This guide consolidates most of the readily available information about specific episodes of the original version of “I’ve Got a Secret,” which ran on CBS television from 1952 to 1967. The guide is extensively indexed and cross-referenced to help in identifying groups of related episodes.
This guide contains spoilers, but they can be avoided because any such details are placed at the bottom of their respective pages. If all you want is a basic list of episodes without spoilers, you can choose to view only the summary tables that precede the detail sections. (Click on any of the years above for an example.) If you care about spoilers only in some cases, there are several ways of jumping to the details for one episode while avoiding others.
Contents of this page:
The entire run of “I’ve Got a Secret” (6/19/52–4/3/67) spans a total of 773 calendar weeks, including weeks it didn’t air or was in reruns. This guide lists 576 episodes. The actual number of episodes that were made is about halfway in between those two numbers — 672 at least.
We know this because in the 10th anniversary episode of 6/18/62, Garry states that it is the 489th episode; but it is only the 393rd episode listed, so 96 earlier episodes are unaccounted for (576 entries + 96 missing = 672). Some later episodes also probably are missing, but not nearly as many; so 672, while a minimum, is a pretty close estimate.
As can be seen from the table below, many of the missing episodes are from 1954, while the year yielding the most information is 1959. Because some episodes are missing, this guide does not assign sequential numbers to the individual episodes, but refers to them by air date or calendar week.
Even though 15% of the episodes are missing altogether and another 21% have only minimal information, we still believe this guide contains more information than anything else that is freely available.
Our main sources of information are:
- Airings on Game Show Network (GSN). Most of our information has been acquired through direct viewing of the show. We have viewed more than half (perhaps 53%) of all the episodes that ever were made and 63% of the episodes that are listed. (The show currently is not airing; the last air date was 7/13/08.)
- This list from Kinescopes.com, which includes all but 15 of the episodes listed here. It provides air dates and names of celebrity guests for episodes that are unavailable.
- The “BW Overnight Review” message board at GSN. We have used this source only for episodes we haven’t seen ourselves, about 12% of the entries. It only occasionally provides names of contestants and the exact wording of secrets. Where we have had to turn to this source, we have rewritten the available facts in our own words, trying not to make any assumptions that might alter the facts.
- Google searches concerning spelling of names (not all spellings can be verified).
We have not viewed any episodes from the 1962–63 season or from the rest of 1963 except where we have been able to find them on YouTube. The reason we missed these episodes on GSN is that GSN resumed airing the show starting from this point after an absence of almost three years, and at first we were unaware it had returned. Therefore, facts about this time period have been acquired secondhand from the GSN message board.
This guide uses U.S.-style dates; for example, 4/3 means April 3, not 4 March.
Every attempt has been made to verify the spelling of names of people and places using Web sources, but it is not always possible to do so for contestants who are not well known.
The guide is broken out by calendar year. It would be more correct to break it out by program season beginning in September, but with the earlier years we don’t always know the exact week a new season started. The show originally ran all year and did not begin observing a regular summer hiatus until 1962.
In general, people directly associated with the show (including guest hosts and panelists) are referred to by their first names, whereas contestants and special guests are not. Exceptions are made for the two longtime regular hosts (Garry and Steve) and the six longtime regular panelists (Bill, Henry, Jayne, Faye, Betsy, and Bess), who because of their familiarity are referred to by their first names even when they appear as special guests.
Generalized statements about the crew — for example, who the director was for an entire year — are based on incomplete information and are noted as such. Similarly, in some cases, the seating order of the panel is an unconfirmed assumption based on the normal seating order, for the purpose of creating a table.
Following is a summary of the people who regularly appeared or received onscreen credits over the entire run of the show. The numbers in parentheses are year ranges. (Since our information is incomplete, it’s possible that some of the year ranges should be longer.) The guide provides credits for specific episodes wherever available.
- Garry Moore (52–64)
- Steve Allen (64–67)
- Members of the panel sometimes filled in as host (usually Henry Morgan, but Betsy Palmer and Bill Cullen also filled this role).
- Other guest hosts included Ralph Bellamy (55), Don McNeill (55–56), Hal March (57), and Arthur Godfrey (58).
- Panel: Bill Cullen and Henry Morgan were the only two performers who were regulars through almost the entire run of the show.
- Bill Cullen (all years), usually in first position, but often second.
- Jayne Meadows (52–59), usually second.
- Betsy Palmer (58–67), most often second.
- Henry Morgan (all years), usually third, but often fourth.
- Faye Emerson (53–58), usually fourth.
- Bess Myerson (59–67), most often fourth, but also often third.
- Faye, Jayne, and Betsy also made guest appearances when they were not regulars.
