The Top 10 Best Game Show Hosts of All-Time
10. Regis Philbin
Obviously he isn't known mostly for being a game show host, but I wanted to include someone from the semi-modern era and Joe Rogan hosting fear factor just doesn't do it, nor does the "You are the weakest link, Goodbye!" chick. Like many lazy TV watchin' Americans, late '99 for me meant watching "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" and is even partially responsible for a relationship of mine ending. Still, seeing Regis ask someone "Is that your final answer?" was great and best of all, some really cocky smart guy from Connecticut, about to win a million dollars, used his lifeline not to call for help, but to call a family member to tell them he was about to win because he knew the answer. He was from Connecticut, of course he knew the answer.
9. Bob Eubanks
He's a little before my time but because he hosted "The Newlywed Game" among other game shows, I have to include him.
8. Jim Perry
Now, he doesn't have the name recognition that anyone else on this list does, but he's hosted two of my favorite game shows ever, whereas no one else on this list has hosted more than one. He was the host of "Card Sharks" and "
of the Century". I can't tell you
how many sick days and summer mornings of my toddler years were spent watching
these two. "Card Sharks" even
came back on GSN and was fantastically out-dated making it even better than I
remember. Now unfortunately, GSN doesn't
show the classics and it has succumbed to low lifes with too much
"Baggage" being paraded around by the ring master puppeteer himself,
Jerry Springer. Remember when Jerry
Springer was the worst thing for our culture, and now he's mild compared to
most of the reality TV crap out there today?
7. Dick Clark
This list is being done in memory of Richard Dawson, yet here's another great game show host we lost this year. Dick Clark was such an incredible pop culture icon that there's a generation of us who know him more for hosting "The 20,000 Pyramid" than watching "American Bandstand" and the game show is probably his third greatest achievement on TV (with Rockin' New Year's Eve being either 1 or 2). My third greatest achievement is the fact that I once beat Contra without the free guy trick.
6. Pat Sajak
He's kind of bland, but his countless years of hosting "Wheel of Fortune" speaks for itself. Quite honestly, I've never been a real WOF guy, and relatively speaking didn't ogle Vana White too much in the 80s or early 90s when she was en vogue. To me, "Wheel of Fortune's" crowing moment was the Randy Marsh Naggers "
episode which obviously never happened in real life. South Park
5. Chuck Woolery
I'm probably only ranking him this high because of … hmm …
Datin' women on TV with the help of Chuck Woolery
Scratch that, he's also the guy who always did the wicked cool "We'll be back in 2 and 2" thing before a commercial break. Stuff like that takes a huge amount of moxie.
4. Monty Hall
Part of the reason for his ranking on my list is he had the best opportunity in getting to host "Let's Make a Deal." Before I did this list, I always thought he was Jim Perry too, and though he hosted 3 pretty big game shows, but was disappointed to find out I was incorrect. Sure it's probably not his real name, but Monty Hall definitely wins the award of "Best Game Show Host Name." … well, except for that Wink Martindale guy who just missed the list, he was probably #11. He's before my time though, so I couldn't count him.
3. Richard Dawson
He probably deserves #1 for dying recently and inspiring the list, but no matter how many awesome 70s, early 80s suits he wore, or how many ladies he smoothly hit on in front of their significant others, or how many lollipop trees he pulled out for little kids, I can't justify him over either of my Top 2. "Family Feud" was never the same after he left.
2. Alex Trebeck
It's quite a toss-up between he and the #1. The thing that makes Alex so great is his deadpan arrogance (which let’s face it, is what makes all of us great). I'm sure he has all the answers in front of him which makes him so smug, but his persona led to such wonderful moments of him appearing on "Cheers" (the greatest show of the 80s) and a fantastic SNL spoof with Will Ferrell embellishing his condescension a little bit, but just a little bit. Basically, if I could meet any game show host, he'd be #2 on my list because who wouldn't want to meet …
1. Bob Barker
What I remember most about when he hosted “The Price is Right”, is the moment he stopped dying his hair. No, I don't remember the particular date, but I remember one summer morning watching it, and all of a sudden his hair was white. Many years later, due to his age, he had to leave the show and it was amazing the franchise continued with an uncaring Drew Carey. No one is responsible for more neutered pets than Bob Barker. I know he has a famous scene in a really funny movie, and yes, that makes help him transcend game show host coolness, but he’d be #1 without it. Ultimately, when one asks the question, do you want to hang out with Bob Barker? Never trust someone who says no.