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The Game Show Forum => The Big Board => Topic started by: danderson on January 04, 2019, 02:23:37 PM

Title: Which host was better?
Post by: danderson on January 04, 2019, 02:23:37 PM
i'll start wih a few

Hollywood Squares- Peter Marshall and Tom Bergeron both were good. I'd go with Tom Bergeron.

Price is Right- Bill Cullen or Bob Barker- Bob Barker, but Cullen was great in the 50s and 60s.

Tic Tac Dough- Wink Martindale was better than Patrick Wayne.

Jokers Wild- i'll go with Jack Barry.

Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: BrandonFG on January 04, 2019, 03:28:37 PM
Iím picking Cullen for best TJW host. Although the game was slower, I felt he brought a sense of warmth to the show. Jack was too smarmy for me at times, and the way he tried to build tension was just goofy at times. The amount of tension needed on 21 wasnít very necessary when a Chevrolet Chevette was on the line on TJW. :P
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: TLEberle on January 04, 2019, 03:34:57 PM
Iím picking Cullen for best TJW host. Although the game was slower, I felt he brought a sense of warmth to the show. Jack was too smarmy for me at times, and the way he tried to build tension was just goofy at times. The amount of tension needed on 21 wasnít very necessary when a Chevrolet Chevette was on the line on TJW. :P
I would say that either Bill or Jim Peck would win that in a walk-over. I prefer Bill's laid back approach to Jack's caricatured-touching-on-phony level of excitement, though the "Joker-Joker...." moment is one that Jack sold very well.

I can see some people picking Peter over Tom (I think both have their strengths, and Peter on All-Star Blitz is fantastic) but the other three don't even go to the judges for a decision--they're all TKOs.
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: Stackertosh on January 04, 2019, 04:41:52 PM
Card Sharks BIll Rafferty or Bob Eubanks

I prefer Bill over Bob. Both was good but there was things about Bob that annoyed me. I thought Bill had more fun with the show i wish he hosted the day time version.

Family Feud Ray Combs or Richard Dawson

I prefer Ray Combs

Price is Right- Bob Barker - Dennis James

If it wasn't for Bill Cullen condition i would love to see how he would handled the 70s Price is right.
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: Winkfan on January 04, 2019, 05:37:59 PM
Hollywood Squares- Peter Marshall and Tom Bergeron both were good. I'd go with Tom Bergeron.

The "Boy Singer," hands down!

Quote
Price is Right- Bill Cullen or Bob Barker- Bob Barker, but Cullen was great in the 50s and 60s.

I prefer Cullen.

Quote
Tic Tac Dough- Wink Martindale was better.....

Hear! Hear!

Quote
Jokers Wild- I'll go with Jack Barry.

While this show put JB back on track; I'm going "off the board" and will vouch for Jim Peck.

Cordially,
Tammy
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: Chief-O on January 04, 2019, 06:08:50 PM
I see a lot of love here for Jim Peck on TJW; I really haven't seen any episodes with him, but I guess I have to. As a biased Wisconsinite, my curiosity has been piqued.

"Card Sharks": Rafferty. Sounds like a hot take, but I loved how he hyped up car wins (https://youtu.be/8IjVyXNWsxA?t=86).
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: bossjock967 on January 04, 2019, 07:27:14 PM
Iím picking Cullen for best TJW host. Although the game was slower, I felt he brought a sense of warmth to the show. Jack was too smarmy for me at times, and the way he tried to build tension was just goofy at times. The amount of tension needed on 21 wasnít very necessary when a Chevrolet Chevette was on the line on TJW. :P
Dennis James.  Change my mind.
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: jjman920 on January 04, 2019, 09:43:54 PM
Price is Right- Bill Cullen or Bob Barker- Bob Barker, but Cullen was great in the 50s and 60s.
Whenever this has come up with friends, I always bring up that this is not a fair comparison. Cullen only hosted the one bid round over and over with bonuses attached and not all of them games. The Price is Right that Bob et. al have helmed since 1972 is simply far too different to compare him to Cullen.

If you must find someone to compare Cullen to, my suggestion is ranking the performances of the substitute hosts who took over in his stead and if they came close to matching his hosting.

When it comes to Price and picking between the seven(?)* hosts of the current format, I'd probably still let Bob have it. The period of the 1980's was when he was at his best. Yeah, that time pumped his ego to the max, but the consistency was there and he was still very sharp.

*I'm counting Ricki Lake and Craig Ferguson. I believe they're the only two others to host some form of current Price and who knows, all it takes is one performance to show out.
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: TLEberle on January 04, 2019, 09:52:16 PM
I think Tom Kennedy held his own. Dennis James has a manic carriage that undermines the show a little, but it is still a fun watch. A person who watches from 1984 to 1989 or so would see a fun show hosted expertlyóthoughts about his personal character aside.
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: chrisholland03 on January 04, 2019, 10:13:22 PM
Agreed on Cullen vs Barker.  It's barely a fruit to fruit comparison.  Two very different shows that called for very different styles.  Cullen was top-notch.  I felt like Barker was at his peak from 77 - 93, started phoning it in when his legal issues started to distract.  I honestly liked Tom Kennedy better than Dennis James - Dennis just didn't have any warmth, was all business.

