Memory Game

Joe Garagiola's Memory Game
Created by Merv Griffin
Presented by Joe Garagiola
Narrated by Johnny Olson
Country of origin  United States
No. of episodes 120
Running time 30 Minutes
Original network NBC
Original release February 15 – July 30, 1971

Memory Game (sometimes referred to as Joe Garagiola's Memory Game) was an American television game show that aired on NBC. The series hosted by former baseball star and then-current Today personality Joe Garagiola ran from February 15 to July 30, 1971. The show's creator and packager was Merv Griffin, and its announcer was Johnny Olson (his only announcing job for Merv Griffin Productions).


Five contestants, all women and one of them a returning champion (or designate), compete and are spotted $50 at the start of the game. Before each round, they are each given a booklet containing the questions and answers to be used in that round. The time they have to study the material varies per round. Once the study time period has elapsed, the show's assistants collect the booklets and Garagiola begins asking questions at random from the booklet.

The champion who is seated in the number 1 position can elect to answer or call out an opponent's number (2 through 5). That player can answer or call any of her opponents to answer, and so on until a "time's up" buzzer sounds. At that time, the active player at that moment has to answer. A correct answer is worth $5, a wrong answer loses that amount. Play continues in this fashion until all the questions are exhausted.

Subsequent rounds are played with increased stakes ($10 in Round 2, $20 in Round 3 and all future rounds). The winner at the end of the show wins a $1,000 bonus and returns the next day to meet new challengers. If a contestant stays on for three days, she retires undefeated and win a new car.

Broadcast history

Memory Game was one of eight shows NBC attempted to program in the 1:30 PM (12:30 Central) time slot between 1968 and 1975; like most of the others, CBS' As the World Turns and ABC's Let's Make a Deal (formerly seen on NBC) soundly defeated it in the ratings.

Three weeks after this show's cancellation, NBC moved Garagiola to another daytime game, Sale of the Century, which he hosted for the rest of its original run. Three on a Match, hosted by Bill Cullen, replaced Memory Game on the NBC schedule.


According to The Encyclopedia of Daytime Television by Wesley Hyatt (Watson-Guptill Publications, 1997), Griffin did not identify his production company on the end credits of the program. The talk-show host and entertainment mogul never gave any explanation for his decision.

Episode status

Much like other NBC games of the era, most episodes of Memory Game are believed to have been wiped as per network practices. Five episodes are known to exist at the UCLA Film and Television Archive.[1]


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