Password Plus and Super Password

Password Plus and Super Password

Infobox Television
show_name = Password Plus

caption = "Password Plus" opening title.
genre = Game show
camera = Six cameras, later five
picture_format = NTSC
runtime = 30 minutes (with commercials)
creator = Bob Stewart
developer = Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Productions
starring = Allen Ludden (1979-1980)
Bill Cullen (1980)
Tom Kennedy (1980-1982)

narrated = Gene Wood
country = USA
network = NBC
first_aired = January 8, 1979
last_aired = March 26, 1982
num_episodes = 801 (1 unaired)
imdb_id = 0197176
tv_com_id = 5812
Infobox Television
show_name = Super Password

caption = Title card for "Super Password"
genre = Game show
camera = Multiple-camera setup
picture_format = NTSC
runtime = 30 minutes (with commercials)
creator = Bob Stewart
developer = Mark Goodson Productions
starring = Bert Convy
narrated = Rich Jeffries (1984)
Gene Wood (1984-1989)
country = USA
network = NBC
first_aired = September 24, 1984
last_aired = March 24, 1989
num_episodes = 1151
imdb_id = 0086811
tv_com_id = 5459

"Password Plus" and "Super Password" are American game shows that were revivals of the original CBS and ABC game show "Password" (1961-1967; 1971-1975). Both "Password Plus" and "Super Password" had the same format, but subtle nuances separated the two shows.

"Password Plus" and "Super Password" aired on the NBC television network, and were taped on Stage 3 at NBC Studios in Burbank, California.

As with the previous editions, "Password Plus" was a Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Production, and "Super Password" was a Mark Goodson Production.

The original title of "Password Plus" was "Password '79", a la "Match Game's" annual title change upon the new year. However, thanks to Carol Burnett's remarks on the new format that "this is more than "Password", it's Password Plus," the term "Password Plus" stuck, and a slight modification of remark was used by announcer Gene Wood as the show's opening tagline.

"Password Plus" ran from January 8, 1979 until March 26, 1982 for 801 shows. "Super Password"'s run lasted for 1,151 installments, from September 24, 1984, to March 24, 1989.

"Password Plus" won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show in 1982, the same year its run ended.



"Password Plus" was hosted by original "Password" host Allen Ludden from January 1979 to April 1980, when he had to take a leave of absence from the show due to stomach cancer. Bill Cullen, who was hosting "Chain Reaction" at the time, took over as substitute host for a month while Ludden recovered. Ludden returned in May, but by October, had suffered a stroke as well as having his cancer recur, and was forced to retire; he would never appear on television again before his 1981 death (though he did do a phone-in on "The Mike Douglas Show" and voice-overs for some Los Angeles bank commercials shortly before passing). Because Cullen had recently begun hosting the Goodson-packaged "Blockbusters", Tom Kennedy took over the podium and remained host until "Plus" ended.

Tom Kennedy was considered to host "Super Password", but was already busy emceeing "Body Language" on CBS; therefore, Bert Convy was tapped as the new host,Fact|date=March 2007 and did so for the entire run.


Gene Wood was the regular announcer on both "Password Plus" and "Super Password". Johnny Olson, Bob Hilton, John Harlan and Rich Jeffries substituted on some episodes of "Plus", including a stretch in 1981 when Wood was recovering from an accident. Rich Jeffries filled in on occasion in 1981 and 1982 on "Password Plus", then announced on the first 45 episodes of "Super Password" in 1984. Afterward, along with Hilton, he would substitute on occasion. Also, John Harlan filled in on occasion in 1985 on "Super Password", and Bob Hilton filled in on occasion in 1984, 1987 and 1988.

Game play

"Password Plus" and "Super Password" had almost identical rules.

