1 9 8 1 – 1 9 8 4 (UK)
80 x 30 minute episodes
Debuting in January 19981, Punchlines was a comedy quiz show from London Weekend Television, hosted by Lennie Bennett.
Two contestants – assisted by a star guest each – used their intuition, memory and skill to recall which celebrity “punchliner” said what and in what situation. Innuendo was the order of the day – like a ruder version of Blankety Blank.
The show was based on a failed 1979 US game show pilot of the same name (hosted by Bill Cullen), which in turn, was an attempted reboot of another American game show called Eye Guess (1966 – 1969).
Star guests and celebrity “punchliners” included Fogwell Flax, Aiden J Harvey, Judy Gridley, Patti Gold, Gary Wilmot, Joe Brown, Kenny Lynch, David Hamilton, Roy Kinnear, Bernie Winters, Rose-Marie, Dave Lee Travis, Sally James, Norman Collier, Lynda Bellingham, Faith Brown, Barry Cryer, Charlie Williams, Nerys Hughes, Pat Coombs, Christopher Biggins, Bobby Davro, Diana Dors, Wendy Richard, Barbara Windsor, Mike Reid, Windsor Davies, Bernard Manning, Paula Wilcox, Richard O’Sullivan, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Alfred Marks, Lulu, Melvyn Hayes, Lionel Blair, Kenny Everett, Bonnie Langford, Leslie Phillips, Anita Harris, Liz Fraser, Nicholas Parsons and Cilla Black.
Lennie Bennett died in April 2009 following a fall at his home, from which he failed to regain consciousness. He was 70.