The PYL Episode Guide!
I was born. Yeah, can you believe that the first taped PYL was
the same day as the date of my birth? Also in the beginning, there
was little excitement as the show barely entered the television
waves. If you compare an episode from 1983 to 1985, there is a
bunch more excitement in the 1985 episodes. :-) Despite that,
there were still some very exciting moments in the first season of
the show. $100 and $1200 only lasted for a couple months (22 and
53 shows, respectively), and the $1000 space would not return
until the Big Home Player Sweepstakes spin in November 1985....and
then in late 1986.
PILOT episode--Jack/Maggie Brown/Matt
|Date (ep #)
Link for some eps
|Player #1||Player #2||Player #3||Champion||Total
(Grand Total if over one game)
|9/19/83 (1)-!||Lana||Linda||Phil||LINDA||$14,954||First ep. VTR: 9/10/83
The premiere episode!
||Linda returns as champ, only to hand the game to Henri
in the end. Nice comeback! Tough questions!
||ROBERT||$4,598||Once again, the question writers come up with some
|Many slides are messed up, and some scoreboard malfunctions...|
|Most of the same errors as the rest of the week. Thrilling win.|
|Robert is the first contestant who went over
the $25,000 limit. (As it turns out, there was no DAY
limit on the show; only a money limit.)
|9/27 (7)||Debby||Maggie||Harold||MAGGIE||$6,100||2/3 is an answer choice, and a "Sun Tan Bed" is hit!|
|First ep with new "pass spin" sound, Whammy buzz, fixed slides, and the board not being so far. Thrilling and close finish.|
|9/29 (9)||Randy||Pam||Maggie||RANDY WEST||$8,750||Randy West's 1st appearance. A heart-stopper in the last spin!|
|9/30 (10)||Randy||Cathy||Allen||RANDY WEST||$10,992
|Randy West's 2nd appearance. One of the BEST finishes in PYL history! First car hit, and first car win.|
|10/3 (11)||Randy||Clay||Maggie||RANDY WEST||$6,000
|Randy West's last show!|
||Thanks to GSN, it turns out Ken's run does, indeed,
begin here! Now several of these episodes are pushed back!
|Okay, this is DEFINITELY here! [10/31/12 on GSN]
||The lights are still flashing as they press their luck
in round two.
||Denise||LARRY||$10,179||Larry's head is in the way, and Denise's whammy form the early intros!|
|Jog N Tramp makes a one-time appearance!
||Second car hit!
|10/13 (19)||David||Jessica||Jeanne||JESSICA||$5,619||David's whammy from the intros!
|10/14 (20)||Warren||Jessica||Miriam||WARREN & MIRIAM||$0 each!
||First tie! Warren and Miriam close out the week by each
finishing with $0 while Jessica whammies out.
||Cassette Radio makes its only appearance.
Miriam pulls it out with three whammies in her face. One
of the more exciting early episodes.
|Last day with the red backgrounds. Wall Recliner shows
up, as well. (Round 1 board)
||A few changes begin here. $1500 is now the top money
amount in Round 1 as that board raises the stakes a bit.
(ROUND ONE BOARD CHANGES)
|10/20 (24)||Taina||Mark||Tom||MARK||$16,911||Tom whammies thrice in round one, and quickly whammies out later.|
|Almost breaks $25K mark. BAD editing and weird shots.|
|10/24 (26)||Linda||Mark||Tom||LINDA||$6,000||Tom is wearing a cowboy hat! Very exiting game as Mark almost breaks a record... until the last spin.|
|10/25 (27)||Marv||Linda||Kim||KIM||$19,438||Linda and Kim's spins from the intros. VERY exciting with the "One more time..." curse.|
|10/26 (28)||Kim||Patti||Mark||PATTI||$10,060||Kim's BIG loss is here.|
|10/27 (29)||Regan||Patti||Sam||SAM||$10,700||More weird editing here! Close game in the end as Sam
wins by less than a thousand bucks.
|The reason for this prior hole in the guide is that USA
actually skipped this episode way back then, and I was
able to view these episodes (minus this one) with special
thanks to David Hammett. In this game, a dramatic final
spin leads to Sam's second victory.
