Question: I swear there was a game show called Whew! on TV in the late '70s. I think there was a bonus round in which contestants had to face a row of cut-out monsters and somehow knock them down by answering questions. My friends think I'm crazy, and when I describe it aloud, it certainly does sound more like a bad dream than a game show. Was it real? Thanks. — Jenny
Televisionary: Now, Jenny, your friends simply have to learn that when someone swears, it simply must be true. At least, they'll see that this time since Whew!, hosted by Tom Kennedy, ran on CBS' daytime schedule from April 1979 to May 1980.
The basic setup was this: One player, the blocker, placed a series of "blocks" on a board while the other player was out of the room. Then the other player, the charger, came back and, choosing squares by their dollar amounts, had to correct a series of erroneous facts hidden behind each square and make it to the top of the board in 60 seconds. If that player hit a block, he or she was delayed for five seconds. The financial incentive? Chargers racked up bucks by gaining squares, while blockers picked up a square's assigned amount if the charger ran into a block placed on that square. There's a little more to it than that, but getting into it would tax me and, more likely than not, bore you and everyone else reading this.
However, the bonus round did indeed involve cutouts of monsters and villains (a witch, a vampire, a landlord, a pirate, a gunfighter etc.) and, as you say, the player knocked one down for each correct answer. Knocking down all 10 in time netted the lucky winner $25,000.
It's also worth noting that halfway into the show's run, it morphed into Celebrity Whew!, which brought famous folks like Robert Vaughn, Gary Collins and Betty White into the mix to help contestants out.