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Pantomime Quiz
Mike Stokey Sandra Spence Pantomime Quiz.JPG
Mike Stokey and timekeeper Sandra Spence in 1952.
Also known as Pantomime Quiz Time
Presented by Mike Stokey
Country of origin United States
Running time 24–26 minutes
Production company(s) Mike Stokey Productions
Original channel KTLA (1947–1949)
CBS (1949–1957)
NBC (January–March 1952)
DuMont (1953–1954)
ABC (1955; 1958–1959)
Picture format Black-and-white
Audio format Monaural
Original run November 13, 1947 (1947-11-13) – October 9, 1959 (1959-10-09)

Pantomime Quiz, initially titled Pantomime Quiz Time, is an American television game show produced and hosted by Mike Stokey. Running from 1947—1959, it has the distinction of being one of the few television series—along with The Arthur Murray Party; Down You Go; The Ernie Kovacs Show, The Original Amateur Hour; and Tom Corbett, Space Cadet — to air on all four TV networks in the US during the Golden Age of Television.


Based on the parlor game of Charades, Pantomime Quiz was first broadcast locally in Los Angeles from November 13, 1947 to 1949. In that format, it won an Emmy Award for "Most Popular Television Program" at the first Emmy Awards ceremony. The competition involved two teams of four contestants each (three regulars and one guest). In each round, one member acts out (in mime) a phrase or a name while the other three try to guess it. Each team had five rounds (in some broadcasts there were only four); the team that took the less amount of time to guess all phrases won the game.

Home viewers were encouraged to send in suggestions for phrases to be used in a telecast. Those that were actually used earned cash or a prize for the people who sent them. A bonus was given if the team trying to solve it could not do so within two minutes.

Broadcast history (national)[edit]

Pantomime Quiz was picked up by CBS Television in October 1949 and ran on that network, usually during the summers, until August 28, 1951. After this, NBC Television took it as a mid-season replacement from January 2 to March 26, 1952. CBS then took back the series from July 4 to August 28, 1952. NBC never aired the program again.[1]

The DuMont Television Network took the series from October 20, 1953, to April 13, 1954, after which it went back to CBS from July 9 to August 27, 1954.[1]

ABC finally took the charades game for a mid-season slot much like NBC, airing the durable quiz from January 22 to March 6, 1955. After CBS took it back they ran it for three more summers (July 8 to September 30, 1955; July 6 to September 7, 1956; July 5 to September 6, 1957) before the network dropped the program altogether.[1]

After a seven-month absence, ABC picked up Pantomime Quiz from April 8, 1958, to September 2, 1958; on May 18, 1959 the show began airing on ABC in daytime and concurrently with a primetime show beginning on June 8. However, September 28 saw the end of the primetime version, with the daytime version ending October 9, 1959.[1]

An Australian version aired in 1957 on Melbourne station GTV-9 and Sydney station ATN-7, with Harry Dearth, George Foster and Jim Russell among those appearing,[2] but proved to be short-lived, running from March to November.


Stump the Stars
Also known as Mike Stokey's Stump the Stars
Presented by Pat Harrington, Jr. (1962)
Mike Stokey (1962–1970)
Country of origin United States
Running time 22–24 minutes
Production company(s) Mike Stokey Productions
Original channel CBS (1962–1963)
Syndication (1964/1969–1970)
Audio format Monaural
Original run September 17, 1962 (1962-09-17) – September 25, 1970 (1970-09-25)

On September 17, 1962 Pantomime Quiz returned to the air as Stump the Stars on CBS with Pat Harrington, Jr. as the emcee. Stokey replaced Harrington on December 17 and continued as both host and producer until the September 16, 1963 finale.

Soon after, Stokey began recording a new syndicated version which ran from February 24 to September 2, 1964. It returned five years later (September 8, 1969) as Mike Stokey's Stump the Stars. As the title suggests, Stokey returned once again to host.

