|Jack Narz (1970–1972)|
Gene Wood (1972–1974)
|Gene Wood (1969–1972)|
Nick Holenreich (1972–1974)
|Mark Goodson/Bill Todman Productions|
Beat the Clock was a stunt-based game show where couples completed stunts (along with a celebrity aide) for cash. It was based on the American game show of the same name.
Two couples, aided by a weekly celebrity guest, attempted to complete various stunts within a certain time limit, with the maximum possible time being 60 seconds (one minute). Doing so successfully won them a prize, which was later replaced by the winning couple facing a "cash board" with "BEAT THE CLOCK" spelled out on three levels, each letter concealing a money amount either $25 (4), $50 (5), $100 (2) or $200. The couple would agree on a letter, select it and the winnings would be revealed.
In addition, if a couple completed a stunt in less than half the time, the remaining time would be used for awarding a cash bonus. Anywhere from $10 to $50 would be awarded for each time the stunt could be completed in the time remaining.
At some point during the show, the celebrity would perform a "Solo Stunt". The couples could win $50 if they guessed correctly whether the star could "Beat the Clock" or vice versa. Towards the end of Narz's tenure as host, stunts would be replaced in the second half of the show with the celebrity playing a game of intuition with the couples who would play for a cash prize that was divided among them.
Jack Narz left the show in 1972 at the time, he made no announcement and gave no reason for his departure. In a 2007 Internet radio interview, Narz finally explained that the show's budget did not include his personal travel expenses; Narz had to pay for his travels and the cost of airline fair between his Los Angeles home and Montreal became prohibitive. His travel costs were essentially equal to his earnings, and even a successful appeal to Mark Goodson for more money was not enough.
Announcer Gene Wood hosed the show for the next two seasons. Wood had also been hosting a similar stunt game for CTV titled Anything You Can Do. CFCF-TV Montreal staff announcer Nick Holenreich became the show's announcer; he had previously announced for a week during Narz's final season in which Wood was the celebrity guest.
The show was now called The New Beat the Clock (although the logo still read simply Beat the Clock) and the set was refreshed with a new color scheme and a redesigned clock. Like his predecessor, Wood also wore suit jackets with the show's logo sewn on the pockets.
The only change in the format were that the couples were introduced separately and played two stunts, win or lose (a win still getting a trip to the cash board) and both couples competed simultaneously in a final stunt with the winning couple receiving a prize. Celebrity guests were retained in the new format (once again aiding the contestants) and performing the solo stunt as well as "co-judge" with Wood in the final stunt of the day. Another change was the occasional "Ladies' Day" where women only (not counting the celebrity for that week) would play the game.
Despite continued popularity, Goodson-Todman decided to discontinue production of Clock in 1974 when CTV asked the company for half of the proceeds from advertisers awarding their wares as contestant consolation prizes.
For the first season (1969-1970), the show was taped at The Little Theatre on Broadway in New York City. After that, taping moved to Montreal, Quebec as a cost-saving measure and CTV picked it up. This was the only time Goodson-Todman taped a series in Canada that was not for a Canadian-specific audience.
The music for this version of Clock was played live on the organ by the renowned keyboardist and arranger Dick Hyman.