Quiz shows are a great television tradition that has, in recent years, become much less popular and common.
Quiz shows are most fun when the audience at home can feel like they can participate as well, meaning that these shows are best experienced with the whole family. Let’s check out some of the classic shows from the last 100 years.
You Bet Your Life
Easily the funniest quiz show on this list, You Bet Your Life was hosted by the legendary Groucho Marx, famous for his role in the Marx Brothers films.
This is also the only quiz show on this list that was at one point broadcast on both radio and television. While at its heart a quiz show, You Bet Your Life focused more on the comedic dialogue between host Marx and his celebrity contestants.
The quiz show to end all quiz shows, Mastermind first aired on British television in 1972 but is still running today. Its challenging questions, intense serious atmosphere and great set of host’s have made this quiz show a household name in the UK and elsewhere.
Mastermind soon developed into board games, video games and a whole host of other media. The series creator, Bill Wrought has openly stated that he found the inspiration for the show format from being interrogated by the Gestapo during the Second World War.
A hit show in both the UK and the US, Blockbusters was a traditional quiz show where contestants answered questions and progressed along a hexagonal board to claim cash prizes.
The format saw a single contestant compete against two other players. The solo player would attempt to make a vertical connected row of correct answers while the two other contestants attempted to complete a row horizontally.
First broadcast in 1982 as the first show ever aired by Channel 4 in the UK, Countdown has run for 77 seasons. The show expertly combines word and number puzzles in a way that a wide demographic of viewers can watch and participate from home.
The show is currently still running in an amalgamated form, teamed up with the show 8 out of ten cats as a new show Countdown meets 8 out of 10 cats. The show was originally a French show called Numbers and Letters but its adaptation for UK television was where the show really started to shine.
People Are Funny
One of the most influential game shows in the history of television, People are Funny was less a quiz show and more a game of truth or dare. A series of contestants would be tasked with a specific challenge they would need to complete to win cash prizes.
Challenges included checking a live seal into a hotel as well as attempting to hold a minute’s long conversation on the phone with a total stranger that the producers picked randomly from a phonebook. The show ran between 1942 and 1960 with a brief attempt at making a network return in 1984.