Celebrity Charades[edit]

Main article: Celebrity Charades

January 1979 brought another syndicated revival with a few tweaks and a new name - Celebrity Charades. Jay Johnson was the host; This version aired until September. The first three episodes reran on GSN in the 1990s.

On June 20, 2005 AMC revived the series, which was presented by Hilary Swank and her husband Chad Lowe. Swank, Lowe, and director Bob Balaban were the producers - although only Lowe hosted. In this version each team had its own room in which to compete. One player from each team is sent to midstage (actually the middle of a New York City loft apartment) to retrieve a phrase to be acted out in his/her team's room. When the team guesses the phrase correctly, the person making correct guess is sent out to midstage for another clue, and so forth until five phrases are guessed. The first team that guesses the phrases' common theme wins the game. However, this version did worse than any of the ones before it, running for a mere five episodes until the experiment ended on June 24.

Celebrity Guests[edit]

Some of the "stars" who were "stumped" on Pantomime Quiz or Stump the Stars:

Episode status[edit]

Many episodes of Stump the Stars and Pantomime Quiz exist, and are held by the UCLA Film and Television Archive.[3][4]

A few episodes that appear to be public domain have been available on the private trading circuit; and also appear on YouTube.

See also[edit]



External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantomime_Quiz — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

18 news items

Yahoo TV (blog)
Thu, 17 Jul 2014 15:47:47 -0700

Stage and comedy legend Elaine Stritch died Thursday morning at 89 at her home in Birmingham, Michigan. To say they don't make 'em like the throaty-voiced Stritch anymore would be the ultimate understatement. She was a tour de force actress who ...
A.V. Club
Fri, 17 Jan 2014 20:41:44 -0800

The “stars on couches” conceit stretches all the way back to Pantomime Quiz Time, a charades game show that premiered locally on Los Angeles' KTLA in 1947. Pantomime Quiz later went national and stayed on the air until 1959, but despite its success ...
TV Guide
Wed, 12 Jun 2013 19:16:17 -0700

Long before Jeff Probst snuffed out his first torch on Survivor, the viewing tribe had spoken: We love watching the game shows people play. This is the original reality TV — average Joes and Janes trying to outwit, outplay and outlast their competitors.
Los Angeles Times
Sun, 22 Sep 2013 13:50:59 -0700

"Pantomime Quiz" was a big winner. Check out our timeline. by Amy.Hubbard . 9/22/2013 10:24:19 PM September 22, 2013 at 3:24 PM tenny.tatusian. Poll: Front-runner for lead actress is Kerry Washington, says Glenn Whipp. Who would you vote for?
Digital Spy UK
Wed, 28 Aug 2013 03:08:37 -0700

Since then it's been pantomime, quiz shows, comedy shows and more, and the couple have now been immortalised as children's classic toy figures. On the John Lewis website, you can now buy Sylvanian Families Hamilton Hamster Family Babies.
New York Times (blog)
Tue, 23 Feb 2010 05:10:50 -0800

Despite a season in the '50s on the game show Pantomime Quiz, she came to series television late, starring in 1984-1996 as Jessica Fletcher in Murder, She Wrote; she took over as producer of the show in the '90s. She returned to the Disney studios to ...
Jim Hill Media.com
Tue, 03 May 2011 21:01:04 -0700

I still wanted to say no, but my manager reminded me that not too many years earlier I was scrambling to win two hundred dollars on Pantomime Quiz. Although I was in a different position now, I understood - and just in case I didn't, he left me know ...
Neue Westfälische
Sun, 04 May 2014 06:29:02 -0700

Im Strandkorb sitzend mussten jeweils zwei Besucher bei einem Pantomime-Quiz Begriffe erraten. Wer sich als Ratefuchs erwies bekam zur Belohnung einen Gutschein. "Dorfmoderator" Rüdiger Düchting war am Mikrofon jederzeit auf Ballhöhe und ...

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