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October 8, 2015

How to behave on a game show

by Paul Goebel, posted Mar 23rd 2007 3:04PM

Beat the GeeksAs you may or may not know, I have been on many game shows. I won $40,000 on Greed. I won a car, seven televisions and a buttload of other stuff on TV Land's Ultimate Fan Search. I won over a grand on To Tell The Truth and of course, I was on every episode of Beat the Geeks. Suffice it to say, I have plenty of experience with this game we call show. Recently Joel Keller wrote a piece chock full of information on where to apply to be on a gameshow, and while this information is certainly helpful, you should know that it's only the beginning. There are a multitude of Do's and Dont's to remember.

Let's start with the Do's...

1. Do listen.
Do what you are told by the contestant coordinator and nothing else. Listen politely to what other contestants may tell you, but don't do anything unless someone who is being paid by the show asks you to do it. This may seem obvious but you'd be surprised how many people don't even make it to the set, because they can't follow the rules. Once, the guy sitting next to me not only asked a million questions but he never listened to the answer. It took all my restraint not to punch him in his bad-breath emitting mouth.

2. Do act like you want to be there.
It's OK if you don't have experience auditioning but remember that this is, in fact, an audition. The producers want to make sure that you are able to be entertaining and interesting on the show. Being good at the game is much less important than being interesting. They are trying to make good TV and couldn't give a shit whether you go home with a dune buggy or not. Therefore, if you're a boring douchebag with an attitude during the "audition," you are assuring yourself a one-way ticket home and you will never meet Chuck Woolery.

3. Do dress up a little.
You don't need to wear a suit, but think a little. This isn't a pick up game down at the park. These people are putting you on TV! Look at it this way ... the host will be wearing something nice. If you want to be standing next to him at the end of the game, dress accordingly. On BTG, I was amazed at how many people came on the show wearing a t-shirt or a hoodie. Unless you are trying to prove to the world that grunge isn't dead, a pair of khakis and a collared shirt is not that hard an outfit to pull together.

Now, on to the more important Don'ts...

1. Don't try to be the funniest person at the audition.
I know that everyone in your office tells you that you're hilarious, but remember, the people who cast these shows have seen it all. There is very little chance that you are the funniest person in the room, let alone the funniest person they've ever met. You are not funnier than the host they are overpaying and you are not funnier than the writers they are underpaying. It's fine to make a joke here and there but trying too hard makes you like a jagoff. One dude at an audition insisted on making "jokes" every time the coordinator said something. The fact that nobody ever laughed should have been a clue, but, sadly, was not.

2. Don't ask too many questions.
Now, don't get me wrong, if you don't understand something, by all means, ask for clarification. You don't want to be sent home because you can't play the game correctly. But if you're constantly asking questions, that means you didn't listen well enough the first time and, more importantly, you're a pain in the ass. TV already has an abundance of those.

3. Don't bad mouth the show.
I am the first person to admit that many game shows on the air today are complete bullshit. I mean, a monkey can play Deal or No Deal and he can do it better than a human because he wouldn't deny that the whole show is random like most of the dipshits who go on there. However, nobody likes to watch someone who is too smart for their own good. Remember the guy who figured out how to beat the board on Press Your Luck? He didn't walk in telling everyone what a genius he was. He just got on the air and went to town. While you're there, act like you think the game is brilliant and you're just glad to be a part of it.

4. Don't try to bang the co-host.
I hope this is self-explanatory, as the details of a current court agreement prohibit me from going into more detail.

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I think that current game shows like Deal or No Deal are trying to avoid contestants with boring personalities, acting like they don't like the prizes or the money that's about to be won. I've seen it a few times with recent contestants on The Price Is Right. This current batch of shows wants people that are screaming and running all over the stage. And about attire, I wish that some contestants on game shows would dress more appropriate. I see so many people wearing flip-flops on Price Is Right! It looks TACKY on TV, as if they're lazy or something!

March 31 2007 at 5:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You hit the nail on the head Big Ted.

One on the biggest turnoffs for me with this new crop of game shows are the annoying contestants. Especially with shows like Deal or No Deal and having family members and friends also enter into the fray. Also, everyone constantly wanting to wander around the set to think things out.

What I always loved about the old games shows, most contestants seemed like "real" people without some type of performing agenda.

March 23 2007 at 4:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I guess eating a salad once in a while would be on the don't list as well.

Stupid internet, makes me decide if posting things that are kind of funny and mean are a good idea. But the posting of exactly what you won on game shows and the self satisfied pictures of yourself swayed me toward doing for it.

March 23 2007 at 4:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It seems to me that while game shows have always looked for upbeat contestants, the new ones -- "Deal or No Deal," "1 vs. 100," "Are You Smarter Than a Fourth Grader" and "Identity" -- only put on incredibly outgoing people who are willing to yell and scream and jump up and down at the smallest provocation. Basically, they all seem like would-be performers who are using the shows as a chance to get some TV time.

It's clear that these contestants are chosen for their entertainment value rather than their ability to answer the ridiculously simple questions the newer game shows tend to pose. But I also think it's a format that viewers will begin to tire of, when they go from saying "Hey, I know the answer to that!" to "Who wouldn't know the answer to that?"

March 23 2007 at 4:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris Wong

Hi Mr. Goebel. I was the winning contestent on the BTG episode with the wrestling geek. All I have to say that being on BTG was the most exciting thing I think I've done in my life and it was a fun show. I'm sad to see that it only lasted 2 seasons.

The one thing I have to point out is that on shows like BTG, the audience really has to put their all into it, otherwise it makes contestents like me feel unmotivated. The audience backing you is a big plus.

March 23 2007 at 3:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Your him??

March 23 2007 at 3:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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