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Groovy Game Shows – Some of America’s Favorites!

Entertainment | December 3, 2018

A Contestant Coaxing -The Big Wheel Round Bob Barker, and a contestant named James look on as the Big Wheel spins around on the game show 'The Price Is Right', February 1978. (Photo by CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)

Watching game shows has proven to be one of the many American pastimes. Game shows don’t compare to professional sporting events or even a favorite classic movie but they rank right up there on the list of favorites. For some reason, there is something so satisfying about watching strangers win expensive prizes and cash. Aside from an occasional comment or two people don’t mind watching others win BIG even if they can’t pay their own bills.

Bob Barker with his “beauties” on The Price Is Right. This show was a spin-off of another popular game show called Match Game. The Price Is Right is still airing today with Drew Carey as the host.

Bob Barker was an iconic game show host. He was known for supporting animal spaying/neutering on the show and even more so for his “Barker’s Beauties.” Barker was still enjoying the ladies as he turned 90 years old. Unfortunately, stories surfaced that he wasn’t always the gentleman he portrayed on TV.

Family Feud and Let’s Make A Deal are two other groovy game shows that are still airing today.  Even celebrities like Flip Wilson enjoyed being on the show.  Richard Dawson always fancied himself a ladies’ man.

Game shows became more prevalent in the '60s and many of them were spin-offs of past popular radio programs. Many of them have stood the test of time and are still around today. 

Pat Sajak and Vanna White; Longtime Host and Hostess of The Wheel Of Fortune

In addition to the previously mentioned game shows, other epic game shows that continued on after the groovy era include, To Tell The Truth, Jeopardy, and Wheel Of Fortune. Wheel Of Fortune has been ranked as the “longest-running syndicated game show in the U.S."  Thousands of episodes have aired with Sajak and White being the most memorable host and hostess of the show.

Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

First released in 1941, Truth Or Consequences is the first game show to ever be aired on commercially licensed TV and was actually an experiment to see if there was any interest. This epic game show has a town in New Mexico named after it.

Popular game shows boasted celebrity hosts including Pat Sajak, Bob Barker, Bob Eubanks, and Richard Dawson just to name a few. Don Pardo’s signature voice could be heard announcing many of these shows.

Monty Hall hosted Let’s Make A Deal. Contestants would dress in wild get-ups to compete for his attention for a chance to win a prize.

As with any other industry, the American game show phenomenon was not without its scandals. And let’s face it, Americans love a scandal as much as the game show itself. In the ‘50s several of the TV game shows were found to involve cheating causing a huge uproar. Producers had given the “go ahead” to fix the results of the game. At the time no one would have thought that an innocent, although competitive game would need to be regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). As a result, a major lawsuit was ruled on by the U.S. Supreme Court. It was then that game shows were first officially classified as gambling and Congress amended the Communications Act of 1934 to make rigging game shows illegal.

Other notable game shows from the groovy era, in no particular order, include:

  • The Newlywed Game
  • What’s My Line?
  • The Dating Game
  • Hollywood Squares
  • Double Dare
  • Make Me Laugh
  • Concentration
  • High Rollers
  • Whew!
  • Pass The Buck
  • Gambit
  • Dealer’s Choice
  • Blankety Blank
  • Winning Streak
  • Rhyme & Reason
  • Split Second
  • The Jokers Wild

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Rebeka Knott

Writer

Rebeka grew up in the 1960’s & 1970’s and has always subscribed to the theory that a positive attitude will take you far! She is a wife and mother of 3 with a fun-loving spirit, believing that family and relationships are invaluable.