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November 28, 2014

GameShows

Five Creepy Game Show Hosts

by Danny Gallagher, posted Apr 22nd 2010 2:02PM
Fergie Olver, host of the game show Game show hosts by their very job description creep me down to the bone. It's just in their nature. They have to go out of their way to make ordinary people look comfortable, even though they have never been on television.

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!"

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How to Win at Nine 'Price is Right' Games

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 19th 2010 3:06PM
Drew CareyI love 'The Price is Right.' If I were to pick my 20 favorite TV shows of all-time, it would be on that list. But that doesn't mean it doesn't anger me. Actually, the contestants who play 'Price Is Right' anger me.

You'd think that anyone who attends a taping of the show would be familiar with its games, but you'd be amazed at the number of people who have never seen the one they're about to play or have seen it yet still completely screw it up. The contestants on 'Wheel of Fortune' often make me sad, but at least they seem to know how to play (even if you often wonder "why can't they guess this?" and "why are they still buying vowels?!").

What follows is a guide to winning seven popular games on 'The Price Is Right.' I didn't include games like Squeeze Play or Pick-A-Number or One Away or Switch? or a half dozen others because those games really just involve luck.

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'Jeopardy!' and 'Wheel' Extended Through 2014 -- It Should Be Longer

by Danny Gallagher, posted Apr 9th 2010 7:31PM
Earlier this week, both 'Jeopardy!' and 'Wheel of Fortune' stay on the air through 2014 thanks to a new contract agreement between ABC and CBS Television Distribution. It also keeps hosts Alex Trebek and Pat Sajak in their respective chairs through the same time period.

Ho-hum, I know. Most test patterns have had shorter runs on TV than 'Jeopardy!' and 'Wheel.' How is that news?

It just got me thinking: what would the world of TV and really the world itself be like without daily doses of America's favorite quiz show and America's favorite wheel spinning and letter guessing show?

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Six Game Shows that Used Actual Torture

by Danny Gallagher, posted Apr 8th 2010 4:00PM
An act of torture during the InquisitionIf you were shocked to hear about ABC's 'Downfall,' a game show that drops people off of buildings for our amusement, you clearly don't watch enough TV and lead a rich, fulfilling life.

Television's long and storied history is filled with game and competition shows that pit their contestants in a physical, psychological and gastrointestinal showdown, most of which were lost to the ravages of obscurity. Well, it's "filled" if you only look at the last few years or so when the economy tanked and people turned to humiliating themselves in the national media to keep from having to hunt small rodents for sustenance. That's how 'The View' got started.

These are the shows that not only tortured contestants, but also their viewing audience unless Dick Cheney happened to be watching any of them.

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Is Game Show Hostdom Dead?

by Danny Gallagher, posted Mar 26th 2010 3:10PM
Game show hosts Drew Carey, Wayne Brady and Guy Fieri
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?

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'Wipeout' Getting Down and Dirty with Nintendo

by Danny Gallagher, posted Mar 19th 2010 8:05PM
ABC's Do you want to experience the awesome majesty of the 'Wipeout' obstacle course but without having to endure the painful humiliation of having to sacrifice your dignity on national television? Nintendo has the answer.

A video game version of the popular ABC game show is headed to the Nintendo Wii and the DS. An official release date has not yet been set.

David Oxford of Activision Publishing said in a released statement, "Watching ABC's 'Wipeout' on TV is outrageous fun, and viewers can't help but dream of trying the obstacles themselves. We designed the video game with this in mind. 'Wipeout: The Game' brings all of the challenge and laugh-out-loud hilarity without the pain."

I assume he means the emotional pain and not the physical, unless of course someone catches you playing it in public.

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The Most Epic 'Press Your Luck' Moment You'll See Today

by Danny Gallagher, posted Mar 17th 2010 6:30PM
The cult hit CBS game show 'Press Your Luck' has long been a hotbed of television legends from the pre-celebrity appearances by the likes of talk shot hostess Jenny Jones and Myke Horton aka 'American Gladiator's' Gemini to the unstoppable force that was ice cream truck driver Michael Larson.

One that seems to have fallen under the radar is this epic "spin battle" between two contestants in the final throes of the episode. Both of these mighty Whammy warriors bring their scores to an astronomical amount that could rival the majesty of Mount Olympus, only to come crashing down to game show doom.

Check out this bit of "Game Show Thunderdome" where two women enter, but only one leaves ... and then, technically, the other but without any money or sense of personal dignity.

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Convicted Serial Killer Appeared on 'The Dating Game'

by Danny Gallagher, posted Mar 15th 2010 8:02PM
This just in from our "Department of Stories That Will Keep You Up at Night By Reminding You that the World Can Be an Awful, Horrible, Rotten Place." We probably need to rework the title.

