The Dating Game
This article reads like a review rather than an encyclopedic description of the subject. (March 2014)
The Dating Game is an ABC television show that first aired on December 20, 1965 and was the first of many shows created and packaged by Chuck Barris from the 1960s through the 1980s. ABC dropped the show on July 6, 1973, but it continued in syndication for another year (1973–1974) as The New Dating Game. The program was revived three additional times in syndication afterward. The first revival premiered in 1978 and ran until 1980, the second ran from 1986 until 1989, and the last ran from 1996 until 1999, with a subsequent season of reruns.
|The Dating Game|
|Also known as||The New Dating Game|
|Created by||Chuck Barris|
|Presented by||Jim Lange |
|Narrated by||Johnny Jacobs|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||30 minutes with commercials|
|Production company(s)||Chuck Barris Productions (1965–1974; 1978–1980; 1986–1987)|
Barris Productions (1986–1989)
Barris Industries (1986–1989) 1979–1981; Producer David M Greenfield
Station Syndication, Inc. (1973–1974)
Firestone Program Services (1978–1980)
Bel-Air Program Sales (1986–1987)
Clarion Communications (1986–1987) (ad-sales)
Barris Program Sales (1987–1989)
Columbia TriStar Television Distribution (1996–1999)
Sony Pictures Television (current)
|Original network||ABC (1965–1973)|
Syndicated (1973–1974; 1978–1980; 1986–1989; 1996–2000)
|Original release||First Run|
December 20, 1965 – July 6, 1973
October 6, 1966 – January 17, 1970
September 10, 1973 – September 1974
September 4, 1978 – September 1980 (Syndication)
September 15, 1986 – September 8, 1989
September 9, 1996 –
September 1999 (Syndication)
Jim Lange hosted The Dating Game for its entire ABC network run and for the 1973 and 1978 syndicated editions. The 1986 revival was hosted by Elaine Joyce for its first season and Jeff MacGregor for its remaining two seasons. When the show was revived with a different format in 1996, Brad Sherwood was named as its host. Chuck Woolery took over for the two final seasons, with the original format reinstated, in 1997 after he had left The Home and Family Show.
Beginning in 1966, The Dating Game was often paired with The Newlywed Game. This was especially true when the two shows entered syndication, and in 1996, the revivals of The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game were sold together as a package called "The Dating-Newlywed Hour".
The program was originally broadcast in black-and-white, but when a prime-time version began in October 1966, both versions were broadcast in color, making the daytime version the first ABC daytime series to be broadcast in color on a regular basis.
Typically, a bachelorette would question three bachelors, who were hidden from her view; at the end of the questioning period, she would choose one to accompany her on a date, with expenses paid by the show. Occasionally, the roles would be reversed with a man questioning three ladies; other times, celebrities would question three players for dates for themselves, co-workers or relatives.
Before becoming famous, Farrah Fawcett, Suzanne Somers, Yvonne Craig, Lindsay Wagner, Leif Garrett, Tom Selleck and Lee Majors appeared as contestants on the show in the 1960s and early 1970s. Other contestants who appeared before becoming famous included the Carpenters, Jackson Bostwick, Michael Richards, Joanna Cameron, Andy Kaufman (who went under the pseudonym Baji Kimran), Steve Martin, Burt Reynolds, John Ritter, Phil Hartman, Jennifer Granholm (governor of Michigan from 2003–2010), Arnold Schwarzenegger and Alex Kozinski. Serial killer Rodney Alcala's episodes were shown during his murder spree and after he had been convicted of assault in California.
Some contestants appeared even after they were fairly well known, including a young Michael Jackson, Dusty Springfield, Ron Howard, Maureen McCormick, Barry Williams, Sally Field, Richard Dawson, Jay North and Paul Lynde.
A trademark of the show was that at the end of each episode, the host and winning contestants would blow a kiss to the viewers.
Generally, the bachelorette would ask questions, written in advance on cards, to each of the three hidden bachelors. The same question could be asked to multiple bachelors. This continued until time ran out. The bachelorette would make her choice based solely on the answers to her questions. Occasionally, the contestant was a bachelor who would ask questions to three bachelorettes. Certain kinds of questions were "off-limits", such as name, age, occupation and income.
When the original format returned to the syndicated revival in 1997, these rules were readopted but there was more of a variety between bachelors and bachelorettes.
For the first season of the 1996 revival, The Dating Game used a different format. A notable change was that the prospective bachelor/bachelorette knew the first names of the three contestants at all times.
Instead of asking questions of the contestants, the bachelor/bachelorette was presented with two pun-laden statements, each pertaining to one of the contestants. When chosen, a new statement replaced the old one and the potential date explained the reason why that fact pertained to him or her. Play continued until time expired, and then the bachelor/bachelorette would announce his or her choice.
