Have you ever heard of games like these?

When I was in college, I heard of some games that worked as follows:

People would contact TV shows like “Judge Judy” that recruited guests from the general population.

Then they would make up some contrived situation. But it would just be some kind of practical joke. The idea behind the game is that people would be awarded “points” based on some of the following factors:

. How long it took them to appear on the show (from the time they first contacted the show until the episode was broadcast.

. The amount of money they extracted from the show - either the amount of a judgement they got for their contrived “story” or from their appearance fees.

. A panel of so-called “judges” would decide which contestants were the most sincere and which did the best job of fooling the general public.

They people who appeared on these shows had to be very careful since I think there may have been some kind of criminal charges that could be brought against them for Fraud and other similar crimes. I don’t know if any of them were ever caught or arrested or anything like that.

I know that many people would consider this to be “not funny”. However, many of the students considered it to be a huge “laff riot” and a great challenge to see if they could fool the people who administered the shows.

I’d like to know if anyone here has ever known of anyone who participated in these kinds of Hi-Jinx. I’m sympathetic to people who say that doing this was a real shame because it robbed other people of their opportunities to get some real justice or compensation of different kinds.

I’m trying to remember other shows that were fooled or “scammed” into giving these people money or other forms of compensation. There was once a game show called, “To Tell The Truth”. Do you remember that one? Three contestants each claimed to be some famous person who had some claim to fame and there was a panel of celebrities who were supposed to figure out just which one was telling truth and which were lying. There was also a show called “What’s My Line”. In that one, people with unusual ways to make a living would appear and a panel of celebs would try to guess just what their occupation was.

“What’s My Line” was a natural for these kinds of games because people could make up all kinds of outrageous stories and pretend to have very bizarre occupations. Even without these games, it was often difficult to determine whether people were telling the truth or not about their occupations.

Has anyone here ever had any experience with any of these kinds of scams?

I think that once the TV industry caught on to these kinds of competitions, it became easier for them to detect the fraudsters. For one thing, the contestants were almost always college-aged kids.

However, some instances were actually quite hilarious providing no one was hurt.

I’d love to hear any stories people have regarding the kinds of hoaxes perpetrated by young people that succeeded in fooling TV executives and administrators.

It was a real good lesson that demonstrated just how smart or how dumb these execs and admins really were.

It would be too easy to determine the facts on a show like What’s My Line? or To Tell the Truth, especially as, usually, they were expected to demonstrate something (at least they did once they started airing in color).

There is a story about I’ve Got a Secret where bandleader Mitch Miller’s secret was, “I sleep with my beard under the covers,” and when the host asked him why, he replied, “Actually, I don’t; that’s what your staff told me to say my secret was!”

As for Judge Judy, I was under the impression that courtroom shows all got their cases from actual small claims court cases; I know The People’s Court did. Not that every show is squeaky clean; those shows where they bring somebody out to accuse somebody else of something, usually with fisticuffs involved, are almost certainly rigged in some way; in at least one case, one of the “security guards” was a professional wrestler.

Hmmm … very interesting. I can’t imagine the reaction of the studio audience to someone saying, “Actually, I don’t; that’s what your staff told me to say my secret was!”

That is just uproariously funny! LOL! LOL! LOL!

That is what the small print during the closing credits says they do.

The only thing I have heard of that was similar to this was Howard Stern listeners calling in to CNN and getting interviewed on the air during some developing crisis. There are plenty of youtube examples. I personally never saw the humor in those pranks.