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TV Powww! was an interactive video game. They would pick a kid to play over the phone. The kid would yell "pow" to activate a weapon that blew up space invaders. There seemed to be three approaches to playing the game:

STRAIGHT - where the kid would actually watch and attempt to yell "pow!" when an invader approached (like you were supposed to)

SUPER-FAST - where the kid would yell "pow, pow, pow, pow" one after the other in a machine-gun, take-no-prisoners, wise-guy style

And SOUTHERN, where the kid would drawl "Pa-yohw" so slowly that there was virtually no way they would hit anything in the time it took to finish the word.

Most of the people I spoke to that were kids at the time of the show assumed there was some poor slob on the other end of the line that had to push a button on some Atari-like joystick whenever the kid yelled "pow". We imagined the poor guy pushing that button for all it was worth during the super-fast kid's calls. But our people inside the show tell us that, no, it really WAS voice-activated. We are impressed!

Eventually, the TV Powww! game died a sad death, and it was written into the show in a dramatic sequence that surprisingly was never recognized by the Academy.

Former WPTF-TV Art Director Dick Hill writes, "I remember when Laurie (Barney) blew up the TV Powww! game. It caused a big stink with the General Manager who told her not to blow up the game but just stop playing it on the show. Laurie ignored him and risked getting fired and spent a lot of time creating that great sequence of the game blowing up and all the debris falling on Barney. The GM was pissed but Laurie and Barney lived on. proudly presents...
The Death of TV Powww!

After TV Powww!

After the TV Powww! game was taken away, the producers had to come up with something on the fly (and with zero budget) to fill the spot. The result was Quick Pix, a hidden photo of a celebrity which was slowly revealed. The kids would yell 'Stop!' to stop the clock when they knew the answer to the puzzle. The kid with the best time for the day won an extra prize, but everyone who played received a Barney's Army T-Shirt.

Quick Pix