Visit Eddie at his website or at Facebook. Long before we watched The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, in a land far, far away Sorry to be so snarky.
On December 20, , a new and different game show called The Dating Game came on the air. The usual concept was an attractive bachelorette questioning three bachelors, as they were hidden behind a big screen, so the bachelorette couldn't see them. She would ask the guys several questions, then choose one to go on a date, all the while never seeing what the guy looked like. Sometimes the concept would be reversed and there would be a bachelor grilling three bachelorettes, but the three guys idea was much more prevalent.
I always liked the three bachelorettes concept better. Heck, three cute girls to look at instead of one! All female guests on the show, whether the questioning bachelorette or one of the three questioned bachelorettes, always wore an obligatory miniskirt the better to attract male viewers. Although kind of similar to The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, The Dating Game was more like a blind date, albeit one where you could hear your potential partner and even grill them a little before an ultimate meet took place.
According to the show's creator, Chuck Barris, although The Dating Game was taped in the relatively tame '60's and '70's, some of the male guests answers to the girl's questions were incredibly lewd and raunchy. All tapes of the show were carefully censored by the suits at ABC to make sure nothing too suggestive got through to shock or offend the home viewers.
Any questions were allowed by the questioning guy or gal, except four: Every once in a while, the show could get quite snarky. The three bachelors would make snide or sarcastic cracks about their fellow contestants or one of the three bachelorettes could get catty about her female adversaries. Many celebrities appeared on the show, some before they were famous and some after they were already big stars.
For obvious reasons, after they were already rich and famous, they would be the lone questioner, not the "unknowns" behind the screen. The following stars and future stars appeared on The Dating Game: Adam West was the biggest star in show biz as Batman when he was the first celeb to appear on the show in Tom Selleck pre-Magnum P.
Paul Reubens pre-Pee-wee Herman was also on. Michael Jackson made an appearance on the show I will leave it up to the reader's opinion on this one. YouTube link The legendary Groucho Marx made a comic appearance as the bachelor in It was a prank.
One of the three bachelorettes behind the screen was his daughter, Melinda. Gee, i'll bet she really thought that was a riot!! Incidentally, Groucho was 77 at the time, probably making him the oldest person ever to appear on The Dating Game. After the bachelorette had chosen her Prince Charming of the three guys, the happy couple was awarded a date at some exotic location, like Barbados or Paris or Rome.
Jim Lange, a very affable guy, was the show's original host. The Dating Game was officially cancelled after the season but immediately was picked up for one additional year of syndication in Three later incarnations were filmed in the '80's and '90's, but none of these later incarnations was ever anywhere near as popular and widely-viewed as the original.
To those of us who grew up in the '60's, The Dating Game was a part of all of our collective memories. The show always ended with the host and the winning, chosen couples blowing a big kiss to the audience. Ah, simpler, more innocent times, weren't they?