Canadian Game Shows Wiki
Andrew Cochran
CTV: 1988–1990
Comedia/Artray Productions
CTV Television Network

Opening Spiel: "Andrew: If you at home would like to be on this stage to play for these very exciting prizes, all you have to do is be in the studio when I run into the audience and ask a question like, (insert first question and answer in the audience). Okay, who else would like to try? (insert second question and answer in the audience). Who wants to answer this time? (insert third question and answer in the audience). Okay, one more! (insert fourth question and answer in the audience). We have our four runners! We're ready to go! Audience, you know what to do! Andrew and Audience: 5, 4, 3, 2, RUN! Andrew: Hi, everyone, I'm Andrew Cochran! Welcome to 5-4-3-2-Run!"

5-4-3-2-Run was a children's game show similar to Double Dare.


Two full games were played during each show. The contestants, known as "runners", were randomly picked out of the studio audience upon a correct response to a question. Four players were chosen for each game, and once chosen they were asked to put on protective capes because some elements of the game were messy.

In each round, a category was given and possible answers were shown on monitors at the end of the playing course. The goal was to pick the answers that fit within the category. To give time to randomize the answers, the players were asked to complete a stunt such as walking on bucket stilts, stomping balloons, picking up straws, etc. Once they reached the bin at the other end of the course, each player chose one of the answers and were also given the option of staying where they were or trading into the one seat that was empty or with another player (in the latter event, the other had to agree to the trade for it to take place). When all players were satisfied with their choice, they pushed a plunger on the desk. Those who picked a correct answer moved on to the next round, while the person who picked the incorrect answer would get something dumped on their head and be eliminated from further play, winning a consolation prize. The two players remaining at the end of the game would move on to the bonus round. The incorrect answer would display a large white X overlapping the wrong answer after the plungers were hit.

The wrong answers in a category would be in the following varieties:

  • An intentional misspelling of a right answer not used
  • A word/term (closely) associated with the previous or next displayed possible answer, but with a different definition as well
  • A word/term that does fit a portion of the category, but not the full category
  • A word/term that fits the opposite version of the category
  • A word/term that contains the same prefix or suffix as one or more other possible answers, but is unrelated to the category
  • A silly made-up word/term that does not exist in the dictionary in which the wrong answer is obvious to the viewer and likely the contestant.

On some occasions, all of the possible answers in a category would start with the same letter.


A player who chose an incorrect answer would get a "surprise" dumped on them from a tube above their head. Some were silly, such as ping-pong balls and Monopoly money, while others were messy, such as whipped cream. The most popular form of surprise was a gooey dropping of colored slime - either blue (aka the "Blue Goo"), green (aka the "Green Stream") or purple (aka the "Purple Slurple").

Audience Game[]

Halfway through the show, after the final round of the first half, there would be an intermission in which Cochran would sit in the audience and have the kids and the home viewers across Canada participate in an audience game in which a category was used, and five possible answers were shown on a screen. Cochran would have an audience react to each possible answer one by one - the audience would cheer to a right answer, while the audience would give a more quiet reaction to a wrong answer or a right answer they never heard of. An animated red X would come in to overlap the wrong answer. Two questions were asked in this game, with a fee plug shown after each question (one of them being for the board game "Grabbin' Dragons"). No prizes were offered during the audience game - it was just a fun game used simply as a time-filler.

Bonus Round[]

The two winners from each game played in the bonus round. The players were shown four prizes, and were asked to choose the prize they most wanted to play for. If only one player chose a particular prize, that player had to answer only one question to win that prize. If more than one player chose the same prize, then a "face-off" took place with the last person to give a correct answer to a question winning the prize. Nobody left the game empty-handed, at the very least they took home a board game as their prize.


"Andrew: Hey, you might be the/a winner next time/too as we get together and say (,everybody).... Audience and Andrew: 5, 4, 3, 2, RUN!"


Mark Maxwell-Smith


Bob York


  • Andrew Cochran also hosted the Atlantic Canada version of Switchback starting in September 1988, replacing former host Stan Johnson, on CBC while 5-4-3-2-Run was airing on CTV. He would later be a producer/writer on other programs such as Theodore Tugboat and Blizzard island. He later became a lawyer.
  • The show aired on Saturday mornings during its run, though some CTV affiliates (such as CJON-TV in Newfoundland) aired the show later on Saturday afternoons or even Sunday morning due to a pre-emption or schedule conflict. They were required to air the show at some point on the weekend likely due to regulations by the CRTC (Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission) that require Canadian content be shown a certain amount of time per day, or that local affiliates had to air all network programming.
  • A total of 34 episodes were produced for the series. Each season had 17 episodes and would be taped in a studio in Burnaby, British Columbia within just one week.
  • The series did air on some affiliates in the United States. Two known affiliate that aired the show was WLVI in Boston, and an affiliate in Philadelphia. The audience game was edited out of the U.S. airings - possibly due to Cochran's mention of viewers in Canada.
  • The show's inventor, Mark Maxwell-Smith, also served as a writer on Bumper Stumpers and Talk About, the latter of which he also created. Previously, he served as the co-producer for the U.S. game show Hot Potato in 1984.
  • The font used to display the possible answers on the players' monitors is a bold condensed variant of Helvetica. This font was also used to display the mock subjects during the intros on Talk About.
  • This series was never rebroadcast in Canada since the show was cancelled - not even on GameTV, despite having reran Just Like Mom in the past.

Video links[]

YouTube[] (courtesy of Wink Martindale)


1988 episode