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To Tell the Truth (1956)

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To Tell the Truth
To Tell the Truth (1956)-Logo.jpg
Premiere December 18, 1956
Finale September 6, 1968
Creator Bob Stewart
Host Bud Collyer
Network/Provider CBS
Style 30-minute game show
Company Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Productions,
CBS Television
Seasons 11
Episodes 457 + unaired pilot
Origin USA

To Tell the Truth is a game show that aired on CBS.

Three challengers (known on the show as "team of imposters") are presented, all claiming to be a particular person, and host Bud Collyer reads an affidavit about something notable about him/her. After being seated, the panel, in turn asks questions to any of the challengers. After all four panelists have made their inquiries, they now vote on who the real namesake is. After voting, Bud utters the famous phrase "Will the real (name of person) please stand up?" Usually as a fake out, one of the team members will start to stand until the real person actually does. The team receives $100 for every wrong vote, and $1000 if the panel is stumped completely.

If a panelist thinks he may have some connection to the team of challengers (tangible connection or not), he/she may disqualify him/herself. This counts as an incorrect vote.

A daytime edition of To Tell The Truth was started on CBS on June 18, 1962. It aired till September 6, 1968. Late in the daytime run, the audience was allowed to vote for who they thought was the real person. Cash prizes were $50 for incorrect votes and $500 for stumping the panel.

A year after being canceled by CBS, To Tell The Truth returned in syndication as a five-day-a-week strip with Garry Moore as host. CBS regular panelists Tom Poston, Peggy Cass, Orson Bean and Kitty Carlisle all returned as well as Bill Cullen as a semi-regular. In 1977, Joe Garagiola replaced Garry Moore as host, and then the show was canceled in 1978. It returned in 1980 with Robin Ward as host, running one season. NBC revived it in 1990 with three hosts during its nine-month run--Gordon Elliot, Lynn Swann, and Alex Trebek. The show had a fifth incarnation in 2000 in a syndicated edition hosted by John O'Hurley. It ran a year-and-a-half. A sixth edition started airing in 2016.

The show's name in development was Three Of A Kind. It piloted as Nothing But The Truth but it was changed to keep from conflicting with a movie under the same title. The pilot had the panel (Polly Bergen, John Cameron Swayze, Patty Leidy, Dick Van Dyke; the host was Mike Wallace) given seven minutes to question the challengers with each panelist given 30 seconds. After the panel casts their votes, the audience made their selection on electronic devices at their seats (which would be repurposed later in the CBS run). The highest vote total counted for that challenger. Each incorrect vote was worth $100, and if at anytime the real person among the challengers is found to be lying, his/her cash award would be forfeited. People Are Funny host Art Linkletter attempted to sue Goodson-Todman for plagiarism as it was similar to "Lie Detector," a feature of Linkletter's show.



Person Role Duration
Main Cast
Bud Collyer Host 1956-1968
Don Ameche Panelist 1956-1961
Polly Bergen Panelist 1956-1961
Hildy Parks Panelist 1956-1957
Kitty Carlisle Panelist 1957-1968
Hy Gardner Panelist 1957-1959
Betty White Panelist 1958-1964
Joan Fontaine Panelist 1962-1965
Barry Nelson Panelist 1962-1965
Phyllis Newman Panelist 1962-1965
Gene Rayburn Panelist 1963-1968
Orson Bean Panelist 1964-1968
Peggy Cass Panelist 1964-1981
Tom Poston Panelist 1964-1968
Bern Bennett Announcer 1956-1960
Roger Forster Announcer 1960
Johnny Olson Announcer 1960-1968


Season  Premiere Finale #
Season One December 18, 1956 August 27, 1957 36 + 1
Season Two September 3, 1957 August 26, 1958 49
Season Three September 2, 1958 August 25, 1959 50
Season Four September 1, 1959 August 25, 1960 48
Season Five September 1, 1960 August 28, 1961 44
Season Six September 11, 1961 July 2, 1962 42
Season Seven September 10, 1962 July 22, 1963 43
Season Eight September 9, 1963 August 31, 1964 45
Season Nine September 14, 1964 July 19, 1965 43
Season Ten September 20, 1965 June 27, 1966 36
Season Eleven September 11, 1966 May 22, 1967 21


DVD Releases

There are no DVD releases for this show.

External Sites