Have you ever been a contestant on a game show?
Or maybe you’ve been in the crowd when they taped the show?
I’ve never done either, but I’d love to go see Jeopardy! someday…and way back in the day I would’ve done anything to go Double Dare when I was a kid. Oh man, that show was awesome…
Anyway, a lot goes on behind the scenes of game shows, as you can probably imagine.
Here are some stories from folks on AskReddit.
1. Behind the scenes.
“I was on Wheel of Fortune.
You have to get there at 5 AM where you draw straws with other contestants to decide when you will film.
They film the entire week of episodes in 1 day.
Pat Sajak is incredibly friendly and interacted with us on every break.
The wheel is HEAVY.”
2. I love that show!
“I was on Cash Cab. You can’t just hail a cab in New York which turns out to be the Cash Cab. There is a vetting process, but you don’t know you are going to be on the show so the reaction is genuine.
Also, there is alot of awkward silence time while he is listening to the producer in his ear. There is a cameraman riding shotgun unseen on TV. The money he gives is prop money for TV.
They mail you a check after the show airs. Ben Bailey was genuinely a nice guy.”
3. Tattoo show.
“My wife got a tattoo on a tattoo competition show.
They gave her headphones to wear while she was being tattooed, but she wasn’t allowed to actually plug them in and listen to music. Pure product placement LOL
Other than that it was a really good experience! Producers worked with her for several weeks leading up to and made sure she got a tattoo subject and style that she wanted.”
4. Do it again!
“They tell the audience to clap and cheer and they film that to edit it in during appropriate events.
If we didn’t cheer or clap loud enough, they had us retake it.
The same goes for grimaces/negative reactions and shock/surprise.”
5. Ripped off!
“They let the other girl in the Showcase Showdown on The Price is Right re-bid after the audience booed her original bid (something silly low like $10,000).
When it aired, they cut her original bid and showed only her second, winning bid.
6. Take a dive.
“Was on a game show called “Fist of Zen” on MTV. Basically a group of people subjected to painful and nauseating tasks for cash.
We won every round but the producer asked us to purposefully fail one to change things up.
Despite losing one round we were still paid the full prize money.”
7. Let’s make you a star.
“I was on “Who wants to be a millionaire”, and its all scripted. The filming took half a day for 30 minutes of film.
When you win the intro round, you are taken out to get your make up on, and then they instruct you how to act when you celebrate.
The reason the audience is so completely useless (And why you see so many press wrong on obvious answers) is because 20-30% of the audience is friends and family to the other 7 contestants who are waiting for their turn. We spent two days in the studio, and if the initial contestant loses, the others get their chance.
If one contestant goes far and takes a lot of time, no one else gets a chance, so the audience tells the wrong answer on purpose.”
8. Back in the ’80s.
“Producers keep an eagle eye on contestants throughout the day, even escorting you to the bathroom. This is because of the quiz show scandals of the 1950s.
And because the whole week tapes in a day, you have to bring 4 changes of clothes with you. All in solid colors so the patterns don’t bleed on camera.
This was the ’80s, so recording technology may have improved since then.”
9. Love that guy!
“Alex Trebek is just as no bullsh*t and likable as he appears on TV.
During commercial breaks he took questions and told stories.
Communicating and joking with the audience the whole time.”
10. Deal or No Deal.
“In Deal or No Deal only the interesting people get picked.
If you are outgoing and excited you’ve got a high chance of being selected.
Also, if you appear to be their target contestant, but turn out to be a dud, then I think they have the option of not putting you on air and no prize for you.
Whether that is a threat they follow though with or not I’m not sure.”
“I auditioned for X-Factor.
You don’t go to the celebrity judges first you go in front of some “off camera” judges.
So every terrible and horrible singer you see on the show has already been told they are better than the many talented ones not deemed “tv worthy” which makes it a lot more disgusting to me.”
12. Time to overact.
“I was on one that required like 30 second shot (don’t quite remember) of the contestants scrambling around picking up the supplies they want.
Turns out we didn’t need nearly that long, but they had us continue to scramble and push through even though there was plenty of space and no real rush.”
13. Ninja style.
“I was part of the “paid” audience for american ninja warrior. I was actually with a vegetarian group that collected the money earned for charity, so that was cool.
What wasn’t cool was getting downtown at midnight, for there to be hundreds of bats flying around and a two hour delay.
We were only allowed to wear certain colors, no logos, and yeah they did take the audience cheering/booing to edit in later, which was honestly a good thing because at around 3 am, most of the audience started leaving. The stands were empty so they had us moving down the course as they filmed to make it look more full haha.
I got to meet a couple of the warriors, we all were on tv, and we nabbed a sign from the set. Overall was fun.”
14. Time to go!
“How fast they want to get rid of you when it’s over. I was on Millionaire and it ends when they shoot everyone gathering around the host, laughing, shaking hands etc as if it’s the start of an after-party.
They end the shot and then you have just a few minutes to grab your stuff from the dressing room and get on the bus out of there. I can understand it – their post-production work is just beginning, and most of the contestants are about to get a big disappointment hangover.
You arrive full of hopes and dreams and then most people will not get into the chair, or will flame out pretty quickly.
Some of the contestants were already starting to get cranky, and the production staff have no further use for them.”
“So, if you tape a show but it never airs you won’t get the prizes and money you ‘won’.
Years ago I was on the most renowned, long-running game show in my country ‘Sale Of The Century’ – which aired every weeknight at 7pm nationwide. I got on the show and won fancy golfclubs and $10k prize money. Safe right?
My show was scheduled to air about 2 months later – on Wednesday, September 12th, 2001.
24 hours earlier all regular programming was suspended, and my show was canceled BUT I was saved because another contestant was a carry-over champ and for continuity, they had to air it at some point – which they did, highly irregularly, that following Saturday night.”
Have you ever worked on a game show?
Or been a contestant on one?
If so, tell us about your experiences in the comments. Thanks!