Concentration Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Concentration?
- It was the longest-running daytime game show on NBC, created in 1958
by Jack Barry, Dan Enright, Bob Noah and Buddy Piper. Although based on
a juvenile card game, the television program had adult contestants.
- How is Concentration played?
- The rules are explained here.
- Who were the hosts of Concentration?
- Hugh Downs was the original daytime host, from August 1958 to January
1969. Jack Barry was host of the 1958 prime-time Concentration
series, which replaced Twenty-One. Downs was also host of
the 1961 prime-time Concentration series. By 1968, Downs
was often absent from Concentration in order to cover
breaking news events; on these occasions, announcer Bob Clayton stepped
in as a substitute Concentration host. In 1969, due to
Downs’ increasing workload on the Today show,
Clayton took over as full-time host until the show was canceled in 1973,
although Ed McMahon was host from March to September 1969. Other
substitute hosts were Art James, Jim Lucas and Bill Mazer. Jack Narz was
the host of the syndicated Concentration in the 1970s.
Alex Trebek was the host of Classic Concentration on NBC
from 1987 to 1991.
- How did NBC come to own the format of Concentration?
- If the sponsor of Twenty-One hadn’t demanded that
Barry and Enright make up for a poor debut—the contestants had
missed a total of 17 questions—they would have continued to
produce Concentration and Sony would now own it as part of
the B&E game show library. Due to the scandals, however, NBC took
over production of both Concentration and Twenty-One,
while forcing Barry to leave his quizmaster position on Tic Tac
- What were the first and last rebuses on Concentration?
- On the original daytime series, the first rebus was It Happened
One Night and the last was You’ve been more than kind.
The first rebus played on Classic Concentration was Time
off for good behavior, and the last was Good
- Where can I download a Concentration computer game?
- A freeware Windows version of Classic Concentration was
once available at BigJon’s
PCGames. For Apple Macintosh, there was a commercial game
called MacMatch (1985), but it is no longer available. Hobbyist
programmer Jay Smith made a Java version of Classic Concentration,
which works on macOS, but his site went down in October 2006. In May
2009, Glu Mobile released a Concentration game for cell
phones, but it also has been discontinued. As of 2012, Siba Style
Studios sells a Concentration app for iPad and iPhone. I
have never seen a Concentration game with rebus puzzles
for eight-bit Atari computers.
- My mother was a contestant on the daytime Concentration.
Can you send me a copy of her appearance?
- Sorry. Although every Concentration episode (except
those with Ed McMahon) has been preserved in one form or another, the
films and videotapes are now owned by CBS, as ordered by the U.S.
Department of Justice.
- Where else has Concentration aired?
- Concentration has aired in the following countries
besides the United States:
- Australia: Concentration aired on Nine Network with
Philip Brady, 1959–67, and (as Match Mates) with
David Waters, 1981/82. It also aired on Seven Network with Lionel
Williams in 1970 and with Mike Hammond in 1997.
- Colombia: Concéntrese aired on Canal 1 and
Canal A with Julio E. Sánchez-Vanegas. It ran in three series:
1964–79, 1984–89 and 1996–2000.
- Germany: Gewußt-Wo… aired on ARD with
Guido Baumann in 1959/60 and on ARD 2 with Karl-Heinz Bender in
- Italy: Bis aired on Canale 5 with Mike Bongiorno
from 1981 to 1990.
- United Kingdom: Concentration aired on ITV in two
separate series with five hosts between them. The 1959/60 series
hosts were Barry McQueen, Chris Howland and David Gell. Nick Jackson
and Bob Carolgees were the hosts from 1988 to 1990.
- Why was my question not answered here?
- Send your question to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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