To Say the Least

To Say the Least
Created by Heatter-Quigley Productions
Presented by Tom Kennedy
Narrated by Kenny Williams
Theme music composer Stan Worth
Country of origin United States
Location(s) NBC Studios
Burbank, California
Running time 25 minutes
Original network NBC
Original release October 3, 1977 (1977-10-03) – April 21, 1978 (1978-04-21)

To Say the Least is an American game show that aired on NBC from October 3, 1977 to April 21, 1978. The show was produced by Heatter-Quigley Productions, hosted by Tom Kennedy and announced by Kenny Williams. This was Kennedy's third NBC show to debut in the span of one year; his first, 50 Grand Slam, was canceled after a 13-week run in December 1976 and was replaced by a daytime version of Name That Tune, which was canceled in June 1977 after 26 weeks.


Two teams, one consisting of men and the other women, competed. Each team consisted of one civilian player and two celebrities.

The object of To Say the Least was to guess the identity of subjects in as few words as possible. For each subject, one team member played while the other two were placed in isolation.

Both teams were shown a sentence of six to ten words to begin. Taking turns, both teams chose a word to eliminate from the sentence. Play continued until one of two things happened. At any given point one of the players could challenge the other team to guess the subject, and the isolated players were brought back out. If the teams continued eliminating words until only one was left, the team that eliminated the second-to-last word was forced to attempt a guess. If the guessing team correctly figured out the subject, they earned a win while the opposing team got the win if they could not. Whoever won twice won the match, and the civilian player won $100 and a prize package.

All-Star Game

The winning contestant advanced with all four celebrities to play the All-Star Game for a chance at a cash jackpot.

Each of the celebrities stood behind four numbered doors on stage, and the contestant was given the subject and another sentence. The contestant preceded to eliminate all but three words in the sentence, and once he/she did so the first celebrity in line took a guess. Guessing correctly won the contestant $100. The contestant then repeated the process with the next celebrity in line, and a correct guess added $200 to his/her total.

Regardless of what had happened to this point, the contestant removed one more word from the sentence. If either the third or fourth celebrity correctly guessed the subject from the one remaining word displayed, the contestant won the jackpot. Each jackpot started out with $2,000 and went up $1,000 each game until somebody claimed it.

A contestant could stay on until they lost twice or played seven matches, whichever came first. Four-time winners without being beaten won a new car.

Episode status

The entirety of the series is unknown. One episode is held at The Paley Center for Media.[1]


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