Face Is Familiar, The

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents




From Wikipedia:

The Face Is Familiar is an American game show which aired in color on CBS from May 7 to September 3, 1966. The show was hosted by Jack Whitaker and featured celebrity guests including Bob Crane, Dick Van Patten, Mel Brooks and June Lockhart.

The series was primarily sponsored by Philip Morris' Parliament and Marlboro cigarettes, and their American Safety Razor (Personna razor blades) and Clark Gum subsidiaries. The show was produced by Bob Stewart Productions in association with Filmways Television.

Each game featured two contestants, each partnered with a celebrity guest. The celebrities each stayed on for the entire program while contestants played only one game, win or lose.

Each round centered around a board which contained the face of a celebrity, cut into seven horizontal strips and jumbled vertically. At the beginning of each round, only one strip was revealed. Then, alternating between the celebrities and the contestants, the pairs were asked trivia question in the form of an incomplete sentence (for example, "The last king of France was...").


After each question, more of the face was revealed (still in jumbled order). The first two questions revealed one part each, while the next two revealed two parts each. The player who correctly answered the question had the opportunity to guess the identity of the celebrity after the new parts were revealed. An incorrect answer gave the opponent the right to guess.

If the identity was not guessed after all seven parts were revealed, play continued with each question offering a chance to switch two of the parts. Incorrect answers moved on to the next question and did not give the opponent control. The player who answered correctly choose one part of the face and their partner choose another part; the two were then switched. The first partner could then guess the answer.

The team which correctly identified the celebrity won $150 for the contestant.

"Three of a Kind" Bonus Game

In the bonus game, one partner was asked to find the eyes of a given celebrity, and three strips containing of eyes were shown very briefly, one at a time. If the player could choose the correct eyes, they added $50 to the contestant's winnings.

This was repeated for three mouths and noses, with the partners alternating. The second correct answer added another $50, and the third correct answer earned another $250 for a total of $500.

By June 24, the format had changed so that the teams would alternate picking numbers from 1 to 7 to reveal a strip of a celebrity's scrambled face for their opponents until either the entire picture was revealed or one team correctly guessed the face. If the entire picture was revealed, the teams would them begin switching two strips of the face around to try and figure out who was in the picture.

Each correct answer was worth $100, two games won the match.

The bonus round was also changed so that the team could always see either the eyes, nose, or mouth and have to guess which celebrity that body part belonged to. However, there was now a 60-second time limit. $50 was awarded for each correct guess, with $500 awarded if all four were correctly guessed.

Who talked about this show

Bob Stewart

View Interview
Bob Stewart on the genesis of the short-lived primetime game show The Face is Familiar

All Shows