The Hollywood Squares is an American television comedy and game show in which two contestants play tic-tac-toe to win money (cash) and prizes. The "board" for the game is a 3 × 3 vertical stack of open-faced cubes, each occupied by an entertainer (or "star") seated at a desk and facing the contestants. The stars are asked questions and the contestants judge the veracity of their answers in order to win the game.
Although The Hollywood Squares was a legitimate game show, the game largely acted as the background for the show's comedy in the form of the "zingers", or joke answers, often given by the stars prior to their "real" answer. The show's writers usually supplied the zingers; in addition, the stars were given question subjects and plausible incorrect ("bluff") answers prior to the show. (The show was scripted in this sense, but the gameplay was not, as a contestant's success was based upon knowing whether the celebrity's "real" answer was correct.) In any case, as host Peter Marshall explains at the beginning of the "Secret Square" game, the celebrities are briefed prior to show to help them with bluff answers, but they are otherwise hearing the actual questions as they are asked on air.