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Author Topic: New Survey: Greatest Succession Game Show Hosts  (Read 2532 times)

Sonic Whammy

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Greatest Succession Game Show Hosts: THE RESULTS
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2020, 05:05:17 PM »
All right, enough pretense, you've waited long enough. Here's the Top 9 as voted on by all of you:

#9: MICHAEL STRAHAN succeeds "Mr. Pyramid" Dick Clark (57 points on 15 votes)
I'm inclined to believe that part of the praise here is owed to the fact that this version of Pyramid is the most intricately similar to the 80s CBS pinnacle. That said, Strahan has proven himself to be a very likable host who runs the game very smoothly. Dick Clark would be proud.

#8: MEREDITH VIEIRA succeeds "Mr. Millionaire" Regis Philbin (64 points on 17 votes)
How do you replace a man who captivated the nation with such a bombastic style as Regis? Simple, you maintain the calm, cool and serious side of the game where the (usually) biggest prize in all of television is on the line. Meredith had all of that in spades, but wasn't afraid to admit to being a "horny old woman" once or twice. A side note: Meredith was the only one in the Top 9 to not get a #1 vote.

#7: DREW CAREY succeeds "Mr. Price Is Right" Bob Barker (74 points on 15 votes)
If we had done this survey 10 years ago, Drew would have been nowhere near this conversation. Yes, those first three years were rough, as evidenced by the scores of Golden Road critics who'd all say "Bob would never do that" on a daily basis. That said, I think when he got serious about his health in 2010, the mindset change bled into his hosting style as well. He found his voice, hit a groove, and acceptance and praise started coming. Nowadays, there's only maybe one person who refuses to accept that he'll ever be any good at all.

#6: RAY COMBS succeeds "Mr. Family Feud" Richard Dawson (88 points on 21 votes)
Ray was the first pure comedian to host Feud, given his days in standup and as a go-to warmup guy. It shows when you see how closely his style of handling contestants' crazy real answers emulates Richard's, but with a little more play-along-with-it smoothness. Sadly, as great as Ray was, it's a shame that Feud was also his biggest curse, as when the success faded, so too did he all too quickly.

#5: WAYNE BRADY succeeds "Mr. Let's Make A Deal" Monty Hall (91 points on 23 votes)
Monty made it forever evident how much LMAD requires an ultimate sense of improvisational timing due to the wild reactions and conversations with the costumed contestants. To that end, Wayne has proven to be such a master of using his natural improv background to give every contestant a way to shine for the world, yet not changing the natural wildness of it all one bit. It's even better that everyone on the cast and crew gets involved in the action, too, be it Jonathan, Tiffany, Cat or even stage director Chris the Money Fairy. They're a true family on that show, a vibe I don't think any other game show has.

#4: PAT SAJAK succeeds "Mr. Wheel" Chuck Woolery (93 points on 19 votes)
I knew when I started this, there was gonna be some gray area with a few select shows that could legitimately claim that they've had two iconic standard-setting hosts. Here's the first of them. We may not think of Chuck as Mr. Wheel much now, but he endeared us to himself for 7 years with his "Aw shucks, I goofed up again" Kentucky charm, and his chemistry with Susan Stafford was top notch. Not a bad standard for a rookie host to have set, and only to have another rookie perhaps even greener than he was take over. Combining low key calling of the action with left field zingers aplenty that he doesn't care if they sound corny when he says them, Pat's done... pretty good for the past 39 years, I think.

#3: BOB BARKER succeeds "Mr. Price Is Right" Bill Cullen (94 points on 15 votes)
If an argument is to be made whether the Dean of Game Shows was ever a Mr. any game show at all, the biggest case would have to be made to his longest success, The Price Is Right. Those 9 years made Bill more synonymous with a game show than I've Got A Secret ever could because he shown on his own, not in an ensemble. (Plus, hey, The Flintstones paid tribute to him!) For that reason, Barker's 35 years of on-camera talent and legacy find their way here. And if we try to put all of that into words, we'll be here forever. The fact that almost every ballot that named Bob had him at #1 or #2 speaks to that.

