Masquerade Party was an American television game show. During its original run from 1952 to 1960, the show appeared at various times on every television network except DuMont (ABC, NBC, and CBS). A syndicated revival was produced for one season in 1974–75.
The gameplay consisted of a panel of celebrities attempting to guess the identity of a celebrity who was disguised with heavy make-up and/or a costume. The disguise would provide clues as to the celebrity's actual identity. For example, actor Gary Burghoff appeared in 1974 as a robot with a radar, alluding to his role as Radar O'Reilly on M*A*S*H. The panel asked yes-or-no questions of the disguised celebrity, after which they were given another clue. They then had one last chance to guess the identity, after which the celebrity revealed their true identity.
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.
This incarnation was ranked eighth on TV Guide's 2001 list of "The 50 Greatest Game Shows of All Time."
Five episodes are known to survive.
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.
|Created by||Stefan Hatos|
|Presented by||Richard Dawson|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||39|
|Running time||22–24 minutes|
|Production company||Stefan Hatos-Monty Hall Productions|
|Release||September 9, 1974 –|
The basic premise was the same as the original show. Bill Bixby, Lee Meriwether, and Nipsey Russell were regular panelists. Col. Harland Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame made an appearance as a celebrity guest.
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 "That man ruined my life!"
Two episodes are known to exist. One is a studio master taped July 10, 1974 featuring Allen Ludden (disguised as a Southern judge) as a guest; the UCLA Archive lists an episode dated July 9, 1974. The other was recorded July 13, 1974 featuring William Shatner (disguised as a riverboat captain), Charles Nelson Reilly, Howard Duff and Carolyn Jones. This episode was shared to the public by the YouTube channel of Wink Martindale and his production company in 2020, and is a studio recording featuring studio commentary not meant for broadcast.
- Michael DooleyJuly (2000) Here Lies Paul Krassner, at AIGA Journal of Graphic Design, vol.18, no. 2, 2000
- Paul Krassner (1960) A Stereophonic Hoax, The Realist #16, March 16, 1960, pp.5-6
- Paul Krassner (1960) Case History Of a TV Hoax, The Realist #18, June 18, 1960, pp.1, 3-4
- Masquerade Party - Rare Game Show, retrieved May 31, 2020