|10/31 (31)||Peter||Julia||Sam||PETER||$9,329||"Cookware" hit here.|
|11/1 (32)||Peter||Lillian||Jack||JACK||$8,200||Jack did win here with only a few spins in round two,
and very few whammies in the game.
|11/2 (33)||Jack||Laurie||Ted||TED||$10,750||This is the episode where the second board sound effect starts!|
|11/3 (34)-!||Dave||Janis||Ted||DAVE||$19,744||A classic where a spin goes back and forth! This might
be the best episode of 1983.
|Robin and Dave from the intros. Dave retires with over $35,000 and is the biggest winner at the time!|
|11/7 (36)||Marty||Marilyn||Jim||JIM||$7,293||This is where the flashback intros start,
including clips from the previous week!
|11/8 (37)||Jim||Joan||Dan||JOAN||$1,000||Intro w/out background music.
A stinkin' thousand bucks?
||TONY||$7,258||Tony's reign starts here since on show #42, Peter and
Tony say it's his fourth show. As he said in his
interview, Tony busts the buzzer! :-)
Oddly enough, this leads to one of the more bizarre edits.
|Tony wins the game despite the lights still on while
he's pressing his luck, and in the face of three whammies.
|Two people with the same name, almost.|
|Tony finally goes over the limit! No background music on intro, still?!|
|11/16 (43)||Eileen||Dave||Randi||DAVE||$8,750||I know this is nit-picky, but the new nametags start in this episode. Also, the background music begins on the intros. Dave mentions that the board doesn't move! :-)|
|Oh, what a game! Exciting finish!|
|First appearance of Thanksgiving Whammy and Dave retires!|
|11/22 (47)||Jay||Arlene||Elinore||ELINORE||$3,500||Terrible round 1. TEN whammies!|
||NEAL||$6,300||Elinore and Neal are here, and Neal wins despite going
to USC. :-p (Peter gives Neal a hard time about this all
show long as Peter went to UCLA)
|11/28 (49)||Neal||Dick||Helen||HELEN||$6,550||Helen Reiner's 1st day. Whammy sound inadvertantly played.|
|Cheryl from the intros, and she gets 3 whammies in rd. 1!|
|Sherry has an anti-whammy button!|
|Becky from the intros, everyone is in a rut, and Helen NEVER loses a spin in rd. 2! Helen has highest total to date.|
|12/2 (53)||John||Toni||Scott||SCOTT||$17,772||Scott makes a great comeback!|
|12/5 (54)||Thawann||John||Scott||THAWANN||$12,000||Board #2 starts, money increases. 3-fastest spinners!|
|12/9 (58)||Ellie||Cathi||Michael||MICHAEL||$10,635||Michael from the intros!! Very thrilling game!|
|12/12 (59)||Beth||Michael||Jeff||JEFF||$2,000||"Ya know, if I die, I feel like I'm gonna kill myself...I'm going!" Great ep!|
|Many Big Bucks hits.|
|12/14 (61)||Jeff||Diana||Greg||GREG||$3,900||This is the same Jeff. His third day.|
|12/19 (64)||Glenn||Barbara||Pam*||GLENN||$21,526||Christmas Week starts off with a bang!
Thirty-one spins WITHOUT a whammy! Holy cow, what an
exciting game! Pam will return in a future episode next
||FRANK||$18,287||Frank has always wanted to be on a game show, and his
dream comes true in a big way! Only ONE whammy hit in this
||NANCY||$20,618||The big bucks continues this week with another big win,
three players in the five-digits, and only ONE whammy in
this episode, as well! (Two whammies this week...)
*Also, new plungers are installed...
|12/22 (68)||Nancy||Tracy||Pierre||TRACY||$10,100||X-mas episode with X-mas whammies, finally!
|Wood Stove hit in this episode. Also of note, this is
Matt Dorf from the pilot episode of PYL!
|Start of New Year's Whammies for the week.
