For a show all about sussing out lies and deducing strange truths, is To Tell the Truth real? The long-running game show is known for putting outlandish occupations and shockingly true stories on display as celebrities try to guess who among the group of contestants is telling the truth. How truthful is the show with its guests and the occupations being described in each new episode?
Having premiered all the way back in 1956, To Tell the Truth is a game show that pits celebrities against real people with unexpected claims to fame. A rotating series of celebrity panelists meet with a group of three individuals, each of whom claim that they are they only ones telling the truth about their occupation. The celebrities must then interview each person, asking them various questions to try and suss out the truth-teller from the imposters. It's like Among Us, but real!
Is 'To Tell the Truth' real?
The series has evolved several times over the course of its long history. Aside from different hosts and networks, the show used to offer prize money to the three contestants if they managed to trick the celebrities. Today, it's more of a fun test of celebrities' interrogation skills with no real prize except bragging rights and a joke trophy called "the Doris" that can be won by the celebrities.
To Tell the Truth is currently hosted by Anthony Anderson of Black-ish and Law and Order fame. His mother Doris co-hosts and provides the namesake for the show's trophy. Recent celebrity guests include Joel McHale, Cynthia Erivo, and Donald Faison.
The series features people with strange jobs or claims to fame, including being the caretaker of the big Hollywood sign or being an original and lesser-known NSYNC member.
The civilians in the show are indeed real, as the person telling the truth provides proof of their occupation at the end of each session. These can take the form of photos or even video footage of the truth teller performing their job. The other two contestants must then reveal their true names and true occupations at the end of their round, but whether or not they succeed in fooling the celebrity panel is half the fun. The lying contestants themselves tend to have interesting stories as well.
Though it's unclear if/how people can apply to be on the show now, a casting notice from 2018 revealed that the gig paid $1,000, and one of the only requirements was that you needed to be incredibly good at lying. Recent episodes have featured liars with their own notable celebrity statuses, including Broadway singers and even former child stars. Some civilians even get a chance to fool the judges even more in the "Before You Go" segment, in which the remaining imposters must lie for a whole new story.
To Tell the Truth returns with new episodes on March 8 on ABC.