Ask Dayton 82 – Tell them what they’ve won, Nick!
Your top five game shows and game show hosts, five to one, and why. Thanks
Aaaaaaaaaaand just when I thought we perhaps had exhausted the list of scintillating topics to kick-start a Sunday morning.
So, game shows, huh? I’ll be honest: My first instinct was to go with bullshit games from TV shows or movies. You know, “Death Race,” “The Running Man,” or even “Heaven, Hell or Purgatory” from the Conan O’Brien show. But the more I thought about it, the more I started to recall fond memories of favorite game shows of days gone by.
My first impulse was to say that I don’t really watch that much in the way of game shows, but when I stopped to think about it, I realized that some of the stuff I like is really just a game show variant. That’s not to say I don’t watch some of the traditional question/answer/money and prizes variety. I guess my two favorites in that category are Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. The former, because I like to see how I stack up against general and not-so general knowledge (I do okay); the latter because I like to see how fast I can solve the puzzles (I would so totally fucking own this game). My wife will tell you that I’m always yelling at the players on the TV for blowing money on buying vowels, rather than keeping that shit in their head. Stop paying to help your competitors, morons!
My top five all time favorite game shows? This proved harder than I thought it’d be:
5 – The Newlywed Game: The game itself isn’t terribly complicated, but the interplay between the newlyweds and host of awesome Bob Eubanks is legendary. Besides, it was this game show that provided what is perhaps the most unexpected answer to a question ever:
Bob Eubanks: Tell me where specifically is the weirdest place that you personally, girls, have ever gotten the urge to “make whoopee?”
Female newlywed contestant: In the ass.
4 – Family Feud: Again, not a terribly deep or complex game, but the back-and-forth between host Richard Dawson and the family members often made for great laughs. It also is still fun to try to figure out all the top answers to those various oddball questions. In the current incarnation, host Steve Harvey has been known to make me laugh out loud with some of his antics, as well.
3 – Whose Line Is It Anyway?: The improvisational sketch comedy show which began as a UK-based radio program before moving to television and eventually making its way over to this side of the pond. Yes, I understand that any of the show’s references to points, winners or losers is at best window dressing, but I’m still counting it. Nyah. I’ve enjoyed the UK version hosted by Clive Anderson as well as the American versions hosted by Drew Carey and (currently) Aisha Tyler. I think I can be pretty fast on the uptake and the delivery, but I feel like a rank amateur watching the performers work on this show. I’m always in awe of the wit and timing necessary for the performers to hang with each other—let alone attempt to outdo one another. For the record, my favorite of the games from any of the incarnations is “Scenes from A Hat.”
2 – The Hollywood Squares: I’m talking about the version hosted by Peter Marshall and featuring for many years the incomparable Paul Lynde in “the center square.” Holy shit, but could he and the other celebrities manning the other squares crack me up. Some of their “fake” answers or comebacks to various questions are legendary in and of themselves, and there are several chain letters floating around the internet showcasing but the merest fraction of them. Example:
Peter Marshall: It is the most abused and neglected part of your body. What is it?
Paul Lynde: Mine may be abused, but it’s certainly not neglected.
Peter Marshall: If you’re going to make a parachute jump, at least how high should you be?
Charley Weaver: Three days of steady drinking should do it.
1 – The Amazing Race: The ultimate scavenger hunt show, pitting eleven 2-person teams against each other in a long-assed race around the world, with the winning team receiving one million dollars. Of the current crop of reality competition shows, this is the only I ever could seriously imagine myself doing. The travel aspects alone make it worth considering, along with the unequaled chance to see so many different countries and cultures – admittedly at one bazillion miles an hour as you dash to and fro to find shit. Fuck Big Brother and all those singing, dancing, or cooking shows. I wanna race!
Now as for game show hosts? Surprisingly, I’m not one-for-one with respect to matching up favorite hosts with favorite shows. In ascending order:
5 – Bob Barker: I was never a big fan of The Price Is Right, but I always thought Barker was a fun, engaging host. That, and the stories I hear about all that tail he was getting? That sly dog.
4 – Tom Bergeron: From the current crop of hosts of this, that, and the other. He seems to be ABC’s go-to guy, and he’s a pleasant, jovial host and mediator. My kids also like him on America’s Funniest Videos.
3 – Peter Marshall: He of The Hollywood Squares. To this day, I don’t know how he managed not to totally lose his composure against the onslaught of Paul Lynde and the other mischief makers. Total cool, every time.
2 – Phil Keoghan: The first and (so-far) only host of The Amazing Race. Simply put? I want this dude’s job.
1 – Bob Eubanks: For my money, the game show host all others aspire to be.
Thank you all for playing our game, and we hope you enjoy these lovely parting gifts.
(Whaddaya mean, “What prizes?” How the hell should I know? It ain’t my fucking show.)
But, wait. There’s more.
He is the co-owner of Busy Little Beaver Productions and is the producer and co-host for G & T Show and Gates of Sto’vo’kor. He’s directed voice actors, and produced and edited audio podcasts and dramas because he doesn’t have the face for video. He plays well with others and is always on the look out for the next project, the next thing, the next next. If he wasn’t working on something with a half dozen other projects waiting in the wings, somebody please check to make sure he’s still breathing.
During the day, he’s a mild-mannered computer repair man who dabbles in web design in his small, rural, Central California community. He lives with his lovingly dysfunctional family and loyal canine companion and spends most of his time in the closet concocting some hair-brained scheme or another. He’s got an unhealthy obsession with Lego video games, Klingons, and Star Trek Online that borders on the neurotic.
Despite all this, he still finds the time to write the words. Find out what he's doing here.