Tracy retires as a retired champion!
|12/27 (71)||Stephan||Carol||Daun||CAROL||$4,949||Another great comeback with another come-from-behind car win!|
|12/28 (72)||Russ||SuAnne||Carol||SUANNE||$11,250||Carol's Big Bucks hit from the intros.|
|12/29 (73)||SuAnne||Scott||Kennie||KENNIE||$24,457||Kennie is a female, and another huge win! Spin battle! Whooot!|
|Kennie ends the 1983 year as a retired champion, which
means we have three new players to enter the new year!
*No episode aired on January 2nd because of both the Rose Parade coverage on CBS, and also coverage of the Cotton Bowl. Both events took place that Monday since New Year's fell on a Sunday in 1984. From the December 30th episode, Peter even mentioned that the show would not be on Monday because of Rose Parade coverage.
|1/3 (75)||Casey||Linda||Tom||TOM||$12,745||First ep of '84. Three new players start off the year.|
|1/4 (76)-!||Tom||Vicki||Troy||TROY||$14,600||Troy breaks the buzzer!! He also celebrates prematurely after hitting big bucks!|
|Troy retires as champion.|
|1/10 (80)||Andy||Nancy||Ross||NANCY||$17,195||Big win!|
|Nancy goes over limit.|
|1/12 (82)||Gary||Melinda||Rich||GARY||$13,311||Note: This is a different Gary.|
|1/16 (84)||Gary||Lisa||Dee-Dee||GARY||$15,308||Yeah, this is the THIRD different Gary within a week.|
|1/17 (85)||Pierre||Gary||Terri||TERRI||$6,961||Whammy in square #2 starts here as we enter a new tape date. Also, Peter welcomes a new station today! Terri makes a very dirty pass to win the game...|
|1/19 (87)||Will||Rosie||Rona||RONA||$16,092||There's a whammy in sqaure #2, and it is hit last!|
|Whammy in #2; Rona goes over limit!|
|1/23 (89)||Beth||Tom||Kimberly||KIMBERLY||$7,900||Kim's first day. Tom breaks the plunger! :-D|
|Back to regular board, #2 whammy is gone forever.|
|Kimberly goes over the limit!|
|1/26 (92)-!||Jim||Mimi||Mark||MIMI||$21,469||One of the best comebacks in PYL history.|
|Crazy J.C.! Also, this is Mira from the intros!|
|New and weird prizes start here. "Rhine Cruise"?!? Kirk's third win in a row! He retires as champion.|
|2/1 (96)-!||Jeanie||Susan||Mike||SUSAN||$18,376||Susan is rollin'! In fact, she hit $5000 + ONE SPIN three times in a row! Also, Brazil and Scotland are hit on this episode! Also, a poem is read by... Jason Hernandez!|
|This the biggest one-day total, and has the highest overall total to date. WOW! Susan from the intros!|
|2/6 (99)-!||Shelley||Floyd||Maari||MAARI||$11,150||Maari AND Shelley from intros.|
|2/7 (100)-!||Jeff||Maari||Tricia||TRICIA||$12,445||Maari's second day.|
|2/8 (101)||Tricia||Leo||Peter||PETER||$12,896||The Rhine Cruise is hit (and won) in this episode!
|New plungers (buzzers) with the yellow on it are
installed this episode. Also, Pam returns because of a
faulty question from an earlier episode. Jesse retires.
