Quicksilver (American game show)

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GenreGame show
Created byStone-Stanley Productions
Presented byRon Maestri
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes130
Producer(s)David M. Greenfield
Running time30 Minutes
Original networkUSA Network
Original releaseJune 27 (1994-06-27) –
December 23, 1994 (1994-12-23)

Quicksilver is an American game show that saw contestants answering trivia questions that more often than not resulted in responses that were unintentional puns. The show aired on USA Network from July 27, 1994 to December 23, 1994, with reruns continuing until October 13, 1995 and was produced by Stone Stanley Entertainment. Ron Maestri hosted.


Three contestants competed in each game. There were no returning champions.

Round one[edit]

Four words or phrases were revealed at the start. These words or phrases were the answers to three questions in a packet. Maestri began reading a question, and contestants could buzz-in at any time. Due to the nature of the questions, being pun-laden as they were, buzzing-in early could cause a contestant to miss crucial information. Maestri would pause at certain points to emphasize this risk.

For example, given the choices Monty Hall, Picador, Pandora's Box and Trading Places, the host may ask "On the game show Let's Make a Deal…this is what host Monty Hall would ask contestants to do." A contestant buzzing-in before the question was finished might choose Monty Hall based upon Hall's association with the program. However, the correct answer in this case would be "picador," a play on the similar-sounding phrase "pick a door." Most questions had misleading wording and pun answers given in this format, known as a "swerve" in quiz bowl culture.

The contestant that buzzed-in with the correct answer received 25 points. An incorrect answer locked that contestant out of the rest of the question.

After every three questions, four new answers were revealed. Five or six packets of questions and answers were played in round one.

Round two[edit]

Five answers were revealed at the start of the round. Correct answers were worth 50 points, and after each correct answer was given it was taken off the board and replaced by another potential answer. Ten total questions were played.

In addition to the displayed answer, there was a space marked "Quicksilver" at the top of the board ("Mystery Blank" on early-taped episodes). If a contestant thought an answer to the question was not on the board, he/she would call out "Quicksilver" and give what he/she thought was the correct answer. Doing so earned the contestant 100 points and a bonus prize. The contestant was then asked a follow-up question about the subject of the Quicksilver answer, on which he/she wagered up to 200 points (up to the lesser of 200 points or the contestant’s current score). This means that a potential 300 points can be earned on those two questions alone. Answering correctly added the value of the wager but answering it incorrectly or not answering it at all deducted the value of the wager. Only one Quicksilver answer was in play during the round. So after that, the "Quicksilver" answer was replaced with a regular one.

Round three[edit]

The third round consisted of two halves. In the first half, eight questions were asked and the answers to those questions were placed on the game board one at a time. Each correct answer in this part of the round was worth 75 points.

In the second half, as before, eight more questions were asked with the answers now displayed. After each question, the answer was taken off of the board. Answering correctly this time was worth 100 points. There were two Quicksilver answers on the board in this portion of the round, and the value of both the question and the maximum wager doubled to 200 and 400 points, respectively. If nobody had claimed the prize from the second round, it was also available.

After the second set of eight questions (plus one or two follow-ups) were played, the round and the game were over and the contestant with the most points won the game and a prize. In case of a tie, a final question was played with the two remaining answers.

Bonus Round: Silver Streak[edit]

In the Silver Streak bonus game, the day's winner was shown a board with fifteen possible answers to questions fitting a specific category. The contestant was given 45 seconds to come up with answers to ten of the fifteen questions. Passing was allowed and the contestant could return to a question if time allowed. Each correct answer was worth $50, and answering ten won the contestant $500 and a grand prize.