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Tattletales (TV Series 1974–1977) Poster

(1974–1977)

Trivia

In the earlier episodes in Season 1, Bert Convy would announce that the audience members would go home with their winnings that day due to their "check writing machine". Goodson-Todman did this to save on postage as most payments to contestants were sent out by postal mail.
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According to the end credits, celebrities are not informed of the show questions ahead of time but they are asked personal questions and based on their responses, show questions are created.
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During one of Ken Berry and Jackie Joseph's appearances on the show, it was revealed that Jackie dated host Bert Convy prior to Berry during the 1959 Broadway run of "The Billy Barnes Revue," in which all three of them appeared.
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In 1976 there was a special game show host episode. Bob Barker hosted and Bert Convy took a seat with his wife Anne. Other couples on this episode were Jack Narz and his wife Doe along with Richard Dawson and his fiancé Jody.
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Tattletales aired on CBS weekday afternoons from 1974 through 1978. CBS picked it up again for a second run from 1982 through 1984. Bert Convy hosted both runs except for shows where he appeared as part of a celebrity couple with his wife Anne.
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Celebrity couples have included other game show hosts such as Bob Barker, Bill Cullen, Monty Hall, Wink Martindale, Jack Narz, Gene Rayburn, and Chuck Woolery.
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Frequent guest Joyce Bulifant appeared on the show with then husband Edward Mallory. She is now married to another frequent guest, Roger Perry since 2002, who appeared with his then wife Jo Anne Worley.
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Bert Convy nicknamed the audience in the yellow seats the 'banana section' based on its tendency to overenthuse during shooting. Frequent guest Orson Bean subsequently dubbed the red seats the 'pimento section.'
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Some "couples" on the show weren't couples at all, most notably Fannie Flagg and Dick Sargent, who were both homosexual but agreed to appear together due to Flagg's popularity on the game show circuit. While the two appear to be good friends, their consistently wrong answers -- and pained expressions -- clearly indicate that they know nothing of each other in romantic terms. Another example was the openly gay Charles Nelson Reilly appearing with his good friend, actress Elizabeth Allen.
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A ticket stub to a 1975 taping proclaims: Tattletales starring Bert Convy and celebrity couples. Where the studio audience wins all the money! According to certain celebrities (the Berrys and McLeods), they also get paid for their appearance and it's based on how well they do.
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A CBS TV promo for the show teases: Bert Convey pops the questions... and stars of show business pop surprising answers.
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One of the guilty pleasures of watching this show in reruns is knowing in hindsight the marital fate of the celebrity couples, many of whom ended up divorced.
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Over the course of time, Bert Convy and his wife Anne were revealed to be good friends with several of the regular guest couples, particularly Bobby Van and Elaine Joyce, Orson and Carolyn Bean and Donald Ross and Patti Deutsch.
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Host Bert Convy was known for frequently tongue-twisting his words during the reading of the questions, which often led to good-natured ribbing from his celebrity guests.
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In retrospect, one of the most touching aspects of the show is the joyous, playful relationship between frequent guests Bobby Van and Elaine Joyce, as Van died of a brain tumor in 1980, less than two years after the show ended its run. Joyce went on to marry playwright Neil Simon, whom she also survived.
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Carolyn Bean was noted for her saucy open-mindedness in response to any and all sexual questions. Years later, in his autobiography, Orson Bean revealed that he and Carolyn were highly experimental in their marriage, and that Carolyn's ever-expanding sexual liberation ultimately spelled the end of their marriage. Bean would go on to remarry actress Alley Mills of "The Wonder Years" fame.
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One of the show's most entertaining regular couples was Donald Ross and Patti Deutsch, whose marriage, unlike that of many other couples on the show, lasted over time. With her blazing red hair, forlorn expression and eternally pained whine, Deutsch was one of very few personalities of the era who became famous primarily for being a game show panelist, with frequent appearances on both this show and Match Game (1973). Ross, with his unlit cigar, flat delivery and offbeat answers, was a comedy writer for several shows, but his crackling chemistry with Deutsch -- and host Bert Convy -- made him an audience favorite with game show audiences.
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Frequent guest Donald Ross was repeatedly referred to as 'Fast Donald' by host Bert Convy. This was actually Ross' real-life nickname: As Convy explained in an early episode, Ross was known for leaving restaurants before waiters could bring the check. During the run of the show, Convy, Ross and his wife, Patti Deutsch, made frequent mention of Ross' frugality.
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As Bert Convy often remarked on the air, 'rookie couples' had a tendency to win big their first time out on the show.
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True to its title, the celebrity guests often ended up revealing private aspects of their lives on national television, from Roxanne Carter's seamy history as a Vegas showgirl to Dick Gautier's wife Barbara Stuart counting Frank Sinatra among her past lovers to Anne Meara admitting that she suffered from oral herpes.
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Host Bert Convy often gave the celebrity couples a chance to plug their latest projects during the show's tag sequence.
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In hindsight, Tattletales (1974) provides a striking barometer of American consciousness during the sexual revolution, as many of the questions are sexist in nature, and the celebrities' divergent answers -- liberal, conservative and many points between -- reveal the full spectrum of the women's movement.
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While the vast majority of celebrity guests were married, the show would occasionally host couples who were merely dating or, in some cases, living together. The latter was still a touchy subject at the time, and while host Bert Convy traditionally introduced his guests as 'her husband' or 'his wife,' he would alter the lead-in for unmarried couples by referring to them as 'her fella' and 'his gal.'
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On several occasions, a technical snafu among the camera crew would cause a wife or husband to appear linked with the wrong spouse in the TV screen. Similarly, with a rowdy panel under the headphones, sounds of cavorting could occasionally be heard beyond the sliding panel as their spouses silently pondered a question before the cameras.
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TV Guide ad for the inaugural season declared: "Famous stars and their spouses swap marital secrets on the new game show 'Tattletales,' fun way to get in the know: Watching contestants trying to get in the money by outguessing celebrities and their mates about their innermost secrets. Bert Convy is your host."
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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