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?
(S01E11) While Cleveland and the boys down at the bar were trying to come up with the next great invention, Roberta was learning a lesson in what it's like to not be gorgeous. And who better to teach her the lesson than Jane Lynch. With Glee on hiatus until sometime in 2147 -- at least it feels that long -- I'll take what Lynch I can get. And she was great here as a bitter teacher ... wait, that sounds familiar.
I think she was woefully under-utilized, though, as the storyline involving her never really achieved any resolution. More specifically, it started as a storyline for Roberta, became a storyline for both Roberta and Cleveland, Jr. and yet it was really only Jr. who got a somewhat satisfying conclusion. Of course, I'm probably just bitter that Lynch didn't show up again.
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.
The show itself is supposed to "put a twist" on classic game shows like Jeopardy and ... The Newlywed Game. I'm sorry, but The Newlywed Game? What in the hell are we dealing with here? The person who dreamed this up must have been chasing the dragon when they thought it was a good idea to compare their cat show to a program in which seemingly every question involved the phrase, "making whoopie."
Americans are utterly obsessed with celebrities ... particularly their lives away from the limelight. Numerous television "news" programs and magazines highlight stars doing normal things that many of us would do on a daily basis. So, it was only logical that reality series have been built around some of these personalities to highlight their time away from the camera.
Yet it didn't work out as was intended. Rather than showing that these personalities were normal people, they showed the viewers how messed up they, and their families, really were. In some of the earlier Celebreality programs, they even showed unknown weaknesses that fans never knew existed. Despite all of this, viewers have been tuning into these shows each and every week to watch ... just like they would if video of different train wrecks were aired each week.
This fan base has given many of these stars a second, third, or fourth chance at success -- even if their boat sailed a long time ago. Such is the case during the Reality Revolution, where even the most famous can receive fifteen more minutes of fame.
I've been wondering if this show was even still in production. Every time I turn it on it seems to be an episode that I've already seen, or even if I haven't seen it, it's an episode from a year or two ago. But now GSN has announced that the Chuck Woolery-hosted spelling game show will be back for a sixth season. Shandi Finnessey will be back as his co-host, typing away at the computer and starting each game, and there will be four special episodes where online champions face off against TV champions.
OK, so this game isn't exactly Jeopardy. It might not even be Wheel Of Fortune, but I enjoy it. And as I've said here before, I like it when Shandi says "Lingo balls."
The new season starts on April 2.
Lately I've been seeing Chuck in ads that sell real estate in various locales: one in Arkansas and one in New Mexico. The commercials are similar to the ones Erik Estrada does. You know the sales pitch: "Come to Jerkwater Springs! The weather here is great! It's growing by leaps and bounds! And you can buy a lot for only fifty grand!" Then the celebrity offers a free weekend for two in order to entice you to come down and hear the pitch in person. It's all very cheesy, and borderline suspicious.
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