#2: TOM BERGERON succeeds "Mr. Hollywood Squares" Peter Marshall (102 points on 23 votes)
"The Master" has said in many stories before how Hollywood Squares is like a big party that you can't let your guests forget you are the host of. Peter proved this by playing the straight man to his great regulars who he let have the zing and then reel them back in to play the game. Tom took it in the other direction, unafraid to join in on the zings himself, making the laughs all the louder, and still tying it all together in a neat bow. His was a phenomenal performance for 6 years, with "You fool!" and April Fool's Day being the two biggest cherries on the sundae. And destined greatness was sure to come.


And before we get to the #1, here are a couple quick Honorable Mentions:


STEVE HARVEY succeeds "Mr. Family Feud" Richard Dawson (36 points on 9 votes, #10 overall)
Full disclosure: Steve is the reason I started this survey to begin with, and he was my #2. You've heard my rants arguing for him in the past here, especially now that he's the longest tenured host in Feud's history. I had to know if he's gained ANY cred with the fandom. Evidently, a little, but...

BOB BARKER succeeds "Mr. Truth Or Consequences" Ralph Edwards (13 points on 2 votes, #20 overall)
While I knew that this survey was meant to cast a spotlight on most recent decades of television, I was shocked that only one other person besides me acknowledged this at all. This was my #1 with a bullet. Ralph created and grew this baby for 16 years between radio and TV. I debated whether Ralph was really thought of as Mr. Truth until realizing hey, how can you not be after you get a U.S. city to rename themselves after your show! Bob's legacy began here on Ralph's eye for the future, carrying the last audience participation show of its kind for 19 more years, way past the relevance that kind of show ever had on television anymore. And one wonders, without Ralph's discovery, would we even be talking about The Price Is Right in the present day?


And finally...


#1: ALEX TREBEK succeeds "Mr. Jeopardy" Art Fleming (179 points on 28 votes)
This was a landslide, and I'm not surprised. 16 of the 28 ballots he appeared on, complete or not, had Alex in the top spot. But he wouldn't he here if not for Art Fleming's pedigree and influence.

Out of the three gray area hosts that made this list, Art Fleming being seen as the original Mr. Jeopardy was easily the strongest case. It is the one and only show he is known for, solidified by 11 years of intelligent dapperness that would seem out of place on almost any other game show you could try to pair it with. And, lest we forget, WEIRD AL! If being in one of his videos that's dedicated to your show doesn't cement your place in pop culture, much less game shows, I don't know what does.

As for Alex himself, we all watched his transformation from the sarcastic & goofy humor of his other shows to the serious atmosphere that Jeopardy demanded back in Fleming's day. Coupled with his extensive work and research behind the scenes, he is seen today as the host who knows all, and probably does. It is why we debate so anxiously to this day who would make a fan-based list like this one in another 5 or 10 years, because the man who will forever be Mr. Jeopardy now has left a mark that feels almost impossible to follow.


And that's the Top 9. Below is the rest of the list, including a few I actually feel bad that I didn't think of, whehter I put them on my list or not. And one person threw in a little international flavor, too.

Enjoy, debate and discuss what we hath wrought from this. I thank you all for taking part.

