Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

Best Television Game Show?

I'm not a huge fan of reality television, even though I loved the films The Truman Show and EdTV. I thought they posed interesting questions. Each Saturday and Sunday morning I am glued to the Game Show Network. I can't get enough of the classic game shows. Even traditional network television features good game shows.

Just before the boom of reality television, game shows seemed to dominate network television. No second-rate celebrities dancing, no former teen idols enlisted in boot camps to lose a few spins on the scale, and no voting anyone off anything. Regis Philbin and Who Wants to be a Millionaire ruled the pre-HDTV airwaves. I got a kick out of that show, and yes...that's my final answer. However, that raised another question.

What is the best game show on television?

I'm torn between two classics - Family Feud or Match Game. I tend to lean toward Family Feud as the leader and Match Game as number two. I think Richard Dawson's run on Family Feud was, and continues to be, absolutely hysterical. The contestants are so nervous and over-the-top at times, their answers are ridiculous.

On Match Game, Gene Rayburn plays the role of straight guy with a cast of flamboyant panelists and oftentimes clueless contestants. The audience even adds to the mix.

"Mean Max was so mean..." Rayburn would begin to ask.

"How mean was he?" the crowd would respond.

I am even drawn to current shows such as Deal or No Deal and Lingo. Howie Mandel's show has enough strategy to make you nervous, but does not require and knowledge of mindless trivia. On top of that, it has a catch phrase.

"Deal, or no deal?" Mandel asks.

Over on the cable side, Lingo makes you think, but only about five-letter words. Plus, it's the only game show where a contestant can blurt out an incorrect word, such as GUITAR, but spell the correct word, P-I-A-N-O, and get points. Besides, it's hosted by Chuck Woolery. Who can't get enough of him asking a contestant when they grab a Lingo ball...

"Reach in and grab yourself a couple balls."

What is your favorite television game show?


14 Comments
dazedpink
I love the GSN too! When nothing else is on TV, that is my go to channel. LOVE the Match Game...was actually very sad when Charles Nelson Reilly died, and the only reason I knew who he was was from that show. Funny to see Richard Dawson up there chain smoking.

Growing up I used to watch Joker's Wild and Tic Tac Dough with my Grandma...a few years ago GSN was airing those. Still like Press Your Luck too...No whammies....STOP! lol!

I think I have to agree with you though on Family Feud--with Dawson--probably my all time favorite game show. I got the board game version for Christmas one year. Watching the show now though--doesn't he come across as an over-sexed dirty old man???
Jules   Saturday, March 22, 2008
mattpike
The Price is Right is the one for me.

I haven't seen it with Drew Carey, but I'm sure there's no way he's as good as Bob Barker.

It is so ridiculous that I can't help but love it. The costumes, the jumping up and down, the intense seriousness about the cost of a blender, the 70's set that never changed, Bob's 'I'd rather be somewhere else' attitude. That all adds up to game show goodness for me.
mattpike   Saturday, March 22, 2008
Jeopardy has the remarkable ability to make me feel like a genius and a total idiot simultaneously, but I usually end up learning something, and it's fun to play along and try to answer before the contestants.

The Price is Right will never cease to amuse me though, and Drew Carey does a pretty admirable job as the host in Bob Barker's absence - he even reminds us to spay and neuter our dogs!
Eric Tatro   Saturday, March 22, 2008
igna83
Match Game was insane! Those "celebs" could work and party at the same time...smoking, drinking, etc. I mean, what a job! My folks rarely let me watch it, actually.

Although I do like Match Game, the only reason was because of the celebrity panel, which of course included Mr. Richard Dawson. His next stint on Family Feud was incredible. In my opinion, there will never be another host on this show better than he was in the 70s and 80s. It's #1 in my book.
Angi   Saturday, March 22, 2008
lgrant
For adrenalin rush, I always liked $20,000 Pyramid. Dick Clark was eternally young and the celebrities were either great or terrible at it but they seemed to find their inner child and forgot to be a celebrity for the moment. The final pyramid was the worst. Any show that requires a person to use straps to strap themselves to the chair to keep from moving their hands or jumping out of the chair and dancing--has to be exciting. I always loved Jeopardy as well. A friend and I spent an entire summer playing the game and then calling each other and comparing scores. Quite the learning summer!!
LGrant   Saturday, March 22, 2008
ben
The new Price is right makes me mad. I watched the end of a prime time special....guy won both show cases...got close enough to his own show case where they threw in a million dollars....and Drew very unexcitedly goes "uh...you win"

I always loved Greed with Chuck Woolry (sp?) that used to be on Fox. Had the fun of a game show and the evilness of our human spirits. I thought the funniest was Russian Roulette (on GSN)...where if you get a question wrong a trap door opens and you fall through.
Ben H   Saturday, March 22, 2008
lgrant
I tend to go back, I know, but then I can't stand any of the newer game shows like "Deal or No Deal". Everything is too hyped up and all for "effect" and people play to the cameras. The old game shows the people tended to be more themselves and totally forget they were on TV so it could be quite funny (The Newlywed Game could attest to that!). Let's Make a Deal was a great one years ago. The players got sillier years later but in the beginning it was an icon and the "Three Doors" became legend.
LGrant   Saturday, March 22, 2008
billpearch
As a kid I loved The Joker's Wild and Tic Tac Dough, too. Do you remember the corny dragon during the Beat the Dragon contest? Makes me laugh when GSN airs old episodes.

One of the reasons I enjoy Match Game is semi-regular sixth-seat panelist Betty White. It's easy for my generation to remember her as a part of The Golden Girls, or selling pet medication on infomercials. She was just quite feisty during the late 1970s. Plus, I keep waiting to see someone from work pop up as a contestant.
Bill Pearch   Saturday, March 22, 2008
RickMonday
OK, I will be showing my age but the Gong Show was weird but funny at times. The Family Feud with Richard Dawson kissing every girl from both teams. The Liars Club (I think it was called that). MatchGame 77. The $64,000 Pyramid was usually on right after Love American Style.
RickMonday   Sunday, March 23, 2008
ppike
Password. Anyone old enough to remember that one? I loved that show.

The Gong Show was insane, which is why my husband loved it. He would come home from a high pressure job with pretty scummy owners/bosses and just laugh his head off at the insanity of the Gong Show. Maybe the Gong Show was responsible for helping him launch his own business?
pegi   Sunday, March 23, 2008
lgrant
I remember Password, Pegi and nearly mentioned it yesterday but didn't want to hog the conversation. I'm sure by today's game show standards it would be considered due but I loved it. Betty White being mentioned above reminded me of Alan Ludden again, her husband for the uninformed. He was a class act!
LGrant   Sunday, March 23, 2008
billpearch
Alan Ludden wore some funky suits on Password Plus. I've never seen a man who wore suits with more straps, buttons, pockets and flaps than him. Got to love the 1970s.
Bill Pearch   Sunday, March 23, 2008
ppike
Password Plus?
pegi   Sunday, March 23, 2008
igna83
Oh Lord, I'd forgotten all about the show Love American Style - we loved that show!
Angi   Sunday, March 23, 2008
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