Special thanks to Michael Klauss for the Snappies!
September 3, 1990-August 31, 1991
A Ron Greenberg/Dick Clark Production
The Challengers was a game based on the popular Who What or Where Game hosted by Art James. 3 players competed.
The game started with the Challenge Sprint, a one minute round of rapid fire questions. Contestants buzz in when they know the answer. In the beginning of the run, the players started with nothing, but later in the run, they started with $200. Each question's worth $100, and contestants lost $100 for each incorrect answer.
After the sprint was over, six categories were shown, and the player with the highest total after the sprint got to choose the first category.
There are 3 subcategories, worth $150, $200, and $250 respectively (when the contestants were given the $200 at the start, the question values changed to $100, $150 and $200).
Here's a typical setup of the sub-categories from the first round
Each contestant places a wager
IF ALL THREE PICK ONE DIFFERENT CATEGORY, then each player gets their own question, unopposed. However, the contestant is penalized whether he buzzes in or not to answer
IF TWO PLAYERS PICK THE SAME CATEGORY, then a toss up question is asked of the two players, if one buzzes in and is wrong, then the other player has the option to answer the question, if he passes it, he doesn't get penalized. The third player gets his question unopposed.
IF ALL THREE PLAYERS PICK THE SAME CATEGORY (as illustrated above), then it gets REALLY exciting! The dollar values of all the questions DOUBLE, and a toss up question is asked to all 3. If the person that buzzes in first answers correctly, then that person can answer either or both of the two remaining questions unopposed, and can pass at anytime.
Round 2 is the same as round 1, with the dollar values doubled
In the final challenge, the players wager any amount on three last categories. The easiest question is at EVEN odds, the second easiest at DOUBLE odds, and the hardest question at TRIPLE odds.
Unlike in the main game, if any player should choose the same category, they get the question unopposed. The player with the highest total WINS
Originally, any player that won 3 games got to play the ULTIMATE CHALLENGE for an accumulating jackpot. He had a choice of 2 categories, and had to answer 3 questions in that category in order to win the jackpot. When the jackpot got as high as $60,000 when it was finally won, they changed the format. Later, the Ultimate Challenge was worth just $10,000, and played on EVERY SHOW, and the Challenge Sprint was eliminated (later on, it was restored). The player had no choice of categories this time, and had to play one category, with three questions.
As with any game show, there was a judge there to make decisions, should Dick Clark ask for any. This judge's name was Gary Johnson. The judge also corrected Dick if he mispronounced something. This judge, however, proved to be quite unique. Later in the run, Dick had developed some rapport with the judge, sometimes coming up with snappy one liners. It made perfect sense that the judge was later brought ONSTAGE. He too had some one liners up his sleeve. Dick Clark usually liked asking the judge various trivia related to the questions asked, when the judge didn't know the answer, he'd try to fake it, or simply admit that he didn't know, with funny results. The contestants were also allowed to interact with the judge when necessary. One contestant had a dispute about a question, and the judge had no choice but to give him the money he was discredited.
Click HERE to see some of the greatest moments