TV Tidbit: When Game Shows Were Golden
There used to be a time (particularly the 1970s and 1980s) when game shows ruled the airwaves from about 9 AM to Noon. When the morning news concluded, you could turn the dial and find 10,000 Dollar Pyramid, Password, Family Feud, Joker’s Wild, Sale of the Century, Wheel of Fortune, Press Your Luck, Blockheads, Let’s Make a Deal, Name that Tune, The Newlywed Game, The Dating Game, Tic-Tac-Dough, Love Connection, Hollywood Squares, The Match Game, The Gong Show and myriad others that came and went.
Of course, the king of them all was The Price is Right (which still airs to this day). Game show hosts usually had a lounge-lizardy look about them: Cheshire Cat smiles, polyester suits, and immobile hair. The list of their names goes on and on: Richard Dawson, Chuck Woolery, Dick Clark, Monty Hall, Bob Eubanks, Wink Martindale, Gene Rayburn, Allen Ludden, Peter Marshall, Art Fleming, John Davidson, Tony Barber, Chuck Barris, Jack Barry, Alan Carr, Bert Convy, Bill Cullen, Bruce Forsythe, Art Linkletter, etc. Game shows of this era were also known for their gaudy sets, full of bright colors and blinking lights. You always felt as though you were sitting in the middle of some great big Vegas slot machine. The prizes were often on the tacky side as well, with an occasional new car or vacation thrown in to sweeten the pot. And those consolation prizes. A loser was almost assuredly going home with a case of Turtle Wax and lifetime supply of Rice-a-Roni. What was also fun about these game shows was the celebrity panels that many of them had. Anyone from Betty White and Charles Nelson Reilly, to Paul Lynde and Fannie Flagg, were amongst these comedic caricature types who kept the laughs coming.