FAIRFIELD – Fairfield native Matt Stutzman appeared on national television in late June as a guest on the ABC show “To Tell the Truth.”
The show was filmed in 2019 but aired on June 25 of this year. The premise of the game show involves three guests who all claim to have done a particularly extraordinary thing. The only catch is that one of them is telling the truth and the other two are lying. It’s up to a panel of four celebrity judges to decide who is telling the truth.
In the show Stutzman appeared in, the judges were told that one of the three participants was a champion archer. The judges took turns asking questions of each guest to probe their knowledge of archery and what contests they had won to get a sense for who might be telling fibs.
Stutzman certainly seems like an unlikely archer. He was born without arms. But he began practicing archery at age 16 so he could hunt deer. He uses a specially-designed bow that he holds with his leg and shoulder and employs his mouth to release the arrow. He has become a master of his craft, winning the silver medal at the 2012 London Paralympics.
But Stutzman was not the only unlikely archer on the stage, which made the show interesting. One guest had a bionic arm, and the other was blind. Each one claimed to be a world-class archer just like Stutzman, except they were putting on an act.
Stutzman was sworn to tell the truth, so he had nothing to sweat when the cameras started rolling. The two women who joined him on stage had to think on their feet and come up with answers that made them sound like expert archers.
To help them sound more believable, Stutzman worked with both before the show, reviewing archery terms and facts. What’s more, Stutzman was truthful when he answered the judges, although he admits to being coy. He didn’t want to divulge any more expertise than was absolutely necessary, because that could blow his cover.
Stutzman said his two fellow guests did a good job of crafting believable answers.
“Even if they didn’t know the answer to a question, they did a good job of making something up that sounded legit,” he said.
In the end, three of the four judges correctly guessed that Stutzman was the world-class archer. Stutzman said he feels good that he and the other guests at least fooled one judge. He thinks he may have been the victim of reverse psychology. Since he has no arms and figures to be the least likely of the three guests to be an archer, the judges probably guessed it was him because “it’s usually the person you least expect.”
After Stutzman revealed that to the judges and the audience that he was the real archer, he performed an archery demonstration where he hit a bull’s eye from across the room. Stutzman said that was the only scripted part of the show.
The four celebrity judges were Mario Cantone, Raven Symoné, Rita Moreno and Deon Cole. Stutzman said the most fun he had during the shoot was right before filming began and he got to meet the celebrities.
“You learn that they’re just normal people,” he said.
Stutzman said he enjoyed meeting the writer of the “cha-cha slide,” the subject of another episode of “To Tell the Truth.”
This most recent appearance was by no means Stutzman’s first on national television. In fact, he’s become a regular, appearing on Piers Morgan, Anderson Cooper, The Today Show and more.
“This was my first game show,” Stutzman said.