Top 10 Game Show Hosts of All Time
VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
They've got the clues, the catchphrases and all the answers. The job of a game show host involves many things: they've got to interview contestants, they've got to keep rowdy competitors in line, and they've got to have the answers to everything. Sounds tough, but why does it look so fun? There have been many memorable personalities over the years who we consider to be the best of the best. With December 12th, 2013, marking Bob Barker's 90th birtday, join http://www.WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 game show hosts of all time.
Special thanks to our users Zach Foster for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
Top 10 Game Show Hosts
They’ve got the clues, the catchphrases and all the answers. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 game show hosts.
#10: Takeshi Kaga
Known as the Chairman, this over-the-top host became popular the world over with the original “Iron Chef.” Though he’s an accomplished actor in his native Japan, he gained fame with memorable catchphrases, and by embodying his fabricated backstory. As the Japanese nobleman who built Kitchen Stadium in his luxurious mansion, he stages sumptuous cooking competitions to discover “whose cuisine reigns supreme.”
“Iron Chef” (1993-99)
#9: Gene Rayburn
He was the BLANKest guy around. For over two-decades and through several reboots, Rayburn helmed “The Match Game,” using his wit to interact with guests and the rowdy celebrity panel. Rayburn read a statement and contestants would fill-in-the-blanks to match celebrities’ answers – meaning raunchy humour, innuendos and double-entendres abounded. Rayburn’s smooth-talk, antics and ability to make celebs behave made this one of the most highly-rated game shows ever.
“The Match Game” (1962-84)
#8: Anne Robinson
Think of her as the British Judge Judy of game shows. While most game show hosts are men, this acerbic Brit made her mark on both sides of the pond, with “The Weakest Link.” Never hesitating to insult, offend or to say “goodbye,” the cool, quick redhead dominated and scolded all who dared to answer her questions. And if you got one wrong, she was the Queen of Mean.
“The Weakest Link” (2000-12)
#7: Dick Clark
As master-of-ceremonies for the original incarnation of this popular game show franchise, TV legend Dick Clark stood watch as contestants and their celebrity partners attempted to quickly guess words based on each other’s cryptic descriptions. Charming, kind and always quick with helpful hints, Clark was already popular from his “American Bandstand” days. His looks, voice and ageless charisma made him synonymous with the “Pyramid” brand – even as the prizes increased.
#6: Monty Hall
Not only did this iconic host act as the face of this series, he also created it. After choosing audience-members based on their zany costumes and wacky antics, Hall offered them a prize, immediately asking if they’d trade it for what’s behind curtain-#1, curtain-#2, or curtain-#3. This premise was a revolution in a world of super-complicated game shows, and Hall was its steady and enthusiastic MC.
“Let’s Make a Deal” (1963-91)
#5: Regis Philbin
Though he was already famous from his daytime talk show, and he briefly hosted other game shows, Reeg became a true pop-culture phenomenon with this trivia show and his memorable catchphrase. Iconic and likeable, Philbin can be credited with reviving the game show trend with the American version of “Millionaire.” Often imitated but never duplicated, Regis was over-the-top, loud and excitable, and the perfect man for the job.
“Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” (1999-2002)
#4: Richard Dawson
First an actor, then a “Match Game” panellist; this flirtatious fellow finally hit his stride as a touchy-feely game show host. Pitting families against each other to see what 100 people think about random things, Dawson earned the label the Kissing Bandit because of his tendency to smooch all female contestants. The friendly face that made “The Feud” one of history’s most popular game shows; Survey says Dawson’s one of the greats.
“Family Feud” (1976-85, 1994-95)
#3: Pat Sajak
After taking the wheel from Chuck Woolery, Sajak, his quirky personality and his stylish sidekick Vanna White made “Wheel” a can’t-miss show. Even after over three-decades, he keeps the series fresh, and still seems to sincerely care what happens as contestants try to guess a sentence, one letter at a time. With his genuine and natural personality, Sajak helped make “Wheel of Fortune” the longest-running American game show ever.
“Wheel of Fortune” (1981-)
#2: Alex Trebek
The sometimes-smug and always-knowledgeable host of this quiz game never hesitates to remind contestants to answer in the form of a question. Always a class act, Trebek helped turn a show considered too smart for TV into one of the most popular trivia game shows ever. In fact, Trebek is such a beloved part of pop-culture; he was lampooned mercilessly by a certain late-night comedy show.
Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honourable mentions:
- Peter Marshall: “Hollywood Squares”
- Allen Ludden: “Password”
- Wink Martindale: “Tic-Tac-Dough”
- Bob Eubanks: “Newlywed Game”
- Tom Bergeron: “Hollywood Squares”
#1: Bob Barker
Sure, he hosted a handful of popular and long-running game shows; but Bob Barker is “The Price is Right.” With his skinny mic, dapper suits and pleas to help control the pet population, Barker proved that longevity in the TV world was possible, finally retiring with more Outstanding Game Show Hosts Emmys than anyone after 50-years in the biz. Modest, timeless and impossibly cool, Barker was the man who kept fans lining up to “come on down!”
“The Price is Right” (1972-2007)
Do you agree with our list? Who’s our favorite game show host? For more top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.