My TV Game Show Adventure in 1990

My TV Game Show Adventure in 1990

Back in 1990, I was still in the Air Force and stationed at Norton AFB near San Bernardino, CA, when I saw an ad in the newspaper classifieds saying they were looking for people to be contestants on a revamp of the game show To Tell The Truth. I sent a letter to the address in the ad (this was before the internet and that’s how we responded to things back then).

About a week later, I got a phone call from a TV station in Los Angeles and said they wanted to schedule me to come in and interview with them.

I was nervous for the interview, of course, but apparently they liked what they saw and heard, because the next thing I knew, I was scheduled to show up at a television studio in Burbank to tape the show.

To Tell The Truth has had many remakes since the original of the 1960s. The show consists of a celebrity guest panel who have to ask question of three contestants to try and determine who was the one telling the truth. When I arrived at the studio at 6am, I was told that I had to pretend to be a surrogate mother of twins, named Patty Nowakowski.

The real Patty was one of the contestants and filled me and the other contestant in on the story. She wanted to help someone who couldn’t have a baby by being a surrogate. When she found out she was having twins, the couple waiting for the baby didn’t indicate that they wouldn’t take both babies. Once born, the couple decided they only wanted the girl, not the baby boy and planned to put him up for adoption. Patty and her husband were dumbfounded – they couldn’t believe that the siblings would be separated. Even though they already had three children, they decided to go to court and sue for custody of both babies. They won!

The studio had us rehearse in the morning and tape in the afternoon. Each episode had three different games and they taped the entire week in one day. We didn’t wrap up until 7pm. Thank goodness they fed us really well!

I was so nervous and got tongue-tied answering a question, but to the panelists, that made me seem more emotional and they believed me to be the real Patty. Our team of contestants split the pot of $3000 as a prize for fooling the panel.

I have been searching for this video for several decades, after losing it somewhere in Texas. I finally found a copy someone uploaded to YouTube.

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