“[Gameshow Dynamos is...] An endlessly charming look at one of the only purely American art forms–the humble game show–and a uniquely American family that spent the better part of forty years winning on them. Even if you’re not a game show junkie like I am, this documentary has lovely gifts for you.”
He was a history teacher. She was a children's author. Together, Bernard and Claire Boiko of Queens, NY were the dead-broke parents of five children. A pair of curiously relatable outsiders, they captured American hearts and saved their family by doing it. Yes! They appeared on TV game shows 28 times over 37 years. From Tic-Tac-Dough (1956), Now You See It, Concentration, Jeopardy!, The Match Game, To Tell the Truth right up to Trivial Pursuit (1993), the Boiko's competed on national television
Bernard loved his job as a high school history teacher. Claire just had to write children's plays. Despite Bernard's after school jobs, their combined income could not support 5 children. Then Bernard found out about credit cards. He deficit financed the family. When he could get a cash advance from the newly invented ATMs their debt increased. But oh how he loved the new ATM's. He called it "getting money from the wall."
Claire and Bernard's forty-three years of game show documents and shows are part of the National Game Show Archive at the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester, New York.
Director and daughter, Patricia won on the pilot episode of "The Future is 0" with Game Show Dynamo Claire rooting for her.
Claire and Bernard entered radio, newspaper and just about any contest around. This time they won fruitcake.
Their story was picked up by radio, TV and newspapers.
Claire and Bernard were from opposite coasts from very different families.
The kids thought they were poor but really they were just different.
Avoiding her parents on Game Shows didn't work
Claire and Bernard were stationed in Japan in the early 1950s. Claire produced and directed shows by Japanese talent and American soldiers. She produced contests while Bernard arranged the card game Bridge tournaments. Archival footage of Occupied Japan and photos of their life there is featured.
The documentary features the letters to Claire from Bernard when he was on the front lines during the Korean War. Claire wrote and produced a soldier enacted play in Korea. Archival footage of the Korean War is featured.
Bernard Boiko's mother emigrated from Jaslo (ˈjaswɔ), Poland. His father emigrated from Teofipol (Теофіполь), Ukraine
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