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Make Me Laugh

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Make Me Laugh

Make Me Laugh
Genre Game show
Presented by Robert Q. Lewis (1958)
Bobby Van (1979–80)
Ken Ober (1997)
Mark Cohen (1998)
Narrated by Glenn Riggs (1958)
Ken Roberts (1958)
Bill Berry (1979)
Johnny Gilbert (1979)
John Harlan (1979)
Lou DiMaggio (1997–98)
Country of origin  United States
Production
Running time 30 Minutes
Production company(s) Lukehill Productions (1979-1980 version)
Dove Four Point Productions (1997 version)
Distributor Paramount Domestic Television (1979-1980 version)
CBS Television Distribution (current)
Buena Vista Television, Comedy Central (1997 version)
Release
Original channel ABC (March 20, 1958-June 12, 1958)
Syndication (January 15, 1979–February 29, 1980)
Comedy Central (June 2, 1997–February 10, 1998)
Original release March 20, 1958 – February 10, 1998
Make Me Laugh was an American game show in which contestants watched three stand-up comedians performing their acts, one at a time, earning one dollar for every second that they could make it through without laughing. Each comedian had sixty seconds to try to make the contestant laugh.

The hosts

The original version, with Robert Q. Lewis as host, aired for three months in 1958 on ABC. Bobby Van hosted a syndicated revival during the 1979–80 season, and Ken Ober hosted a 1997 revival on Comedy Central, replaced for the second season by Mark Cohen.

Syndicated version

On Van's version, contestants (who were selected from the audience) that lasted the full three minutes had their winnings doubled to $360; also, a celebrity guest would play the last round of each episode, playing for an audience member who would receive a prize just for being chosen, and up to three more prizes based on how many comedians the celebrity could survive.

A number of then-unknown comics appeared on this version before going on to greater fame; among them were Bob Saget, Howie Mandel, Vic Dunlop, Gallagher, Gary Mule Deer, Yakov Smirnoff, Bruce 'Babyman' Baum, Garry Shandling and Bill Kirchenbauer.

The theme music for the 1970s version was entitled Laugh, and was performed by Artie Butler and the Big Boffers.

Reruns of this version later aired on the USA Network from October 2, 1984 to September 26, 1986.

Comedy Central version

In the Comedy Central version, the game remained the same but with new additions. There were two formats to this version.

Ober's version

Round One

Three contestants competed, one at a time; rules were the same as the original version.

Round Two (The Toughest Room in America)

Two audience members were chosen for this round, one at a time, each with one of the comedians performing for 60 seconds and trying to elicit a laugh. Contestants made two separate predictions for the outcomes and wagered a portion of their scores; a correct prediction added the amount of the contestant's wager to his/her score, while an incorrect prediction deducted it. The contestant with the highest score at the end of this round won the game and kept his/her winnings, while the other two received joke consolation prizes.

Bonus Round (Tag Team Round)

This round is called "The Tag Team Round", because the winning contestant now faced all three comics in this final round of the game. The contestant had the usual 60 seconds to face each one, and the comics alternated turns. If the winning contestant survived the full minute, he/she won $500, otherwise he/she earned $5 per second.

Cohen's version

Round One

Three contestants, who were randomly selected from the studio audience, competed; each one came out one by one in round one, much like the 1970s version.

Round Two (Tag Team Round)

One audience member was chosen for a 90-second performance by all three comedians, with each taking 30 seconds. The contestants wagered a portion of their scores on their predictions as to whether any of the comedians could make the audience member laugh; a correct prediction added the amount of the wager, while an incorrect prediction deducted it. The highest scorer kept his/her winnings, while the others received real consolation prizes.

Bonus Round (Mystery Comic)

The winning contestant faced a "Mystery Comic" whose identity was not revealed. He/she earned $5 per second for not laughing, up to a maximum of $500 for 100 seconds (1 minute 40 seconds).

External links

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