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13 Things We Learned About Classic Game Shows That Made Us Buzz In

April 7, 2021 6.9k votes 1.5k voters 106k views13 items

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Dating, trivia, celebrities, and even tests of strength and endurance have all been part of classic game shows over the decades. Many game shows have come and gone - long forgotten, if they were ever widely known at all. Some game shows, however, have stood the test of time, and even if they no longer air new episodes, can be found on cable or a streaming channel. Many of these shows have had some truly remarkable moments.

Facts about classic game shows - whether or not the programs are still on the air - can be fun, surprising, or even a bit disturbing. The game show tidbits here made it to the final round. 

  • 1

    The Last Surviving Witness Of President Lincoln's Assassination Appeared On 'I've Got a Secret' In 1956

    Video: YouTube

    More than 90 years after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, the last surviving witness of that event made a surprising appearance on the game show I've Got a Secret. Samuel J. Seymour was 96 years old when he answered questions from panelists.

    Seymour handled inquiries about whether his secret was a "pleasant thing" and if it had "political significance." The reveal was startling: As a 5-year-old, he sat in the balcony opposite Lincoln at Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865.

    Game-winning fact?
  • Photo: The $64,000 Question / CBS

    Dr. Joyce Brothers Upended Gender Stereotypes With Her Two Game Show Appearances

    Psychologist Joyce Brothers appeared on The $64,000 Question in 1955 and again on a spin-off series called The $64,000 Challenge in 1957. Producers decided they would ask Brothers questions on a topic she "shouldn't know about," such as "football or... horse racing or boxing." She agreed to tackle the subject of boxing, especially because her husband was a fan. 

    Brothers became a self-trained expert on boxing before she appeared on the show in 1955 and, as a result, won. She was the first woman and only the second person to triumph on the game show. Two years later, she returned to The $64,000 Challenge and won again. During her second outing, she outwitted seven former boxers and defied producers who, as she put it, tried to "knock me out" with extremely dificult questions. 

    Game-winning fact?
  • 3

    Mel Blanc Called Into 'Press Your Luck' To Correct The Host

    Actor Mel Blanc, known for voicing famous characters like Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig, had to correct the host of Press Your Luck on an episode in 1985. The host, Peter Tomarken, presented the contestants with a question about which cartoon character said the phrase "Sufferin' Succotash!"

    The contestants answered "Sylvester the Cat," which Tomarken corrected by telling them it was Daffy Duck. In a segment later in the show, Blanc and Tomarken spoke via telephone so Blanc could correct the host and tell him that "Sufferin' Succotash!" was, in fact, Sylvester's catchphrase

    Game-winning fact?
  • Photo: What's My Line? / CBS/Viacom/Fremantle

    President Lyndon Johnson Introduced The New White House Secretary On 'What's My Line?' 

    When Gerri Whittington appeared on What's My Line? in January 1964, she faced questions from the panel about her occupation. They asked her about the physical aspects of her job, whether or not she worked for the government, and the location of her position.

    Whittington's answers led to the big reveal that she was President Lyndon B. Johnson's personal secretary. The revelation was groundbreaking, with Whittington becoming the first African American to hold the position. 

    Game-winning fact?