Hollywood Squares is interesting.  Marshall did a great job on his run, Bergeron did just as well on his run.  They had very different styles that were very much their own, and it worked.  Davidson came across as an actor emulating a host on every show he was on. 

Cullen was noticeably declining by Hot Potato.  I felt like he was lost for most of his 2 seasons of Joker's Wild.  Even as a kid, I wanted him to get on with the game. Peck did a better job than Barry in my opinion.

Rafferty was ok at Card Sharks.  I thought Eubanks did a better job of drawing interest out of the contestants, but he also came across as an ass regularly.  Rafferty was the better traffic cop. 



Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: TimK2003 on January 05, 2019, 11:13:24 AM
ē Trebek over Wink on High Rollers.
ē Meredith Viera over the other guys on syndicated Millionaire (although Regis outranks Meredith overall).
ē Kennedy over Barry on Break The Bank.

/Jack looked creepier with the dark glasses than did Tom.
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: SuperMatch93 on January 05, 2019, 12:30:34 PM
GE College Bowl: I prefer Robert Earle to Allen Ludden because his style seemed more energetic while still not going over the top. On that type of show Ludden seemed a bit too laid-back from what I've seen.
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: Neumms on January 06, 2019, 02:13:42 AM
"Card Sharks": Rafferty. Sounds like a hot take, but I loved how he hyped up car wins (https://youtu.be/8IjVyXNWsxA?t=86).

I saw most of my Rafferty on Blockbusters, but am not a fan. Did you hear him after the car winner left? He tells us that her car was stolen, so a nice story, but ends by wagging his finger and saying, ďgood things come to thoseóď and stopping. Huh? Those who wait? Wait to steal a car? He was neither smooth nor likeable. Give me Jim Perry any day.

Another to consider: To Tell the Truth. Lots to pick from. Collyer, Moore, Uncle Bill filling in or Garagiola? Robin Ward, eh? The NBC options? OíHurley or the present Anthony Anderson?

Me, I never cared for Bud Collyer. Too pious. I liked Garry Moore and loved Gordon Elliott in his short time. I remember him kneeling to ask Kitty Carlisle to annoint him as host, and his humor made up for some dull panels.
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: BillCullen1 on January 07, 2019, 11:40:11 PM
ē Trebek over Wink on High Rollers.
ē Meredith Viera over the other guys on syndicated Millionaire (although Regis outranks Meredith overall).
ē Kennedy over Barry on Break The Bank.

/Jack looked creepier with the dark glasses than did Tom.

Agree with all of the above. Barry looked like a 50-year-old teenager on BTB with the glasses and hair dye job. I remember when he held up the sample board and was explaining the rules, you heard some of the celebs chuckling in the background on some shows.

Other shows

Card Sharks - Perry 1st, Rafferty 2nd, Eubanks 3rd
Name That Tune - Kennedy 1st, Lange 2nd, James 3rd. Never saw the 50s version
Tic Tac Dough - Martindale 1st, Caldwell 2nd, Wayne a distant 3rd
Password - Ludden 1st, Kennedy 2nd, Philbin 3rd, Convy 4th
Pyramid - Clark, Cullen, Strahan, Osmond, Richards and Davidson
Match Game - Rayburn 1st, Shafer 2nd, Baldwin 3rd
Hollywood Squares - Marshall 1st, Bergeron 2nd, Davidson 3rd
Family Feud - Dawson, Combs, O'Hurley, Harvey, Karn, Anderson
BTC - Collyer, Narz, Hall, Wood, Kroeger
TNTS - R Q Lewis, D James, C Fadiman, Bob and Ray
TPIR current version - Barker, Kennedy, James, Doug Davidson, Carey
TTTT - I grew up with the Garry Moore version. Too many other hosts to place.
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: BillCullen1 on January 08, 2019, 09:53:34 AM
A few more:

WML - Daly, Blyden, Bruner
Chain Reaction - Cullen, Edwards, Catherwood, Lane
Jackpot - Edwards over Darrow any day
$128,000 Question - Trebek over Darrow, hands down
Shoot For The Stars/Double Talk - Edwards over Polic II
NYSI - Narz was a better host. C Henry's version had a better format.
Blockbusters - Cullen was better, Rafferty was funnier
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: Stackertosh on January 08, 2019, 03:21:28 PM
Pyramid - Clark, Cullen,Osmond , Strahan, Richards and Davidson
Wheel of Fortune- Worley, Goen, Sajak, Rolf
Weakest Link-Robinson
Jeopardy- Art Fleming,Alex Trebek
TPIR current version - James,Barker, Kennedy, Doug Davidson, Carey
Match Game - Rayburn 1st, Shafer 2nd, Baldwin 3rd
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: Sonic Whammy on January 10, 2019, 01:01:30 AM
Something needs to be said for the shows with 5 or more hosts in it's history. In every case, there's a noticeable gap between the bad or serviceable and the top tier. And I'm not sorry to say that every current host is in the top tier of said show.

