Instead of asking questions of their potential date, the bachelor/bachelorette was presented with two pun-laden statements, each pertaining to one of the potential dates.
When chosen, a new statement replaced the old statement and the potential date explained the reason why that fact pertained to them.
However at least 25 daytime episodes survive, including one with John Ritter as the bachelor from 1967. The remaining versions of the show, which were made for ABC prime-time and for syndication, are assumed to exist in their entirety.
After the version finale in 1980, The Dating Game with the repeats of the 1978-1980 version was seen on Los Angeles TV Station KHJ-TV (now KCAL-TV) Channel 9 from September 26, 1983 to September 12, 1986, as well as some other cities.
This format saw the players choose a potential date based on how good they looked and another based on personality.
To determine the "looks" portion, the bachelor/bachelorette observed their potential dates (another change not seen on any Dating Game series beforehand) for several seconds; the three players wore noise-cancelling headphones so they could not hear what the bachelor/bachelorette was saying about them and they identified by numbers.
Play continued until time expired, after which the bachelor/bachelorette gave their choice.
In several weeks of episodes that aired at various times throughout the season, another format was used.
Before becoming famous, Farrah Fawcett, Suzanne Somers, Yvonne Craig, Lindsay Wagner, Leif Garrett, Tom Selleck and Lee Majors appeared as contestants on the show in the 1960s and early 1970s.
Other contestants who appeared before becoming famous included The Carpenters, Jackson Bostwick, Joanna Cameron, Andy Kaufman (who went under the pseudonym Baji Kimran), Steve Martin, Burt Reynolds, John Ritter, Phil Hartman, Jennifer Granholm (Governor of Michigan from 2003–2010), Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Alex Kozinski.
Chuck Woolery took over in 1997 when the original format was reinstated and hosted for the last two seasons.
Beginning in 1966, The Dating Game was often paired with The Newlywed Game.
Serial killer Rodney Alcala's episodes were shown during his murder spree and after he had been convicted of rape in California.