You're Putting Me On
First episode: June 30, 1969
Last episode: December 26, 1969
Seen weekday afternoons 1:30-2:00 on NBC
Bill Leyden hosted this show, with three regular players: Our Bill, Larry Blyden, and Peggy Cass.
Three teams competed, each comprised of a regular and a guest star, and each playing for a member of the studio audience. Each team is spotted 100 points to start the game. Everyone sees a list of four celebrity names. One member of each team is secretly given one of those four names and must assume that person's identity as Leyden asks a series of personal questions. The player tries to answer as that celebrity through the round of questioning, and then the partner wagers up to half the team's points and guesses the identity.
During the show, each team played a round called Bonus Characters. Players would see names of celebrities and had 45 seconds to convey as many names to their partner as possible by giving any type of clue other than saying a name. Each correct guess added 20 points to the team's score.
The top-scoring team at the end of three rounds won $500. Second place earned $250.
Bill Cullen left the show after six weeks and his chair became a fourth guest seat. Starting on September 29, approximately halfway through the show's six-month run, Blyden took over as host. Bill returned the following week and stayed with the show for the final three months while Blyden's chair became another rotating position.
All-celebrity games never seem to click with the viewing public (witness Personality and Password All-Stars) and this oddity was no exception. It did, however, manage to draw a few exceptional names in its half year on the air, including Burt Reynolds, William Shatner and Eli Wallach.
The series itself appears to be lost. But the pilot, hosted by Broadway and soap veteran Ron Husmann, is available for viewing at The Paley Center in New York and Beverly Hills. (The picture above is also from that pilot.) In the pilot, Bill, Betsy Palmer and Larry Blyden were the "regular" panelists and in one round, they even played with civilian contestants.
The series is almost certainly lost forever, but here, courtesy of researcher extraordinaire Brendan McLaughlin, are the celebrity line-ups for virtually every week of the series' six-month run. Why? Because he's as obsessive as we are, and his hard work shouldn't go to waste.