A game show called “The Newlywed Game” featuring new couples who were asked interesting questions debuted this day in 1966.
Host Bob Eubanks, just 28 years old at the time, would be the show’s initial host. Four couples would sit together and Eubanks would ask each one of them a question. Some would be for the men; others for the women.
“The Newlywed Game” was produced by Chuck Barris, whom classic TV fans probably remember as the host of “The Gong Show.” But Barris had a keen eye for programming, too, especially around game shows.
‘The Newlywed Game’ Often Used ‘Makin’ Whoopee’ As Replacement Phrase
One of the most oft-used phrases by Eubanks on the show was “makin’ whoopee.” It is a different phrase for what a question’s intention was toward, which was about a couple’s sex life. Eubanks reportedly said he got the name from a song. “Makin’ Whoopee” is a song from comedian Eddie Cantor in the 1928 musical Whoopee!.
Now Eubanks hosted the original run of “The Newlywed Game” on ABC between 1966-74. He would return to host the show on four different occasions, along with specials. Other hosts of the show include Jim Lange, best known as the host of “The Dating Game,” Paul Rodriguez, Gary Kroeger, Carnie Wilson, and Sherri Shepherd.
An interesting note about the game show is that it aired in the afternoons on ABC. In fact, the network put the young show up against CBS’s powerhouse “Password” hosted by Allen Ludden. Over the next few months, people started tuning in to “The Newlywed Game” more and more. “Password” gets canceled in a matter of time by CBS due to lower ratings.
Structure of Game Show Changed Throughout The Years
The structure of the show itself was having, in the first round, wives taken offstage and put in a sound-proof room. Eubanks would ask the husbands questions, and they would answer. The wives are brought back out and asked the same questions. If their answer matched the husband’s, then they received points. The second round saw the roles reversed but the process remained the same.
Over the different versions of “The Newlywed Game,” the game’s style changed. Yet it still pitted newly-married couples against one another in a race to amass the most points.
The game show ran on ABC from 1966-74. It would make appearances on Game Show Network and in syndication, too, over the years. Eubanks is still alive today, by the way, at 83 years old. He was a disc jockey at Los Angeles Radio station KRLA in the 1960s. When he wasn’t hosting the game show, Eubanks becomes a manager of such country music acts like Dolly Parton and Marty Robbins.