- Audience Driven
- Speakers (1 or 2)
- Microphones (Minimum 1, 3 preferred)
- Audience Full of Willing Contestants
Show Rules and Information
Two teams, (each consisting of one celebrity player and one regular contestant on the original show), competes. The word to be conveyed (the “password”) is given to one player on each team and is shown to the studio audience. Game play alternates between the two teams. On each team, the player who was given the password gave a one-word clue from which his/her partner attempts to guess the password. If the partner failed to guess the password within the allotted five-second time limit, or if an illegal clue was given (two or more words, a hyphenated word, or any part or form of the password), play passes to the opposing team.
The game continues until one of the players guesses the password correctly or until ten clues have been given. Scoring is based on the number of clues given when the password was guessed, e.g. 10 points were awarded for guessing the password on the first clue, nine points on the second clue, eight points on the third clue, etc., down to one point on the tenth and final clue. The first team to reach 25 points wins the game (and in our version stays to meet new challengers). FWE does not incorporate the original Lightning Round in our version, preferring to get more contestants through the main game.
In lieu of this, we begin no new game after 45 minutes of game play have elapsed. Whichever team wins that final game gets to play against the hosts for a chance at a bonus prize. At EXPCon (2008-2010) the host pair has been Jonathan Nielsen and Erik Watkins (who are undefeated). Since then it’s been Jonathan Nielsen and Bryan Espinoza (who are winless*).
*EXP 2011 did not feature a “Common Contestant” bonus round due to time constraints.
On each episode from 1961–1975, Ludden would caution the players about unacceptable clues by stating, “When you hear this sound (a buzzer would sound) it means your clue has not been accepted by our authority, (name of word authority).” Word authorities on the CBS version included New York University professor David H. Greene and World Book Encyclopedia Dictionary editor Dr. Reason A. Goodwin. Robert Stockwell from UCLA and Carolyn Duncan served as word authorities during the ABC version. Our authorities are members of FWE staff with relative backgrounds (college degrees/studies in English or a related field).
The practice of the announcer whispering the password to the home audience—as well as displaying it on screen—was devised by creator Bob Stewart for the benefit of his mother, who could speak but not read English. Clark, Vines, and Harlan did this on the first two versions of the show, but the practice was discontinued, beginning with Password All-Stars, when a computer, (referred to as “Murphy” on-camera by Allen Ludden) was incorporated; it would display the password, one letter at a time (like a typewriter), followed by the quotation marks. A beeping sound would accompany each letter as they appeared on the screen. A final beep would act as a signal that the password was revealed to the home viewer, and play would start. However, Gene Wood began whispering the words on Super Password starting on November 3, 1986.
Per Florida Whammy Entertainment’s Contestant Eligibility Policy, standard eligibility rules apply. Password has no special eligibility requirements.
†PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS SHOW CANNOT BE PERFORMED UNLESS THE SHOW REQUIREMENTS ABOVE HAVE BEEN MET.