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Series / Child's Play

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Game Show that was Bill Cullen's last for CBS, in which a pair of contestants tried to guess words as described by another person. Rather than celebrity guests, however, the contestants had to guess the words based on descriptions given by children.

In the first round, a clip was shown of a child describing a word (with anything too incriminating bleeped out), and a contestant guessed. If they were wrong, their opponent was shown a clip of a different child describing the same word. If they too were wrong, it was passed back with one more clip. The second round, Fast Play, was similar, except that the contestants could now buzz in if they thought they knew the answer.

The show ran during the 1982-83 season, and was replaced by Press Your Luck.

Not to be confused with the charity or the slasher film series.


This show provides examples of:

  • Bonus Round:
    • The first bonus round was "Triple Play", in which the contestant had to identify words from 3 descriptions written by children.
    • On April 25, 1983, a new bonus round was introduced, known as "Turnabout"; it was essentially Pyramid with kids. The contestant now had to try and explain words to the kids, hoping they'll guess it.
  • Golden Snitch: Most of the points are earned through the Fast Play round so you wonder why they bother playing the first part of the game.
  • Obvious Beta: Among many other things, the May 11, 1982 pilots credit the show as "A Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Production". When the series landed, it was credited as "A Mark Goodson Television Production".
  • Sampling: The Theme Tune samples "London Bridge Is Falling Down" repeatedly.
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: Used in a unique way; whenever a child said the word the contestants were trying to guess, the censors would bleep it out and put an "OOPS!" sign over the child's mouth to prevent any potential lip-reading. Of course, if the kid actually cussed...
  • Advertisement:
  • Speed Round: "Fast Play", the entire second round.
  • Transatlantic Equivalent: A British version hosted by Michael Aspel ran on ITV from 7 January 1984 to 26 August 1988, which had the oddity of staying longer in the public consciousness for just over 70 episodes.