Ladies and gentlemen, the name of the
AIR DATES: October 3, 1983 to January 20, 1984
CREATOR: Bob & Sande Stewart (Pyramid series)
HOST: Kevin O'Connell
WATCH IT AT: youtu.be/-AxCOrPAF1g
concept: take the bonus round of the original "Chain Reaction" (one
whose rules were changed three times in the span of the season) and make
it into the WHOLE DANG SHOW! Oh, and have five people instead of three
compete! Add a speed element, have the same teams play
all week (after the first four weeks, anyway) and have a WEATHERMAN
host...and you have the shortest name for a game show ever! And, man,
was it hard to FORGET the name as the set had it ALL OVER the place!
Yeah, it's no wonder it only lasted 16 weeks!
HOW WAS IT PLAYED?
Two teams of five play, including one "celebrity captain". The
object is to win enough rounds in order to reach $1500 or more. The
rounds, in succession, are worth $250, $500, $750 and $1250.
One team (red or blue)
starts with four players in swivel chairs (for example, we'll call them
A, B, C and D from left to right) and the fifth player (the "guesser")
ready to move seats just behind them. They choose one of two packets of
subjects and, on "GO", A and B construct a question by alternating words
between them (A:"What" B:"do" A:"cows" B:"say?"), striking a bell
between them to emphasize the question mark. If the guesser answers the
question right ("Moo"), the host says, "GO" and the guesser moves
between B and C, where the process repeats. The guesser must get five
subjects right (A and B, B and C, C and D, B and C again & A and B
again) in the fastest time possible, as a clock counts up during
gameplay and stops at either the fifth right subject said or the maximum
of 99 seconds. Then the other team repeats with the other packet of
words, the same clock counting DOWN. If the second team gets five
subjects right before the clock hits 0, they win the round and the
money. If the clock reaches 0, the first team wins. If the first team
doesn't finish four subjects in 99 seconds, the second team wins if they
answer more than the first within those 99 seconds.
continues until one team meets or surpasses $1500. That means a team can
lose the first two but still win the game if they win the final two. It
also means one team can sweep the first three rounds to win the game. In
either case, the team that gets to $1500 or more wins the game and
advances to the "Jackpot Round".
first four weeks, teams were sent home upon losing and stayed until they
lost one or won five games. Afterwards, the same two teams played all
five games of a week, replaced by new teams the following Monday.
(aka "(Double) Jackpot Round") This time, the "guesser" is in FRONT of
the other four (again: A, B, C and D for this example, the celeb usually
being "A"). They have 60 seconds to relay seven questions in the same
manner as before...but with a twist. The first question must be
constructed by all four, starting with A, moving to B, C and D and then
back to A and so on. If the guesser gets it right, D moves to the side
and A, B and C construct the next question. Then
C steps aside and lets A and B do it. The fourth can be spoken by A
alone. After that, B comes back, followed by C and finally D. If the
guesser gets seven subjects in 60 seconds, the team wins $10,000.
Otherwise, they split $200 for each right answer.
If the team swept the
main game in three rounds, they get to play the "Jackpot Round" TWICE,
meaning the maximum they can win per day is $21,500.
One of the few things that I liked about "GO" was the music. Bob Cobert
did the music for "Blockbusters" and the familiar "Pyramid" music we
still heard in its "$100,000" prime time version this summer, and the
trumpet blaring helped get the crowd and the teams pumped for the game.
must admit, for being a full-time weatherman from Bufallo, Kevin
O'Connell did not do that bad a job. He seemed just as excited as the
contestants were for this game. He was a fast talker, but was able to
get the information about the game in with a minimum of "uh"s and "um"s.
Drew Carey could learn from this guy..
WHAT DIDN'T WORK?
Oh, where to begin?! First of all, what made the
Stewarts so cock-sure extending a bonus game to an entire half-hour was
a great idea? It's a novelty, yes, but those fans of "Chain Reaction"
saw right through the clear-plastic veneer. And the game got old REALLY
fast, especially when they pulled the "Jackpot!" route and had everyone
stick around for a week instead of a new team every day.
yes...we get it...you wanted us to remember the name. It wasn't that
hard! You had it in lights in over two dozen places on the set
itself...and Kevin constantly saying it during the game helped pound it
home! They REALLY made sure that two-letter word got drilled in, didn't
while it's not mandatory that the bonus round be quite different from
the main game ("Joker's Wild" and "Bullseye" proved that), it probably
wouldn't have hurt in this case. Oh, sure, having a different number of
people constructing each question is fine enough...but, if the main game
is boring (and it does get that way after a while), then MORE of it of a
SLIGHTLY different version of it will NOT help!
WOULD IT WORK TODAY?
I guess if GSN can remake "Chain Reaction" TWICE, they could give "GO" a
shot. I doubt it would be well received, though. Remember that, in the
first revival, they had TWO different versions of the original game's
bonus round. They did right to go with a different one for the second
revival. The only good thing about the outcome of this failure is that
Sande Stewart cut his teeth on it and went on to make the quite better "Inquizition"
and "Sports On Tap".
NEXT TIME: The
best way to keep game shows topical...
Chris...Wolvie...is...what...kind...of...person? (DING!) Weird?
Correct! E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.