Masquerade Party

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Masquerade Party
Ogden Nash Dagmar Masquerade Party 1955.jpg
Panelist Ogden Nash and Dagmar, 1955
Presented by Bud Collyer
Douglas Edwards
Peter Donald
Eddie Bracken
Robert Q. Lewis
Bert Parks
Richard Dawson
Narrated by Johnny Olson
Jay Stewart
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons8
Running time2225 minutes
Production companyWolf Productions
Original networkNBC (1952, 1957, 1958–1959, 1960)
CBS (1953, 1954, 1958, 1959–1960)
ABC (1954–1956)
Picture format Black-and-white (1952-58, 1959-60), Color (1958-59, 1960]
Audio format Monaural
Original releaseJuly 14, 1952 (1952-07-14) 
September 23, 1960 (1960-09-23)

Masquerade Party is an American television game show. During its original run from 1952 to 1960, the show appeared at various times on every television network except DuMont (ABC, NBC, and CBS). A syndicated revival was produced for one season in 1974-75.


A panel of celebrities met with another celebrity who was in heavy make-up and/or costume; this disguise would always provide clues to the celebrity's actual identity. For example, actor Gary Burghoff appeared in 1974 as a robot with a radar, alluding to his role as Radar O'Reilly on M*A*S*H . The panel asked yes-or-no questions to the celebrity, and then received another clue about the celebrity's identity at the end of the round. After the clue, the panel had one last chance to guess the identity, followed by the celebrity revealing their true identity.


The original show had several well-known celebrities on its panel including Pat Carroll, Buff Cobb, Sam Levenson, Audrey Meadows, Ogden Nash, Betsy Palmer, and Jonathan Winters.

Comedian Allan Sherman was the producer, and Stefan Hatos was executive producer; The show's theme music was "The Comedians," an orchestral composition by Dmitri Kabalevsky. The oversensitivity of the show towards advertisers and political correctness complaints, made it fall into a hoax of the satirical magazine The Realist , in 1960. [1] [2] [3]

This incarnation was ranked eighth on TV Guide's 2001 list of "The 50 Greatest Game Shows of All Time."

Episode status

Five episodes are known to survive.

Three exist among traders and are from 1955, 1957 and 1959 (Donald, Bracken, and Parks respectively). The 1955 episode features George DeWitt (then hosting Name That Tune ) as a guest.

The UCLA Film and Television Archive holds episodes dated October 6, 1954 and May 5, 1955 (the latter also in the trading circuit).


Masquerade Party
Created byStefan Hatos
Monty Hall
Presented by Richard Dawson
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes39
Running time2224 minutes
Production company Stefan Hatos-Monty Hall Productions
Distributor 20th Century Fox Television
Original networkSyndicated (weekly)
Original releaseSeptember 9, 1974 (1974-09-09) 
September 1975 (1975-09)

In 1974, Masquerade Party was revived for syndication by Stefan Hatos-Monty Hall Productions and aired weekly for one season. Richard Dawson hosted the revival with Jay Stewart announcing.

The basic premise was the same as the original show. Bill Bixby, Lee Meriwether, and Nipsey Russell were regular panelists. Col. Harland Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame made an appearance as a celebrity guest.

A reference to this version was made in a final-season episode of The Odd Couple . Felix asks Oscar what he is watching on television, and Oscar reports, "Masquerade Party with Richard Dawson." Felix, who said he knew Dawson in the Army, replies "That man ruined my life!".

Episode status

Two episodes are known to exist. One is a studio master taped July 10, 1974 featuring Allen Ludden (disguised as a Southern judge) as a guest; the UCLA Archive lists an episode dated July 9, 1974. The other was recorded July 13, 1974 featuring William Shatner (disguised as a riverboat captain), Charles Nelson Reilly, Howard Duff and Carolyn Jones. This episode was shared to the public by game show host Wink Martindale in 2020, and is a studio recording featuring studio commentary not meant for broadcast. [4]

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  1. Michael DooleyJuly (2000) Here Lies Paul Krassner, at AIGA Journal of Graphic Design, vol.18, no. 2, 2000
  2. Paul Krassner (1960) A Stereophonic Hoax , The Realist #16, March 16, 1960, pp.5-6
  3. Paul Krassner (1960) Case History Of a TV Hoax , The Realist #18, June 18, 1960, pp.1, 3-4
  4. Masquerade Party - Rare Game Show , retrieved May 31, 2020