|2/15 (106)||Virginia||Jim||Shelly||SHELLY||$11,260||Three new players. Jim swears....but not like ANOTHER Jim.|
|Shelly from the intros!|
|2/21 (110)-!||Richard||John||Ann||RICHARD||$4,050||First episode GSN airs. Ann from intros, and Richard also won big on $100K Pyramid.|
|2/23 (112)||Kerry||Darlene||Jim||DARLENE||$8,520||Three fast spinners in this ep|
|2/24 (113)||Gilbert||Lorri||Darlene||GILBERT||$16,595||Win is decided in a "move one space" turn. Flokati rug appears!|
|2/27 (114)||Mac||Gilbert||Rachele||MAC||$9,449||There are NO WHAMMIES hit in this episode.|
|Pick-A-Corner is introduced! NEW BOARD. Also, one of the closest finishes ever...|
|2/29 (116)||Mac||Kevin||Margaret||MARGARET||$3,748||It's leap day... and there are whammies galore|
|3/1 (117)||Bob||Kathy||Margaret||KATHY||$5,050||The lowest combined spins ever in round 2!|
|First Pick A Corner/Whammy hit.|
|One of the oddest games ever, with TEN whammies! Don't even ask how he wound up with only $800. :-)|
|3/7 (121)||Nita||Andres||Otis||NITA||$9,250||Andres back for his 4th show!|
|3/8 (122)||Susan||Nita||Michael||MICHAEL||$16,156||Double Your $$ starts. Michael seems very excited...|
|3/9 (123)-!||Michael||Bob||Maggie Brown||MAGGIE BROWN||$12,932||Double Your $$ hit for first time. This is crazy Maggie Brown from pilot!|
|3/12 (124)-!||Maggie||Burt||Laureen||LAUREEN||$4,000||Maggie comes ever so close to winning, but a whammy stops her......VERY exciting game.|
|What a not-so-pretty game.|
|3/15 (127)||Douglas||Liz||David||LIZ||$7,500||Can you say...whammyfest? This game has way too many errors to count! One of the weirdest games ever.|
|3/19 (129)||Bo||Kim||Craig||KIM||$14,766||Kim has the prettiest blue eyes...according to Peter. :-)|
|3/20 (130)||Lois||Rod||Kim||LOIS||$15,091||Nice ending. In the end of the episode, Lois announced that she was given the gift of sight! :-)|
|3/21 (131)||Gary||Susie||Lois||SUSIE||$10,649||Lois is here from all those GSN promos...|
|Double $$ is hit again; Susie is over limit. Very good game with many whammies!|
|3/23 (133)-!||John||Jill||Pamela||JOHN||$19,295||Lots of BIG BUCKS hits! Very exciting high-scoring game!|
|3/26 (134)||John||Geralyn||Andy||GERALYN||$15,801||This is Geralyn from the intros! She has a high-pitched voice!|
|"One More Time" curse...|
|3/28 (136)-!||Geralyn||Julio||Carla||JULIO||$12,506||"I'm gonna get the Big Bucks, STOP!".....Ahhhh!|
|Too many whammies! Also, Double Your $$ now appears in square #7.|
|3/30 (138)||Julio||Mae||Harris||MAE||$7,800||Peter, this is the THIRD time someone hit Double Your $$, not the first time! Harris has a rubber duck!|
|4/2 (139)||Karen||Rich||Mae||KAREN||$14,405||Karen Martin from the intros!|
|4/3 (140)-!||Sue||Karen||Bill||SUE||$12,924||Karen "needs a pool table for Dan" and gets it!|
|4/4 (141)||Jimmy||Catherine*||Sue||JIMMY||$4,500||Catherine returns at a later date because of an error of some sort...|
|Jimmy retires, and one of the biggest one-day totals in PYL history!|
|4/6 (143)||Pam||Kathy||Clifton||KATHY||$19,866||This is the Kathy from the intros!|
|4/9 (144)||Kathy||Joanne||Greg||JOANNE||$15,950||Great episode, but there were several technical errors, slow cameras, and Squares #2 and 4 are frozen.|
|4/10 (145)||Joanne||Jim||Audrey||AUDREY||$9,095||Pick A Corner/Whammy hit. Second one.
First mention of Home Player's Sweepstakes.
|4/11 (146)||Tony||Laurie||Audrey||LAURIE||$13,456||Tony is probably the fastest spinner ever on PYL. Also, Laurie has a high-pitched scream!|
|4/12 (147)||Laurie||Nancy||Jim||NANCY||$13,889||In this episode, Double Your $$ appears with a SPIN for the first time!|
|4/13 (148)-!||Colleen||Nancy||Yogi||COLLEEN||$15,050||GSN had skipped this ep.