Rodney Alcala, a serial killer convicted for the deaths of four women and a child, appeared as "Bachelor No. 1" on a 1978 episode of 'The Dating Game' hosted by Jim Lange. And here's the most f-ed up part, he won!

Buzzerblog found the actual episode on YouTube, that never-ending fountain of "Keyboard Cat" entertainment, of Alcala competing for the heart of one Cheryl Bradshaw. CNN also talked to one of his fellow bachelors who described him as "obnoxious" and "creepy," which incidentally is how most people describe what it feels like to watch a full episode of 'The Dating Game.'

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Fox pulls Our Little Genius because of possible contestant tampering

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jan 8th 2010 11:30AM
Our Little GeniusFox has pulled one of its reality game shows from its lineup. Is it because they felt the show was exploiting families and their gifted children by publicly humiliating them in front of a national audience for profit? Hell no, this is Fox, a network that would pit a bear against a roided bald eagle in international waters and call it "educational programming."

Producer Mark Burnett has temporarily pulled the plug on his newest venture called Our Little Genius because of the possibility that some of the contestants were coached before competing.

Burnett said he learned that some of the producers told the contestants the topics on which they would be quizzed and even some of the questions they would be asked. This doesn't mean the show is gone forever, just for the moment. Again, hello, it's Fox.

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Cash Cab becomes iPhone game app

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 17th 2009 4:02PM
Cash CabAre you the kind of person who watches Cash Cab (and you do because admit it, you can't not watch it when it's on) and thinks you could do ten times better than the dunderheads that Ben Bailey just picked up?

Do you know the answer to every question before they fly out of the host's mouth faster than a New York cabbie hurling a curse word out of his window during bumper-to-bumper gridlock?

Then prove it. Put your iPhone where your mouth is because Discovery and Capcom have released a new Cash Cab game app for the device.

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ABC taking another spin on game shows

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 10th 2009 4:03PM
ABC's last attempts to revive the game show dynasty failed harder than Crystal New Coke. How bad were they? Not even the magic and majesty of William Shatner could bring them back from the dead.

Now ABC is taking another chance on giving people a chance to win fabulous cash and/or prizes by picking up a game show from Russia called What? Where? When?.

Game show powerhouse Merv Griffin Entertainment is behind the move and will most likely rename the show The Six. It's also fully interactive with the audience since it gives viewers the chance to win a prize. If ABC manages to produce a decent game show for a change, that would be enough of a prize for me.

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Comic Soupy Sales passes away at 83

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 23rd 2009 11:35AM
soupy_sales_2When I was a kid, I remember watching Soupy Sales. He had a children's show, The Soupy Sales Show, on channel five in the New York area and he was a wacky, funny guy. He had bizarre creatures around him, puppets named Pookie and White Fang and Black Tooth. Soupy did outrageous things and often ended up with a pie in the face. In a lot of ways, there might have been no PeeWee Herman if there hadn't been a Soupy Sales. In my memory, I always liked Soup and liked his show. On Thursday, Soupy Sales died at the age of 83.

In addition to The Soupy Sales Show, Soupy was a comedian. He played clubs and did shtick, and all through the 1960s and 1970s he was a regular on game shows, including What's My Line, To Tell the Truth, Match Game and Hollywood Squares.

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The Price is Right has had much squirrelier contestants

by Danny Gallagher, posted Oct 1st 2009 5:00PM
Terry Kneiss on The Price is RightTerry Kniess, the Double Showcase winner on The Price is Right who got his bid right on the money, may have been a "dark day" for Drew Carey, but he's no cheater.

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!

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Nickelodeon returning to its game show greatness with Brainsurge

by Danny Gallagher, posted Sep 13th 2009 12:02PM
Nickelodeon's BrainsurgeThe first network for kids has had some cult classics on their hands. Recently, however, they really haven't released anything remotely memorable, even in the minds of our easily amused, sugared-up youngins.

That's because they have really strayed from the genre that made them so great: game shows. Strayed really isn't a strong enough word. Replace strayed with "shunned with the fervor of an Amish elder who spots a member of his ordnung waiting in line for the new Palm Pre."

Thankfully, the network has learned from their mistakes and re-animated the ghosts of their most classic game shows with Brainsurge.

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Is it wrong that I don't hate ABC's Crash Course?

by Danny Gallagher, posted Aug 29th 2009 3:35PM
ABC's Crash CourseABC's newest stunt game show Crash Course looks exactly like the kind of show that bloggers and critics watch just so they could put their "Suck Extinguishers" to good use.

And yet 45 minutes of TV viewing later, I'm not even feeling the need to break the protective glass. On the surface, it appears to be just another reality/game show with typical contestants having their ids scared for life for cash and/or prizes and most of it is just that.

And even though it met those stereotypical expectations, I still didn't hate it. Part of me actually kind of (gulp) enjoyed it. Did I just swallow my brains along with my pride?

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