Game shows are a mix of fun and learning. They have elements of both luck and skill. They showcase moments of exhilaration and anguish. In short, game shows are awesome. Here are four of my favorite game show moments that are immortalized for posterity.

  1. John Carpenter’s Lifeline

    Who Wants to Be a Millionaire is a game show where if you answer 15 questions correctly, you win a cool million dollars. This is the show that inspired the Indian favorite Kaun Banega Crorepati.

    When John Carpenter, an IRS employee, played the game, nobody had won a million dollars at that point. He answered questions with superlative ease. Carpenter answered 14 questions without using any lifelines, and had all three lifelines intact for the Millon Dollar Question. He chose to use the phone a friend option and call his father. Could his father help him? Did he use other lifelines? Did he walk away with five hundred thousand dollars? Or was he the first million-dollar winner on the show? 

    Watch this video to find out, and you may be delighted to see what happens.

    YouTube video

  2. September Blues

    Family Feud, a game played between two families, has delighted viewers for several decades. Richard Dawson was the first host, and charmed viewers with his personality. 

    What happens when he asks an innocuous-looking question “During what month of pregnancy does a woman begin to look pregnant?” You might guess that the answer would be “third”, “fourth”, “fifth” or even “sixth”. Are you prepared for the response that the contestant gave? Dawson certainly wasn’t.

    Watch this uproarious clip here:

    YouTube video

  3. Upine!

    After Richard Dawson, several other hosts hosted Family Feud, including Ray Combs (my favorite), John O’ Hurley (best known as Seinfeld’s J. Peterman), and comedian Steve Harvey. The Steve Harvey version became very popular thanks to Harvey’s charisma. 

    Harvey asks an innocent question in this clip – “Name something that follows the word pork”. The lady from the Brown family rings the buzzer and bellows “Loin – L – I – O – N – Loin!”. A bemused Harvey forgives the confusion between “lion” and “loin” (or “lawn”?), and accepts the answer. Unsurprisingly, it makes the board as the fourth place answer (pork loin is a popular variety of meat in the United States). Her opponent answers “Belly”, but this is the fifth place answer, so the Brown family gets to play.

    If you thought that the “loin” bit contributed to the weird quotient for the day, wait till you hear the following answer. It made Steve Harvey go “Huh?”, and he becomes speechless and dazed for a good few seconds. “I’m sure this is number one”, he says, “Not on the game board, but on YouTube!”.  

    When Ellen Degeneres asked Steve Harvey in an interview about bizarre moments on the show, he had no doubts in recounting this episode.

    What did the contestant answer that stunned Steve Harvey? Watch it here:

    YouTube video

  4. Who Founded the Lodi Dynasty in 1451?

    This was the question that a contestant had to answer in Kaun Banega Crorepati hosted by Shah Rukh Khan. The four options were Ibrahim Lodi, Bahlol Lodi, Sikandar Lodi, Daulat Khan Lodi. The contestant opted to phone a friend. To optimise the 30 seconds available to him, he breezed through the question faster than the speed of wind, thrice to boot. “Sikandar Lodi”, the friend replied with superlative confidence, “Just freeze it”. Before he hangs up, however, he changes his tune and says “Ibrahim Lodi”. Posing a conundrum to the contestant. Now, the contestant has ideas of his own, and thinks that it may be Daulat Khan Lodi. He keeps wavering from one answer to another, making Shah Rukh Khan go nuts. Watch the clip for one of the most entertaining moments in Kaun Banega Crorepati history. 

    YouTube video

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