The Last Word

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The opening title for The Last Word.

Airdates: Syndicated September 1989-January 1990
Host: Wink Martindale
Announcer: Jennifer Lyall
Producers: Merril Heatter Productions


Ted Lange and his partner start a game off
Ted Lange and his partner start a game off
Two teams of two, civilian and celebrity competed. One member of each team faced against each other in each game, which contained three words, each with a common link. At the start of the game, one letter was revealed in each word. On a player's turn the player could guess one of the incomplete words or hit a button to randomly select a space in one of the incomplete words. If it was an empty space, the letter would be revealed (the last letter in a word would not be revealed) and the player could either guess the word or pass control to his/her opponent. If the selector landed on a space in which a letter had been revealed, the player had to give one of the unrevealed letters to his/her opponent, who gained control. Guessing a word correctly gave a player the opportunity to solve another word or pass control, an incorrect guess meant that the word was revealed up to the first incorrect letter and the opponent received control. The player who solved the last of the three words won the game. The contestant won a prize if his/her team had solved one word, a more valuable prize for solving two words, and solving all three words won both prizes plus an even larger prize.

The team that one two out of three games won the match. In the first game, one team's civilian played against the opposing team's celebrity, and players switched roles in the second round. If a third round was needed, the civilians played against each other. In each of the first two rounds the civilian went first, in the third round a coin toss determined who went first.

The winning team works on the 60-Second Challenge
The winning team works on the 60-Second Challenge
The team that won the match went to the "sixty-second challenge," which included a series of puzzles, each containing three related words. The first two words were revealed and the last word was revealed one letter at a time until all but one letter was revealed. As soon as the team solved the word they moved to the next puzzle. If the team could solve all ten puzzles in 60 seconds or less, the contestant won a growing jackpot of prizes, otherwise the contestant received $100 in cash for each puzzle solved before time ran out. Contestants switched celebrities for each match, and the first contestant to win two out of three matches faced a new challenger.


  • The Last Word was taped in Vancouver, Canada. Canadian airings of the show included an interview portion with the two celebrities and a home viewer contest in which three connected words were shown, one of which was partially revealed, and a randomly-selected player who submitted the correct answer would receive a prize.

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