Picture 50.png
Pilot, June 6, 1958
CBS Daytime, June 30, 1958 – January 2, 1959
ABC Daytime, January 5, 1959 – May 8, 1959
NBC Daytime, December 7, 1959-September 27, 1963
NBC Primetime, April 15, 1960 – September 23, 1960
NBC Primetime, June 20, 1962-September 26, 1962
Run time
30 Minutes
Merv Griffin 1958-1962
Richard Hayes 1962
Gene Rayburn 1962
Robert Q. Lewis 1962-1963
Johnny Olson
Wayne Howell
Roger Tuttle
Mansfield Theatre (CBS Studio 59), New York City, New York (1958-1959)
Elysee Theater, New York City, New York (1959-1959)
NBC Studio 6B, New York City, New York (1959-1963)

Play Your Hunch was a game show where two couples have to solve "problems" by using the choices that are marked as "X", "Y" & "Z". 

Game format[edit | edit source]

Two teams of two contestants (mostly couples) faced a series of dilemmas with three choices (usually people) marked "X", "Y" & "Z". Couples played one at a time and alternating turns solving problems; before each question was asked, the couple in control had a decision to either play the question or pass it to their opponents. The couple playing the problem then had a few seconds to think it over; when a chime rang, the couple must then choose which choice is right. If they were correct, they win the dilemma, but if they were wrong, the opposing couple then got to decide from the remaining choices. Each correct answer scored a point & money ($50 in daytime and $100 on NBC nighttime), and the first team to score three points won the game, $150 in daytime or $300 on NBC nighttime, and in the CBS & ABC versions, won the right to play the "Last Straw" bonus game.

Last Straw (Bonus Game)[edit | edit source]

In the bonus round, the winning couple saw seven straws (five long, two short). For each long straw found, the winning couple received $100. Picking one of the two short straws ended the game but kept the money won, but if the winning couple drew all five long straws, the winning couple won a new car.

Bonus Game #2[edit | edit source]

A later bonus round would be played for a prize, like a trip, an appliance, a car, etc. Either the show's assistant, or announcer Johnny Olson himself would hide behind one of three "doors" onstage; the couple would simply have to guess which "door" either of them was hiding behind.

The bonus game was discontinued when the show moved to NBC.

Personnel[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

This was the first game show hosted by Merv Griffin. He left the show in 1962 to host his own talk show, The Merv Griffin Show which originally ran on NBC from 1962 until 1963, then in Syndication from 1965 until 1969 then on CBS from 1969 until 1972 and then again in Syndication from 1972 until 1986. Griffin would then produce & create his own TV game shows, more specifically Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!. On August 12, 2007, Griffin died due to prostate cancer at the age of 82.

This was also the first Goodson-Todman show with announcer Johnny Olson. During his 27 years with Goodson-Todman, Olson was heard on over fifteen of their shows. He also subbed for Merv Griffin on two occasions.

International Versions[edit | edit source]

Main Article: Play Your Hunch/International

Merchandise[edit | edit source]

Main Article: Play Your Hunch/Merchandise

Photos[edit | edit source]

Press[edit | edit source]

Misc. Cards[edit | edit source]

Tickets[edit | edit source]

CBS Daytime[edit | edit source]

ABC Daytime[edit | edit source]

NBC Daytime/Primetime[edit | edit source]

1958 Pilot[edit | edit source]

Episode Status[edit | edit source]

Some episodes exist, as GSN (and Buzzr as part of their "Lost & Found" week) has aired a few episodes with Merv Griffin in the past.

Video[edit | edit source]


Play Your Hunch (7 30 1958)


PLAY YOUR HUNCH opening credits game show


Play Your Hunch Part 1


Play Your Hunch Part 2


Play Your Hunch (1962)






Jerry Leiber, Burt Bacharach, and Norman Gimbel on "Play Your Hunch"

Links[edit | edit source]

Play Your Huch Pilot @ usgameshows.net

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