|This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2010)|
|Created by||Jay Wolpert|
|Directed by||Bill Carruthers
|Presented by||Tom Kennedy|
|Narrated by||Rod Roddy|
|Theme music composer||Alan Thicke|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||Unknown|
|Executive producer(s)||Bud Austin
|Location(s)||CBS Television City
|Running time||Approx. 25 minutes (with commercials)|
|Production company(s)||The Bud Austin Company
Jay Wolpert Productions
Burt Sugarman Inc.
|Original release||April 23, 1979 – May 30, 1980|
The gameboard consisted of five rows ("levels") of five squares each, with values from $10 to $50 in $10 increments, and a sixth level of three squares with values of $200, $350, and $500. Two contestants (or during the later half of the run, two teams of a celebrity and a non-celebrity) were told the categories for the first two rounds of play at the start of the match. The current challenger decided whether he/she would play as the Charger or the Blocker for the first round, and the champion took the other role. (If there was no returning champion, a coin toss determined which contestant made this decision.) The Charger was led offstage to a soundproof booth, and the Blocker then placed six blocks on the board. No more than three blocks could be placed on any of Levels 1 through 5, and no more than one on Level 6.
The Charger was brought back onstage and given 60 seconds to advance through all six levels by correcting "bloopers" - factual statements with one word changed to create a pun. (Example: "The B&O was the first American passenger smell", with "railroad" as the correct answer.) The Charger started on Level 1 by choosing one of its squares; if a blooper was hidden there, it was revealed on that space's trilon and read out. The incorrect word was marked with an underline, and was the only part that the Charger needed to correct. A correct answer allowed him/her to move to the next level. Uncovering a block incurred a five-second penalty, which was counted down by Kennedy and the audience (and sometimes the Blocker as well) before the Charger could continue. If the Charger revealed all the spaces on a level without a correct answer, he/she was allowed to advance.
If the Charger believed that he/she would not have enough time to clear all six levels, and if he/she had not yet reached Level 6, he/she could call a Longshot. The clock was stopped, the Charger immediately advanced to Level 6, and the Blocker hid one block on that level in addition to any that may have already been placed there. The Charger then selected one square and attempted to correct its blooper if one was hidden there. The Charger won the round by either clearing all six levels or successfully completing a Longshot. If the Charger ran out of time, or either hit a block or failed to correct a blooper after calling a Longshot, the Blocker won the round. The Charger could not call a Longshot after reaching Level 6 or during the five-second penalty for hitting a block, but could do so at any other time, even while Kennedy was reading a blooper.
The first contestant to win two rounds won the match and advanced to the bonus round, while the opponent received a consolation prize. The winner received the total value of all bloopers he/she corrected and of all blocks hit by the opponent during the two rounds that he/she won. The contestants traded roles for the second round; if a third was needed, Kennedy revealed its category at that time and the champion decided who would play which role.
Bonus round: The Gauntlet of Villains
The contestant stood at the beginning of a path lined with 10 wooden caricatures of stereotypical villains, each with one arm raised as a barrier. He/she had 60 seconds, plus one extra second for every $100 earned in the main game, to reach the end of the path by correcting bloopers. If the contestant either responded incorrectly or failed to respond within two seconds, the correct answer was shown on a small screen embedded in the current villain's chest and Kennedy read a new blooper. A correct response led to the villain's arm being lowered so that the contestant could advance to the next one.
The contestant won $100 for each villain passed, or $25,000 for completing the Gauntlet. Since CBS had a $25,000 winnings limit in effect for its game shows at the time, any contestant who won this bonus round immediately retired from the show. The villains' screens often displayed mocking comments before and after the round, whether the contestant won or lost.
The villains in the Gauntlet, from left-to-right:
- Alphonse the Gangster
- Bruno the Headsman
- Mr. Van Louse the Landlord
- Nero the Fiddler
- Count Nibbleneck the Vampire
- Frank and his little friend Stein
- Kid Rotten the Gunslinger
- Jeremy Swash the Pirate
- Dr. Deranged the Mad Scientist
- Lucretia the Witch
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (April 2011)|
Whew! 's debut at 10:30 AM was part of a morning lineup shuffle at CBS. In order to make room for the game show and daytime All in the Family reruns in the 10 AM hour, the hour-long game show The Price Is Right was moved to 11 AM where it continues to air in most markets to this day. Its actual run time, with commercials, was 25 minutes; the remaining time (in between the show and The Price Is Right) was taken up by the five-minute CBS Mid-Morning News with Douglas Edwards. Whew! went up against The Hollywood Squares on NBC for its entire run and the latter show easily beat out Whew!.
After the final episode of Whew! aired, the series was replaced the following Monday by repeats of Alice, which aired until September 17, 1982, when it was replaced by Child's Play the following Monday. Press Your Luck would replace Child's Play on September 19, 1983.
Starting November 1979 and originally set to run for just three weeks, but continued until Whew! went off the air in May 1980, the program became known as Celebrity Whew! and two contestant-celebrity pairs competed. The Charging teammates alternated after clearing each level, while the Blocking teammates each placed three blocks on the board. Although episodes briefly continued to straddle, this was quickly changed. Instead, if a team swept the first two boards, the third board was played for bonus money and the Villains placed the blocks at random.
In the Gauntlet of Villains, one member of the team took the first half of the Gauntlet and the other took the second half. The rules were the same as before: each $100 earned in the front game was worth one additional second on top of the base 60-second time, and completing the Gauntlet won $25,000 which retired the player immediately upon winning it.
- Schwartz, David; Ryan, Steve; Wostbrock, Fred (1999). The Encyclopedia of TV Game Shows (3 ed.). Facts on File, Inc. p. 254. ISBN 0-8160-3846-5.
- "Shows–CBS Television City". Retrieved 25 July 2011.
- "Whew! Credits". Television Production Music Museum. 2010. Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
Burt Sugarman: Checked all the material from WHEW! and absolutely does not have the music, only 100% of original video masters.
- WHEW! Renewal Gift