10) Steve Harvey (Feud, 36 pts, 9 votes)
11) Tom Kennedy (Password, 34 pts, 7 votes)
12) Alec Baldwin (Match Game, 33 pts, 7 votes)
13) Elizabeth Banks (PYL, 28 pts, 9 votes)
13) Bert Convy (Password, 28 pts, 9 votes)
15) Garry Moore (TTTT, 28 pts, 7 votes)
16) George Gray (Weakest Link, 19 pts, 6 votes)
17) Bob Eubanks (Card Sharks, 15 pts, 4 votes)
18) Bill Cullen (Joker, 14 pts, 4 votes)
19) Alex Trebek (Concentration, 14 pts, 3 votes)
20) Bob Barker (Truth or Consequences, 13 pts, 2 votes)
21) Todd Newton (PYL, 10 pts, 4 votes)
22) Bill Rafferty (Card Sharks, 10 pts, 3 votes)
22) Anthony Anderson (TTTT, 10 pts, 3 votes)
22) Jimmy Kimmel (Millionaire, 10 pts, 3 votes)
25) Bill Rafferty (Blockbusters, 10 pts, 2 votes)
26) Donny Osmond (Pyramid, 8 pts, 1 vote)
26) Bob Clayton (Concentration, 8 pts, 1 vote)
28) Jack Narz (Concentration, 7 pts, 4 votes)
29) Laura Moure (La ruleta de la suerte, 7 pts, 1 vote)
30) Bob Goen (Wheel, 6 pts, 3 votes)
31) Bill Cullen (Pyramid, 6 pts, 1 vote)
32) Chris Harrison (Millionaire, 5 pts, 2 votes)
33) Jim Caldwell (Tic Tac Dough, 5 pts, 1 vote)
33) John O'Hurley (Feud, 5 pts, 1 vote)
33) Liza Koshy (Double Dare, 5 pts, 1 vote)
36) Michael Berger (Match, 4 pts, 1 vote)
36) Robert Earle (College Bowl, 4 pts, 1 vote)
38) Richard Karn (Feud, 3 pts, 1 vote)
38) John Davidson (Squares, 3 pts, 1 vote)
40) Takeshi Kaga (Time Shock, 2 pts, 1 vote)
40) Pat Finn (The Big Spin, 2 pts, 1 vote)
40) Sherri Shepherd (Newlywed, 2 pts, 1 vote)
43) Tom Kennedy (Price, 1 pt, 1 vote)
43) Larry Blyden (What's My Line, 1 pt, 1 vote)
43) Rachel Riley (Countdown, 1 pt, 1 vote)
43) Jim Lange (Name That Tune, 1 pt, 1 vote)
43) Gordon Elliott (TTTT, 1 pt, 1 vote)
« Last Edit: September 15, 2020, 12:21:13 AM by Sonic Whammy »
Brian Sapinski

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Chuck Sutton

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Re: New Survey: Greatest Succession Game Show Hosts
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2020, 07:29:45 PM »
As for honorable  mention,  when I first saw your survey, it screamed Steve Harvey.

Under his tenure a show near cancellation was again often the #1 syndicated game show.  His tenure has exceeded Dawson.  But it is not just that. Without his Feud the whole game show landscape would be different.

The success of Feud with Harvey,  lead to a  prime time network spinoff.

The success of the primetime spinoff leads ABC to create the summer fun and games.

The other revivals probably do not happen without the ratings success of Celebrity Family Feud.

According to Anthony Anderson, ABC and Fremantle were already talking to him about reviving TTTT, before he appeared on Celebrity Feud.  Would it have gone beyond talking if Celebrity Feud had failed?

Mike Tennant

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Re: Greatest Succession Game Show Hosts: THE RESULTS
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2020, 12:08:19 PM »
BOB BARKER succeeds "Mr. Truth Or Consequences" Raplh Edwards (13 points on 2 votes, #20 overall)
While I knew that this survey was meant to cast a spotlight on most recent decades of television, I was shocked that only one other person besides me acknowledged this at all. This was my #1 with a bullet. Ralph created and grew this baby for 16 years between radio and TV. I debated whether Ralph was really thought of as Mr. Truth until realizing hey, how can you not be after you get a U.S. city to rename themselves after your show!
And have them name a park after you: https://sierracountyevents.com/locations/ralph-edwards-park/

Yes, I'm the other person who picked Barker on T or C (I mentioned but spoiler-hid it when I asked a question earlier in the thread so as not to skew the survey results), but I'll also admit that I tend not to watch newer shows (I probably would have voted for Wayne and/or Drew if I did) and I'm a big Barker fan (for his emceeing, not for his personal and professional behavior). I had Barker for T or C at #3 and for TPIR at #1, with Trebek in between, though those three could have gone in just about any order, and I certainly wouldn't quibble with Trebek's ending up at #1.

jjman920

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Re: New Survey: Greatest Succession Game Show Hosts
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2020, 02:48:57 PM »
It's weird. I know Cullen's Price had fun little games for contestants to play as a bonus for winning their prize, but I've never really been on board comparing Cullen to Barker. I just think The New Price is Right added so much to the format, especially when it went hour long, that the shows are practically night and day. With every other entry in this Top 10 and even the honorable mentions, the host that "succeeded" did so with a show that made little to no changes by the time that host begin hosting it.
Me: Of all of the game shows you've hosted besides Jeopardy!, like High Rollers or Classic Concentration, which is your favorite?
Alex Trebek: I'd have to say To Tell The Truth, because it was the first time in my career that I got to sit down while I was hosting.

