|Based on||Hollywood Squares|
|Presented by||Peter Marshall|
|Narrated by||Kenny Williams|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||16 (1969 version)
30 (1976-1977 version)
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Original release||January 4, 1969 – December 30, 1977|
Storybook Squares was the name given to a special series of episodes of the NBC game show Hollywood Squares. The series featured celebrities dressed up as famous people and characters from history and various forms of media.
Peter Marshall served as host of these episodes. The panelists were introduced by "The Guardian of the Gate", who announced their characters' presence by reading their names from a scroll. The Guardian was played by regular Hollywood Squares announcer Kenny Williams, and the character was similar to his "Town Crier" character from Video Village.
The series ran on NBC on Saturday mornings from January 4 to April 19, 1969, with repeats airing until August 30. The concept was revived during the 1976-77 season as a series of special theme weeks on the daytime Hollywood Squares.
On the original edition of Storybook Squares, the game was played in the same manner as the regular game. Two children competed, always boy vs. girl with the boy as X and the girl as Circle. They played as many games as time permitted, with a prize being awarded for each win. No money was awarded; a Secret Square game for the first two games was played, with the setup identical to the 1968 primetime game and first two years of the syndicated version -- that is, if the first game's Secret Square was not won, the package was combined with that of the second game, and then after that it was not won.
The only panelist from the adult show who played as he normally would was Cliff Arquette, who carried his "Charley Weaver" persona over to Storybook Squares. The other panelists played characters from fairy tales and books, historical figures, or in some cases the characters they played on television.
Unlike the parent series, on Storybook Squares each panelist/character was given an elaborate introduction as they entered the set and took their place on the board, allowing for a brief comic interaction with host Marshall as they did so. Some of the celebrities who appeared were:
- Jim Backus as Mr. Magoo (animated character for whom he provided the voice) and Thurston Howell III (his character from Gilligan's Island)
- Ted Cassidy as Tarzan.
- Wally Cox as Paul Revere and Davy Crockett
- Bob Crane as Colonel Hogan (his role on Hogan's Heroes)
- Abby Dalton as Little Miss Muffet
- Barbara Eden as Jeannie (her role on I Dream of Jeannie)
- Nanette Fabray as The Old Woman Who Lived in the Shoe
- Stu Gilliam as Merlin
- Arte Johnson as his character the "Very Interesting!" Nazi from Laugh-In
- Paul Lynde as Frankenstein's monster and the Evil Queen from Snow White
- Carolyn Jones as Morticia Addams (her role on The Addams Family)
- Rose Marie as Pocahontas and Annie Oakley
- Soupy Sales as Henry VIII and Thomas Edison
- William Shatner as James T. Kirk (his character from Star Trek)
When the daytime series brought back Storybook Squares, its format was changed slightly. Instead of a two-player match featuring boys playing girls, the matches used a team format with the boys playing with their fathers and grandfathers and the girls with their mothers and grandmothers.
The children played the first game of the match, with the parents playing the second and the grandparents each subsequent game as time permitted. $300 was awarded for each game won, with $50 awarded per square if time was called during a game.
The team with the most money at the end of the game won a large prize, such as a car or exotic vacation.
- Milton Berle as Old Mother Hubbard
- Valerie Bertinelli as Little Miss Muffet
- Big Bird (Muppet played by Caroll Spinney)
- Hal Smith as Mother Goose
- Paul Lynde as Atilla the Hun, The Frankenstein Monster, and The Wicked Witch
- Vincent Price as Captain Hook
- William Shatner as Captain Kirk
- Elke Sommer as Guinevere
- Susan Seaforth Hayes as Eve and Cleopatra
- Bill Hayes as Adam and Caesar
- Connie Stevens as The Queen of Hearts
- Karen Valentine as Mona Lisa
- Anson Williams as Simple Simon
- Florence Henderson as Belle Starr
- George Gobel as Henry VIII
- Rip Taylor as General Custer
- Roddy McDowall as Sherlock Holmes
- Arte Johnson as Beethoven
- Rich Little as Noah
The 1969 set was decked out in a medieval theme for the host and players' podiums, while the gameboard remained the same as on the adult version. The 1970s sets extended the medieval theme to the entire set, with a sweeping castle facade built around and behind the "Squares".
The 1969 version's status is unknown. While NBC kept most of its Saturday morning programming, they were also known to wipe episodes of game shows and it is believed that this practice was used on the series. One episode was uploaded to YouTube in December 2016.
The 1970s episodes were also threatened by NBC's continued wiping and their fate is also largely unresolved. Game Show Network aired a December 1977 episode as part of a Halloween-themed marathon in 2002; it was the only NBC daytime episode to be rerun by GSN. Another episode that originally aired on July 4th, 1977 is available on YouTube.