Mark Goodson Wiki
185px-Match Game 1998 Pic 1.jpg
Syndicated, September 21, 1998 – September 17, 1999
Run time
30 Minutes
Michael Burger
Paul Boland
Studio 33, CBS Television City, Los Angeles, California

This is chronicling the short-lived 1998 version of Match Game. Where it mostly had drastic changes such as five celebrities instead of six and pun-laden categories replacing A or B along with being considered by many game show fans as one of the worst revivals of all-time.

Game format[]

This version was the same as it has always been except for a few differences which will be mentioned as we go along. There were five stars instead of six (similar to Family Feud 1994-95 with four contestants of two teams instead of five) and like in the 1990s versions, everybody plays all rounds. Also instead of choosing A or B, contestants now chose a pun-laden category. Once a category was chosen, Burger read the statement, and the stars wrote answers on their cards. When they were finished, the contestant gave his/her answer and the panel showed their answers one at a time. Each match was worth 1 point in round one and 2 for round two. After one contestant played his/her question, the other contestant played with the question unchosen. The player with the most points went on to player Super Match.

Super Match[]

Audience Match[]

A prior studio audience was asked to give its best response to a fill-in-the-blank phrase, and its three best answers were placed and hidden away on a game board. Each one was assigned a dollar amount according to the popularity of each answer; the top answer was worth $500, the middle answer was worth $250, and the least popular was worth $100. Once the question was revealed, the winning contestant selected three stars who gave their answers to help out the contestant. When the answers were given, the contestant then chose which answer to use or reject them all and give an answer of his/her own. When all was said and done, the answers were revealed one at a time starting with the least popular answer and ending with the most popular. If the contestant can match any of the answers, he/she won the money attached to the answer.

Head to Head Match[]

In the Head to Head Match portion, the contestant then had the opportunity to win a cash prize equal to 10 times what he or she won in the Audience Match (therefore, $5,000, $2,500 or $1,000) by matching another fill-in-the-blank response with a celebrity panelist of his or her choice. The winning contestant chose which star to play with, at which point the chosen celeb went to a separate podium instead of at their desk like other previous versions before this. Burger then read another fill-in-the-blank phrase after which the chosen star wrote his/her answer. The winning contestant then gave his/her answer after which the chosen star revealed his/hers and if they match, the winning contestant won the grand cash prize. If he/she doesn't make a match, not only the contestant kept the audience match winnings but also won a consolation prize.

In order to win the money, the contestant had to match his/her chosen celebrity's response exactly or it cannot be accepted; this meant that multiple forms of the same word, e.g. singular or plural, were usually accepted whereas synonyms were not.

Like the 1990 version, the Head-to-Head prize was not an additional cash prize, but an augmentation to whatever top prize was at stake. And in the event the contestant didn't match in the Audience Match but managed to match the celebrity in Head-to-Head, that contestant still won $500.


Some of the elements from this version (i.e. five celebrities, pun categories) came from the unsold pilot called MG2 or MG2: The Match Game hosted by Charlene Tilton (Lucy Ewing of Dallas fame) from 1996.
Rondell Sheridan was also one of the five panelist on the unsold pilot of MG2 from 1996.
In this version of the Head-to-Head match, the contestant along with his or her celebrity partner were allowed to make eye contact which was never allowed in other previous versions before it.
Just like the current syndicated version of Family Feud (Harvey), the question and answers can be "suggestive" and "raunchy".
At the end of each episode, although the name and logo are still in tact. However, it used an alternate announcement by Boland saying: "This has been a Mark Goodson Television Production for..." followed by the appearance of a Pearson Television logo.


Stations that aired this included:

New York – WCBS

Los Angeles – KCBS

Chicago – WPWR (also on WGN Superstation)

Philadelphia – KYW

Boston – WABU

Dallas – KDAF

Detroit – WWJ

Atlanta – WGNX (now WGCL)

Houston - KNWS-TV (now KYAZ)

Seattle - KCPQ 

Cleveland - WOIO

Minneapolis - KLGT (now WUCW)

Miami - WFOR 

Phoenix - KASW  

Denver - KTVD 

Pittsburgh - WCWB 

St. Louis - KDNL 

Orlando - WRBW

Baltimore - WNUV 

Indianapolis - WISH 

San Diego - XETV 

Hartford - WTXX

Charlotte - WAXN

Raleigh - WRDC

Milwaukee - WDJT

Kansas City - KSMO

Nashville - WZTV

Greenville, SC - WASV (now WYCW)

Salt Lake City - KSL

Grand Rapids - WOTV 

San Antonio - KRRT

Norfolk - WVBT

West Palm Beach - WFLX 

Oklahoma City - KOKH

Harrisburg - WHP

Greensboro - WBFX (now WCWG)

Albuquerque - KASY 

Birmingham - WBMG

Albany - WRGB

Jacksonville - WAWS

Fresno - KMPH

Little Rock - KASN/KLRT 

Charleston, WV - WVAH 

Austin - KEYE

Las Vegas - KUPN        

Flint - WSMH

Wichita - KAKE      

Toledo - LTVV

Hazard, KY - WYMT 

Honolulu - KGMB

Spokane - KREM 

Omaha - KPTM 

Shreveport - KTBS

Springfield, MO - KOLR

Tucson - KMSB

Fort Myers - WFTX

Madison - WKOW

Chattanooga - WDEF

Bristol - WJHL

Evansville - WEVV

Youngstown - WFMJ

El Paso - KTSM

Fort Wayne - WKJG

Santa Barbara - KCOY 

Fort Smith - KPBI

Charleston, SC - WMMP 

Reno - KRXI

Lafayette, LA - KLAF

Macon - WPGA 

Boise - KBCI 

Columbus, GA - WRBL 

La Crosse - WXOW

Eau Claire - WQOW 

Bakersfield - KBAK

Rockford - WQRF

Wichita Falls - KSWO

Joplin - KOAM

Anchorage - KYES (now KAUU)

Abilene - KTAB

Wausau - WSAW

Quad Cities - WHBF

Ottumwa, IA - KYOU

Dayton - WHIO

Fairbanks - KXD

South Bend - WSJV

Lansing - WLAJ      

Columbus, OH - WCLL      


Match Game (1998)/Photos

See Also[]

The Match Game
Match Game
The Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour
Match Game (1985 Proposed Revival)
Match Game (1987 Proposed Revival)
Match Game (1990)
What the Blank!
The Life of Reilly
Gameshow Marathon
The Real Match Game Story: Behind the Blank
Match Game (2008 pilot)
Match Game (2016)


Match Game ('98) @ (via Internet Archive)
Match Game ('98) @ The First Michael Burger Website (via Internet Archive)



Match Game pitchfilm, 1998


Match Game '98 Opening Theme (HQ Audio)


Match Game 1998 - Opening


Match Game '98 Playboy Incident


Match Game '98 (September ?, 1998) part 1 2


Match Game '98 (September ?, 1998) part 2 2


Match Game '98 w A Hilarious Answer


Match Game '98 Scott Hostetler vs. Margie


Mandel on Match Game '98


Joe Van Ginkel - Match Game '98


Match Game '98


Match Game 98 Bad answer


Match Game w host Michael Burger, Paul Boland as announcer


Match Game '98 Eubanks and Harmon


Match Game '98 w- VL, Eddie Cibrian, JT, NC, Brad Maule


The Mortician vs The Match Game


Match Game '98 Nell Carter's Dress


Match Game 98' Behind the Scenes! with Paul Boland and Michael Burger


Match Game Redux Behind the Scenes of Match Game 98'


Match Game ticket plug, 1998