Review: Trivia Trap

Bob Eubanks
Broadcast history: ABC Daytime October 8, 1984 - April 5, 1985
Host: Bob Eubanks
Announcers: Gene Wood, Bob Hilton

She picked the trap!Two teams of three competed. One team was under the age of thirty and called "Juniors," and the other three players were over thirty and were dubbed "Seniors." Two sets of four answers were revealed, and the Seniors picked one. Bob read a statement, and each contestant tried to eliminate a wrong answer. If they picked the right answer, known as the "Trivia Trap," play on that question ended. The team was paid $50 for cutting one answer, $100 for two, and $300 for removing all three. Each team played two questions.

Bob grabs a questionThe game ended with a "$1,000 Race." In it, the team in the lead picked one of three categories and could make $100 on a right answer. Each member got a chance at to answer a trivia question. If one of them got it right, they got $100 and picked again. If nobody could answer it correctly, the other team chose a category. Play continued this way until one team reached $1,000, earned a trip to the bonus round. After the first week of shows, a new rule was instituted where every question after the 10th became worth $200.

In the bonus round, the "Trivia Ladder," the winning team was ranked according to their status in the "Race." The player who answered the most questions correctly saw a new group of four answers. They could play it themselves or pass it to the second-best player. That player also had the same option. The third contestant got whatever was passed to them. On a play, the contestant had to pick the right answer to a question from the four to earn $1,000. After each contestant got a question, those with $1,000 now worked to get $10,000. One more set of answers was revealed, and each player secretly locked in answer. The $10,000 was split to those with the correct answer. Winners returned for another game.

Later in the run, the format changed and was sometimes referred to as "The New Trivia Trap." Bob Eubanks introduced each show with a preview question. The champs played first in the new round one called "Fact or Fiction?" Two question packets, red and black, were presented to the returning champs who picked one. Each team member was asked a true/false question for $25. After a pair of packets, the challengers picked from two more packets.

Playing the new round 2In the new second round, the same "set of answers" idea was used, but executed differently. Bob gave two categories to the team in the lead, and they picked one. One team member picked what they believed was the correct answer and Bob went down the line asking if the team members agreed. If both teammates agreed and were right in doing so, the team got $200. If only one agreed, the correct answer was worth $100. If nobody agreed and the first pick was correct, it was worth $50. If anybody disagreed correctly, they had a chance to pick a new answer and have the remaining team members decide again to agree or disagree. Each team got to play two questions in this fashion. The Trivia Race and bonus remained unchanged.

Some famous sound effects made their debut on "Trivia Trap." The door-reveal effect from "Classic Concentration" signified picking a wrong answer. The sound for picking the "trap" became the incorrect guess noise on "The Price Is Right's" "Pathfinder" game. The sound used to reveal answers in "Family Feud's" fast money game was used when a set of answers were shown.

Special celebrity weeks were held pitting teams from ABC soaps against one another as well as male and female TV personalities. Guests on that week were Jamie Farr, Tom Poston and Bill Cullen going against Vicki Lawrence, Jayne Meadows and Betty White.

Many reocurring game show contestants appeared on "Trap" including Phyllis Harris (Greed, Scrabble, Card Sharks) and "Blockbusters" champ Kandi Doyle.

Very fun show. The format limbo is abosolutely what killed it. Some have had qualms with the fact you have to go through the motions of picking the wrong answers when you know the right one, but I like that format. The material needed to be answerable without being too easy, but without being completely ambiguous. I commend them on the writing.

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

[ 07.5 ]

Bob Eubanks hosts very capably, but something about him makes me grate my teeth. The set is perhaps a bit too busy, but the theme music is good stuff. Points off for the rapid format changes, and the somewhat duller new round two that was baffling.

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