The Object Is
|The Object Is...|
Clark as host in 1963.
|Presented by||Dick Clark|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||65 (+ Pilot)|
|Running time||approx. 26 Minutes|
|Production company(s)||The Object Is, Inc.|
|Original release||December 30, 1963 – March 27, 1964|
Three celebrities and three contestants competed in a game in which they tried to identify people (either celebrities, historical figures, or fictional characters) from objects typically associated with that person. Each contestant played with two celebrities - one who gave a clue and one who received it.
For example, if the person was "Charles Lindbergh" a clue from the first celebrity might be "transatlantic airplane"; if the contestant guessed correctly, it was worth ten points; if not, the contestant gave a clue to the second celebrity for seven points. Clues were worth ten points, then seven, then five, then three. If the subject was not guessed after the three-point clue, the subject was thrown out.
The first contestant to score fifteen points won $75 and the right to team with a celebrity in the "Winner's Game", in which they attempted to identify as many celebrities associated with a particular object as possible in thirty seconds, earning $5 for each correct answer. The Winner's Game was later eliminated and the winner of each game won $100.
Each of the other players earned $5 per point with all players competing for the entire episode and the winner of the most cash returning to play again.
For the last two or three weeks of the run, the format changed to two celebrity-contestant teams (similar to Password) who tried to identify the person in a maximum of three clues for up to 10 points; they now played a two-out-of-three match, with each game worth $100.
Object debuted on the second-to-last day of 1963 at 11:30 AM (10:30 Central), replacing the Jack Narz game Seven Keys in a scheduling shuffle. Object faced the same competition its predecessor did – the Ed McMahon-hosted Missing Links on NBC and local programming on CBS. While Links had a nearly four-month jump on Object, local programming managed to cause both games to bow in defeat on March 27, 1964.
The following Monday, however, showed there was a clear winner – Missing Links, which moved to ABC with Clark as host (McMahon was still under contract to NBC). Nine months later, Links fell to the Peacock's replacement series – Jeopardy!
Compared to most other game shows of the era, Object is completely intact – all 65 episodes, plus the pilot (taped November 26, 1963), are held by the UCLA Film & Television Archive.
Three episodes circulate among collectors – the premiere, the finale, and the second-to-last episode; notably, in the latter, Stubby Kaye promotes the debut of Shenanigans.
- David Schwartz, Steve Ryan, Fred Wostbrock - "The Encyclopedia of TV Game Shows", 3rd Edition