Concentration's "Mystery" Logo

Norm Says . . .

Norm Blumenthal was not only the producer of Concentration, but also an artist. He designed all of the rebus puzzles used on the show. This page is a bulletin board of sorts with news about Norm and comments from him. Norm Blumenthal


Books By Norm

When Game Shows Ruled Daytime TV Norm's most recent book is entitled When Game Shows Ruled Daytime TV. It is published by BearManor Media, and you can visit their website at bearmanormedia.bizland.com.

In 2006, Norm created this book entitled Picture Puzzle Pandemonium. This is a collection of one-picture puzzles, and is published by Dover. Visit Dover Publications website at www.doverpublications.com. Picture Puzzle Pandemonium


Interview With Norm

The following is an interview that I conducted with Norm in October 1998. Many thanks to Glenn Lowney for compiling the questions.

Q:

How many stagehands operated the puzzleboard?

Norm's A:

Two stagehands (in) back of board to load and unload (prizes and puzzles). One stagehand downstage at (the) control panel.

Q:

How many stagehands operated the prizeboard?

Norm's A:

Two stagehands (were) behind (the) entry/prize panel board (One for each contestant), supervised by one stage manager, with headset to me. Interesting Fact: Viewers were astounded at how fast prizes came up (on the prizeboard). In (the) control room, I had a graph of where prizes were and transmitted info to (the) stage manager. Also, when (the) first prize was revealed on the game board, that prize was loaded into prize slot, but not revealed until matched. No match -- slot was emptied.

Q:

Do you own a blazer with that "mystery" logo on the breast pocket?

Norm's A:

Unfortunately, no.

Q:

Why was Concentration one of the last NBC programs to switch from black and white to color?

Norm's A:

I fought color. Because I felt the clues would be too easy to figure out, with only a portion revealed, i.e. corner of a banana (yellow gives it away). I won my battles, finally gave in and settled for pink drawings on maroon backgrounds.

Q:

How long, on average, was the execution and drawing of a rebus?

Norm's A:

After I conceived the puzzles, I drew 8 x 10 sketches and my artists had to place the drawings in exactly the manner I wanted. Finished art took about 3 hours to paint, and was placed on (a) mock-up board for my approval.

Q:

Did you get any input from any other staff members on the symbols used in your rebuses?

Norm's A:

I created all of the puzzles, and tested them on my staff. If they couldn't solve them, I tossed it away.

Q:

When someone from the studio audience yelled out the answer to a rebus, was it your voice we heard over the public address system?

Norm's A:

That was my voice. It was a great gimmick. Lots of queries from viewers.

Q:

Do floor plans of the set still exist?

Norm's A:

I do not possess the original floor plans.


Click here to e-mail C. Russell Mason.

This page was last modified on February 4, 2011, 7:16 PM EST (-0500).


Microsoft Logo The Concentration logos and rebuses used throughout this website were painstakingly recreated by my own hand using Windows 98's Microsoft® Paint.


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