This site is the result of a lifelong fascination with the show, and about four years of serious effort putting all the information together. It was originally imagined as a book, but for many reasons, we decided it worked better as a website.
Primary research was simply watching the episodes. We believe we have seen every episode that has been made available to the public, mostly through rebroadcasts on Game Show Network and Buzzr. Information about other episodes come from a wide variety of alternate sources. For a researcher, especially a researcher of 20th century life and culture, there is no better resource than newspapers.com. Also, the UCLA Film & Television Archive has thumbnail descriptions of many of the episodes in their holdings, and often that information would be enough to reconstruct the details of an episode without actually having seen it. Still, any episode we have not watched, no matter how much information we have about it, will be clearly identified by the sentence, "This episode has not been reviewed."
For episodes that HAVE been reviewed, which is of course the vast majority of them, the secrets that appear in quotes are exactly the secrets displayed to the home audience. Word for word, and at least a couple of times, misspelled words. Ellipses (...) were used by the show to indicate additional information on multiple cards, and we try to indicate that here as well.
One of the biggest challenges, and one we enjoyed pursuing, was to find accurate spellings of the contestant names, names Garry or Steve would normally just say aloud on the show. If a name appears in brackets in our listing, that means we were unable to verify the spelling of the name in our research. All other names have been confirmed by some outside source, most commonly a contemporary newspaper account of whatever it is that made them interesting enough to be on the show in the first place. Newspapers can be wrong of course, and in a document this large we've probably made mistakes. If you can verify or correct something for us, no matter how small, let us know .
We care passionately about the show, and about the culture and history that it represents. One thing we don't care about is which panelist did or did not guess this secret or that. We'll mention it occasionally if it's relevant to our storytelling, but in general, this site doesn't keep score. As the producers themselves came to realize, the guessing game could occasionally be entertaining, but the success or failure of the panel is the least interesting part of the show. We do not document it here.
Finally, the regulars (Garry, Steve, Bill, Jayne, Henry, Faye, Betsy and Bess) are our TV friends, and as such we refer to them by their first names.