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.
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".
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.
Veteran Match Game panelist Brett Somers has died at age the age of 83.
I was going to say that Somers "was" married to Jack Klugman, but an interesting fact: even though they separated in 1974, while The Odd Couple was on the air, they never divorced! Somers played Klugman's ex-wife on the show.
Besides her many game show appearances, Somers also guest starred on The Love Boat, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Love, American Style, Barney Miller, Battlestar Galactica (the original), The F.B.I., The Defenders, Ben Casey, Naked City, and many other shows.
Somers died of cancer in Westport, CT on Saturday. Her co-star Charles Nelson Reilly died earlier this year.
Update: GSN is having a marathon this Saturday from 9am to 4pm, featuring Somers' Match Game appearances and a Password where she guested with Jack Klugman.
Aw, this is sad news: longtime Match Game panelist Charles Nelson Reilly has died at the age of 76.
Of course, he was known for a lot more than that. He won a Tony Award in 1962 for his work on Broadway in How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying. Reilly was also an acclaimed director, directing such plays as The Belle of Amherst and The Gin Game. He also directed several episodes of the TV show Evening Shade. He was a regular on The Ghost and Mrs. Muir and appeared on many other shows, including Hollywood Squares, Love Boat, Nanny and the Professor, Lidsville, Here's Lucy, Love, American Style, Amazing Stories, Family Matters, The Drew Carey Show, SpongeBob SquarePants, and The X-Files.
He died of pneumonia in Los Angeles on Friday.
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.
Does someone really want to sit down on their couch and throw in a DVD of a game show? I mean, if they had some "classic" episodes, then it might be worth taking a look at, but is there really enough material here for 4 discs? Maybe it has a lot of extras on it, like interviews with some of the cast, and maybe a fast "Dumb Dora" montage. That might be funny.
Match Game fans, will you buy this set?
(Oh, and the answer to the question on the cover? "Iron," obviously!)
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