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    Password: October 1961 - September 1967, April 1971 - November 1974
    Password All-Stars: November 1974 - February 1975 (Not covered)
    Password ('75): February 1975 - June 1975 (Not covered)
    Password Plus: January 1979 - March 1982
    Super Password: September 1984 - March 1989

Hosts: Allen Ludden, Bill Cullen, Tom Kennedy, Bert Convy
Announcers: Bob Marcato, Jack Clark, Frank Wayne, Bern Bennett, Lee Vines, Gene Wood, Bob Kennedy, John Harlan, Rich Jeffries
Produced by: Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Productions (1961-82), Mark Goodson Productions (1984-9)

Front Game Rules (1961-7 version)

Two teams, each composed of one celebrity and one civilian, compete. One member of each team is shown a word, and these players alternate in trying to get their partners to guess the word, the restriction being that each can only use one-word clues. A correct guess on the first clue earns the team 10 points, while each successive clue deducts one point from the value of the clue. The first team to score 25 poits wins the game, $100, and plays the bonus round. The celeb and civilian switched roles with each word. 'The Password Is...'

Front Game Rules (1979-89 versions)

A Password Plus team plays a word Once again, two celeb/civvie teams compete. As before, one member of each team tries to convey a word to their partners using one-word clues, with a maximum of two clues allowed per side. Also, in Password Plus, the team that guessed the last word had the option of giving the first clue to the next word, or passing that responsibility to the other team. These words, when guessed, were used as clues to a puzzle, which the word-guesser would then try to guess. Each puzzle consisted of five words. Guessing the puzzle earned money. In Password Plus the value of the first two puzzles was $100, while all subsequent puzzles were worth $200 each. For Super Password, the first puzzle was worth $100 and each puzzle thereafter was worth $100 more than the one before it. The first team to score $300 (in P+) or $500 (in SP) won the game and went on to the bonus round. In both shows, the celeb and civvie swapped duties after each puzzle. A Super Password puzzle - answer below.
Stephen Furst gives clues for the Ca$hword During the '80s run, the winner of the second puzzle also had the opportunity to earn bonus money with the "Ca$hword". The celebrity attempted to convey one moderately difficult word to his/her partner with 3 clues, in under 15 seconds. If successful, the contestant won $1000 plus $1000 for each game that it had not been won.

End Game Rules (1961-7 version) - "Lightning Round"

In the bonus round, the celebrity had 60 seconds to convey up to five passwords to his/her partner. Each one correctly guessed won $50, for a maximum of $250. A Lightning Round in progress

End Game Rules (1979-89 versions) - "Alphabetics"

Stephen Furst and his partner take on Alphabetics During the later versions of the game, the celebrity had 60 seconds to convey ten words, each one beginning with consecutive letters of the alphabet (A through J, L through U, etc.) Each word guessed won $100, while getting all ten words won a jackpot that began at $5000 and increased by $5000 for each game that it wasn't won. In the Password Plus run, an illegal clue (using hand motions, two-word clues, etc.) reduced the possible grand prize by 1/5.


Password set a number of benchmarks for the genre. It was the first game show in history in which celebrities and contestants played as a team and not as opponents (before, celebrity involvment in a game show was on panel shows, attempting to prevent a contestant from winning money). Also, it was the first show in which the winners were allowed to play an extra game for more winnings - in essence, the first game with a bonus round. It provided the genre's first on-screen romance, as well; host Allen Ludden eventually married regular guest Betty White.

Speaking of Ludden, he developed cancer at the beginning of the Password Plus run. He took a leave from the show for the operation, while Bill Cullen hosted in his stead. Ludden returned, but a stroke soon after ended his career; Tom Kennedy took over the show after Allen Ludden died in 1980. Bert Convy, host of Super Password, died in 1990 due to a brain tumor.

Loogaroo Looks it Over

One of the classics. The gameplay was perfect in every format, from the simplicity of the first version to the puzzles added in Password Plus and Super Password. Allen Ludden remains one of the most sincere and likable personalities the genre has ever offered. Sadly, this show was Allen's domain, and when he eventually left, no other host - not even Bill Cullen or Tom Kennedy - could take his place. Password is also responsible for two of my favorite theme songs, those for Password PLus and Super Password (which is my all-time favorite).


Gameplay: 3 pts.
Host: 3 pts.
Presentation: 1 pt.
Execution: 2 pts.
Total Score: 9 pts.

Password Plus

Gameplay: 3 pts.
Host: 3 pts. (Ludden), 2 pts. (Cullen & Kennedy)
Presentation: 2 pts.
Execution: 2 pts.
Total Score: 10 pts.

Super Password

Gameplay: 3 pts.
Host: 2 pts.
Presentation: 2 pts.
Execution: 2 pts.
Total Score: 9 pts.

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Answer: "King Kong"