Created byHeatter-Quigley Productions
Presented byPaul Winchell
Narrated byKenny Williams
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13
Running time30 minutes
Original networkNBC
Picture formatNTSC
Original releaseSeptember 9, 1972 (1972-09-09) –
September 1, 1973 (1973-09-01)

Runaround is a children's television game show produced by Heatter-Quigley Productions. The program was hosted by ventriloquist and voice actor Paul Winchell, airing Saturday mornings on NBC from September 9, 1972, to September 1, 1973.[1]

Paul would frequently use his dummies, Jerry Mahoney and/or Knucklehead Smiff on his program. The program was announced by Kenny Williams (as most Heatter-Quigley shows were), with music by Mort Garson. However, the show received low ratings and was canceled following the first season.


The basic format of the game invited nine children to answer a three-way multiple choice question by running towards their chosen answer, then standing on marked areas numbered 1, 2 or 3. Just before the correct answer is revealed, the host invites the children to "Runaround... now!" at which point they have a split second to jump onto a different area; the premise is to give opponents the "runaround" in case they are merely following their movements.

Host Winchell would say, before giving the correct answer, "When you hear the click, stick!" and then a moment later, "Last chance!", after which point he would press a finger-clicker (a toy device that made a clicking sound). Players still moving or not on one of the three answer areas were eliminated from the round (sent to a penalty area at the side of the stage). Winchell would then say, "Let's see who's right with the light!", whereupon the house lights would dim and the area for the correct answer would light up. Players with the correct answer took a pink ball from a large bowl near the middle of the stage; players with the incorrect answer were eliminated from the round. Each player had a transparent tube, into which the balls were dropped (this was a substitute scoring device for tote boards, which the show did not have). The player with the most balls at the end of the show was the day's winner.

International versions

British version

Main article: Runaround (British game show)

Dutch version (Ren je Rot/Kies je Ster)

Still from Ren je Rot

German version (Eins, Zwei oder Drei)


  1. ^ Woolery, George W. (1985). Children's Television: The First Thirty-Five Years, 1946-1981, Part II: Live, Film, and Tape Series. The Scarecrow Press. pp. 431–432. ISBN 0-8108-1651-2.