Remember that one day when you could wake up without an alarm? When you would get your favorite bowl of cereal and sit between the hours of 8 and 12? This is a blog dedicated to the greatest time of our childhood: Saturday mornings. The television programs you watched, the memories attached to them, and maybe introducing you to something you didn't realize existed. Updated every weekend.
Up Sides was a children’s game show created by the game show powerhouse
team of Mark
Goodson and Bill
Todman and was the only show of theirs made specifically for that demographic.
It was largely based on their earlier 1950 show, Beat
the Clock, where contestants would try to perform a crazy stunt (like
trying to get a bag off of their person without laying down or using their
hands, or stacking paper cups with their mouths); however, instead of racing
against a clock they were competing against other contestants. Clock stunt-designers
Frank Wayne and Bob Howard were retained to do
the same for Choose.
The CBS set.
two versions of the show. Initially, Goodson-Todman Productions pitched the
show to CBS with a pilot that had Bob Kennedy
hosting. CBS picked it up with Dean Miller taking over the hosting duties and
Bob Pfeiffer announcing but decided not to broadcast it nationally. Instead, it
was aired locally in New York City from November 2-12, 1953. In 1956 NBC acquired a retooled version of the show
hosted by Gene Rayburn and announced by Don Pardo.
Host Gene Rayburn with a player from the Bronco Busters.
versions, the audience of children was divided up into two groups: “Space
Cadets” and “Bronco Busters” (“Space Rangers” and “Cowboys” on the CBS version),
with a team of four players in front (usually three boys and a girl).On the CBS version, one kid from each team
would compete in a stunt and the winner would get to toss two rings at a
ring-toss board while the loser would only toss one. Each toss would net them a
marked score, with a bonus ten points awarded to the team hit one of three “magic
numbers” in their scoring. The kid who threw the “magic number” ring would also
win a special prize. This pattern would continue until the show ran out of
time. All the kids were given a “sportsmanship prize” while the winning team
and several home viewers selected from a pool of write-ins were given a grand
version had adult team captains (Tommy Tompkins & Roger Peterson) dressed
up in outfits corresponding to their team names who aided setting up for the
stunts. Before each stunt, one of the players would pull out a random postcard
from a kid at home that would win a prize along with the winning team. Stunts
included any number of silly competitions including putting on an entire pile
of clothing first, moving a bop bag clown around the stage with their head, or
blowing sheets of paper into a basket. The winner of a stunt won 100 points for
their team. The losing player was introduced to Mr. Mischief (Pardo doing a
falsetto), a giant limited-movement wall puppet that would supply a timed stunt
in which the player could earn 50 points for their team. Originally a whistle
would signal the end of Mr. Mischief’s stunt, but it was later replaced by a balloon
that would inflate in his mouth until it burst. Mr. Mischief also initiated a
“Super Duper Doo” stunt where an audience member chosen by whose birthday was
closest to an announced date would perform a stunt for a chance to win a grand
prize at the end of a four-week period. Like the CBS version, the losing team
was given a “sportsmanship award”.
The captain of the Space Cadets team.
Up Sides debuted on NBC on January 7, 1956 and ran for 13 weeks until March
31 when it was ultimately cancelled. Rayburn would go on to have a long
association with Goodson-Todman, most notably helming their Match Gameprogram from the
60s through the 80s. Pardo would become a prolific announcer, most well-known
for his tenure on Saturday
Night Livefrom its debut in 1975 until his death in 2014. Because of
network practices of wiping at the time—deleting content from expensive
recording media for reuse to save money and storage space—the status of the full
show is currently unknown even though Goodson-Todman did keep an archive of all
their programs which is currently owned by Freemantle
Media. At least five episodes of the NBC run and the CBS pilot have aired
on Game Show Network, the first NBC episode
on Buzzr, and several are available for