Some housewife from Minnesota who is one number away from owning a new Ford Focus is so nervous, she could fly into an eye-bleeding seizure at any moment. Enter the host. He has to step in and calm her down before that happens.
However, there is a fine line between comforting someone and invading their personal space with the force of a German infantry. These are the hosts who put that creepy feeling you get whenever you hear the phrase, "Come on down!"
Game shows used to flood the dial of my TV back in the 1980s and '90s. And that was when my TV could only pick up eight channels, three depending on the weather.
Back then, almost everything from daytime fare to the occasional prime time bit of airtime starred game show hosts. Their purpose on television was solely to wear smart suits, make sure their teeth reached the optimum level of whiteness and keep the game moving but entertaining.
Now that game shows are making a slow but steady return to television, it seems the traditional role of "host" has turned away from the traditional "game" emcee like Chuck Woolery, Wink Martindale, Bob Barker and Art Fleming and more towards lively hosting personalities from other walks of entertainment life like Drew Carey, Wayne Brady, Howie Mandel and Guy Fieri. Does this mean that the role of the traditional TV game show has gone to that great big "Curtain No. 2" in the sky?
Do not question the mighty awesomeness of daytime game show gods! Their reasoning for taking some games before their time are sound and righteous in ways not meant for us mere mortals to understand. Also, some of them had the potential to critically injure or even kill someone on the show. Check out this dangerous attempt to play a game of "Super Ball!".
Since the first quiz shows of the late 1940s, through the infamous scandals of the 1950s, up until the present day of huge cash prizes, game-show hosting has been an amazing long-term gig for the people -- almost always men -- who get the job. Who, then, are the 10 greatest game-show hosts in history? Check out our after the jump.
In fact, there have been more egregious and blatant attempts to guarantee a win in a pricing game by skewing the odds in their favor, sometimes right in front of the host's eyes.
For instance, here's a "Shell Game" contestant who does something so outrageous, so ballsy, so completely devious that Bob Barker can't help but rip her to verbal shreds in front of the entire nation. And not only does she get away with it, but she actually wins the game!
But apparently that's the label that Price is Right host Bob Barker has bestowed upon the Golden Girl. It turns out the two aren't pals or confidants. Buzzer Blog reported that Barker threatened not to show up to GSN's 2009 Game Show Awards where he accepted a lifetime achievement award along with Mark Goodson and Monty Hall if White was there.
It gets weirder. The whole thing was caused by an elephant. This is starting to sound less like Hollywood gossip and more like a job for Mythbusters.
The former 'Price Is Right' host is returning to the show for an episode this April -- and he'll stick around just long enough to promote his upcoming autobiography 'Priceless Memories.'
In other news, Donald Sutherland will be the roguish patriarch of 'The Eastmans,' the co-creator of '24' takes on 'The Kennedys' and more.
See more of today's TV headlines, casting scoops and premiere dates after the jump.
Granted, I haven't watched the show since the 1970's (although I hear Drew Carey is doing a good job), but I think his appearance is going to somewhat overshadow Carey (for example, the studio in which The Price Is Right is filmed is now called the Bob Barker Studio). There are a myriad of people who still associate Barker with that show. It would be like when Johnny Carson stopped by Letterman's CBS show. As an analogy, who do people remember most as the host of Family Feud, Richard Dawson or Richard Karn?
More power to Barker for taking on a grueling schedule like a promotional tour at his age. Price-enthusiasts, mark your calendar.
It's more than a little ironic (or tragic, depending on how much you give a rat's ass) that the most successful game show in the history of American television has never had a truly worthy home game. One worthy enough to give to loser contestants so they can win against their own friends and family at home because God is a cruel comedian.
Seriously, God should get his own Mark Twain Prize.
Now after more than 35 years on the air, there is such a game: The Price is Right video game. And it's so well done and fun that it could crush the soul of a 300-pound linebacker from Obetz, Ohio who lost out on his chance to be the only guy in town who owns a Chrysler Crossfire.
The thought of barbecues and July 4th parties got me thinking about which TV characters with whom I'd like to spend Independence Day. I wouldn't want them here at my place, though, I want to go to their places. I have high expectations, too, and a vivid imagination.
Here's the six TV characters who could expect me to join them to watch the rockets red glare -- if only they were real live folks and not just my fictional faves.
Before YouTube, camera phones and celebreality-TV, the best Hollywood catfights, feuds and fracases happened behind the scenes.
Some of the most salacious scandals were never caught on camera, but their fallout is the stuff of legend.
We dig deep -- from before the advent of the Internet and since -- to name our picks for TV's top 20 off-screen scandals of all time.
Barker spoke to the Long Beach, CA Press-Telegram recently, and he explained that "I enjoyed the show right up to the last minute of the last show. But, I don't miss it so much that I want to go back and do it again. I think I'm going to be very happy in retirement." He's currently working with various animal-rights organizations and is writing an autobiography, which he expects to be out late this year (ah, the publishing world moves quickly when they have to, know what I mean?).
We've talked a lot here at TV Squad about how Drew is doing on TPiR this year and, while the jury may still be out, I think he's settled into a nice groove. No, he's not Bob Barker but do we really want someone who would go up there and act just like Bob did? They kept all the crazy games that make the show a classic, so I say let Drew be himself, and we'll get used to it. And if you haven't given him a try, here's a chance to curl up at home on a Friday night and see for yourself.
About three months ago -- October 15th, 2007, to be exact -- the face of daytime television changed, and some say not good. It was the day that the first Drew Carey-hosted The Price is Right aired on CBS' daytime schedule. Reviews of that first performance (which was actually the seventh show taped) were mixed. Some said that the first show was good, but there were obviously things that Drew needed to improve on. Others didn't even give him the benefit of the doubt and were already calling for his replacement. Still others used the word "disgusting" in expressing their opinion of Carey as a host and a person.
Well, about 92 days have passed since that initial show and Drew is still the host of TPIR. People are still filling the audience, bidding on items, playing games, and spinning the Showcase Showdown wheel. The question then is if Drew has improved since he first took the microphone? In my opinion, yes. But, he still has a little bit to go.
The year 2007 was definitely one of great change for television. The award-winning The Sopranos faded to black on HBO, Rosie O'Donnell left yenta-talk show The View to the relief of many, and there was nary a mention about Joey. Well, at least no mention except from me, that is.
However, none of those events paled in comparison than to what took place June 15th on the CBS television network. That's the day when Bob Barker took his microphone, his spayed and neutered pets, and his sexual harassment suits and left the hosting job of The Price is Right after 35 years. And, as he kissed his last contestant and waved his last good-bye, fans of the show thought a replacement host would never be found.
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