In several weeks of episodes that aired at various times throughout the season, another format was used. This format had the players choose a potential date based on appearance and another based on personality. To decide the "looks" portion, the bachelor/bachelorette would observe each contestant (another change not seen on any Dating Game series beforehand) for several seconds, with the contestants wearing noise-canceling headphones to prevent them from hearing the bachelor/bachelorette talking about them. The statement round was used to determine the "personality" portion. After the game ended, the bachelor/bachelorette would select one contestant based on appearance and one based on personality, then would be prompted to choose between the two. If the bachelor/bachelorette was to select the same contestant for both looks and personality, the contestant would win a $500 cash prize.
Various episodes from the ABC daytime run have aired on Game Show Network. The remaining ABC versions of the show, which were made for prime-time and for syndication, are assumed to exist in their entirety.
After the syndicated finale in 1980, repeats of the 1978–1980 version were seen on KHJ-TV (now KCAL-TV) in Los Angeles from September 26, 1983 to September 12, 1986, as well as in some other cities. In another variation of the final year in reruns, some episodes from ABC daytime, ABC primetime and weekly syndication were shown.
Some of the celebrities that appeared on The Dating Game appeared as a bachelor or bachelorette before becoming famous, or as a special guest star, include:
- Willie Aames (1978)
- Rodney Alcala, subsequently dubbed "The Dating Game Killer" (1978)
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1967)
- Famous Amos (1978)
- Judd Apatow (1980s)
- Desi Arnaz Jr. (1967)
- Mary Arnold of Kenny Rogers and the First Edition (1972)
- Candice Bergen (1973)
- Jacqueline Bisset (1973)
- Bill Bixby (1968)
- Karen Black (1973)
- Danny Bonaduce (1972)
- Jackson Bostwick (1968)
- Julie Budd (1973)
- Joanna Cameron (Late 1960s)
- Karen and Richard Carpenter (1970)
- Angela Cartwright (1970)
- David Cassidy (1970)
- Barrie Chase (1966)
- Candy Clark (1973)
- Dick Clark (1973)
- Jeremy Clyde (1966)
- Ronald K.L. Collins (1967)
- Michael Cole (1972)
- Teri Copley (1979)
- Yvonne Craig (1967)
- Brandon Cruz (1972)
- Joey D'Auria as himself, instead of as Chicago's Bozo the Clown (1980)
- Cesare Danova (1969)
- Ann B. Davis (1970 and 1971)
- Richard Dawson (1968)
- Peter Duel (1968)
- Deep Purple (1968)
- Samantha Eggar (1973)
- Cass Elliot (1973 or 1974)
- Farrah Fawcett (1969)
- Sally Field (1966)
- Fannie Flagg (1973)
- Jackie Fox (1980)
- Leif Garrett (1972)
- Kathy Garver (1966, 1970 and 1971)
- Maurice Gibb (1968)
- Robin Gibb (1968)
- Anita Gillette (1972)
- Cuba Gooding Jr. (1986)
- Barry Gordon (1966)
- Jennifer Granholm, former Governor of Michigan (1978)
- Luke Halpin (1968)
- Phil Hartman (1979)
- Cheryl Hines (1997)
- T. J. Hoban (1996)
- Eddie Hodges (1966)
- Ron Howard (1972)
- Iron Butterfly (1969)
- Michael Jackson (1972)
- Sam J. Jones, "Flash Gordon" (1978)
- Casey Kasem (1967)
- Andy Kaufman (1978)
- Murray Langston, as The Unknown Comic (1978)
- Peter Lawford (1971)
- Vicki Lawrence (1971)
- Peggy Lipton (1973)
- Donna Loren (1967)
- Paul Lynde (1968 and 1972)
- Dave Madden (1970)
- Lee Majors (1966)
- Steve Martin (1968 and 1970)
- Groucho Marx, as a prank on his daughter Melinda, who was Bachelorette #1 (1967)
- Meredith MacRae (1968)
- Jerry Mathers (1966)
- Maureen McCormick (1971 and 1973)
- Jed Mills (1978)
- Kathryn Minner, "The Little Old Lady from Pasadena" (1966)
- Agnes Moorehead (1970)
- Jaye P. Morgan (1980)
- Louisa Moritz (1973)
- Bill Mumy (1968)
- Tom Netherton (1978)
- Jay North (1969)
- Charlie O'Donnell (1987)
- Butch Patrick (1972)
- Freda Payne (1971)
- Paul Petersen (1966)
- Vincent Price (1972)
- H.R. Pufnstuf (1972)
- Paul Reubens as Pee Wee Herman (1979)
- Michael Richards (1967)
- John Ritter (1967)
- Nipsey Russell (year unknown; happened before 1971)
- Bobby Rydell (1966)
- Bob Saget (1979 and 1980)
- Arnold Schwarzenegger (1973)
- Tom Selleck (1965 and 1967)
- Suzanne Somers (1973)
- Dusty Springfield (1968)
- The Standells (1968)
- Kaye Stevens (1973)
- McLean Stevenson (1968)
- Strawberry Alarm Clock (1968)
- Elaine Stritch (1971)
- Rip Taylor (1973 and 1978)
- Robert Vaughn (1966)
- Jimmie Walker (1978)
- Lindsay Wagner (1968)
- Dionne Warwick (1969)
- Adam West (1966)
- Johnnie Whittaker (1969)
- Barry Williams (1972)
- Terry Williams of Kenny Rogers and the First Edition (1972)
- Jo Anne Worley (1967)
Theme music and cuesEdit
The show used many contemporary songs, ranging from those of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass from the 1960s to pop music used for celebrity guest and band appearances. For the first few episodes at the beginning of the ABC run, live music was provided by the Regents (unrelated to the doo-wop band of the same name who were famous for their song "Barbara Ann"), a house band from Jack Martin's A.M-P.M. on La Cienega Blvd. Starting in 1966, the show used recorded music, with the main theme provided by the Mariachi Brass, featuring trumpeter Chet Baker. The show used cover songs made by Skip Battin & the Group (1967, Aurora 159) and the Challengers (196?, Triumph 64).