Two teams, each comprised of a contestant and a celebrity, competed. The object, as on the original "Password", was for the clue-giving partner to get the receiving partner to guess a given word (the "password"). The giving partner on the first team offered a one-word clue, to which the receiving partner was allowed one guess; there were brief time limits for both the clue and the guess. Teams alternated giving one-word clues until the password was guessed, or until each side had given two clues (three in the early days of "Password Plus" until June 15, 1979). Giving an illegal clue (multiple words, using over-expressive gestures, forms of the password, made-up words, etc.) forfeited the receiver's turn to guess, as did having clue-giving time expire without giving a clue. If the word itself was given away by any of the players, or a clue was ruled illegal after the word had been correctly guessed, the opposing team was given the right to guess the puzzle. If the word was revealed prematurely by anyone other than the players (e.g., the host), the word was put on the board and neither team guessed.

The new element of the revivals was the "Password Puzzle." Each password, once revealed, became one of five clues referring to a person, place or thing. The passwords themselves were not worth any money; only the puzzle affected the scores. A guesser who correctly guessed a password was given a guess at the answer to the puzzle. A password that was not guessed by either player was added to the board without a guess at the puzzle. For the final password in a puzzle, if the guesser was incorrect, their partner was given a guess as well. On "Password Plus", the puzzle would be thrown out if the partner failed to guess; on "Super Password", the opposing team members would each be given a guess as well. If the final password in a puzzle was not guessed or was revealed prematurely by anyone other than the players, the answer to the puzzle was revealed, and a new puzzle was played. Correctly guessing the puzzle netted the contestant money; any remaining clues would be revealed and new puzzles were played until one contestant had enough money to win the game.

Like the ABC run of "Password", the first clue-giver for each password on "Password Plus" had the option to give the first clue or pass to the other team. Originally, the team that didn't get the previous password was given the option, but this changed a few months into the run. This option was eliminated on "Super Password".

Beginning April 23, 1979, two rules were added to "Password Plus": The first was the disallowing of direct opposites of the password (e.g., "loose" for "tight") as clues. The second rule was if the clue-giving partner failed to give a clue, or say "pass" or "play" within the time limit, the opposing team was given control, and was allowed two clues for the word. "Super Password" did not use either of these changes.


Originally on "Password Plus", the first team to accumulate $300 was the winner. The first two puzzles were worth $100 each, with each subsequent puzzle worth $200 until a winner was crowned. The goal was later increased to $400.

Towards the end of "Password Plus"'s run, the goal became $500, with the first three puzzles being worth $100 and the remainder worth $200. This increased the minimum number of puzzles played in a game from three to four. The contestants also switched celebrity partners after the third puzzle; before the change, the champion would switch celebrity partners at the start of the next game.

"Super Password" had a set goal of $500 throughout its run, with puzzles that started at $100 and increased in value by $100 until the fourth and final puzzle, worth $400. The contestants would switch partners after the "CA$HWORD", which followed the second ($200) puzzle.

Alphabetics/Super Password

The winning team would go on to play for a cash prize in the bonus round, called "Alphabetics" on "Password Plus" and, initially, "Super Password" (later simply referred to as "the End Game" on "Super Password").

The gameplay of the round was the same on both shows: The round featured 10 passwords beginning with consecutive letters of the alphabet (A-J, B-K, etc.). The celebrity was always the clue-giver; they were shown only the current password until it was guessed or they passed. They had to give as many one-word clues as they could until the contestant guessed the password; they could use multiple individual words to form sentences, but had to pause distinctly between each word. For the period on "Password Plus" in which opposites were forbidden, this was enforced in Alphabetics as well. There was a 60-second time limit; if the contestant guessed all ten words, they won the jackpot; otherwise, they won $100 per correct guess.

On "Password Plus", the grand prize was originally a flat $5,000, with each illegal clue reducing its potential value by 20% of the total ($1,000), but accidentally saying the word forfeited the grand prize automatically. Toward the end of the show's run, the bonus round was played for an accumulating jackpot, which started at $5,000 and increased by that much each time it was not won, up to a limit of $50,000 (which was never reached). Illegal clues still reduced the pot by 20% (e.g., a $35,000 pot would have $7,000 deducted for each illegal clue), but this was later changed to a flat $2,500 reduction in late 1981. By the final week, the 20% reduction had returned.

