Think Fast

Michael Carrington Skip Lackey
Broadcast history: Nickelodeon May 1, 1989 - June 29, 1991
Host(s): Michael Carrington, Skip Lackey
Announcer(s): James Eopollo, Henry J

Behind these pieces is a puzzle! (Answer below) Two teams of two kids, boy and girl, competed. Stunts either for the teams or individual members were played. Sample stunts include making words from a series of letters, throwing paint-filled balloons at their partner in a specific sequence, matching paintings on the wall with their shape, etc. The winners of the stunt got $50 and the chance to solve the "Brain Bender." The "Brain Bender" was a multi-piece puzzle. Puzzles could be rebuses, things in common, a celebrity photo, or a common object. One piece was revealed, and the team got a guess. If they guessed right, they won $200. If they guessed wrong, another event was played. After the third event, two more events were played worth $100. If a "Brain Bender" is solved, then another is played. When time is short, pieces are revealed one by one. Originally, teams alternated with guesses. Later, with Skip Lackey, teams faced off at the buzzerst. The highest scoring team when time was called went to the "Locker Room."

In the "Locker Room" the players faced fifteen lockers. One opened revealing a character or item and the clock started at 30 seconds. The first contestant had to find the match by opening the other lockers. Once they found it, they reset the lockers and revealed their next match. If they were able to open the locker with the "time bomb" within 20 seconds, their partner got the full time, otherwise they only got 20 seconds. Each kid could make three matches, each worth a prize.

In the Lackey era, players alternated matching in sixty seconds. One item that did not match anything was dubbed the "red herring" and was kept secret from the contestants. The lockers would not reset if it was opened first. If they thought the red herring was revealed, they pulled a cord and the lockers would then shut. The first four matches were worth $100 for each contestant, the last three worth prizes.

The Michael Carrington era of "Think Fast" taped in Philadelphia. With Skip Lackey as host, the show moved to Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. Games now were bigger and sloppier and relied less on mental ability.

Michael Carrington is a TV writer who has also done some voice work with "The Simpsons" and other shows.

The title is appropriate. Things move at fast clip, and the puzzles make you think. Rebuses require different thinking than needed on most kids shows. It's nice to see it on another show than "Concentration." The earlier shows are better because the stunts were split down the middle as far as sloppy and not sloppy went. Some of them featured word searches, memorizing patterns and even a memory game very similar to "Eye Guess."

Cast - 0.5
Game - 1.5
Bells and Whistles - 1.0
Prize - 1.5
Tilt - 2.0

[ 07.0 ]

Michael Carrington was likeable. Skip Lackey should've never made it on television. He relied heavily on his cards and was overly excited. The set was a little cheap in Michael's day, and its lack of size for stunts required noticable edits from stunt to stunt. The bonus was fun, but too easy to win. Perhaps less matches, more time, and make them reset after every wrong guess?

ANSWER - "Sylvester and Tweety"

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