The Joke's on Us

The Joke's on Us is a Canadian game show that aired from 1983 to 1984. It was hosted by Monty Hall, later joined by Sylvie Garant as assistant, with Sandy Hoyt as the show's announcer. Taped in Toronto in association with the Global Television Network, the show was created and produced by two American game show veterans, Willie Stein and Nat Ligerman. Each episode featured a rotating panel of four comedians, which included such famous personalities of the day as Alan Thicke, Nipsey Russell, Arte Johnson and Jo Anne Worley.


The show pitted two contestants against each other. Each took turns listening to a joke told by one member of the panel, while the other panel members each delivered a different punchline to the joke. The contestant had to determine which of the punchlines was the original punchline to the joke; if correct, that player scored, otherwise the points went to his/her opponent. Values were 5 points in round 1, 10 points in round 2, and 50 points in the 3rd and final round (which was played slightly differently than the first two: Monty himself read the joke, all 4 panelists supplied punchlines, and both contestants guessed on the same joke). The player with the most points at the end of this round won the game and $250; in the event of a tie, a tie-breaker was played in which both contestants once again had to guess on the same joke.

Add-a-Word Round

The winner played the "Add-a-Word" bonus round, based on an old party game. A phrase such as "I always forget my..." would appear on a board, under which eight letters would be uncovered one at a time. The celebrities had to go around twice adding a word to the chain that began with the next letter. For the above example, if "A" were uncovered, the first celebrity might say "I always forget my apples." Then if a "B" were uncovered, the second would have to say "I always forget my apples and my balloons." This would continue for all eight letters.

If the celebrity could not remember a previous word, the contestant could tell them. After all eight words were given, the contestant then had to repeat the entire phrase. The celebrities could not tell the contestant the next word, but could mime or gesture to assist. The contestant had 60 seconds to build the chain and repeat it in order to win $500.

The enforcement of the rules was not always strict, and celebrities occasionally gave the wrong word while building the chain or gave verbal clues while the contestants were trying to repeat the chain.


Milton DeLugg provided the theme song, which had previously been used as a cue on various Chuck Barris game shows.


The series was repeated on DejaView from 2002 to 2004 and can currently be seen on GameTV every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

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