Masquerade Party

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Masquerade Party
Presented by Bud Collyer (1952)
Douglas Edwards (1953)
Peter Donald (1954–1956)
Eddie Bracken (1957)
Robert Q. Lewis (1958)
Bert Parks (Fall 1958–1960)
Richard Dawson (1974-75)
Narrated by Johnny Olson
Jay Stewart
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 8
Production
Running time 22–25 minutes
Production company(s) Wolf Productions
Broadcast
Original channel NBC (1952, 1957, 1958–1959, 1960)
CBS (1953, 1954, 1958, 1959–1960)
ABC (1954–1956)
Picture format Black-and-white
Audio format Monaural
Original run July 14, 1952 (1952-07-14) – September 23, 1960 (1960-09-23)

Masquerade Party is an American television game show. During its original run from 1952–1960, the show appeared at various times on all three major networks except DuMont (ABC, NBC, and CBS). A syndicated revival was produced for one season in 1974-75.

A panel of celebrities met with another celebrity that was in heavy make-up and/or costume; this disguise would always provide clues to the celebrity's actual identity. For example, actor Gary Burghoff appeared in 1974 as a robot with radar, alluding to his role as Radar O'Reilly on M*A*S*H. The panel asked yes-or-no questions to the celebrity, and then received another clue about the celebrity's identity at the end of the round. After the clue, the panel had one last chance to guess the identity, followed by the celebrity revealing their true identity.

1952–1960[edit]

The original show had several well-known celebrities on its panel including Pat Carroll, Buff Cobb, Sam Levenson, Audrey Meadows, Ogden Nash, Betsy Palmer, and Jonathan Winters.

Comedian Allan Sherman was the producer, and Stefan Hatos was executive producer; The show's theme music was "The Comedians," an orchestral composition by Dmitri Kabalevsky. The oversensitivity of the show towards advertisers and political correctness complaints, made it fall into a hoax of the satirical magazine The Realist, in 1960.[1][2][3]

This incarnation was ranked eighth on TV Guide's 2001 list of "The 50 Greatest Game Shows of All Time."

Episode status[edit]

Five episodes exist. Three exist among traders and are from 1955, 1957 and 1959 (Donald, Bracken, and Parks respectively). The 1955 episode features George DeWitt (then hosting Name That Tune) as a guest.

The UCLA Film and Television Archive holds episodes dated October 6, 1954 and May 5, 1955 (the latter also in the trading circuit).[1]

1974–1975[edit]

Masquerade Party
Created by Stefan Hatos
Monty Hall
Presented by Richard Dawson
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 39
Production
Running time 22–24 minutes
Production company(s) Hatos-Hall Productions
Broadcast
Original channel Syndicated (weekly)
Original run September 9, 1974 (1974-09-09) – September 1975

A syndicated revival was produced by Stefan Hatos and Monty Hall in 1974, hosted by Richard Dawson and announced by Jay Stewart. The basic premise was the same as the original show. Bill Bixby, Lee Meriweather, and Nipsey Russell were regular panelists. Col. Harland Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame made an appearance as a celebrity guest.

This version was aired mainly in evening time slots across the nation, but failed to attract decent ratings. It was canceled after one season, and Dawson later went on to become the first emcee of Family Feud (which debuted in 1976).

A reference to this version was made in a final-season episode of The Odd Couple. Felix asks Oscar what he is watching on television, and Oscar reports, "Masquerade Party with Richard Dawson." Felix, who said he knew Dawson in the Army, replies "I'm not speaking to Richard Dawson!".

Episode status[edit]

One episode is known to exist – a studio master taped July 10, 1974 featuring Allen Ludden as a guest; the UCLA Archive lists an episode dated July 9, 1974.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Michael DooleyJuly (2000) Here Lies Paul Krassner, at AIGA Journal of Graphic Design, vol.18, no. 2, 2000
  2. ^ Paul Krassner (1960) A Stereophonic Hoax, The Realist #16, March 16, 1960, pp.5-6
  3. ^ Paul Krassner (1960) Case History Of a TV Hoax, The Realist #18, June 18, 1960, pp.1, 3-4

External links[edit]