When the news broke that Bob Barker was going to host the Price Is Right in celebration of his 90th birthday, I started to think about who was the best game show host ever. Without further ado, here is my list:
5. Dick Clark, The $25,000 Pyramid
Like many of the things he did in life, Dick Clark seemed like a natural as a game show host. Dick’s television persona was like Joe Montana’s on the football field. Great, classy, and made everything seem easy.
4. Gene Rayburn, The Match Game
Gene Rayburn was the host of The Match Game at a time when participants were seemingly allowed to appear on the show while drunk and/or high. The panelists would usually get a little punchy and Gene kept everything moving, which made the show a pretty unique experience.
3. Alex Trebek, Jeopardy
Let me start off by saying that Jeopardy is the best game show on TV and that Alex Trebek is a giant among his game show host brethren. Sitting down and casually playing along with the Jeopardy contestants is always fun, and Trebek is just as much a part of his show as any other host is to their respective show. But I think you will agree with my reasoning for placing him number three on this list. Whether it is a byproduct of being on a “smart” game show or just his personality, sometimes Trebek seemingly talks down to the contestants. He can act like a know it all, but that seems unfair since he has the answers in front of him at all times. In addition to this, Trebek can get a little sassy when he occasionally adds some accent to foreign words. For someone who was born and raised in Canada, you would think he would be a little more like the “common man”, regardless of the demographics of his viewers.
2. Ray Combs, Family Feud
Family Feud is the best game show outside of Jeopardy. The surveys always lead to a fun discussion with whoever you are watching it with and can lead to some geniunely entertaining moments/answers from the contestants. Richard Dawson seemed to always be obnoxiously drunk during the show and creeped out every female contestant. The hosts from the last few years (Al from Home Improvement, Peterman from Seinfeld, Louie Anderson) have all been average at best. Steve Harvey has brought a fresh new perspective to the show, but Ray Combs was the man. He played the role of host perfectly by making the game the star of the show and had the perfect voice for “Survey SAYS”. The phrase “less is more” definitely fits the description for Ray’s perfomance on Family Feud. Rest in Peace, Ray Combs. You were effing awesome at your job.
1. Bob Barker, Price Is Right
I had to go with the G.O.A.T. for number one, right? Bob always seemed like a fun grandpa that had a ton of energy every single day. When contestants would get on stage with him, they would freak out and Bob would just smile and play it cool. He seemed genuinely happy when people would win prizes and he had a great ability to raise/lower the pitch of his voice when the situation called for it. Bob also clearly gets bonus points for being on TV when people stayed home from school/work and wanted to watch something at 11 AM. If you ask any of my friends what they did on a sick day, it would be watch the same episode of Sportscenter 3-5 times and watch Price Is Right. Finally, the final reason for Bob being number 1 is his legendary performance in Happy Gilmore.
Least Favorite Host Ever:
1. Pat Sajak
I dislike Pat Sajak and this is why you should feel the same way. First, he schmoozes with the contestants while Vanna has to walk around and do the heavy lifting. Granted, the touch screens has made her job much easier, but she is essentially at Sajak’s beck and call. There seems something very wrong about the division of labor on the show. Secondly, you can hear the anger rise in his voice when a contestant knows the answer to a puzzle but keeps spinning the wheel to get more money. This is an undeniable fact and I believe that whatever money the contestants win come out of Sajak’s paycheck. There is no other reason to have that type of response to seeing someone try to win some additional money. Thirdly, when a player is not able to guess the puzzle in the Bonus Round, Pat always seems to enjoy twisting the knife when he opens up the prize envelope. The amount of happiness Pat has on his face directly correlates to the amount of money that the contestant just lost. The name Sajak must be Polish for Cold Blooded. Plus, look at the above picture of him. Don’t you just want to punch him in the face?
Anyway, that is my list for the top 5 game show hosts of all time. What does your list look like? Let me know!