Feud: Top tier has Dawson #1 and Harvey and Combs juggling for #2. Everyone else is midcard but all have been serviceable.
Price: Bob & Bill may fight for 1 & 2, but Drew, Tom and Dennis are all just an inch behind battling for 3rd. All 5 are excellent in their own ways. Davidson is the only jobber, but blame OJ.
Pyramid: Top tier has Clark #1, Cullen #2, Strahan #3. But Osmond & Richards make up a rare upper midcard tier battling for 4th. Davidson is the only jobber.
Millionaire: Top tier has Regis #1, Meredith & Chris juggling for 2nd. Cedric is midcard 4th and I still really liked him from seeing him live. Terry is the jobber.
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: Jeremy Nelson on January 10, 2019, 08:48:24 AM
Price: Bob & Bill may fight for 1 & 2, but Drew, Tom and Dennis are all just an inch behind battling for 3rd. All 5 are excellent in their own ways. Davidson is the only jobber, but blame OJ.
I thought Doug was actually really good, considering what he had to work with. Would have liked to see how good he could have gotten with a second season, but them's the breaks.

Even when you consider the R&R and Sports versions, Jeopardy has had, IMO, four solid hosts. ALEX, then Art, then Jeff, then Dan. Dan is the lowest of the four, but not because he was bad. I REALLY liked Probst, but I can't put him in front of two legendary hosts.

Wheel: Woolery, Goen, Sajak, Benirschke: I know the role is mainly traffic cop, but there are ways to go about it, and it feels like Pat's been phoning it in for more than a decade. Even if you only count his work through 2000, I'd still put Goen and Woolery ahead.

Rafferty over Eubanks on Card Sharks.
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: Sonic Whammy on January 10, 2019, 11:00:25 AM
I thought Doug was actually really good, considering what he had to work with. Would have liked to see how good he could have gotten with a second season, but them's the breaks.
Like I said, blame OJ. The trial dominated airtime round the clock, which killed a lot of syndicated programming, Davidson included. So he didn't get much of a chance. I think if he actually had a shot at a full season, there's a chance he would have come around.

But at the same time, now that I think about it, Bob (Yes, Bob!) can also be blamed for dumping on Davidson's Price MULTIPLE times on the daytime show. No hype before the revival, no lending of support at all once it was on.
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: Blanquepage on January 10, 2019, 11:37:38 AM
Only going with my Top 2 for each show here:

Pyramid - Clark, Cullen

TPiR - add me to the "James over Barker" crowd, really enjoyed Dennis's work more, despite the latter's longevity. Comparing this version to Bill's isn't apples to apples so I won't even go there

TTTT - believe it or not, Gordon Elliot...then Garry

Wheel - Pat then Chuck; as much as I enjoy Woolery's version, I was always entertained more by Pat

TJW - Jack, then Bill; while Bill was his usual warm self, he really couldn't move the game along like Jack did

Password Plus - may be in a minority here...but I preferred Kennedy over Ludden

Card Sharks - Perry, then Rafferty

The Liar's Club - Ludden over Armstrong

Hollywood Squares - Bergeron over Marshall

Weakest Link - George over Anne; he was a riot and really knew how to zing contestants far better than Anne did (side note: the best host I've ever seen for WL in the world was Catalina Pulido from the Chilean version. So mean, yet so charming a the same time. Spanish-speaking folks can find some on Youtube)

GE College Bowl - Ludden over Earle
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: BillCullen1 on January 10, 2019, 01:57:25 PM
But at the same time, now that I think about it, Bob (Yes, Bob!) can also be blamed for dumping on Davidson's Price MULTIPLE times on the daytime show. No hype before the revival, no lending of support at all once it was on. 

Barker did acknowledge that Davidson's version was going on when they faced off against each other on Comb's Family Feud. "I could go on your show, I know all the games" Bob told Doug. 
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: BrandonFG on January 10, 2019, 02:36:58 PM
But at the same time, now that I think about it, Bob (Yes, Bob!) can also be blamed for dumping on Davidson's Price MULTIPLE times on the daytime show. No hype before the revival, no lending of support at all once it was on. 

Barker did acknowledge that Davidson's version was going on when they faced off against each other on Comb's Family Feud. "I could go on your show, I know all the games" Bob told Doug. 
Richard Dawson returned by the time Davidsonís TPiR was on the air, but I donít recall a TPiR vs. Y&R week that late in the run. Not saying youíre wrong, but from the one clip I saw where Bob implied there was only room for one TPiR host, I donít think he seemed very warm to the idea.