But now I have it, and it's a good thing they showed it, this is by far, one of the weirdest episodes I've seen... a summary is now here! VTR: 3/31/84
|4/16 (149)||David*||Colleen||LaVerne||LAVERNE||$9,895||David is another fast spinner, but he gets killed! Because the board malfunctioned, he will return on the 4/24 show.|
|This is a very exciting game that turns ugly....
**Note: Features "Video Game Cartridges."
|4/18 (151)-!||Miguel||LaVerne||Patti||PATTI||$17,990||Patti's Double $$ hit occurs. This is the one from the intros!! This would be the first time it's hit with a spin. VTR: 4/1/84|
|Another exciting episode with Patti! She goes over the limit.|
|4/20 (153)||Lynn||Fredda||Rick||RICK||$16,450||Pick A Corner/Whammy #3 hit. This is the classic last spin from the outtakes! VTR: 4/1/84|
|4/24 (155)||Sue||Rick||David*||RICK PERRIE||$16,542
|Board #3a debuts. Specifically, $2500 in square #10 is replaced by another prize. David returns because he spun too fast... Rick goes over limit! VTR: 4/1/84|
|4/25 (156)-!||Susie||Betty||Stephen||STEPHEN||$6,086||What a game.....a record is broken and will not be broken. A player obtains 12 spins in one round (the max), but then it turns tragic... 5 loungers...|
|Emily "doesn't want to see a whammy's face." Another dramatic episode.|
|4/27 (158)||Sally||Larry||Stephen||SALLY||$16,016||Pretty exciting game! Sally wins it with three whammies!|
|4/30 (159)-!||Scott||Sharon||Sally||SCOTT||$15,047||This is actually an exciting game with MANY spins!|
|5/1 (160)||Darrell||Scott||Cheri||CHERI||$10,800||Verrrry close game at the end.|
|I was right, nothing important happened...except everyone got $0 at round 1's end.|
|5/3 (162)||Lisa||Jeff||Cheri||LISA||$14,745||Everyone has $0 at the end of round 1! Several Pick A Corner hits...|
|Lisa retires after a very close second game.|
**ANOTHER NOTE: Board #3b debuts on the 5/8 show! Some very minor
changes, including the Pick a Corner
I never thought I'd say this, thanks to Zach Horan for that info! :-) Also, I was right in assuming that the change would occur in that week. Wow!
|5/7 (164)-!||June||Scot||Veronica||VERONICA||$20,221||Peter nearly passes out...! Veronica was gonna be a mortician, but it ended when she put an ear in his lunch...|
|5/8 (165)-!||Veronica||Catherine*||Bob||BOB||$5,000||First episode with NEW Pick A
Also, Catherine is back due to a question problem from the 4/4 show.
Also, this is Bob who hits a whammy and then ducks down!
Finally, FRANCE is up on the board for the first time...and it is hit by Bob!
|5/9 (166)||Bob||Pamela||David||DAVID||$12,273||Pick A Corner/Whammy hit! Fourth one. Also, the kamikaze whammy is weird...|
|Josh has to go on my bloopers list some time....|
|5/11 (168)||Keith||David||Lynn||KEITH||$12,075||Pick A Corner/Whammy hit again for #5!|
GSN has went back and aired these Home Player's Sweepstakes episodes!! DOUBLE WOW!!!!!
For info on the HP Sweepstakes and who won what...go to Nick Mooneyhan's PYL episode guide!