"Super Password"'s bonus game was played for the same accumulating pot, but illegal clues of any sort took that password out of play and cost the contestant any chance at the jackpot (though if any passwords were left, the end game continued for $100 per word). Also, NBC imposed no limit as to how high the pot could go. The top prize ever awarded was $55,000, which was won twice. On three other occasions, the pot reached $50,000 before it was won.


"Super Password" instituted an additional bonus during the main game. This bonus, called "CA$HWORD," was played for an accumulating cash jackpot every game after the $200 puzzle. The celebrity was given a more difficult password displayed within a prop that host Convy affectionately called the "Magic Toaster." The celebrity acted as the clue-giver and the team had three clues and guesses to get the word and win the jackpot. The jackpot started at $1,000 and increased by that amount each day until claimed. There was no limit as to how high the pot could go; the highest it ever reached was $12,000. If at any time an illegal clue was given, it automatically ended the "CA$HWORD" round.

On the final episode of "Super Password", Betty White destroyed the Magic Toaster after she failed to win the "CA$HWORD" bonus with her contestant. This was the second time the prop was destroyed, as Bert Convy accidentally threw the first Toaster in a 1986 episode after Edie McClurg gave an illegal clue by saying part of the password.


"Super Password" held its one and only Tournament of Champions in 1985. In it, eight of the top winners competed. Front-game rules were identical to the regular season with no "CA$HWORD" played throughout the tournament. First-round matches consisted of only one game, with the winners playing Super Password for $2,500. The semi-final and final matches were best-of-three game matches. In the semi-finals, the first win by a player gave the contestant a chance at $2,500 in Super Password, and winning the match sent that player to the finals and gave the player a chance at $5,000 in Super Password. The winner of the tournament won $25,000 and a chance to double it in Super Password. The overall champion, Natalie Steele, became "Password"'s all-time big winner (only due to this tournament), earning $106,000.

Both shows also held an all-star week with various stars playing for charity. The endgame was played for $5,000 to be split between the partners' respective charities. "Super Password"'s Ca$hword was worth $1,000. When played on "Plus", a $5,000 bonus was awarded to the player(s) with the highest single total.

Every year, "Super Password" also held a "Tournament of Losers." In it, players who had won nothing on their previous appearances returned to play in a week-long tournament. The "CA$HWORD" was worth $1,000, and the end game was worth $5,000 all week; the overall winner of the tournament won an additional $10,000. No matter what, all players in the Losers tournaments were guaranteed $100 so that they didn't walk away empty-handed again. (These episodes have aired on GSN.)


Three editions of the "Password Plus" home board game were made by Milton Bradley in the early 1980s. [ [ Info on PASSWORD PLUS Home Games from "Game Show Home Games Home Page"] ]

A "Super Password" video game was released for DOS and the Commodore 64 in the 1980s. A version for the NES was planned but never surfaced. Also, in the late 1990s, a "Super Password" hand-held game was released. [ [ Info on SUPER PASSWORD Computer & Handheld Games from "Game Show Home Games Home Page"] ] In the 1991 movie "Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead", a character makes a reference to a "Super Password" home game, possibly implying a board game, which was never released.

Episode status

All episodes of "Password Plus" and "Super Password" are intact, and both currently air on GSN.

Episode #111 of "Password Plus", the first episode of the Elaine Joyce & George Peppard week, was skipped over during the shows' original run due to Peppard's controversial rant about his true feeling regarding the rules of certain NBC game shows. The remaining 4 episodes of that particular week aired instead (June 11-14, 1979). He was never invited back because of his rant. The week after that, with Sarah Purcell & Bill Anderson, ran for 5 episodes from June 15, 18-21, 1979. To make up for the skipped episode, 6 episodes were taped the week after that with Judy Norton Taylor & Robert Walden, and all 6 episodes aired from June 22, 25-29, 1979. The unaired episode resurfaced when GSN began airing reruns of the show in the mid-1990s.

ee also

*"Million Dollar Password"


External links

* []
*imdb title|id=0197176|title= Password Plus
*imdb title|id=0086811|title= Super Password
* [ Official CBS Million Dollar Password site. Has link for application]

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