes over" as host and reads the next question while an annoyed Gene sits in McLean's spot. Order is restored before the Super Match.
  • On one of the Bert Convy pilots for the 1990's revival, Teri Copley becomes hesitant to show her answer for something cannibals would bob for instead of apples, right after Marsha Warfield answered the same question with "boobs".note  While this clip did end up getting into a blooper special, the entire pilot was played by GSN during a special Christmas Day marathon in 2012.
  • What happens when you know the show's nearing its conclusion? Everyone loses their minds. Note a callback to the "School Riot".
  • Rondell Sheridan's response to a certain topic card blank.
  • April 18, 1991: Ross Shafer trips and falls down the stairs during the opening, and plays it up for the rest of the show.
  • Unknown Episode: "Mean Marvin the athlete is really mean. (How mean is he?) Yesterday he used his cat as a blank. The answers were pretty standard, football and baseball bat, except for Charles Nelson Reilly who said jockstrap.
  • Unknown Episode: The bonus round had _ Mary. When the 100 dollar (Virgin) was revealed, Charles Nelson Reilly, who gave the answer, said "They always finish last".
  • A contestant singing a song about the show, to the tune of "The Caissons Go Rolling Along".
  • June 26, 2016: One of the contestants states that she eats Double Stuf Oreos in a bowl like cereal for breakfast, which becomes the butt of jokes several times; Baldwin suggests a helping of "Double Stuf Kale", while a panelist who clearly had no idea what to fill a blank with answered with "Double Stuf Oreos" instead.
  • July 10, 2016: In the Head-to-Head, the contestant had to exactly match with Rosie O'Donnell with "Spare _____". After discussing with Pete Wentz, Rosie locked-in her answer. When contestant guessed "Tire", Pete immediately pumped up his arms and shouted "YEAH!" well before Rosie could reveal what she wrote. Realizing what he just did, he then sheepishly said, "No," and tried to walk off the stage before Rosie had him reveal the card for her. Seriously, the look of embarrassment on his face is priceless.
    Alec Baldwin: Pete Wentz, everyone! The perfect person to plan your surprise party.
  • April 23, 2017: "Little Red Riding Hood knew the wolf had eaten her grandmother, because his breath smelled like _____". What came out of the contestant's mouth had Alec literally on the floor.note 
  • February 21, 2018: "Veronica said, 'My husband has a move he likes to do in bed called Baking the Cake. It's different every time, but I always end up covered in (blank).' " To merely read the contestant's answer and everyone's reaction to said answer wouldn't do it justice, so just watch.


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