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Bumper Stumpers: Wikis


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Bumper Stumpers
Bumper Stumpers.jpg
Bumper Stumpers title card.
Genre Game show
Created by Wink Martindale
Developed by Mark Maxwell-Smith
Directed by William Stewart
Presented by Al Dubois
Narrated by Ken Ryan
Composer(s) Ed Lojeski
Country of origin  United States
No. of seasons 3
Executive producer(s) Dan Enright
Wink Martindale
Producer(s) Doug Gham
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Global Television Network
Barry & Enright Productions
Wink Martindale Enterprises
USA Network
Original channel USA Network
Global Television Network
Original run June 29, 1987 – December 28, 1990

Bumper Stumpers was a Canadian game show in which two teams of two players attempted to decipher vanity license plates. It aired on the USA Network from June 29, 1987 to December 28, 1990, and was rebroadcast on Global Television Network from 1990-1995 and again on GSN in 2000. It was produced by the Global Television Network in association with Barry & Enright Productions, Wink Martindale Enterprises, and in cooperation with USA Network. It was created by Wink Martindale, developed by Mark Maxwell-Smith, and was hosted by Al Dubois with Ken Ryan announcing.


Main Game

The Bumper Stumpers game board.

The goal of the game is to solve the Super Stumper, which is a plate with seven blank spaces. To start the game, the Super Stumper is revealed in the center monitor of a seven monitored game board. The host reads a clue for the Super Stumper and the first character of the Super Stumper is revealed.


During a jump-in, both teams were shown two plates on the top two monitors. Host Dubois read a clue pertaining to one of these plates (usually someone or something to which the plate belongs). The first player to buzz-in chose which of the two plates to which the clue belongs. If correct, the contestant's partner then has ten seconds to solve the plate. If a plate was solved correctly, the team doing so won the jump-in; otherwise, the opposing team could try to solve it. If neither team solved it, another jump-in was played. The winner of a jump-in earned a chance to solve the Super Stumper.

Originally, the player who buzz-in and correctly identified the plate to solve could decide to either let his/her partner play or challenge their opponents to solve the plate. That rule was dropped after far more people wanted to play rather than pass.

In later episodes, a green light between the top two monitors was lit during a jump-in round to indicate when it's time for the contestants to buzz-in. This light was not lit (and hence the buzzers did not work) until after the clue was read.

Super Stumper

The winners of each jump-in chose which of the remaining spaces to reveal; they then had five seconds to solve the Super Stumper. Correctly solving the Super Stumper won the game; otherwise another jump-in was played.

If a team could not solve the Super Stumper after all seven spaces were revealed, the opposing team had one final chance to solve it. If they missed, the game shifted into a speed round in which a new Super Stumper plate was displayed, and the teams alternated turns (starting with the team who won the last jump-in) revealing spaces in the new plate until one team solved it. (Originally, another full game was played with a new Super Stumper, with the value of the previous game carrying over).

Winning the Match

Originally the match consisted of one game with the winning team receiving $500 (plus $500 for each Super Stumper not solved). The losing team retired after two losses. About three weeks into the show's run, the format was changed to a best 2 out of 3 match with the winning team receiving $1,000. In either case, the winning team advanced to a bonus round for the chance to win more money.

Winning teams were retired after playing five bonus rounds (originally ten, with the two-loss format).

Bonus Rounds

This show had three bonus rounds throughout the run.

Bonus Round #1

This version was split into two halves. In the first half, a team had 30 seconds to solve seven license plates, with each correct answer increasing the odds of winning the bonus round. If the winning team solved all seven plates in 30 seconds or less, they automatically won $2,000. If the team was not able to solve any of the plates, however, the bonus game ended immediately.

Final Stumper

Contestants attempted to find money without revealing a stop sign.

In the second half, the team played a round called "The Final Stumper" in which the seven monitors spelled out the word S-T-U-M-P-E-R. There were two versions of the Final Stumper.

Format #1

Hidden behind the letters in "STUMPER" were money amounts ranging from $100 to $500 plus one stop sign for every unsolved plate from the first half of the bonus game ($500 always goes first and each subsequent right answer added one of the lower money amounts to the board starting at $100 and ending with a second $500 space). The contestants called out letters one at a time and banked whatever money was hidden behind them. If they accumulated $500 or more, the money won was doubled; however, finding a stop sign ended the game immediately. However, unlike most Barry & Enright shows using this type of game, a team finding a stop sign did keep whatever money had been uncovered up to that point.

Format #2

Although the first half remained unchanged, the Final Stumper itself was altered a bit. A "WIN" square was added to the dollar amounts, which still ranged from $100 to $500 (only this time they were added in descending order after the "WIN"). This time, if a team uncovered a stop sign, they now lost the banked money. The team had the option to stop and take the money after each successful reveal. A team could win by accumulating $1,000 or more, or by finding "WIN". Doing either of these won $2,000.

Bonus Round #2

The team was given 30 seconds to solve up to five license plates. If they solved at least four out of five, they won $200 plus a chance to solve up to three more plates should they choose to continue the round. Upon solving each of the three new plates, the team doubled their money (hence, the most a team could win was $1,600). If the contestants attempted to solve a plate and failed, or did not solve at least four of the five original plates before time ran out, the game ended and no money was awarded.

Bonus Round #3

In the final bonus round, one member of the winning team was isolated offstage while the other member attempted to solve five plates in 30 seconds. Each plate was a clue to a puzzle, and each one solved earned $100. After time expired, the plate-solving player could decide to keep the money won, or have his/her partner solve the master puzzle using the plates as clues. In either case, the isolated player was brought back out and given an attempt to guess the puzzle. If the plate solving player risked the money, correctly solving the puzzle tripled the money for a maximum total of $1,500; otherwise they won nothing.

A tournament of champions was held near the end of the show's run and was played for a $10,000 grand prize.

External links

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