Game shows are a popular sub-genre of television. They are shows where a group of people compete for a prize (mostly cash prizes) while an audience watches live or at home. Throughout this sub-genre, there have been many different hosts throughout the years. However, some game show hosts stand out from the rest.
While there are plenty of game show hosts, these are the five-game show hosts from the 1980s that a lot of viewers recognize, and will always have a special place in our hearts.
The Best Game Show Hosts Of The 1980s:
In this list, we will give five iconic game show hosts that were the best the 1980s had to offer:
1. Bob Barker (The Price Is Right)
After Bill Cullen left The Price Is Right, Bob Barker took over the show. Born in Darrington, Washington, he fought during World War II as a fighter pilot for the Navy. After the war, he focused on college and got a degree in radio. Bob Barker was then invited by Ralph Edwards, the creator of the show Truth & Consequences.
In Truth & Consequences, contestants who got an answer wrong for a question had to perform certain stunts. Bob Barker was the host for this show before he went onto The Price Is Right, a game show where contestants have to guess the price of a common (or sometimes uncommon) item.
If a contestant answers close to the price, they have to spin a wheel where have to get close to $1. Bob Barker is well-known for his catchphrase where he says “come on down, you’re the next contestant on The Price Is Right!” He is now retired from hosting The Price Is Right.
2. Ray Combs (Family Feud)
Family Feud has several game show hosts during its runtime. Before Steve Harvey took over the modern version, there was Ray Combs along with English-born host Richard Dawson. Born in Hamilton, Ohio, he starred in other movies and TV shows before becoming the host of Family Feud. These movies and TV shows also came out in the 80s such as being an announcer for the WWE, In Living Color, 227, etc.
Ray Combs became a host of Family Feud after Richard Dawson left. He hosted the show until 1992. After he departed from the show, he had troubles with his personal life. He died on June 2nd, 1992 due to suicide.
3. Bob Eubanks (The Newlywed Game)
In a romantic-type game show, couples who are newly married go on The Newlywed Game, where they compete to answer questions regarding their relationship. The purpose of the show was to see how well the couples knew one another. The show was infamous for using different euphemisms to avoid censorship.
The first host was Bob Eubanks, born in Flint, Michigan. Bob Eubanks worked as a disc jockey, commonly known as DJ. Other than being a DJ, he was also a producer, promoter, and cowboy. He also brought the popular sixties band The Beatles to perform in Los Angeles three times. He began hosting The Newlywed Game in 1966. He is currently working as a spokesperson for news shows and corporations.
4. Peter Tomarken (Press Your Luck)
“No Whammy! No Whammy!” This is the famous catchphrase that contestants of Press Your Luck said. In Press Your Luck, contestants answer trivia questions. If they answer correctly, they get the money or a prize. As the game continues, if the contestant happens to land on a whammy, they lose their loot.
Peter Tomarken hosted this game between 1983 and 1986. He started his career by doing advertisements during the 70s. After the advertisements, he hosted another game show titled Hit Man. While not a successful game show, he went on to host another show Wordplay. After these two gameshows, he went to host Press Your Luck, which lasted longer than the other two game shows.
Peter Tomarken, along with his wife Kathleen, died on March 13, 2006, from a plane crash.
5. Pat Sajak (Wheel Of Fortune)
The last game show host has been the host of Wheel Of Fortune since 1981. Wheel Of Fortune has contestants spin a giant wheel with cash prizes, trips, or other prizes. From there, the contestant has to guess a letter and if they guessed correctly, they win the prize they land on. The only way they can lose it all is if they land on a bankrupt.
Pat Sajak, born in Chicago, Illinois, hosted Wheel Of Fortune along with Vanna White, born in Conway, South Carolina. He served in US Army as an American Force. Pat Sajak was invited to host Wheel Of Fortune by Merv Griffin. While it was dismissed at first, Pat Sajak eventually became the host of the long-running game show and has held that position for many years.
So those are our picks for the most legendary game show hosts from the 1980s! Did yours make the cut?