Wasnít the Davidson version produced by a completely different crew, including Jay Wolpert? Did Roger or ďFingersĒ Greco have anything to do with it?
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: Chief-O on January 10, 2019, 03:24:29 PM
Wasnít the Davidson version produced by a completely different crew, including Jay Wolpert? Did Roger or ďFingersĒ Greco have anything to do with it?

Wolpert was there, Roger (IIRC) wasn't. Not sure about Fingers, though. I do recall Phil Wayne was involved as well.
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: JasonA1 on January 10, 2019, 04:20:23 PM
Here's a full credit roll from Davidson Price:

https://youtu.be/PFHhGnu4oP0?t=1262

-Jason
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: MSTieScott on January 10, 2019, 05:37:41 PM
Here's a full credit roll from Davidson Price:

https://youtu.be/PFHhGnu4oP0?t=1262

And if anybody is curious and has enough free time, here's a credit roll from a daytime episode from around the same time:

https://youtu.be/Rd7Fq_nmOWo?t=2471
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: BillCullen1 on January 11, 2019, 12:17:44 PM
But at the same time, now that I think about it, Bob (Yes, Bob!) can also be blamed for dumping on Davidson's Price MULTIPLE times on the daytime show. No hype before the revival, no lending of support at all once it was on. 

Barker did acknowledge that Davidson's version was going on when they faced off against each other on Comb's Family Feud. "I could go on your show, I know all the games" Bob told Doug. 
Richard Dawson returned by the time Davidsonís TPiR was on the air, but I donít recall a TPiR vs. Y&R week that late in the run. Not saying youíre wrong, but from the one clip I saw where Bob implied there was only room for one TPiR host, I donít think he seemed very warm to the idea.

The FF week I'm recalling is from the '93-'94 season with Combs hosting and TPIR facing off against Y&R. It had been announced that there would be a syndie TPIR in September.
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: BrandonFG on January 11, 2019, 02:46:17 PM
The FF week I'm recalling is from the '93-'94 season with Combs hosting and TPIR facing off against Y&R. It had been announced that there would be a syndie TPIR in September.
Ah, gotcha. Carry on.

With a lot of rankings, the last host mentioned wasn't bad (Wheel, TPiR), it just happens to be how they fall IMO.

TPiR: Barker, Kennedy, Davidson, Carey, James. I actually haven't seen enough Cullen episodes to rank him.

Hollywood Squares: Bergeron, Marshall, Davidson, Bowser. Davidson's version is growing on me again.

Pyramid: Clark, Cullen, Strahan, Osmond, Richards, Davidson. Richards actually wasn't a bad host; he was just more of a traffic cop here without much to work with.

Wheel: Sajak, Woolery, Goen

Feud: Dawson 1.0, Combs, Harvey, Dawson 2.0, O'Hurley, Karn, Anderson

Match Game: 70s Rayburn, Shafer, Baldwin, Burger
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: TLEberle on January 11, 2019, 03:30:13 PM
TPiR: Barker, Kennedy, Davidson, Carey, James. I actually haven't seen enough Cullen episodes to rank him.
This is, not to put too fine a point on it, fixable.

Quote
Pyramid: Clark, Cullen, Strahan, Osmond, Richards, Davidson. Richards actually wasn't a bad host; he was just more of a traffic cop here without much to work with.
If he was given room to say anything not written for him, I think he could have been good enough (see his work on Divided, for example.)

Quote
Match Game: 70s Rayburn, Shafer, Baldwin, Burger
Presuming that it goes Rayburn, (field), it is nice to see Ross getting a little love.
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: Sonic Whammy on January 11, 2019, 05:16:20 PM
Quote
Pyramid: Clark, Cullen, Strahan, Osmond, Richards, Davidson. Richards actually wasn't a bad host; he was just more of a traffic cop here without much to work with.
If he was given room to say anything not written for him, I think he could have been good enough (see his work on Divided, for example.)
Maybe GSN does stick to the script a little too much sometimes (hmm... reminds me of someone). But I'd also reason that Pyramid is a "traffic cop" kind of show. The host does very little, his is not the dominant voice. Plus, Richards still tried to keep the Clark spirit alive with tossing in some WC clues after. He knew the show and did it very good justice. GSN and the viewers failed it. Pyramid needs 2 seasons to cultivate and prove its worth, that's the kind of show it is.
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: Unrealtor on January 11, 2019, 06:07:13 PM
Here's a full credit roll from Davidson Price:

https://youtu.be/PFHhGnu4oP0?t=1262

And if anybody is curious and has enough free time, here's a credit roll from a daytime episode from around the same time:

https://youtu.be/Rd7Fq_nmOWo?t=2471

With the exception of adding Jay Wolpert and Andy Felsher instead of Roger and Paul Alter, the rest of the credits are pretty much the same names but sometimes under slightly different titles.
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: clemon79 on January 11, 2019, 07:30:04 PM
Pyramid needs 2 seasons to cultivate and prove its worth, that's the kind of show it is.

