Fun House

Image:Funhouse logo.jpg



Linda Lusardi (non-broadcast pilot)

Pat Sharp


Two cheerleading twins called Melanie and Martina Grant

Voiceover: Gary King


Scottish Television in association with Action Time for ITV, 24 February 1989 to to 29 December 1999 (145 episodes in 11 series)


Gunge = Good?


File:Funhouse gunge.jpgGunge, inevitably

Two teams of two play three gungy games to win points. After each game they are asked a question worth more points. After the third game it's the Fun Kart grand prix, a race around the studio where they can earn lots and lots of bonus points by means of collecting tokens of varying value en route. This section would be good, were it not for the fact that the karts go at around 2mph, seemingly. (Maybe Health and Safety rules were kicking in rather too much even then - mind you, such rules were tightened up in the early 1990s anyway). Also, if there was any way of balancing the distance given that the red kart always had the inside lane all the way round other then a foot-and-a-half disadvantage at the start, we'd love to know what it was. At the end of this round, the losing contestants are eliminated, but they get a consolation prize or two each: these varied through the series, but were usually along the lines of a 'Fun House' jacket, backpack, watch and/or items of stationery.

File:Funhouse kartrace.jpgThe infamous kart race

Fun House = Fun?

At this point the winners go into the Funhouse, by far the best bit of the show, where they can win some fabulous prizes, which can include cameras, sports equipment, cinema passes, skateboards and mystery tours, among other things - and the contestants get one each in all cases, rightly so. They have two minutes in order to collect the fifteen prize tags hidden around the various obstacles. Each person can only collect three tags before they have to come out, tag the other player and they do the same. We don't believe that any teams actually managed to get all 15 tags, which would have been pretty nigh-impossible within the time-limits, given that they could only collect 3 tags at a time, not to mention getting past all the obstacles they had to cope with, some of which could slow them down considerably. Still, they nearly always managed to get a decent number of tags, and these quite often included the prizes that the contestants concerned had told Sharp beforehand that they really wanted.

File:Funhouse slide.jpgEverybody likes a slide

One of the prize tags is the Power Prize: the contestants know that they've got it if they hear a 'cock-a-doodle-do' sound. Picking the Power Prize means that Sharp asks the contestants a question which has multiple answers. They have up to 10 seconds to confer and give 3 correct answers, and he can only accept their first answers. If they're correct, they win a distinctly good prize, usually an action holiday, or alternatively something like a video camera or TV and video recorder. If not, at least they still have a goodly number of lesser prizes.

File:Fun_House_powerprize.jpgThe animated clucking chicken whenever he gets grabbed by one of the kiddies.

It's better-than-average ITV kiddie fare. Usually quite entertaining and the Funhouse was very cool.

The kiddies confer by nearly headbutting.

Key moments

In the final jackpot question, one pair of kids were asked "Name three kinds of emergency service". The children replied: "Police, Ambulance... and the A.A". No, they aren't really the fourth emergency service.

During a fun kart grand prix race in an edition from 1993, one contestant was coming in to the finish line too fast, they ran over Pat Sharp.

In a 1996 Christmas episode, Pat asked a question "The game we just played was set on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day is tomorrow, what's the day after Christmas Day?". The contestant replied "Easter".

One jackpot question that seemed quite hard (at least for the contestants' age-group) was, "Name 3 American states beginning with M". Not surprisingly, the contestants did not win the jackpot in this case. Another tricky question asked was, "Apart from the UK, name 3 countries that have a king or a queen" - once again, the contestants concerned were unable to do so. In fairness, though, said jackpot was won on a number of occasions and the balance between those who won and those who didn't was pretty fair - after all, like all other shows, they couldn't very well have contestants win every time, no matter how much we, the viewers, would have loved that to happen. There were also occasions when the winning contestants did not manage to find the Power Prize tag, but that was relatively rare.

Sharp would often make quite an entrance, usually on a bike, a scooter, a skateboard or a pair of rollerblades, or seemingly anything else that came to hand (or foot). And, of course, his hairstyle was always eye-catching - in most cases, it was the oh-so-80s mullet.


Pat Sharp: "Here's the Fun House!", "Good luck to all of our players on the Fun House today!", "Re-run the Fun!", "You're going in the Fun House!" and, to the audience, just before the endgame, "Come and join us!"

Melanie & Martina Grant: "I have (male contestant name) and (female contestant name) from (place of birth) and they attend (name of school/college they attend) YAAAAY!

Voice-over: "It's time for Fun House! Wacky contestants, messy games, the fun kart grand prix race and a crazy chase to win lots of prizes! Now, here's the guy who puts the fun into Fun House...Pat Sharp!"


Credited as (deep breath): Based upon the USA TV series "Fun House" produced by Stone Television in association with Lorimar Television and distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic TV distribution. Phew!

Theme music

By David Pringle and Bob Heatlie.

It's wacky! It's fun! It's cr-a-a-a-zy! It's outrageous!
Fun House... it's a whole lot of fun, prizes to be won,
It's a real crazy show where anything can go.
Fun House... it's a quiz, it's a race, a real wacky place,
Use your body and your brain if you wanna play the game!"

The Fun House theme music.


Brilliantly, a pilot for an adult-orientated version hosted by ex-Page three stunna Linda Lusardi was filmed. One of the contestants was none other than Carol Smillie, presumably filmed just before she started on Wheel of Fortune.

A celebrity New Years special was aired in the Scottish Television region only on New Years Day 1991.

Sam Nixon made his TV debut as a contestant on a 1998 edition. Meanwhile on the other side of the world, future Liverpool FC striker Luis Suarez was a contestant on the Uruguayan version of the show.

It took 11 minutes for the production team to reset the Fun House for another show. Pretty quick, really, when you think of the considerable mess that the show normally created.

Already smelling a huge hit on its hands, Scottish Television went into partnership with S4C and Comataidh Telebhisein Gaidhlig (the Gaelic Television Committee) in 1991 to produce Welsh and Gaelic versions of the show from Glasgow. Neither version materialised.

Web links

Wikipedia entry


File:Funhouse pat frontofhouse.jpgPat Sharp is a man of many talents. Here he is, standing...
File:Funhouse patsharp ongokart.jpg...and here he is, sitting on a kart. Marvellous.
File:Funhouse patsharp thumbsup.jpgDon't forget to give us the thumbs up.
In 1998, there was a competition in The Beano to win one of the fun karts used on the show (runners up won a Fun House T-shirt!)


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