Mad Libs (game show)

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Mad Libs
Created by David H. Higgins
Presented by David Sidoni
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Slam Dunk Productions
Dick Clark Productions
Distributor Buena Vista Television
Original network Disney Channel
Original release July 1998 (1998-07) – 1999 (1999)

Mad Libs is an American children's game show based on the book/word game series. It aired on the Disney Channel from July 1998 to mid-1999 (with a "special pilot" that aired in February 1997), and was hosted by David Sidoni. Dick Clark and J. D. Roth produced the show.


Mad Libs pitted two teams of two kids (one red and the other blue), in a series of physical/mental related stunts, while trying to score points and win prizes.

The Main Game[edit]

Round 1 ("Viewer Mad Lib")[edit]

In round one, a video clip of a kid home viewer was shown. The kid recited a Mad Lib that he/she wrote beforehand. That Mad Lib became a game played after the Mad Lib was recited.

The object of the game was to make the most progress within 45 seconds or to be the first team to complete the stunt. The team who won the stunt got 20 points. If both teams won the stunt, they both got 20 points.

Round 2 ("Madder Than You")[edit]

Two teams awaiting to start the Madder Than You round.

In this round called "Madder Than You", a category was given by host Sidoni. Then the contestants came up with a series of words that fit the category. They worked back and forth while passing and controlling a white ball or during a halloween episode, a plastic jack-o-lantern (referred to on the show as the hot potato). The process continued until one team gave a word that does not fit the category, repeated a word (including a different form of the same word), passed the hot potato before answering, or ran out of time.

When one of those violations occurred, the other team received five points after which another category was played in the same manner. The round was played for two minutes (two and a half minutes in earlier episodes, also in the episodes with 2:30 as the time limit, the clock was not displayed on-screen).

Round 3 ("Mega Stunt")[edit]

Both teams competed in a stunt where they could actually make a Mad Lib. The stunts could be anything from picking nose hairs to grabbing mohawks while being strapped to a mailbag. Each item in the stunt had a word on it, and the object of the stunt was to get four words in four categories (the words matched the categories by color). Doing so completed the Mad Lib and earned 20 points.

Round 4 ("Mixed-Up Mad Libs")[edit]

In this round, the deciding round called "Mixed-Up Mad Libs", the host read a series of statements that had a crazy word inserted in each one. The contestants buzzed in to correct those statements with the right word. If the buzz-in contestant gave an incorrect answer, the opposing team got a chance to answer. After each statement, the contestants at the buzzers switched places with his/her partner. Each correct answer was worth ten points. The round was played for 90 seconds and the team with the most points when time ran out won the game. If there was a tie at the end of the round, one last Mixed-Up Mad Lib was read, and the first player to buzz-in and correct the statement won; otherwise his/her opponents automatically won. The winning team went on to the bonus round while the losing team went home with parting gifts including a copy of the Mad Lib books.

"Maximum Mad Lib" (Bonus Round)[edit]

In this bonus round, the team decided who would give and who would receive. The giving player during the last commercial break placed five words (given to that player via envelope) anywhere in the five clue areas. After the break, the giver was given 90 seconds to get his/her partner to say those words. Sidoni gave the category to each word.

The clue areas changed from show to show, and their names were these:

Tier 1[edit]

  • Stuff It - the giver put four marshmallows in his/her mouth and then said the word with his/her mouthful. It was up to the partner to identify what the giver was saying. This is very similar to Chubby Bunny. This was the only clue area to appear with the same rule in every episode.

Tier 2[edit]

  • Lick It - the giver wrote the word with his/her tongue using pink cake frosting.
  • Spell It - played the same way as Lick It, except that the giver wrote the word with ketchup and mustard.

Tier 3[edit]

  • Draw It - playing standard Pictionary. The giver drew a picture of the word using finger paints (sometimes markers), and the receiver tried to identify it.

Tier 4[edit]

  • Act It - simple charades. The player was not allowed to speak.

Tier 5[edit]

  • Mold It - the giver used play-doh to make something that looked like the word.
  • Rip It - played like Mold It except with paper. The giver used paper to make something that looked like the word.
  • Sing It - played like Pyramid except the giver had to sing out a description of the word. Singing out any part of the word disqualified it from play.

Each time the receiver said a word, the team won that word. They could pass on a word and return to it if time permitted. When time ran out, the words were inserted into the Mad Lib. After it was read by host Sidoni, the identified words were checked one at a time. One of the five words was dubbed the grand prize word and if the team picked that word or if they got all five words before time expired, they won the grand prize. If not, they received a consolation prize.