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Series / Wait Til You Have Kids

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Jay Wolpert Game Show for the network formerly known as The Family Channel, hosted by Tom Parks. It was effectively a revival of Chuck Barris' The Parent Game with that trademark Wolpert unconventionality (not only did Wolpert work for Barris at the time, but Parent creator Gary Jonke served as producer on this show). However, unlike most Wolpert shows, at least the game was relatively simple.

Three couples were given a scenario with three possible outcomes; for example, "Your 18-year old son has become interested in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Do you...

  • A. Embrace his new interest,
  • B. Warn him that ponies are for girls, or
  • C. Force-feed G.I. Joe down his throat instead?"

The three couples indicated their answer with alphabet blocks (yes, those things; the kind babies play with and adults use to rank the prices of three items in ascending order), and explained why they chose that particular answer. The couples earned points if their answer matched up with that of an onstage parenting expert. The first question was worth just a single point, but each following question was worth one point more than the one before it. The final question, worth four points, was answered individually by both members of the couple, and they could both score.

The top-scoring couple advanced to a bonus round, where they had 60 seconds to alternate guessing whether a certain scenario was okay or a problem at the specified age, as determined by the expert. Each correct answer lit up a window in a giant (CGI) house, and getting all seven awarded a grand prize, which often featured a vacation (or in later episodes, a new car).


The series debuted on September 30, 1996, but tapings were halted after the November 22 show when it was discovered that the parenting "expert", Dr. Ellen Winters, had questionable credentials — both parents and parenting experts alike had been questioning a large number of Winters' choices for the various scenarios (among which were considering a girl liking G.I. Joe figures to be a "problem"). The show was yanked off the air for five weeks, returning on December 30 with not only a new expert (radio personality Dr. Marilyn Kagan, who among other things is an actual psychologist) but also a slight shift in tone — among other things, the set (which was previously designed to look like a living room drawn with crayons) was made to look more realistic, and a lot of the extraneous Wolpert sound effects were either toned down or cutout altogether.


Unfortunately, these changes only kept the show alive for a month, ending on January 31, 1997.

Game Show Tropes in use:

  • Bonus Round: Match the expert on seven scenarios as "problems" or "OK" in 60 seconds to win.
  • Golden Snitch: The "1-2-3" format was used for scoring, but more than one couple could earn points per question. Even worse, a single couple could earn eight points on the final question.
  • Losing Horns: Originally, there were three — a one-note horn for nobody getting a question right in the main game, and a stock foghorn followed by a standard theme-tune variation for a bonus loss. When the show took the more "serious" tone for its final month, the one from the front game was removed (as were most of the other sounds), and the bonus loss sound was changed to a series of standard buzzers followed by a barely audible effect of someone "sliding down the keys" on a piano, and even this was buried in the Theme Tune reprise.
  • Personnel:
  • Sudden Death: If the game was tied at the end of the final round, problem/OK questions similar to those in the bonus round were asked until one couple was right to the exclusion of the other tied couple(s).
  • Think Music: Again in the vein of several other Wolpert shows, a piece involving Truck Driver's Gear Change and alternating notes that played on each second was used during the Bonus Round.

This series provides examples of:

  • Shout-Out: A possible subtle one to Whew! (another Wolpert creation); if the bonus round was lost, "TIME'S UP" was displayed on the game podium; this could be a reference to the snarky "Time's uuuuupppp!" sound featured on that show.


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