Was It Perry Mason or Matlock? Can You Guess With One Hint?


About This Quiz

"Perry Mason" and "Matlock" have equal classic status, but they're quite different from one another! In order to avoid generalizations, we're going to test your knowledge of the differences between these two hit shows. Note: This quiz will be easier than taking the bar exam.

Raymond Burr

Raymond Burr was the lead actor in "Perry Mason." He played a fictional criminal defense lawyer.

Andy Griffith

Andy Griffith played Ben Matlock, a popular and cantankerous attorney. He studied law at Harvard.

Ford Crown Victoria

Did you remember that Ben Matlock always drove a Ford Crown Victoria? In fact, he owned three of them over the course of the show.

Los Angeles

"Perry Mason" was set in Los Angeles. It remains one of the longest-running and most successful shows in history.

Erle Stanley Gardner

The story of Perry Mason is based on the fiction of Erle Stanley Gardner. The show really stays true to the original detective fiction.

Inspired real-life attorneys to move around the courtroom

Perry Mason inspired real-life attorneys to move around the courtroom while questioning witnesses or addressing the jury. Traditionally, lawyers just stood up from their seats.

Barbara Hale

Barbara Hale was a lead actress on "Perry Mason." She played his secretary, Della Street. She won an Emmy Award for her portrayal.

March 3, 1986

March 3, 1986, was the date that "Matlock" first aired on television. It aired on NBC until 1992, then switched to ABC from 1992 to 1995.

Mostly trial by jury

The two shows were similar in many ways. The major difference was that Perry Mason usually settled things pretrial, while Matlock would often end with acquittal​ by a jury.


Ben Matlock opened his practice in Atlanta, after studying law at Harvard. He was famous for going to the crime scene and discovering overlooked clues.

Hot dogs

Ben Matlock seriously had a thing for hot dogs. In fact, there was a point in his life where he lived off of them, as revealed in "Murder Two."


Matlock's standard fee is $100,000. This usually is paid upfront for Matlock's services.

Paul Drake

Paul Drake is Perry Mason's private investigator and right-hand man. He was played by William Hopper.

Hamilton Burger

Hamilton Burger was the name of the Los Angeles district attorney, Mason's nemesis. William Talman played the role.


Gertie, or Gertrude Glade, is the oft-mentioned but rarely seen secretary. She was played by Connie Cezon.

Linda Purl

Linda Purl was the actress who played Matlock's daughter, Charlene Matlock. She partnered with her father until starting her own practice in Philidelphia.

Bobby Lee Cook

Some claim that Ben Matlock is based on colorful lawyer Bobby Lee Cook. He was famous for his success in criminal and civil cases.

Mt. Harlan

Ben Matlock hailed from Mr. Harlan and had a lot of trouble returning. Turns out, his hometown wanted him to practice law there, instead of Atlanta.

Warner Bros. films

The Perry Mason stories were actually turned into a number of Warner Bros. movies and radio series before becoming a television show. Warren William played the title role.

"We couldn't afford a big star."

This quote concerns casting the lead in "Perry Mason." Raymond Burr was unknown at the time, but Andy Griffith was quite famous.


1957 was the year that "Perry Mason" premiered on television. Before then, 51 of the 82 Perry Mason novels had already been published.

Ken Corning

Ken Corning was the original literary character that would become Perry Mason in the books. Gardner's first publication was in 1923.

Aunt Elsie

Ben Matlock''s Aunt Elsie asks him to return to Mt. Harlan. This was in "The Witness Killings."

Conrad McMasters

When Matlock first met Conrad McMasters, he was a deputy sheriff. Matlock would eventually make him his private investigator.

Dead movie star

In "The Biker," a famous actor named Nicky Tower was killed when stepping out of a limo at a movie premiere.

Dick Clark

Dick Clark actually makes an appearance in "The Case of the Final Fade-Out" as a murderer! Author Erle Stanley Gardner also made his only on-screen appearance in that episode.

"Youth's Companion"

"Youth's Companion" was published by Perry Mason and Company. That's where the author stole the name from!

30 films

After 271 successful episodes, Perry Mason was later made into about 30 films. Raymond Burr starred in 26 of them.


"Perry Mason" was a very successful radio drama before becoming a television show. It first appeared in 1943, and there were more than 3,000 episodes.

Burt Reynolds, Adam West, Dick Clark, Robert Redford, Angie Dickinson, Leonard Nimoy, James Coburn, Ryan O’Neal and Cloris Leachman.

These were all actors that "Perry Mason" helped to put on the map. The list also includes Barbara Eden.

The Fulton County Courthouse

The court scenes in Matlock took place at the Fulton County Courthouse. But that building was really the Second Church of Christ, Scientist in Los Angeles.

Andy Taylor

Andy Taylor was Andy Griffith's other beloved television character. He clocked more time playing Matlock than he did Andy Taylor.

"Jake and the Fatman"

"Jake and the Fatman" was actually a spinoff of "Matlock." William Conrad was the inspiration for the other show.

"The Edge of Night"

"Perry Mason" was actually going to be a soap opera called "The Edge of Night"! That show still aired on CBS, but "Perry Mason" became something very different.

“The Case of the Witless Witness”

This is one of the three cases where Perry Mason does not win. The others include, “The Case of the Terrified Typist,” and “The Case of the Deadly Verdict.”

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