The Dating Game is an ABC television show that first aired on December 20, 1965 and was the first of many shows created and packaged by Chuck Barris from the 1960s through the 1980s. ABC dropped the show on July 6, 1973, but it resurfaced in several syndicated versions (1973-1974 as The New Dating Game, 1978-1980, 1986-1989 and 1996-2000).
For the first few episodes in at the beginning of the ABC run, live music was provided by The Regents. For years it would almost always be aired in tandem with another Barris production, The Newlywed Game, which premiered on ABC the following year.
Typically, a bachelorette would question three bachelors, who were hidden from her view; at the end of the questioning period, she would choose one to go out with on a date paid for by the show. Occasionally, the roles would be reversed with a man questioning three ladies; other times, a celebrity would question three players for a date for themselves, a co-worker or a relative of theirs. Many celebrities played the game looking for love themselves.
Some contestants who were quite famous, included The Carpenters, Suzanne Somers, Farrah Fawcett, Andy Kaufman (who went under the name Baji Kimran), Steve Martin, Burt Reynolds, Michael Jackson, Sally Field, John Ritter, Phil Hartman, Jennifer Granholm (currently Governor of Michigan), Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tom Selleck (who went on the show twice and lost both times). The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit judge Alex Kozinski appeared on it and won. One standard trademark was that at the end of each episode, the host and winning contestants would blow a kiss to the viewers.
This was a forerunner for a number of other shows done in the same style. The late 1970s version of the show was much more sexually explicit (and played for laughs) than other versions.
It was hosted by San Francisco disc jockey Jim Lange in the 1960s and 1970s, by Elaine Joyce and later Jeff MacGregor in the 1980s (in which future stars Cuba Gooding Jr., Oprah Winfrey, Michael Richards, and Jim Carrey appeared as contestants) and by Brad Sherwood and later Chuck Woolery in the 1990s.
Certain kinds of questions were "off-limits", such as age and income.
The basic format for this show, used throughout the first year, was for the bachelor/bachelorette to pick from two facts about the three potential dates. Once it was picked, the person in question would reveal the reason behind the fact to the hopeful single. After a round of questioning, the bachelor/bachelorette chose their date. All three of the potential dates had their names revealed before the questioning started as well, something that wasn't done on any version of TDG prior.
During a part of the first season, in addition to asking the questions, the bachelor/bachelorette got to see all three contestants at the outset of the game (who all had headphones on so they couldn't hear what their potential date was saying about them), and would pick who they thought was the best looking of the bunch. After that, the question round was conducted in its usual fashion, with the bachelor/bachelorette picking who they thought had the best personality out of the three. After the choices were made, the contestant was then prompted to choose between their choice for best looking or best personality (and won a prize if they had chosen the same person for both criteria).
The show reverted to its classic format in its second season, when Chuck Woolery took over as host.
The remaining versions of the show apparently exist in their entirety.
Brandon Cruz (Courtship of Eddie's Father)-1972
Other music cues used on the show include:
Lucrative Attraction of the Dating Game; despite Their Success, Dating Agencies Are Still the Butt of Many Jokes, Writes
May 02, 2000; Mel Hunter. Dating agencies are just quite frankly the bees knees. Or so people in nice happy couples like to say. But actually...