Keep Talking

Keep Talking was a prime-time game show that ran from 1958 to 1960. Each week, two teams would compete, each team composed of three celebrities. The rules changed from time to time but basically, the idea was to keep a story going with the panelists handing it off each time a bell rang, improvising wildly. Somewhere in there, they had to incorporate a secret word and the other panel had to guess the word…and as I recall from my vague memories, no one cared all that much about the scoring. The fun was in how one panelist would take the story off in some odd direction and then the next would have no idea what to do with it. Frequent players included Paul Winchell, Danny Dayton, Morey Amsterdam, Peggy Cass, Pat Carroll, Orson Bean, Audrey Meadows and Elaine May.

The show went on the air in July of 1958 and its first host was Monty Hall, a Canadian who was then fairly new to American TV. He was replaced in October because, if we believe his autobiography, the comedians on the show were complaining about him making funny remarks and competing with them. This seems unlikely, especially since his replacement was Carl Reiner, who was probably funnier than anyone on the panel. When Reiner left to do other things, Merv Griffin took over for the final season.