The series used several songs by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass as cues for the show, including:
- "Spanish Flea" (when introducing the bachelor)
- "Whipped Cream" (when introducing the bachelorette)
- "Lollipops and Roses" (when the dates meet)
Other songs were used after the interview portion, when guests were choosing a date, including:
- "Ladyfingers" (Herb Alpert)
- "Lemon Tree" (Herb Alpert)
Music used during celebrity guest appearances included:
- "Live" (The Merry-Go-Round)
- "Close to You" (Carpenters)
- "Midnight Confessions" (The Grass Roots)
- "I Want To Be Where You Are" (Michael Jackson)
- "I Want You Back" (Michael Jackson), during the prize description
- "Cheyenne" (The Brady Bunch)
- "Goin' Out of My Head" (Little Anthony)
- "What's It Gonna Be" (Dusty Springfield)
Other music cues used on the show included:
- "Fantail" by Count Basie (when host Jim Lange would introduce the three potential dates to the audience)
- "Love Sickness" by the Trumpets Ole (a brief cue used when the time limit for the interview portion is reached)
- "Boston Bust-Out" by Jimmy McGriff (before the date is introduced to his or her prize)
In 1972, The Dating Game added a Dixieland-style closing theme called "Little Rosie" to its ABC daytime version; the tune was used also on the first two syndicated versions, through 1980. The song, along with some of the show's other cues, was featured on the 1973 album Themes from TV Game Shows, produced by Chuck Barris. The show continued to use the 1966 opening theme until 1974; during the 1978-80 version, the show used a rearranged version of it. The 1978 opening theme is found on the Barris album's first track and is credited to Barris and David Mook.
The 1980s reboot of the show used music composed by Milton DeLugg, while later editions featured a re-recording of the original theme by Steve Kaplan.
- Currently airing franchise
- An upcoming season
- Franchise no longer in production
|Australia||Blind Date||Graham Webb (1967–1969)
Jeremy Cordeaux (1970)
Bobby Hanna (1974)
Greg Evans (1991)
Julia Morris (2018)
|Network Ten (1967–1970, 1991, 2018)
Seven Network (1974)
|Perfect Match||Greg Evans (1984–1986; 1988–1989)
Cameron Daddo (1987–1988)
Shelley Craft (2002)
|Austria||Herzblatt||Rudi Carrell (1987–1993)
Rainhard Fendrich (1993–1997)
Hera Lind (1997–1998)
Christian Clerici (1998–1999)
Pierre Geisensetter (1999–2001)
Jörg Pilawa (2001–2004)
Alexander Mazza (2005)
|Belgium||Blind Date||Elke Vanelderen||VTM||1991–2005|
|Brazil||Namoro na TV||Silvio Santos||Tupi
|Colombia||Adán y Eva||Jota Mario Valencia||Inravisión (Caracol)||1987|
|Finland||Napakymppi||Markus Similia (1985)
Kari Salmelainen (1985–2002)
Joanna Kantola (2001–2002)
Janne Kataja (2017–2019)
|France||Tournez Manège !||Évelyne Leclercq
|Germany||Herzblatt||Rudi Carrell (1987–1993)
Rainhard Fendrich (1993–1997)
Hera Lind (1997–1998)
Christian Clerici (1998–1999)
Pierre Geisensetter (1999–2001)
Jörg Pilawa (2001–2004)
Alexander Mazza (2005)
|Herz ist Trumpf||Stephan Lehmann||Sat.1||1992–1993|
|Herz sucht Liebe||Thomas Ohrner||Sat.1 Gold||2016|
|Ireland||Blind Date||Al Porter||TV3||2017|
|Israel||?||?||Channel 2 (Keshet)||?|
|Italy||Il gioco delle coppie
Il nuovo gioco delle coppie
|Marco Predolin (1985–1990)
Corrado Tedeschi (1990–1992)
Giorgio Mastrota and Natalia Estrada (1993–1994)
|Italia 1 (1985–1986)
Rete 4 (1986–1988; 1991–1992; 1993–1994)
Canale 5 (1988–1991)
|Mexico||Las Andanzas de Cupido||?||TV Azteca||?|
|New Zealand||Blind Date||Dave Jamieson
|Poland||Randka w ciemno||Jacek Kawalec (1992–1998)
Tomasz Kammel (1998–2005)
|Spain||Vivan los novios||Andoni Ferreño||Telecinco||1991–1994|
|Turkey||Saklambaç||Nurseli İdiz||Show TV||1992–1996|
|United Kingdom||Blind Date||Cilla Black