PYLdude

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Re: New Survey: Greatest Succession Game Show Hosts
« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2020, 05:00:42 PM »
Chris Harrison got no love. Sad. I feel he gave them a shot in the arm they so desperately needed and probably bought them a couple extra years.

But who does he qualify as the replacement for, Regis or Meredith? I would assume the latter?
Still crazy after all these years...but that's okay.

"I suppose you can still learn stuff on TLC, though it would be more in the Goofus & Gallant sense, that is (don't do what these parents did)"- Travis Eberle, August 2012

Sonic Whammy

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Re: New Survey: Greatest Succession Game Show Hosts
« Reply #20 on: September 10, 2020, 11:27:44 PM »
Chris Harrison got no love. Sad. I feel he gave them a shot in the arm they so desperately needed and probably bought them a couple extra years.

But who does he qualify as the replacement for, Regis or Meredith? I would assume the latter?
Since Millionaire has always been considered Regis' show because of the fame it first got under his watch, all of them succeed him. I will say it's cool that you call Meredith Ms. Millionaire, too, though. What do you rest of you think? (And for the record, Harrison was #7 on my list.)

It's weird. I know Cullen's Price had fun little games for contestants to play as a bonus for winning their prize, but I've never really been on board comparing Cullen to Barker. I just think The New Price is Right added so much to the format, especially when it went hour long, that the shows are practically night and day. With every other entry in this Top 10 and even the honorable mentions, the host that "succeeded" did so with a show that made little to no changes by the time that host begin hosting it.
Reboots of shows under the same title still qualified for this. (Come to think of it, did any other shows mentioned on this list have a reboot that was dramatically different than the original?) The question still comes down to whether Bill was with the show long enough and linked to it intensely enough by viewers to be seen as Mr. Price for his time and still at the time when the host that followed (Bob) started? I had to feel that the answer was yes. (More on that in a minute.)

(Trebek, Barker and Sajak) could have gone in just about any order, and I certainly wouldn't quibble with Trebek's ending up at #1.
Could you tell my friend that? He's literally the only person this whole time who's cried foul over this outcome. (Read back a few posts in this thread on what he kept telling me.)
Brian Sapinski

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TLEberle

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Re: New Survey: Greatest Succession Game Show Hosts
« Reply #21 on: September 11, 2020, 10:23:07 PM »
Chris Harrison got no love. Sad. I feel he gave them a shot in the arm they so desperately needed and probably bought them a couple extra years.
I would give him love over several of the top answers in the survey, and Bob Goen too. I don't think I would have put either of them higher than the #7 that I gave to Jim Perry which was denied because "Joe Garagiola wasn't Mr. Sale of the Century." Harrumph. And apparently there were other votes that were spiked. Perhaps "pinch runner" would be a better metaphor because I don't recall anyone but Allen Ludden being called "Mr. (X)"

Quote
But who does he qualify as the replacement for, Regis or Meredith? I would assume the latter?
It is a greatly missed opportunity that Mr. Harrison didn't slide in for Meredith when she gave it up. As much as I loved the enthusiasm that Terry brought Chris was able to hit the ground running with the game and was already a polished host at that point.
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chargeradiocom

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Re: New Survey: Greatest Succession Game Show Hosts
« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2020, 05:49:46 PM »
As for honorable  mention,  when I first saw your survey, it screamed Steve Harvey.

Under his tenure a show near cancellation was again often the #1 syndicated game show.  His tenure has exceeded Dawson.  But it is not just that. Without his Feud the whole game show landscape would be different.

The success of Feud with Harvey,  lead to a  prime time network spinoff.

The success of the primetime spinoff leads ABC to create the summer fun and games.

The other revivals probably do not happen without the ratings success of Celebrity Family Feud.