Alternately, they could not shoot the entire season in three weeks, and learn and implement things along the way.
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: The Ol' Guy on January 11, 2019, 07:54:07 PM
Agreeing that it might be worth separating the two versions of The Price Is Right. Chipper Mr. Cullen had to carry a whole half-hour of the exact same game play over and over, so his personality carried a repetitive game. Barker was a fine guide through dozens of mini-games that created excitement through variety. Put the occasionally sardonic Barker in the 50s-60s Price and I wonder if he wouldn't get too bored to enjoy it. Truth or Consequences being another example. Barker shines well when he guides different contestants through individual events. Different formats, different skills.
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: danderson on January 11, 2019, 08:35:06 PM
Haven't talked about Dawson yet, but i feel the downfall of Feud was when they went to 400 points.   Dawson was more of a generic host in that era rather than  the rapier like wit that he showed before hand. But it really wasn't his fault.
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: TLEberle on January 11, 2019, 08:41:48 PM
Haven't talked about Dawson yet, but i feel the downfall of Feud was when they went to 400 points.   Dawson was more of a generic host in that era rather than  the rapier like wit that he showed before hand. But it really wasn't his fault.
Someone can cite the source or back me up on this, but I recall that the change to 400 points was not just to get more game in, but to get Richard to move things along and not spend so much time talking our ears off.
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: BillCullen1 on January 11, 2019, 10:47:02 PM

Hollywood Squares: Bergeron, Marshall, Davidson, Bowser.

Match Game: 70s Rayburn, Shafer, Baldwin, Burger


I had totally forgotten about Bowzer and Michael Burger as hosts. Bowzer's version of HS had some format issues. A wrong decision by the player gave the square to the opponent, even if it resulted in a win. But Bowzer did the best he could with what he was given. As for Burger's version of MG, when you have to bleep out about 1/3 of the answers, something's wrong. Plus Judy Tenuta was like finger nails on a blackboard.
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: BillCullen1 on January 11, 2019, 11:49:11 PM
Here's a few I don't think we've discussed:

Concentration - Narz, Trebek, Clayton. Never saw H Downs or E McMahon host
SOTC - Perry over Garagiola. Never saw Jack Kelly host.
Gong Show - I liked Gary Owens over Chuckie Baby
You Don't Say - Kennedy over Peck
LMAD - Monty of course, then Brady, Hilton and (ugh) Billy Bush
T or C - Barker (natch), then Hilton and Larry Anderson
Dealers Choice - Jack Clark over Bob Hastings
Cross Wits - Jack Clark over David Sparks
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: Sonic Whammy on January 12, 2019, 12:58:36 PM
Someone can cite the source or back me up on this, but I recall that the change to 400 points was not just to get more game in, but to get Richard to move things along and not spend so much time talking our ears off.
Yes, that was alluded to in that infamous 1984 TV Guide article on the game show hosts that pretty much damned Dawson, and rightly so.
Wink: "He's a guy who's caught the tail end of a rocket, and he's not handling it well."
Monty: "He goes out there, does his W.C. Fields act, they have to edit it all out. That's arrogance."

Combine those comments with the fact that Richard refused to do the article unless he was alone on the cover of that issue, and the "wheels" started falling off the wagon for Feud.

To be perfectly honest, for as much as so many of us put Dawson at #1 of all the Feud hosts (and on the side, Bob at #1 with Price), we forget that the ego DID play a role in harming the show as time went on. If you truly are the best, you don't let that get in the way. Ever. There has to be more of an appreciation for the the show, its success and, like I said before, a realization that as much as you become linked to the show, you are not the star, it's not about you. It's the contestants and the game. Now, I'm NOT saying that Steve (or Drew) should automatically ascend to #1 because of things like this, but this is something that it forever looks like almost everyone here just doesn't count against them at all.

Think about that. Really.
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: JasonA1 on January 12, 2019, 07:01:52 PM
Someone can cite the source or back me up on this, but I recall that the change to 400 points was not just to get more game in, but to get Richard to move things along and not spend so much time talking our ears off.

I think the source was our collective conjecture, which I thought would be correct. But the last time I saw Cathy Dawson, I had just seen a 400-point show on YouTube or Buzzr, and asked her if she remembered why they changed the winning goal. She couldn't recall. When I suggested the reason you gave, she said she had no problem during her tenure as producer getting Richard to take a "speed up" signal. In the conversation that followed, the implication I gathered was that Howard would let Richard ramble, which gave them carte blanche to edit down the show the way they saw fit. If the show was brought in closer to time, there was less opportunity to edit.

In fairness to all parties, I'll merely say this is one side of the story. Because I'm still gobsmacked why else they'd make such a wacky change at that point in the run.

