Talk About (game show)

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Talk About
Talk About logo.png
GenreGame show
Created byMark Maxwell-Smith
Directed byMichael Watt
Presented byWayne Cox
Narrated byDean Hill
Country of originCanada
Original language(s)English
Executive producer(s)Pat Ferns
Don Taffner
Producer(s)Steven Glassman
Production location(s)CBC Studios
Vancouver, British Columbia
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time22-26 minutes
Production company(s)Comedia Productions
Original networkCBC
Picture formatSDTV
Audio formatStereo
Original releaseSeptember 18, 1989 (1989-09-18) –
March 16, 1990 (1990-03-16)
Related showsTalk About (UK version)

Talk About is a game show produced in Canada for CBC, which bears some similarities to the board game Outburst. Originally produced for CBC for the 1988-89 season, it was later picked up for American television syndication, airing from September 18, 1989 to March 16, 1990 with repeats later airing on the USA Network from June 28 to December 31, 1993 and on GameTV from January 3, 2011 to September 2015. Taped at stage 40 of CBC's Vancouver studios, the show was hosted by Wayne Cox with local radio personality Dean Hill as announcer.


Two teams of two people, one team usually returning champions, played.

Each round of play was conducted in the same manner. The game started with the champions playing first and each subsequent round saw the teams taking turns. The team that was not playing in a particular round was stationed at a desk to the side of the play area, where they would place headphones on their ears and keep their backs turned to their opponents so they could neither see nor hear anything. Cox would give the team playing a choice of two subjects to talk about. The team captain would then choose the subject and who would speak first.

There were ten words associated with each subject that were selected by the show's producers and the team tried to come up with as many as they could. Each word was worth one point and each team member had one chance to talk per round, having twenty seconds to do so. If, between them, the team could come up with all ten words, they won a $500 bonus and received ten points. If not, the points from the keywords they had already said could be stolen by the opposing team. After they were brought out of isolation, the other team was shown the keywords the other team had not said and given a chance to steal the points with a right answer. If they could not, the points remained with the first team.

Play continued in this manner until one of the teams reached fifteen points. The first team to do this won the game and $100, and advanced to the bonus round, while the losing team received parting gifts. All players received a copy of the Talk About home game.

Games could straddle from the end of one episode to the start of the next. This rule was changed for celebrity weeks; when time ran out at the end of an episode, the team in the lead won the game and received prizes for the charity sponsoring them.

Any team that won five consecutive games retired undefeated and collected the Grand Game Jackpot. This was a prize package worth $1,000 in the first season; during the second season, it began at this value and a prize was added every time new champions were crowned until a team claimed it. The biggest Grand Game Jackpot won on the show was $10,000.

Bonus round[edit]

The winning team played the bonus round for a bonus prize and up to $2,000 in cash.

The team captain chose one of two prizes to play for and one of two topics to discuss. He/she then decided which member would speak first, and the partner entered an isolation booth. As in the main game, the talking player had 20 seconds to say as many keywords as possible from a list of 10. Each word awarded $100; if the talking player said all of them, the team immediately won $2,000 and the prize.

Any words that remained unsaid after 20 seconds were shown to the talking player, who then had to choose whether to continue the round or stop and take the accumulated money. If he/she chose to continue, his/her partner was brought out of the booth and had to try to come up with any of the unsaid words. One second was given for every word that had been said by the talking player, for a maximum of nine seconds. If the partner succeeded, the team won the prize and their bonus money was doubled; if not, they forfeited the money.

Home version[edit]

A home version of the game was produced by Pressman Toy Corporation in 1989. All contestants got a copy and Cox would originally plug it after every match. Later, Hill would plug it after coming back from the first commercial break.

A computer game of the show was produced by GameTek, but is fairly rare.

Notable contestants[edit]

  • Denis Simpson: Already known for his work on TVO's Polka Dot Door, Simpson and his partner, singer Marcus Mosely went on the show and lost their game. After a dispute on a subject, in which they guessed "rugs" on the subject of "carpets", they were invited back to play the next game, which they won and would go on to win $1,800 in 4 games. Simpson would later become a regular on Acting Crazy, another Wayne Cox-hosted show.
  • Melody Davies: Like Denis Simpson, she would later become a regular on Acting Crazy.
  • Denalda Williams: Williams became a contestant on Talk About before she was chosen as a panelist on The Next Line.
  • Shawn Farquhar: Farquhar became a contestant on Talk About before he won the world championship of magic.

Foreign adaptations[edit]

A UK version of the show hosted by Andrew O'Connor ran for three years on ITV from 1990-1993. The only difference was in the bonus round, where each word was worth £20, and at the end, the player had two options: "doubling", by having their partner say any unsaid word or "double-doubling" (4 times the pounds) by having them say a specific word within a time limit of 1 second per word already said.

Lars Gustafsson hosted a Swedish version called Prata på! which ran briefly on TV4 in the mid-1990s. In the bonus round, each word was worth 500 kronor, and the "doubling" option required the partner to say any one of the unsaid words within a time limit of one second per word already said.

An Irish version of the show was broadcast by RTÉ in the early 1990s on Saturday nights, it was presented by Ian Dempsey. The show was brought back to RTÉ in the mid-1990's and was this time presented by Alan Hughes. After each team took two turns at talking, the higher scoring team played the bonus round in which each word earned £10 and one second for the other player to say one of the remaining words if the first player took the double-or-nothing option.