Girish Mahajan (Editor)


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Game show

Original language(s)

Country of origin
United States

Running time
30 minutes

Presented by
Ken Ober with Lisa Dergan

Production company(s)
Diplomatic Productions Greengrass Productions Jellyvision

Smush is an American game show which aired on the USA Network in 2001.



Smush was hosted by Ken Ober and co-hosted by Lisa Dergan. The show, set in a basement party atmosphere, featured four contestants trying to "smush" the answers to clues together, to create a new smushed phrase. For example, the clue "A New England state + 'Flying Circus' man" would result in an answer of "Vermonty Python," formed by combining "Vermont" and "Monty Python". Smushes did not have to use the exact spelling of both words. For example, "Belly Lafghanistan" could be a combination of "belly laugh" and "Afghanistan."

Rounds 1 and 2

Ken read rapid-fire clues in which the answers smush together. The first player to buzz in with the correct smush answer scored points, but an incorrect answer gave the opposing players a chance to take a guess. Round one saw two-part clues which caused two answers to be smushed together; and each correct answer was worth one point. Later in that round, the remaining clues were visual clues. Round two had three-part clues which had three answers smushed together; those were called "Smush Tris", with each correct answer worth two points. The final smush in the second round was called the "Smush Quad", so-called because it was a four-part clue meaning four answers were smushed together; that clue was worth three points.

The player with the lowest score at the end of each of the first two rounds was eliminated from the game.

Round 3 (Smush Chain)

Round three was called the "Smush Chain." Clues would be given one at a time to a smush that would grow progressively longer. To score, the player must buzz in and recite the entire chain, starting at the first clue. A total of seven clues were asked, the first of which served as the base of the smush, and was not a smush in itself. (For example, the chain might become "Leap Yeardrum Major Tommy Thompson Twin Cities," by combining "Leap Year," "Ear Drum," "Drum Major," "Major Tom," "Tommy Thompson," "Thompson Twins," and "twin cities.") The first clue was worth one point, the second clue was worth two points, and so on, up to seven points. The player with the highest score went on to the bonus round.

Money Round

In the bonus round, hostess Lisa wrote a word or phrase on a mirror in lipstick; that served as the root word for the next five smushes. Ken read five clues one at a time, the answers to which smush to either the left or right side of the root word. The winning contestant had 45 seconds to answer those clues. For each correct smush given, the winning contestant was awarded $1,000. (For example, given the root phrase "Red Cross," the contestant could create "Inbred Cross," "Red Crosseyed," etc.) One mistake and the clue & smush was thrown out; however, to prevent this from happening, the winning contestant can pass on a clue and return to it should time be left on the clock. And if the contestant can answer all five clues correctly in 45 seconds or less, the contestant won a total of $8,000.

Famous Champions

  • Bob Harris (writer)
  • References

    Smush Wikipedia

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