|Syndicated, September 10, 1990 - September 13, 1991|
|Studio 33, CBS Television City, Los Angeles, California|
This is chronicling the syndicated 1990 version of The Joker's Wild. This version was co-produced by Kline & Friends and distributed by Orbis Communications.
This version was entirely different from the original. Three contestants competed instead of two, and the questions were all words, phrases, and names, and the contestants' job is to come up with a definition or the meaning of the clue. Correct answers earned money and answered another clue. One mistake caused the opponents to buzz in and steal the money & control by answering the same clue. The game always began with a toss-up question for control of the joker machine.
The two survivors of round one moved on to round two, and the winner of the game moved on to the bonus game.
The show had two formats during its season-long run, with the show reverting to the first one towards the end of the run.
The joker machine consists of dollar amounts ranging from $5-$50 with the last window consisting of a joker. Each spin decides the value of each clue. If the joker in the last window appeared, the value was tripled (maximum of $300), and the player in control had 15 seconds to answer as many clues as he/she can for the tripled value, with an incorrect answer stopping progress.
In the first round all questions were general knowledge. To start, a jump-in clue was given and the first player to buzz in with a correct answer won control of the joker machine & the questions. The first player to reach $500 or more advanced to round two with the second place player, while the third place player was eliminated from the game. The surviving players' scores were also carried over into the next round.
In round two, dollar values ranged from $10-$75 (maximum of $450), and the player in control had a choice of two categories for which they must answer clues from. Plus there was an "Opponent's Choice" space on the third wheel in addition to the joker, which is just what it sounds like; when landed on, the opponent got to decide the subject. The first player to reach $2,000 or more won the game.
The rules were changed to have elements of the classic Joker's Wild inserted into the game but with the definitions format remaining. This time, up on the wheels were categories (ala Classic Joker's Wild), and the joker can appear in all three windows. Like the title says, the jokers were wild, and the player in control can match it up with any category shown, but there was no right to go off the board as jokers could only represent categories on the wheels. Also unlike the original, the categories were not announced at the start of a round. As before, values were determined by how many of that category appeared. All amounts were cut in half, meaning that a single was worth $25, a double was worth $50, and a triple was worth $100. Should three jokers appear in any spin, that contestant was automatically awarded $250 to his/her score, plus a choice of three categories behind the jokers for $100/clue.
Round one was basically the same, except that it now took $1,000 to end the first round; excluding "Opponent's Choice", the second round was played exactly under the same perimeters.
To start, the winning player was given 60 seconds to answer as many words as he/she can. All correct answers began with the same letter given at the start. Host Pat would give a maximum of three definitions, and the player must give the correct word to the definitions. Each correct answer earned one spin to the joker machine; if he/she doesn't know the answer, the contestant can pass.
When time ran out, that player took the number of spins earned to the joker machine. On the wheels this time were jokers, prizes, and cash amounts from $500-$2,000. There are no Devils in this version. The contestant's job was to match one prize on all three windows in the spins allotted. If the player saw a prize he/she liked, he/she can freeze the window containing that prize, and try to go for that. Jokers were still wild, and the contestant can use them to match up with any prize shown. However, jokers could not be frozen and they had to be converted to prizes when shown individually. If the contestant can get three jokers (that's Joker, Joker, JOKER!) in a single spin, that player would win the Joker's Jackpot which started at $5,000, and grew by $500 every day it was not won.