|Make Me Laugh|
|Presented by||Robert Q. Lewis (1958)
Bobby Van (1979-80)
Ken Ober (1997)
Mark Cohen (1998)
|Narrated by||Glenn Riggs (1958)
Ken Roberts (1958)
Bill Berry (1979)
Johnny Gilbert (1979)
John Harlan (1979)
Lou DiMaggio (1997-98)
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||30 Minutes|
|Original channel||ABC (1958)
Comedy Central (1997-98)
|Original run||March 20, 1958 – 1998|
Make Me Laugh was an American game show in which contestants watched three stand-up comedians performing their acts, one at a time, earning one dollar for every second that they could make it through without laughing. Each comedian got sixty seconds to try to break the contestant up. Contestants can win up to $180 by getting past all three comics.
The original version, with Robert Q. Lewis as host, aired for three months in 1958 on ABC. Bobby Van hosted a syndicated revival during the 1979-80 season, and Ken Ober hosted a 1997 revival on Comedy Central, replaced for the second season by Mark Cohen.
On Van's version, contestants (who were selected from the audience) that lasted the full three minutes had their winnings doubled to $360; also, a celebrity guest would play the last round of each episode, playing for an audience member who would receive a prize just for being chosen, and up to three more prizes based on how many comedians the celebrity could survive.
A number of then-unknown comics appeared on this version before going on to greater fame; among them were Bob Saget, Howie Mandel, Gallagher, Gary Mule Deer, Yakov Smirnoff, Bruce 'Babyman' Baum and Garry Shandling.
The theme music for the '70s version was entitled Laugh, and was performed by Artie Butler and the Big Boffers.
In the Comedy Central version, the game remained the same but with new additions. There were two formats to this version.
Three contestants competed, one at a time; rules were the same as the original version.
The three contestants now predicted if one of the three comedians can make another contestant laugh, and wagered any or all of their current scores, based on how strong they are about their prediction. A correct answer adds the wager but an incorrect answer deducts the wager. The players did it twice, and the one with the most money at the end of this round wins the game. The losing contestants won a joke consolation prize.
This round is called "The Tag Team Round", because the winning contestant now faced all three comics in this final round of the game. The contestant had the usual 60 seconds to face each one, and the comics alternated turns. If the winning contestant survived the full minute, he/she won $500, otherwise he/she earned $5 per second.
Three contestants, who were randomly selected from the studio audience, competed; each one came out one by one in round one, much like the 70s version.
This was played like "The Toughest Room in America Round" & the Bonus Round from the first season. But in the Cohen era, the three contestants now predicted if one of the three comedians can make another audience member laugh, and wagered any or all of their current scores, based on how strong they are about their prediction. What's different about this round is that the audience member had 90 seconds (1 1/2 minutes) to face the comics (30 seconds per comic). A correct answer adds the wager but an incorrect answer deducts the wager. The players did it once instead of twice, and the one with the most money at the end of this round wins the game. The losing contestants instead of a joke prize won a real consolation prize.
The winning contestant this time instead of facing any of the three comics in this final round of the game, he/she now faced the mystery comic for up to $500. The contestant had 100 seconds (1 minute 40 seconds) instead of 60 to face that comic, earning $5 per second of no laughter.