-Jason
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: JakeT on January 12, 2019, 07:21:09 PM
Someone can cite the source or back me up on this, but I recall that the change to 400 points was not just to get more game in, but to get Richard to move things along and not spend so much time talking our ears off.

I think the source was our collective conjecture, which I thought would be correct. But the last time I saw Cathy Dawson, I had just seen a 400-point show on YouTube or Buzzr, and asked her if she remembered why they changed the winning goal. She couldn't recall. When I suggested the reason you gave, she said she had no problem during her tenure as producer getting Richard to take a "speed up" signal. In the conversation that followed, the implication I gathered was that Howard would let Richard ramble, which gave them carte blanche to edit down the show the way they saw fit. If the show was brought in closer to time, there was less opportunity to edit.

In fairness to all parties, I'll merely say this is one side of the story. Because I'm still gobsmacked why else they'd make such a wacky change at that point in the run.


And, in all fairness, Cathy was speaking about her (former) father-in-law, right?  I wouldn't necessarily expect her to speak ill of him...

JakeT
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: JasonA1 on January 12, 2019, 08:03:47 PM
And, in all fairness, Cathy was speaking about her (former) father-in-law, right?  I wouldn't necessarily expect her to speak ill of him...

Exactly. But I equally have no reason to believe she was any less than honest with me. I merely said it because it's the fact of the matter.

And thinking about it more, one of the theories we worked up in trying to remember the reason they switched the format was perhaps it made the length of the game more predictable? The last format, for those that don't remember, was 4 Single questions, then a Double, then a Triple. Those 400-point games, IIRC, most often ended at question 6, but could end at question 5. You'd have to have had some really bad rounds to necessitate a 7th question.

The daytime format just prior to the switch was Single-Single-Double-Double-Triple to 300, which was much more volatile. Not a great theory, but it's a theory.

-Jason
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: TLEberle on January 12, 2019, 09:58:41 PM
Even when you consider the R&R and Sports versions, Jeopardy has had, IMO, four solid hosts. ALEX, then Art, then Jeff, then Dan. Dan is the lowest of the four, but not because he was bad. I REALLY liked Probst, but I can't put him in front of two legendary hosts.

Wheel: Woolery, Goen, Sajak, Benirschke: I know the role is mainly traffic cop, but there are ways to go about it, and it feels like Pat's been phoning it in for more than a decade. Even if you only count his work through 2000, I'd still put Goen and Woolery ahead.
While my only disagreement is with your assessment of Dan Patrick (I put him far below even Jeff Probst) what I like is the question about Wheel of Fortune's host. To wit: Would you prefer someone who is polished and professional but aloof and caustic, or someone who does not have the conventional tool-set but makes up for it with boundless enthusiasm and empathy. As it happens I enjoyed the daytime Wheel with Bob Goen because he had equal parts polish and enthusiasm, so I guess he vaults to the front of the line with Chuck just behind.
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: beatlefreak84 on January 12, 2019, 10:29:44 PM
I'll preface this with saying that I'm only going to do the "big 4" (minus J!) and Pyramid because, while other shows may have had many hosts, they were in different versions that, in my opinion, were different enough to where we may be judging the host against the version of the show instead of the host on his/her own merits.  As an example, for Match Game, comparing Rayburn to Shafer, to me, is like apples to oranges because Shafer's version had such dramatic differences in play.  Similarly, I don't think it's fair to compare Trebek to Probst for J! because they hosted very different versions of the show, aimed at different audiences.  Of course, YMMV.

That said, here are my rankings:

TPIR:  Barker, Carey, Kennedy, James, Davidson (Carey at #2 due to his longevity and carrying the show nicely into the 21st century, James at #4 because I just didn't like his more "traditional" style of hosting for the show)

Wheel:  Sajak, Woolery, Goen, Benirshke  (Goen and Woolery are a toss-up to me, but I disagree with those who say Sajak "phones it in"; I rather describe it as being on "autopilot" and instead runs it like a well-oiled machine)

Feud:  Dawson, Combs, Harvey, O'Hurley, Karn, Anderson (The last three are way down the list, IMO, but I rank Dawson as #1 slightly ahead of Combs due in part to lasting longer than Combs but also knowing how to take the seriousness of the game in balance with the goofy answers the best.  Harvey is definitely an excellent fit for the modern-day Feud, but he still hasn't quite found the balance between serious game play and hilarious "YouTube-worthy" answers, although he has gotten better.)

Pyramid:  Clark, Cullen, Strahan, Osmond, Richards, Davidson  (Again, the last three are way down the list; to me, both Osmond and Richards felt too wooden, and Davidson...'nuff said there)

My wife and I actually spent the better part of a night out discussing these rankings, so kudos to the OP for interesting dinner conversation!

