Joker’s Wild

It’s the game where “knowledge is king and lady luck is queen” and if you grew up on Long Island in the 70s, you probably are guilty of watching a little Joker’s Wild.

Joker’s Wild debuted in 1972, created and hosted by Jack Barry. The network didn’t want him to host his own show at first, since he had ties to the quiz show scandals of the 1950s. However, they literally couldn’t find anyone else that was as good, so he got the job.


The game was simple – pull the lever of a gigantic slot machine and set three wheels into motion. There were five possible categories for each wheel. The contestant could chose from one of the displayed categories.

If they answered a question in their chosen category correctly, they got a specific amount of money. If they were wrong, their opponent could take the money with a correct answer.

The appearance of Jokers would increase the potential amount won exponentially. Three jokers meant the player could choose their category and if they answered the question right, they won the game.

The winning player then moved on to the end game, “Face the Devil” This time the wheels displayed money amounts. A player could spin until they either reached $1000, or had a devil appear, in which case, they lost all the accumulated money.


Jack Barry hosted the series from 1972-84, until he passed away. Game show veteran, Bill Cullen replaced him, followed by a string of others. The current host, you may already know, is Snoop Dogg. For most of us, however, Jack Berry will always be the one and only host of this addictive game show from yesteryear.

Did you grow up watching Joker’s Wild as a kid? I would love to hear your memories in the comments section below.

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2 Responses

  1. ROBERT says:

    Jack Barry was from Lindenhurst!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Yes my hometown!

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