According to Anthony Anderson, ABC and Fremantle were already talking to him about reviving TTTT, before he appeared on Celebrity Feud.  Would it have gone beyond talking if Celebrity Feud had failed?
Here’s my thing about Steve Harvey: After his first season, I’d have probably considered him the best Feud host since Dawson. But then it felt like he just kept repeating the same schtick, which dropped him down a couple positions in my view. (Though to be fair, he does seem to have gotten out of that cycle a bit in more recent seasons.) I think his run is also tinted for some of us by the constant barrage of raunchy humor, & just the fact that it’s on TV so dang much. Not that either of those is directly Steve’s fault, necessarily, but those may be reasons his run isn’t viewed more favorably in GS fandom.

That said, you do make a persuasive argument for why he belongs in this conversation.

The one I’m really surprised didn’t get more love in this survey is John O’Hurley. I thought his runs both on Feud and TTTT were pretty highly regarded around here.

WhammyPower

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Re: New Survey: Greatest Succession Game Show Hosts
« Reply #23 on: September 12, 2020, 06:28:29 PM »
The one I’m really surprised didn’t get more love in this survey is John O’Hurley. I thought his runs both on Feud and TTTT were pretty highly regarded around here.
When whom you're replacing on Feud is Richard Karn and Louie Anderson, pretty much anyone will look like royalty.

jage

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Re: New Survey: Greatest Succession Game Show Hosts
« Reply #24 on: September 12, 2020, 06:50:13 PM »
O’Hurley did a decent job, but I bet outside of this forum less than 1% would know who he was. The entries on the top 9 generally established themselves as a recognizable figure associated with the show in question.

ChrisLambert!

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Re: New Survey: Greatest Succession Game Show Hosts
« Reply #25 on: September 12, 2020, 07:12:29 PM »
or those who watched the most popular sitcom of the ‘90s, but you know.
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cyclone45

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Re: New Survey: Greatest Succession Game Show Hosts
« Reply #26 on: September 13, 2020, 08:40:30 PM »
I'm probably in the minority, but I think Davidson did an amicable job on Squares . That said, I grew up with his version, so...

Sonic Whammy

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Re: New Survey: Greatest Succession Game Show Hosts
« Reply #27 on: September 15, 2020, 12:28:46 AM »
I'm probably in the minority, but I think Davidson did an amicable job on Squares . That said, I grew up with his version, so...
I'd say we all did around these parts. We needed GSN in 2002 in order to finally see Peter, even if we learned of it long before then.

BTW, looking back over the list, a couple other names I feel bad we let slip save for one person each:
Robert Earle, the other Golden Age host here, and effectively one-hit wonder in the process
Pat Finn, proof lottery game shows deserve a little more love thanks to him and Geoff
Brian Sapinski

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PYLdude

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Re: New Survey: Greatest Succession Game Show Hosts
« Reply #28 on: September 15, 2020, 12:42:19 AM »
Davidson wasn’t bad, but the show was just so badly produced. Two full rounds of play and no traffic cop as a host equals bad. Bauman was no Peter Marshall but he kept the game rolling. (Then again, the production staff at Goodson was light years ahead of the one at Century Towers, so...)

Harry Friedman wasn’t working his magic back then unfortunately.
Still crazy after all these years...but that's okay.

"I suppose you can still learn stuff on TLC, though it would be more in the Goofus & Gallant sense, that is (don't do what these parents did)"- Travis Eberle, August 2012

SuperMatch93

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Re: New Survey: Greatest Succession Game Show Hosts
« Reply #29 on: September 15, 2020, 08:31:40 AM »
I'm probably in the minority, but I think Davidson did an amicable job on Squares . That said, I grew up with his version, so...
I'd say we all did around these parts. We needed GSN in 2002 in order to finally see Peter, even if we learned of it long before then.

BTW, looking back over the list, a couple other names I feel bad we let slip save for one person each:
Robert Earle, the other Golden Age host here, and effectively one-hit wonder in the process
Pat Finn, proof lottery game shows deserve a little more love thanks to him and Geoff

I was the one who voted for Earle because having seen both him and Ludden host the show, I felt he gave a lot of energy to an otherwise dry (but still wonderful) game.

As someone who grew up with Bergeron Squares and having not seen an episode of Davidson until recently, I do think Tom was better than John when it came to avoiding Mr. Game Show Syndrome. Not to mention that everything about 80s Squares came off to me as the type of overly cheesy game show you'd see on a sitcom.
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