- At least 85 other people served as panelists. Among those making five or more appearances were Laraine Day (52–55), Kitty Carlisle (mostly 52), Melville Cooper (52), Joan Bennett (mostly 53), Johnny Carson (mostly 61), Eddie Bracken (52), Audrey Meadows (55–57), Durward Kirby (mostly 60), Carl Reiner (57–58), and Carol Burnett (60–61).
- Sponsor (seven or more mentions):
- Cavalier cigarettes (53–55)
- Winston cigarettes (55–61), by far the most frequent
- Bristol-Myers pharmaceutical (59–61)
- Polaroid cameras (61–62)
- Hertz car rental (61–62)
- Dream Whip dessert topping (61–65)
- Good Seasons salad dressing mix (63–64)
- Toni beauty care (63–65)
- General Foods (65–66)
- During the later years, more than 25 other sponsors were named, but often the name was that of a product rather than the company that made it, which sometimes was General Foods (which also made Dream Whip) or Bristol-Myers.
- Executive Producer: Gil Fates (entire run)
- Allan Sherman (55–58)
- Chester Feldman (58–67)
- Associate Producer:
- Allan Sherman (53–55) (later Producer)
- Chester Feldman (57–58) (later Producer)
- Roger Peterson (58–67)
- Production Manager:
- Mitchell R. Leiser (56–61)
- William Egan (61–67)
- Production Supervisor:
- Gil Herman (62)
- Dennis Maitland (62)
- Orison Marden (63–64)
- Oscar Hobman (64–65)
- Milt Myers (64–65)
- James Murphy (65)
- Harry Murray (65–67)
- Frank Satenstein (53–56)
- Franklin Heller (56–62)
- Paul Alter (56–67)
- Ira Skutch (59)
- Mike Gargiulo (61)
- Clarence Schimmel (62–65)
- Alvin R. Mifelow (63) (usually Associate Director)
- Associate Director:
- George Bartholomew (58–59)
- Joseph Chomyn (59–61)
- Bruce Minnix (59–61)
- Alan J. Shalleck (60–61)
- Alvin R. Mifelow (61–64) (sometimes Director)
- Andre St. Laurent (63–64)
- Dan F. Smith (64–67)
- Peter Levin (66)
- Music Director: Norman Paris, except for two of the Armed Forces Week episodes when a military officer was credited. Paris may have served for the entire run, but did not begin receiving an onscreen credit until 61.
- Technical Director: Almost always Vernon Gamble (55–67), but also:
- Jack Brown (57)
- Charles Lyons (59)
- Charles Grenier (61)
- A.J. Cunningham (61)
- Dwight Temple (62)
- Jay Chichon (65)
- Lighting Director: Credit tended to alternate.
- Ferdinand Manning (55–57)
- Vernon Cook (56–62)
- Charles Reinhard (58–61)
- Sal Bonsignore (58–62)
- Marvin Duckler (60–61)
- Bob Barry (60–62)
- Dick Holbrook (61)
- Ralph Holmes (61–65)
- Hal Anderson (63–67)
- Walter Urban (65)
- Program Supervisor: Howard Merrill (53–58)
- Program Staff: Two to four people were credited at a time.
- Chester Feldman (56–57), billed first (later Associate Producer).
- Roger Peterson (56–58), billed in all four positions (later Associate Producer).
- Adraia Koe (56–58), billed in all of the first three positions.
- John G. Fuller (57), billed second of four.
- Judy Crichton (57–60, 62–66), billed in all four positions (later Feature Coordinator).
- Kay Lloyd (58–59), billed second of two (after Crichton).
- Hazel Oxholm (59–60), billed in all three positions when there was no fourth.
- Frank Abrahams (59–60), billed second of three, then first of two.
- Diane Hoffacker (60–62), billed second of four.
- Deanne Barkley (60–62), billed third of four.
- Patrick McCormick (60–62), billed fourth, then third.
- Irma Reichert (60–66), billed second, then first (later Feature Coordinator).
- Doris Hibbard (63–65), billed fourth.
- Sidney Reznick (63), billed third of four.
- David Seltzer (63–66), billed third of four, or fourth.
- Peter Colangelo (65–66), billed fourth.
- Sally Warriner (67), billed first of two.
- Ralph Pugliese (67), billed second of two.
- Set Designer:
- Robert Rowe Paddock (53–55)
- Henry May (61–64)
- Ronald Baldwin (64–67)
- Set Decorator: Budd Gourmen (66–67)
- Feature Coordinator: Judy Crichton and Irma Reichert had this new title in 67, each having served as Program Staff more than twice as many times as any of the others.
- Stage Manager:
- Joe Papp (57)
- Harry Rogue, Don Darcy (66–67)
- Special Effects: Justin Zizes, Mort McConnell (67)
- Billy A. Taylor (59–64)
- Jay Fairman (64)
- Sam Laine (64)
- Tom Parkins (64)
- Larry Schneider (64–65)
- Elliot Gordon (64–65)
- A.J. Gulino (65–66)
- George Spilich (67)