Newlywed Game, The

A friend of mine told me that once when he and his wife needed new furniture, they rehearsed a little routine in which they embarrassed each other by revealing “secrets” which they made up for the occasion. Like, they decided to blurt out that the husband liked to dress in the wife’s clothing, and that her cooking gave him diarrhea at least once a week. Then they went and auditioned for The Newlywed Game, quarrelling the entire time and letting such things “slip.” They were instantly booked as contestants.

Once in front of the cameras, they dropped the act and behaved like dignified human beings, despite the fact that the questions they were asked seemed calculated to evoke the humiliating stories from the audition. They left with their self-esteem relatively intact, plus a new bedroom set. They also received a tongue-lashing from the show’s Contestant Coordinator who realized they’d been “had,” and warned them that they would never get on another Chuck Barris game show as long as they lived. So far, it hasn’t bothered them too much. (The top ticket, by the way, seems to be from 1969.)