First, the members of the champion team! And now, the members of the
OTHER team! They're here to play...
SHOW: BRUCE FORSYTH'S HOT STREAK
AIR DATES: January 6, 1986 to April 4, 1986
CREATOR: Reg Grundy Productions
HOST: Bruce Forsyth (duh)
WATCH IT HERE: YouTube
(For the record, I had this set a few weeks before Bruce Forsyth passed
away...have adjusted it to reflect this. Vaya Con Dios, Bruce; you were
UK's national treasure.)
Have you ever played "Party Line"? That's when you take a twisted phrase
like, "Pete Patterson went to a pet shop for a pair of parrots" and say
it to someone, who then tries to repeat the phrase to another person,
who then tries to relay it to ANOTHER person...and so on until the
phrase at the end sounds like, "Sleet master's son went on a wet slop
because of some pears and carrots." Well, a version of that game (with
the same title) was piloted in 1983 with Gene Rayburn as host. But it
wasn't until '86 when it was finally brought to television, sans Rayburn
and with a few other changes. The result was "Bruce Forsyth's Hot
Streak". "WHOSE Hot Streak", you ask? I don't blame you, as this was the
well-known UK personality's ONLY hosting job outside of the isles. He
hosted versions of "Card Sharks" and "The Price Is Right" there. But
HERE? He was stuck with THIS boring work that was about on par with
"Time Machine" for Reg Grundy shows in the US.
HOW WAS IT PLAYED?
Two teams of five - one all-male and one all-female - played. Champion
teams were allowed to stay for up to five wins before retiring.
The challengers (or challengers-elect after a retirement) go first. Four
of the five put on headphones with white noise playing as the host gives
the "captain" a choice between two words. A 40-second clock is started
and the captain taps the shoulder of teammate #1. #1 turns around and
the captain describes the word to them. When #1 gets it right, they turn
and tap #2's shoulder and give THEM a description of the word, and so on
down the line. Key clues CANNOT be repeated, nor can they gesture or say
the word or form of the word; such an infraction ends the round. The
other team then repeats the process for the other word in the round.
The first two rounds gave a team $100 for each teammate who got the word
correct without infraction. The team rotates after each round with new
captains to start the next round. The third round is worth $200 for each
teammate who gets it right, for a maximum of $1600. Whichever team has
more money at the end of three rounds is the champion, keeps the money
and goes on to the bonus round.
One teammate is designated "captain" while the others turn around and
put on headphones. The host gives the captain a subject and the captain
gives four words or names associated with that subject. Once they're
given, the teammates turn around and are given five seconds apiece to
come up with the words. Three rounds are played. The first round puts
$200 in a bank for each word guessed correctly, the second $300 apiece.
If the team gets all four words right in the third and final round, they
win five times their bank, up to a maximum of $10,000. Otherwise,
whatever money is in their bank (up to $2000) is theirs to keep.
OK, I'll admit it's an interesting concept. The first and second
teammate should get it right...but the second has to PREDICT what the
captain said to the FIRST...so they have to come up with some obscure
way to describe it. Sadly, from what I remember, getting down all four
was rare indeed. Still it was worth trying to figure out what they'd
I've often said Peter Tomarken had a plastered-on smile, but he's
NOTHING compared to Forsyth. It looked like he was having the time of
his life hosting this fun little show. Truth be told, it kind of reminds
me of the Joker from the first Tim Burton Batman film...a little freaky
when you think about it.
WHAT DIDN'T WORK?
The set looked quite generic. If I didn't know better, I'd say this and
"Sale of the Century" were filmed on the same set with a few minor
changes made. Oh, sure, you didn't NEED flashy sets for this particular
game. But even a syndicated show need SOME flash...and this set was not
it. Even the "cash curtain" that lowered at the end of the bonus game
just looked tacked on to TRY to make it flashy.
When you get down to brass tacks, this wasn't the most exciting of
shows. Interesting, certainly. But, after a few shows, the concept got a
bit repetitive. And, as I said before, the teams RARELY got the full
"streak". Back then, it could be considered like a team finally getting
$125,000 in a round of "The Weakest Link"...but, back then, the
inability to get it done had people going, "Oh, for crying out loud!
And the bonus game? Too easy in comparison. Perhaps if each contestant
kept the headphones on until it was their turn...
WOULD IT WORK TODAY?
I can see GSN of Buzzr trying this...but failing miserably. Like I said,
not that exciting a show. I liken it to another GSN show which
I'll GGB some time later (leave you guessing which one); interesting
concept but poor execution. Nice try...but Reg has done better.
NEXT TIME: "You
Can't Do That On Television", the game show...
Chris Wolvie's only "Hot Streak" is when biking to work in Florida.
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