Hurl! (2008) A cross between competitive eating…and Double Dare. Contestants ate tons of food—or disgusting things, like bugs—and then they had to do a physical stunt. The last person who didn’t barf won.
Repo Games (2011) Two “repo men” would go to the real home of a family who missed too many payments on their car. If the family answered enough trivia questions correctly, they got to keep the vehicle.
Amnesia (2008) Dennis Miller hosted this one, where contestants had to answer really hard, obscure trivia questions about their own lives. One contestant had to sample a bunch of apple pies and identify which one was his mother’s recipe; another had to correctly guess the name of a former coworker.
I’m Telling (1988) It was like The Newlywed Game, but instead of married couples having to correctly answer questions about each other, brother and sister teams did.
Celebrity Table Tennis (1971) Exactly what it sounds like. Only a single pilot episode was made, and the famous people ping-ponging were Rat Pack member Peter Lawford, Bob Crane of Hogan’s Heroes, Jo Anne Worley of Laugh-In, and Greg Morris of Mission: Impossible.
Beat the I.R.S. (1985) A question-and-answer show, with a theme. And that theme was that all the questions were about the federal tax code.
Don Adams’ Screen Test (1975) The star of Get Smart and Inspector Gadget hosted this one. Wannabe actors starred in re-creations of well-known movie scenes. The studio audience voted on which actor did a better job, and the prize was a screen test in Hollywood.
You’re in the Picture (1961) Celebrity guests stuck their heads through one of those big pictures with holes in them and asked questions to try to figure out what the picture was. It aired just once; the next week, host Jackie Gleason apologized for the terribleness of You’re in the Picture and from then on the series was a talk show.
Trashed (1994) Notable as Chris Hardwick’s game show hosting debut, contestants had to answer pop culture questions correctly. If they got them wrong, they had their actual prized possessions slashed by the other contestants, with sledgehammers.
Lucky Partners (1958) The host would read off part of a serial number from a $1 bill. Contestants won prizes if they had a dollar bill in their possession with those same numbers. Home viewers could play along too, but almost nobody ever won because there are millions of dollar bills in circulation.
The Neighbors (1975) Five women who all lived on the same street would come on and share hot gossip, and then everybody had to guess which rumors were about which woman.
Throut and Neck (1999) On this late-night show that ran on Game Show Network, viewers used their phones’ touchpads to guide two CGI monsters through a maze.
The Grudge Match (1991) People came on to settle their disputes with friends or family members…in the ring. They didn’t just punch each other, but they used oversized boxing gloves or threw cream pies at each other.
Secrets of the Cryptkeeper’s Haunted House (1996) Tales from the Crypt was a horror TV show that ran on Showtime late at night in the ‘90s. So it wasn’t a show for kids, at all, and yet CBS had this game show on its Saturday morning lineup hosted by the pun-delivering Cryptkeeper puppet.
Your Number’s Up (1985) This show lasted just three months on the air, probably because it was insanely complicated. Contestants spun a wheel and landed on a number, then they had to answer a riddle. If they got it right, they got a point, and once they got to six points they won. Also, the number they hit on the wheel was posted on a board, and after four numbers were up on that board, a member of the studio audience who had those four numbers in their home phone number could come up on stage and predict which contestant would win the game. If they were right, they won a Hawaiian vacation.