\beats discussing bills

Anthony
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: TimK2003 on January 12, 2019, 10:59:35 PM
Someone can cite the source or back me up on this, but I recall that the change to 400 points was not just to get more game in, but to get Richard to move things along and not spend so much time talking our ears off.
Yes, that was alluded to in that infamous 1984 TV Guide article on the game show hosts that pretty much damned Dawson, and rightly so.
Wink: "He's a guy who's caught the tail end of a rocket, and he's not handling it well."
Monty: "He goes out there, does his W.C. Fields act, they have to edit it all out. That's arrogance."

Combine those comments with the fact that Richard refused to do the article unless he was alone on the cover of that issue, and the "wheels" started falling off the wagon for Feud.

To be perfectly honest, for as much as so many of us put Dawson at #1 of all the Feud hosts (and on the side, Bob at #1 with Price), we forget that the ego DID play a role in harming the show as time went on. If you truly are the best, you don't let that get in the way. Ever. There has to be more of an appreciation for the the show, its success and, like I said before, a realization that as much as you become linked to the show, you are not the star, it's not about you. It's the contestants and the game. Now, I'm NOT saying that Steve (or Drew) should automatically ascend to #1 because of things like this, but this is something that it forever looks like almost everyone here just doesn't count against them at all.

I, for one, put Ray Combs ahead of Dawson (and everyone else) on Feud.   As personable and genuine Richard was towards most families who appeared on the show, I never felt that same warmth as a viewer.  To me, Ray Combs seemed to be a bit more personable and upbeat to the average TV viewer who was not in the studio with the rest of them.   Ray did not go looking to kiss every woman on the set like Richard did.  And by the end of Dawson's first run, it felt like every family was required to bring along some sort of gift, hat, shirt or what-not to bestow upon his highness.  When they tried to bring Richard back for the post-Combs incarnation, he didn't bring anything different with him, and what he did bring was so out of date, if you could understand it between his soft-spoken mumbling.

Dawson's schtick was always predictable on Match Game as well and I was happy to see him leave that show, although his semi-regular replacements (McLean Stevenson and Bill Daily) were annoying in their own right.  Someone already mentioned his "W.C. Fields" persona which he alternated with his Stan Laurel and Groucho Marx impressions with at least one of those impressions seemingly appearing on nearly every episode. 

Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: TLEberle on January 12, 2019, 11:23:39 PM
My wife and I actually spent the better part of a night out discussing these rankings, so kudos to the OP for interesting dinner conversation!
Not for nothing, but hang on tight--you found a keeper. :)

Quote
Beats discussing bills
Hopefully something will arrive in the mail in a few months that will help out.

Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: MSTieScott on January 14, 2019, 02:24:29 PM
Someone already mentioned his "W.C. Fields" persona which he alternated with his Stan Laurel and Groucho Marx impressions with at least one of those impressions seemingly appearing on nearly every episode.

I don't know whether there was ever any concern among the producers of the '70s Match Game about appearing too similar to Hollywood Squares, but the fact that Richard Dawson would default to a Paul Lynde impersonation whenever he didn't have an actual joke to deliver couldn't have been great.


Years ago, when I was at a coworker's party, a former Feud producer, upon learning I was a game show fan, asked me who my favorite Family Feud host was. I realized that I don't really have an answer to that question. I don't know exactly what the perfect Feud host should be, but in my opinion, both Dawson and Combs had their weaknesses that prevent them from being the ideal by which all other hosts should be judged. (To build on Tim's observation, to the extent that Dawson focused too much on the contestants over the experience of the at-home audience, Combs played too much to the audience at the expense of the contestants.)
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: Neumms on January 14, 2019, 08:28:28 PM
I'd also reason that Pyramid is a "traffic cop" kind of show. The host does very little, his is not the dominant voice.

A Pyramid host doesnít read questions and isnít in every shot, but this short changes the job Dick did. He did such an amazing job of setting a suspenseful tone yet wasnít manic. His love for the gameógranted itís one of the best pure games everómade it so involving. The Dating Game was an easy gig. Put Jim Lange on Pyramid and it would fall woefully flat.

I defend Sajak, too. When something out of the ordinary happens or thereís an interesting contestant, heís still quick on the draw. Itís just that the show has become rote. A new host would bring life to it, but thatís by novelty. Pat is one of very few to only host one show, so heís hard to judge, but Iíd love him on Jeopardy and, though itís wildly different, even Letís Make a Deal. Heís smooth enough for the dealing and heíd be great playing off wild contestants.
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: BrandonFG on January 14, 2019, 08:46:04 PM
I'd also reason that Pyramid is a "traffic cop" kind of show. The host does very little, his is not the dominant voice.

