I’m sure most game show fans are familiar with the game show Card Sharks, which ran in 3 incarnations (NBC 1978-81, with Jim Perry), (CBS 1986-89, with Bob Eubanks), (SYN 1986-87, with Bill Rafferty). There’s also the dreaded 2001 version, but I won’t go on about that. What some fans of this show may not know is that this is also a popular show in Britain. That’s right, a big hit called Play Your Cards Right, with none other than Bruce Forsyth as the host.
Bruce Forsyth is a great host of this series. Great interaction with the contestants; great chemistry with the models, over there known as the “Dolly Dealers.” Also he does a really great job with the handling of the cards. And of course, there’s one thing that I love a lot on this show: the questions. The interesting questions are one of the things that really have always made Card Sharks so much fun, at least for me. And here there are plenty of interesting ones to be had. Word has it that he was originally slated to host the CBS version. If they picked him, I'm sure he could have done really nicely.
There are a few distinct differences with Bruce’s show. For instance, the later episodes feature couples as contestants, usually married ones. Also, there is a car game featured in this version, however it is incorporated in with the money cards. And another difference: some people may be a little taken aback at the first 5 minutes or so because of the lengthy interview portions at the beginning. But in thinking about it more, I see why this happens. On our versions with Perry, Eubanks, and Rafferty, they all straddled. In other words, games would play continuously into the next show. On Play Your Cards Right, every game ends perfectly at the end with the Money Cards. The first five or so minutes must be done the way they are to keep it that way.
Play Your Cards Right, my online pick of the week!