After doing radio and summer stock back in the 1940s, White's big break came as the "telephone girl" on a live, local Los Angeles show, 'Hollywood on Television,' hosted by popular DJ Al Jarvis. With all honors to Lucille Ball and 'I Love Lucy,' that gig led to the creation of one of the first female-driven sitcoms, 'Life with Elizabeth.' The TV skies were the limit from there.
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 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.
He once saved a crowded school bus from falling off of a cliff ... using only a scarf.
Firefighters blamed him for the Laguna Wildfire when his Aviator sunglasses came in contact with the sun.
People stop and stare at every word he writes, particularly when he writes "boobs."
He is the most interesting man in the world. And his name is Charles Nelson Reilly. The actor, comedian, director and Match Game fixture has been posthumously immortalized by comedy musician "Weird Al" Yankovic in a new hilarious online single called "CNR".
As a nerdly kid who rarely left the house after school, however, Travalena is best known to me as a panelist during the latter years of my favorite game show, Match Game. After the jump is the only MG-related clip I could find with Travalena, where he does an impression of De Niro on the short-lived Match Game Hollywood Squares Hour in the early '80s. (Warning: you need to turn the volume up to hear it).
Back in January we reported that the still popular 70's game show Match Game was ready to be revived once again by Fremantle Media, which pretty much owns rights to every single game show on the planet. In that report we mentioned that Fremantle was talking to a number of cable networks about this project, but no permanent home was established yet.
That problem may have rectified itself in the last few days, though, as a pilot has been commissioned by...Ah, you thought I was going to say GSN, didn't you? That would seem the most logical place since reruns of the 1973-82 version of Match Game have had a successful run for years on that network. Unfortunately, that is not the case. This time around the cable network requesting the pilot is TBS (as Bob mentioned earlier this month in a post about Turner's new shows).
That's right folks: in this era where no section of TV history is left unscathed, everyone's favorite shag-carpeted, wokka-wokka game show from the seventies might be coming to a TV near you soon. Fremantle is currently talking with cable networks about a revival of the show and is also looking for an executive producer, and will hire talent after the EP is brought on board.
We all remember Charles Nelson Reilly, who passed away early this week, from his days on Match Game. Even people who weren't alive during the original run of the show (surprisingly, there are so many of you) know how good he was on that program from the repeats that are shown on GSN. But, what you may not know, or may not want to remember, is that Mr. Reilly was also a star of Saturday morning kids fare back in the early 1970's.
His biggest role was as Hoo Doo, the evil magician from the Sid & Marty Kroftt psychedelic extravaganza Lidsville. Hoo Doo was the nemesis of young teen Mark (played by Butch Patrick) who landed in Lidsville, a land populated by living hats, after falling into the magic hat of one Merlino the Magician. In each (or nearly each) episode Hoo Doo tried to thwart Mark's attempts to return to his home with the aid of Weenie the Genie (Billy Hayes, Witchiepoo of H.R. Pufnstuf) and various good hats.
The show ran on ABC from 1971 to 1973, and then on NBC from 1973 to 1974. A year later Reilly returned to Saturday Morning television with Uncle Croc's Block, where he hosted live-action scenes between three Filmation cartoons. I couldn't find any video of Uncle Croc, but I did find the groovy opening to Lidsville on, wherelse, YouTube. You can enjoy the very long intro after the jump.
Unfortunately, it's more a good idea for a list than an actual good list, because their definition of "Game Show" is insane. I just don't get the reasoning behind adding moments from The Bachelorette, Big Brother, and Top Chef. Especially when there are so many great moments from actual game shows that could have been added.
Some non-reality show contenders for such a list: From The Price Is Right, recently there was a guy who kept bidding 420 (video after the jump). Going back in the TPIR archive there was the time when a rather buxom woman was so excited to be comin' on down that she didn't realize her boobs had bounced right out of her tube top.
Listen up, game show wonks and wonkettes! If you haven't gotten enough of the Match Game episodes that GSN has been airing for years, then you will want to sit in front of the television on Thanksgiving weekend. Not only will the network air a marathon of classic Match Game episodes, but it will also premiere a new documentary, and show a rare black-and-white episode of the first incarnation of the series from the 1960's. This, on the heels of the release of the Best of Match Game DVD only a few days before Turkey Day.
It will all begin on Saturday, November 25th, with a three-hour marathon of shows, which will air from 8 to 11pm. Included will be two episodes where host Gene Rayburn comes out with a drink in his hand and a syndicated 1981 episode where semi-regular McLean Stevenson takes over as host while Gene sits with the panel. At 3:30 am the next morning, during GSN's black-and-white overnight slot, the network will show a rare 1960's version of The Match Game, which was also hosted by Gene Rayburn. If you have never seen the first version of the show it may be something you want to set the recorder for because it is very different from the show that aired in the 1970's and early 80's.
Finally, at 8 pm on November 26th, GSN will air Match Game: Behind the Blanks, the first in a series of game show documentaries. The program will briefly touch on the original game of the 60's, but its main focus will be the mega-hit version that aired on CBS. I'm sure they'll touch on the fact that many of the players, and the host himself, were a tad drunk sometimes during taping. But hey, that's what made the show so good.
(S01E06) This review was performed via IM chat, and has been edited for clarity.
Richard Keller: Good evening, everyone! And welcome to a 'very special' review of Game Show Marathon. I'm here with someone I've known for, well, most of my life. My dear brother Joel.
Joel Keller: Howdy.
Richard Keller: We're diverging from the usual review format because tonight we are going to watch an episode of GSM that features a game show that was viewed religiously in the Keller household during the 1970's. We're talking about Match Game.
JK: The previews of this show looked OK... some oddities... but I'm keeping an open mind; yet, I'm going to be really critical of this episode, considering Match Game is my all-time favorite game show. What are you expecting, Rich?
RK: Well, from looking at the previews from last week I'm not too sure. They seem to have gotten the feel of the mid-70's set down. What it will really come down to is how the celebrities play. So, without further delay, here we go.
Back in the 1980s, two classic game shows, Match Game and Hollywood Squares, were combined into a one-hour show. The result was extremely underwhelming to audiences back then. Now, over 20 years later, they're trying this concept again... with seven game shows combined into one. Don't network executives ever learn?
Actually, this one looks to be a bit more interesting than The Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour (catchy, ain't it?). It's called Game Show Marathon and it's premiering on CBS tonight. Hosted by veteran talk show maven Rikki Lake, Marathon combines seven classic game shows into one program: The Price Is Right, Beat the Clock, Card Sharks, Let's Make a Deal, Press Your Luck, Family Feud, and Match Game. Other than Deal, all of the other game shows have aired or are currently airing on CBS at one time or another.
Starting with The Price is Right, the show will pit six celebrity players against each other, who will attempt to win cash and prizes for home viewers. Game Show Marathon will continue to run twice-weekly until July, when it will settle into its Thursday night slot. TVgameshows.net profiles the game show and interviews Rikki Lake about the challenges of hosting seven different game shows at one time in a three-week period.
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