A Pyramid host doesnít read questions and isnít in every shot, but this short changes the job Dick did. He did such an amazing job of setting a suspenseful tone yet wasnít manic. His love for the gameógranted itís one of the best pure games everómade it so involving. The Dating Game was an easy gig. Put Jim Lange on Pyramid and it would fall woefully flat.
Agreed. Watch a Winner's Circle loss, and see how Dick walks up with the perfect clue that immediately sets off a light bulb. Another clip comes to mind where the contestant got the winning answer at the buzzer, but the judges needed the commercial break to confirm. Dick's delivering the news that the contestant indeed won 10K was beautiful. I don't see a traffic cop host, or even one like Davidson (way out of his element here) pulling that off.
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: whewfan on January 14, 2019, 09:04:53 PM
Jim Lange barely had to host DG at all... he introduced the bachelor and bachelorettes (or vice versa) and stood at his podium for the rest of the segment, only been shown for facial reactions or laughter. Similar with Elaine Joyce, only difference was that she stood next to the contestant, which appeared awkward at times, never really saying anything. When Jeff MacGregor took over, he did contribute more with snappy comments during questioning. They also briefly had a Love Connection like segment where a DG couple talked about the date. For some reason, this did not carry over into the second season. When Chuck Woolery hosted the late 90s version, he reasoned that he couldn't just sit back and watch, whenever he had a snappy comment to make, he never hesitated to do that, and it was a perfect fit with his experience with Love Connection. As for the Brad Sherwood version... that was a different animal... he definitely had a larger role as host. If I recall correctly, one of the biggest differences was that the bachelor was allowed to SEE the bachelorettes (and vice versa) but I think they didn't necessarily sit in the same order as they were introduced, but I am going by fuzzy memory and don't feel like checking YouTube. They later did a "salute to the original DG" by having daisies on the set, and not being allowed to see each other... then later in the run that became permanent.
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: BrandonFG on January 14, 2019, 09:11:09 PM
If I recall correctly, one of the biggest differences was that the bachelor was allowed to SEE the bachelorettes (and vice versa) but I think they didn't necessarily sit in the same order as they were introduced
Correct. They mixed up the order so that the bachelor(ette) wouldn't automatically pick the person (s)he saw in the order in which they entered. So, it was Dating Game-esque in that it was still a blind pick.
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: Fedya on January 15, 2019, 05:15:50 AM
Quote
Agreed. Watch a Winner's Circle loss, and see how Dick walks up with the perfect clue that immediately sets off a light bulb.

it might be even more fun when he comes up with a clue that backfires.  I'm reminded of one time Teresa Ganzel (I think) couldn't get the receiver to come up with THINGS AT A DISCOTHEQUE, so after the round Dick comes over with the "perfect" clue: a disc jockey.  Teresa responds, "You can say that?", and Dick suddenly realizes he's just given an illegal clue.
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: KrisW73 on January 15, 2019, 02:48:51 PM
...Another clip comes to mind where the contestant got the winning answer at the buzzer, but the judges needed the commercial break to confirm. Dick's delivering the news that the contestant indeed won 10K was beautiful. I don't see a traffic cop host, or even one like Davidson (way out of his element here) pulling that off...

Agree 100% - and here's the clip!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LAvUcPEwf8 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LAvUcPEwf8)
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: jage on January 15, 2019, 05:01:24 PM
TO my ear, flannel comes after the beginning of the buzzer. But hey, it helps the contestant so good for her.
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: rebelwrest on January 15, 2019, 11:13:35 PM
TO my ear, flannel comes after the beginning of the buzzer. But hey, it helps the contestant so good for her.

This was my response to a similar comment on that video:

Quote
She may have started after the buzzer, but go back to after getting the $50 box. Notice the small gap between the turning the $50 box and the turning of the $100 box. With a call that close, you have to think the contestant would have gotten Flannel out before the buzzer if that gap didn't exist.
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: jage on January 16, 2019, 12:02:26 AM
Yup very fair point. Who knows if that was considered in the original airing, but it worked out for the best.
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: rebelwrest on January 16, 2019, 06:05:48 PM
I'd also reason that Pyramid is a "traffic cop" kind of show. The host does very little, his is not the dominant voice.

A Pyramid host doesnít read questions and isnít in every shot, but this short changes the job Dick did. He did such an amazing job of setting a suspenseful tone yet wasnít manic. His love for the gameógranted itís one of the best pure games everómade it so involving.

Dick Clark's hosting of Pyramid also got him what may be the best written tribute to game show host ever.  This was written just after he passed away back in April of 2012.

http://gameological.com/2012/04/a-game-of-sounds/index.html (http://gameological.com/2012/04/a-game-of-sounds/index.html)
Title: Re: Which host was better?
Post by: PYLdude on January 16, 2019, 09:46:27 PM
If I recall correctly, one of the biggest differences was that the bachelor was allowed to SEE the bachelorettes (and vice versa) but I think they didn't necessarily sit in the same order as they were introduced
Correct. They mixed up the order so that the bachelor(ette) wouldn't automatically pick the person (s)he saw in the order in which they entered. So, it was Dating Game-esque in that it was still a blind pick.

This was only for certain episodes though. I believe the majority of them consisted of the prospective dates all knowing each other's names, if nothing else.

(At least I think those were the majority. The ones described here, the "Looks/Personality" phase of the show as I've called it, didn't seem like they were the norm.)