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Celebrate Canada Day with Three Canadian Game Shows

Celebrate Canada Day with Three Canadian Game Shows
Alex Davis

Happy Canada Day! Here’s a game show about license plates!


Today, July 1st, is Canada Day, which celebrates the enactment of the British North America Act, uniting three colonies into a single country we lovingly call Canada, or America’s attic. We’ll let you decide if we should look at some Canadian game shows or go more into the rich and interesting history of Canada straight from Wikipedia. Game shows? Thank you.

Be prepared for one thing: everything is astoundingly cheap.

The Mad Dash

The Mad Dash was a quiz/board game hybrid that aired from 1978 to 1985. Each episode saw two teams of two face off on a life-size game board. One person stayed behind to answer questions and roll dice while the other acted as the token on the board, moving closer to the goal. The first team to hit the goal banked any prizes and cash they collected.

Bumper Stumpers

Bumper Stumpers was a quiz show about license plates. It sounds rough but it worked pretty well. If you had GSN in the 90s you probably saw this often. Teams were given a license plate, like “RIDIQL” and a clue like “This belongs to Don Rickles.” You had to guess what the plate actually read as. In this case, it was “Ridicule”. Episodes ran from 1987 to 1990.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ax3DctUfSgc

Definition

Definition was a long-running word game hosted by Jim Perry, who American audiences recognize from shows like Card Sharks and Sale of the Century. The was essentially hangman. Players were given a puzzle of blanks (think of Wheel of Fortune). A team “gave a letter away” to the other team hoping to find a dud. If it didn’t exist in the puzzle that team could then “take a letter”, hopefully one in the puzzle, and attempt to solve it. If the letter given did exist, though, the other team took control. The team that solved the puzzle won $10 for each letter uncovered. Yes, $10. Beyond the money, though, it’s a fun game. And yes, the show’s theme became the Austin Powers theme.

Any favorites we forgot? Let us know.

  • Andrew L.

    I liked our version of Supermarket Sweep. Can’t forget Test Pattern either, which was like Remote Control in a few ways, but differed in most of the others. It aired on MuchMusic for something like 5 years in the late ’80s or early ’90s.