1 9 4 7 – 1 9 5 9 (USA)
1 9 6 2 – 1 9 6 3 (USA)
1 9 6 9 (USA)
212 x 25 minute episodes
Pantomime Quiz – initially titled Pantomime Quiz Time and later Stump the Stars – was an American television game show produced and hosted by Mike Stokey. Running from 1947 to 1959, it has the distinction of being one of the few television series to air on all four American TV networks during the Golden Age of Television.
Based on the parlour game of ‘Charades’, Pantomime Quiz was initially broadcast locally in Los Angeles and won an Emmy Award for “Most Popular Television Program” at the first Emmy Awards ceremony.
The competition involved two teams of four contestants each (three regulars and one guest). In each round, one member acted out in mime a phrase or a name while the other three tried to guess it.
The team that took the least amount of time to guess all phrases won the game.
The program was picked up by CBS Television in October 1949 and ran nationally, usually during the summer, until August 1951 when NBC took it as a mid-season replacement. CBS took back the series in 1952.
The series aired on the DuMont Television Network from October 1953 to April 1954, after which it returned again to CBS.
ABC finally took the game for a mid-season slot, airing the durable quiz from January to March 1955. After CBS took it back once more, they broadcast it for three more summers before dropping the program altogether in 1957.
After a seven-month absence, ABC picked up Pantomime Quiz from April 1958, airing it in both daytime and primetime versions until October 1959.
Pantomime Quiz returned to the air on CBS as Stump the Stars in September 1962 with Pat Harrington, Jr. as the host.
Mike Stokey eventually replaced Harrington and continued as both host and producer until the September 1963, finale.
Soon after, Stokey hosted a new syndicated version which ran from February to September 1964. It returned five years later in September 1969 as Mike Stokey’s Stump the Stars.
Regulars and guests who appeared on the show during its long lifetime included Jerry Lewis, Lucille Ball (in her television debut), Jayne Mansfield, Carol Burnett, Mickey Rooney, Dick Van Dyke, Jackie Coogan, Stubby Kaye, Angie Dickinson, Paul Newman, Clint Eastwood, Roddy McDowall, Lee Marvin, Raymond Burr, Eartha Kitt, Paul Lynde, Mary Tyler Moore, Robert Clary, Adam West, Frank Gorshin, Robert Culp, Vincent Price, Deanna Lund, Diana Dors, Fabian, Nancy Sinatra, Julie London, Frankie Avalon, William Shatner and Connie Stevens.
A short-lived Australian version aired between March and November 1957 on Melbourne station GTV-9 and Sydney station ATN-7, with Harry Dearth, George Foster and Jim Russell among those appearing.