On this day in history, July 11, 1966, the TV game show The Newlywed Game premiered on ABC-TV. It was hosted by Bob Eubanks, who at the age of 28 was the youngest game show host on television at the time.
The game pitted newly married couples against each other in a series of revealing question rounds to determine how well the spouses know (or don’t know) each other.
Bob Eubanks immortalized the phrase “making whoopee” (used as a reference to having sex when the censors wouldn’t allow those words in the 60s and 70s).
On the PBS series Pioneers of Television, Eubanks said, “The Newlywed Game was reality TV before reality TV as we now know it.”
This video of a program from 1978 was recorded from WRC-TV in Washington, D.C. (which is an NBC station). It includes commercials of the era, for food, energy efficiency and the movies, “Who’s Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?” and Jack Nicholson in “Goin’ South.”
One of the questions was “What’s your husband’s blood type?” It was appalling how few of them knew the right answer.
The winning couple got a brand new dining room set!
Time goes by and now all those newlyweds are long-married couples (we hope – providing their relationships survived The Newlywed Game and the general rigors of life). The Baby Boomers are sliding into retirement. It’s time for these couples to play a new game: The Newly-Dead Game®!
The Newly-Dead Game was conceived as a way to help start funeral planning conversations in a fun, non-threatening way. Game creator Gail Rubin, author of A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die, sought a way to help families get past the fear of discussing funeral planning.
“Couples who have played this game often come away with a fresh appreciation of how much they still need to know about each other when it comes to funeral planning,” said Rubin. “Just as talking about sex won’t make you pregnant, talking about funerals won’t make you dead – and your family really does benefit from the conversation.”
The game is based on elements of The Newlywed Game, but the questions in The Newly-Dead Game revolve around how well the couple knows each other regarding their last wishes.
The Newly-Dead Game is designed to be played by three or four couples with an emcee reading the questions. Four questions are asked, each progressively more challenging. All questions regard elements of the participants’ last wishes. The emcee then interviews the couples to reveal their answers.
The couple that gets the most answers correct get the most points. The highest scoring couple wins the top prize. You can own your own digital copy of The Newly-Dead Game for $24.97. Click here for more information and to order online.
Here’s an example of couples playing the game at the Frozen Dead Guy Days Festival in Nederland, Colorado.