|5/14 (169)-!||Barbara||Menard||Keith||MENARD||$18,050||Home Player's Sweepstakes debuts!! Caught this ep from Thanksgiving marathon. PAC/Whammy #6 hit in this episode! Very exciting comeback! VTR: 4/29/84|
|5/15 (170)-!||Sally||Menard||Brad||BRAD||$14,557||This is Brad's Trip to FRANCE! Also PAC/Whammy #7 AND 8 is hit in this episode TWICE!|
|Brad is a fast spinner, and the board starts rotating oddly. It comes down to the last spin... one of the closest games! Brad retires with over $30k.|
|5/17 (172)||Patty||David||Jenneen||DAVID||$5,799||What a game! This is the FIRST instance where someone plays the house!|
|5/18 (173)-!||David||Becky||Paul||BECKY||$33,410||Becky breaks the bank, and it would hold as the all-time PYL record for one show...until three weeks later. GSN showed some parts in this episode that CBS didn't show when it originally aired on 5/18/84, and vice versa!|
|5/21 (174)||Ruth||Carolyn||Jake||RUTH||$7,495||Big total at end of round 1! Some BIG whammies in round two!|
|Chris is a woman, FYI. One of the BEST finishes EVER! Ruth wins it by $10!|
|Another great game, and Ruth retires as 3-time champ!|
|5/24 (177)||Kimberly||David||Rhonda||DAVID||$750||What the h-e....anyways. Odd game.|
|David||John||PHYLLIS||$9,550||Good first round. David is weird with his passing strategy.|
|5/29 (180)||Loreen||Dan||Ralph||LOREEN||$6,300||Loreen is very very stupid in the beginning of round 2 as she almost passes all of her spins from third place...|
|5/30 (181)-!||Jimmy||Loreen||Cindy||CINDY||$14,780||Peter tries to save a fly. "Help me!" PAC/Whammy #9 hit. Cindy almost can't take her last spins! A $700 win! One of the best endings ever.|
|*5/31 (182)||?||?||?||CINDY||Over $25,000
|Okay, GSN decides to skip this episode...but I have a noted brief summary about this one.|
|6/1 (183)||Mike||Karyl||Lynn||KARYL||$8,628||Lynn is a guy. (Like Lynn Swann) =D France is back!|
|6/4 (184)||Karyl||Jim||Pat||PAT||$16,405||PAC/Whammy hit. Pat's loud!|
|6/6 (186)||David||Vicki||Sue Ellen||VICKI||$9,295
|Good game in the end.|
|6/7 (187)||Pamela||Vicki||Ed||ED||$11,516||Poor Ed....that championship is short-lived...|
|6/8 (188-I)-!||Ed||Michael Larson||Janie||none yet, contunues to 6/11||almost $40,000 so far...||Part one of the Larson eps. Also, this is the final day of the Home Player Spin.|
Wow, can you believe this...? Michael Larson has an amazing run
of spins, breaking records....and the people who watched Friday
have to wait until Monday to see what happens?? YIKES! Talk about
suspense, better than Millionaire!
|6/11 (188-II)||Ed||Michael Larson||Janie||MICHAEL LARSON||$110,237||Michael Larson's HUGE WIN! Biggest win in PYL history, and of the biggest in game show history at the time.|
|6/12 (189)||Mike||Jo||Jeffie||JEFFIE||$17,698||Peter is still numb from Michael's amazing feat... This is a very good game!|
|Great game and Jeffie retires!|
|6/14 (191)||Lori||Mauri||Mike||MIKE||$12,944||Car win.|
It's here that the board starts moving slower for a while.....when $2000 in square #10 leaves forever.
|6/19 (194)-!||Wes||Reva||Sandi||REVA||$24,828||Reva nearly goes over limit. Another great game. Last day of "Larson combinations."|
|6/20 (195)||Reva||Brad||Adoris||BRAD||$14,930||CHANGES GALORE!!
New patterns, new whammies, and $2000 is yanked for a third prize. Also, this marks the debut of Tammy Whamette.
|6/21 (196)||Cameron||Cynthia||Brad||CAMERON||$13,128||Trident spokesman, Cameron Craycroft.|
|6/22 (197)||Kathy||Cameron||Richard||KATHY||$16,890||Lake Powell debuts, and Double Your $$ is hit by Kathy in square #10 from the intros! Also, I don't think the audience was rooting for Cameron...|
**Thanks to Fearon Derry for providing these eps.**
|6/25 (198)||Allen||Lisa||Kathy||ALLEN||$10,250||Lisa is a cute nurse! :-)|
|TWO players get three whams in the first round.|
|6/27 (200)||Allen||Vicki||Brad||VICKI||$12,500||Lake Powell is first hit!|
|Bill goes over the limit.|
On to the next page of the PYL Episode Guide. Click here to go to page 2: July-December 1984.
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