Flim Flam was the brainchild of prolific producer/writer Bill Hartley, who was also associated with many other CTV series, including Circus, Just Kidding, Julie (featuring Julie Amato) and Kidstuff. Hosted by Orson Bean, the show featured a panel of judges watching a filmed comedy skit, which included a hidden scam, and the panel had to try to guess what the hidden scam was.
Performer John Kastner (who later worked with Hartley on Just Kidding) appeared in the skits as the Flim Flam Man, as well as doing bogus TV commercials with rigged product taste tests, and occasionally singing (badly, John confesses) three songs, from which the panel had to guess which was the fake, unpublished number (which had been specially written for the show by composer/musician Cliff Jones).
Regular panelists included The Amazing Randi, Craig Russell and Nicole Morin. The series was delivered to CTV affiliates at 6:30pm on Sundays for 26 weeks from September 1978 to the end of February 1979, for local scheduling and sale. While it ran in prime time in many areas, the lack of such exposure in one or two key markets did not allow it to catch on as well as it probably deserved, and the series was not renewed.
(with special thanks to John Kastner)
Written by Pip Wedge - December, 2003