|United States||The Dating Game
The New Dating Game
|The All-New Dating Game||Elaine Joyce
|The Dating Game||Brad Sherwood
In his first autobiography, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (1988), Chuck Barris claimed that The Dating Game was a cover for his CIA activities, and was promoted by the CIA. However, his second memoir, The Game Show King: A Confession (1993), mentions neither the CIA nor his previous book. A CIA spokesman has categorically denied that Barris ever worked for the agency in any capacity.
The Dating Game was parodied by Steve Jobs during a 1983 Macintosh pre-launch event. The three "contestants" were Mitch Kapor of Lotus Software, Fred Gibbons of Software Publishing Corporation and Bill Gates of Microsoft.
Hasbro released three home games based on the original 1965 version of The Dating Game from 1967 to 1968, while Pressman Toy Corporation released a home game based on the late 1980s version in 1987.
In a 1980 Laverne and Shirley episode, Lenny and Squiggy appear as bachelors on The Dating Game.
In the late 1990s, Sony's website released an online version of The Dating Game.
In March 2011, a new virtual version of The Dating Game was launched on Facebook, Twitter and other social media network sites. The game was developed by 3G Studios, under license from Sony Pictures Entertainment.
A recurring parody featured in the current version of Let's Make a Deal called The Dealing Game features Wayne Brady and Jonathan Mangum (both as different characters in each appearance), but instead of a date, each represents a curtain and tries to convince the contestant to pick his curtain. Model Tiffany Coyne plays the role of the "hostess".
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 4, 2006. Retrieved July 2, 2005.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Columbia Law
- "'100 victims' of serial killer Rodney Alcala". Times Mirror. August 11, 2009. Retrieved October 11, 2013.
- "Serial Killer Rodney Alcalas". National Public Radio Blogs.
- Rudegeair, Peter (January 7, 2013). "'Dating Game' killer sentenced for 1970s murders". Reuters Archive. Retrieved October 11, 2013.
- Episode of The Dating Game uploaded by Sam Growl
- YouTube video recorded from WSNS-TV, and uploaded by The Museum of Classic Chicago Television
- YouTube clip uploaded by YouTube user CherieO
- Bishop, Chris (March 18, 2010). "Regents Archives". Garage Hangover. Retrieved October 7, 2013.
- Cooper, Kim; Smay, David (2005). Lost in the Grooves: Scram's Capricious Guide to the Music You Missed. Routledge. Retrieved February 15, 2020.
- Barris, Chuck. "Themes From TV Game Shows". SAR-1001. Friends Records. Retrieved October 8, 2013.
- Adams, C. (February 7, 2003): Was Chuck Barris a Hit Man for the CIA? The Straight Dope archive Retrieved November 22, 2011
- Stein, Joel. Time, "Lying to Tell the Truth", January 13, 2003. Retrieved September 2, 2008.
- Schwartz, David, Steve Ryan and Fred Wostbrock. "The Encyclopedia of TV Game Shows, 3rd edition". New York: Checkmark Books, 1999, p. 54.
- Moss, Caroline (November 24, 2013). "In 1983, Steve Jobs Hosted Apple's Version Of 'The Dating Game' And Bill Gates Was A Contestant". Business Insider. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
- The Dating Game Board Game (Hasbro)
- The All New Dating Game Board Game (Pressman)
- The Dating Game Video Slots (Nickel) Promotional Literature
- The Dating Game Video Slots (Quarter) Promotional Literature
- The Dating Game Video Slots
- 'AND HE-E-RE THEY AR-R-RE': IGT Gets Licensing Rights To The Dating Game (TM) and The Newlywed Game (TM)
- 3G Studios Acquires Rights to Classic TV series to revive The Dating Game
- 'The Dating Game' goes interactive, virtual and social