According to 'The Hollywood Reporter,' art director Ed Flesh died in California on Friday of congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 79 and is survived by his partner of 44 years, David Powers.
The prolific designer shaped the look of dozens of TV game shows including 'The $25,000 Pyramid,' 'Jeopardy!,' 'Name That Tune' and 'The Newlywed Game.'
Paying tribute to Flesh, Bob Eubanks, original host of 'The New Newlywed Game,' said "He truly was a master of his craft."
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?
One of the biggest changes is that they're going to go ahead and build their set right next to the set for Divorce Court. Since so many marriages end up that way anyway, and The Newlywed Game is about testing how well the contestants know one another, it would make sense that some of the couples might want to head right over there. Hell, they could air the episodes back-to-back for a one-two punch of entertainment. Nothing like watching people's lives fall apart on national television.
I used to watch both The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game when I was a kid, and it wasn't until years later that I realized how filthy both of them were. Both would have all of these double entendres and suggestive questions, and the answers from the contestants were often something you wouldn't even say to a friend in private. Example from The Newlywed Game:
Bob Eubanks: "Where's the weirdest place that you and your husband have made whoopee?"
Woman: "In the a**?"
Now, this wasn't shown on TV until Eubanks showed the clip on an episode of NBC's Most Outrageous Moments a few years ago (the original answer was never shown on TV and the woman was given a chance to give another answer, and another contestant gave a similar answer years earlier), but many of the questions and answers were suggestive in that way.
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