Talk About

Host: Wayne Cox
Announcer: Dean Hill
Broadcast History (US): Syndicated Sep. 18, 1989 - Mar. 16, 1990
Packager: Comedia Productions, in association w/CBC
Originiation: Vancouver, BC (Canada)

Opening Spiel:
"Let's talk...whether the subject is (Ace of Spades), (Man-Eating Fish), or (Card Sharks)*, it's something you'll hear about when we all play Talk About! And here's the man who has everybody talking, Wayne Cox!"
*
The idea here was to have the third example subject be a "punny" composite of the first two, as illustrated above by your webmaster. :-)

Premise: Two teams competed in a word communication game for the fast-talking set.

RULES:

The game is played between two 2-member teams (friends, spouses, relatives, etc.) and begins w/the champions being asked to choose one of two subjects; after doing so, the opposing team goes to their isolation corner and equips themselves w/bulky (1970s-type) music-blasting headphones to completely block out the sounds of all onstage action.
One member of the champion team is chosen to talk first; at Wayne's command, s/he is given 20 seconds to "talk about (chosen subject)" and say as much as possible in an attempt to uncover as many of 10 pre-selected words off a list as possible, w/1 point going into the pot for each word revealed (credit is given for forms of a word, so if [for example] "singer" appeared on the list, saying "sing", "singing", etc. would be acceptable). Once time has expired, if necessary, his/her partner is then given 20 seconds to talk about that same subject and try to uncover some/all of the remaining words.
If one or both members of the team uncover all 10 words, they automatically win the maximum 10 points, plus a $500 bonus. Otherwise, their opponents are called back from isolation and shown whatever words the first team didn't say; they are then given 5 seconds to guess the subject, and if correct, they steal the pot, otherwise it goes to the first team.
Play is then reversed, w/the opposing team doing the talking and the first team going into isolation before attempting to steal. The game continues in this manner until one team scores 15 or more points; they win the game and go on to the bonus round.

THE BONUS ROUND:

After choosing one of 2 offered bonus prizes that they'd like to try for, one member of the winning team is selected to play first, while the other one goes into the onstage isolation booth. As in the maingame, the team chooses one of two subjects to "talk about", and the first player is given 20 seconds to do so.
Each word uncovered is worth $100 apiece, and if the first player successfully names all 10 words, the team automatically wins the top payoff of $2,000 plus their chosen bonus prize. If this is not accomplished (which was usually the case), the first player then has a decision to make: S/he can either keep the money just earned, or risk it and try to double the pot.
If the first player elects to risk the money, his/her partner is brought back onstage, and in a time limit of 1 second for each word named in the first part (ex: if the first player revealed 6 words, his/her partner would have 6 seconds to talk), must say any one of the remaining words. If successful, they win double the money earned in the first part and their bonus prize; otherwise, they win nothing.

Teams on "Talk About" were allowed to compete until they were defeated or won 5 games, whichever came first; the 5th and final matchup was known as the "Grand Game", and if the champions emerged victorious, they won the "Grand Game Jackpot", a prize package worth between $5,000-$6,000.


NOTES:

"Talk About" was created and co-produced by Mark-Maxwell Smith, a veteran game show producer in both the US and Canada.

In most American markets, the show aired as part of a syndicated GS block that included "Jackpot" with Geoff Edwards and "The Last Word", another Canadian-based entry hosted by Wink Martindale.

The show began exclusively as a Canadian entry in 1988, before being exported to the US for the following season.

During that first season, a number of all-star "Celebrity Talk About" primetime shows featuring Canadian personalities playing for charity, were done. Rules remained the same, except rather than playing to 15 points, the maingame was played to a time limit, with the team ahead when time expired going on to play the bonus round, and no merchandise prizes were offered. This gimmick was only tried once the following season...

...when a number of American stations carrying the show aired a celebrity episode as a "sneak preview" on the evening of Sep. 15, 1989 (3 days before the "official" US premiere), which featured Geoff Edwards and Steve Skrovan competing against Marc Summers and Scott Nemes (ironically, all except Nemes have hosted a game show).

A home game was released by Pressman in 1989 and also given as a parting gift to losing contestants on the show.

Prior to "Talk About", host Wayne Cox had emceed another Canadian-exported game show, "2nd Honeymoon", which aired on CBN Cable in 1987-88. He later went on to host the long-running (1991-98) Canadian charades game "Acting Crazy" and is now a weatherman for Vancouver's BCTV.

Although the last first-run episode (which saw Wayne bringing the entire staff onstage at the end to say goodbye) aired in March of 1990, a number of stations continued to show reruns until September; these were from the first (Canadian-only) season.

Three years after its cancellation, USA aired reruns of "Talk About" as part of its afternoon lineup for the last half of 1993.

Announcer Dean Hill has been a well-known Vancouver radio personality since the mid-70s and currently serves as half the midday team of "Dean and Hatch" on CFMI-FM (Rock 101).