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Click on the picture below to take you to a a brief biological sketch, as well as reflections on the Hall of Famer.
There are more complete traditional biographies of most of these folks available on line.
Enjoy them all!
America's Great Game Show Announcers.
America's Great Game Show Hosts.
Charles Nelson Reilly
COME ON DOWN! I remember being a very upset 7 year old when I heard on Johnny Olson's death. I was a HUGE gameshow fan, and was always intrigued by the fast talking announcers. Johnny Olson was the best of 'em. He was the orginal Price is Right announcer, as well as the announcer on Match Game and many other CBS game shows. His effervescent personality always came through on his reads, as well as his ofetn costumed appearences in the TPIR showcases. For an audio track of the TPIR open with Johnny, as well as the entire TPIR music library, check out The The Special Compliations section of staffannouncer.com.
A Neeeewwwww CAaaaAAAAaaaaaAarr! Rod had big shoes to fill when Johnny Olson died in 1985, and he did so well. He took the lines that Johnny had made such a part of America's favorite gameshow and really made them his own. I also fondly remember Rod warning us to "Beware of the Whammy!" (with an over-enunciated WH) on Press Your Luck. Roddy was also a Buffalo, NY disc jockey at fabled WKBW Radio in the 60s. Though his stay in Buffalo ended rather badly, when I spoke to Rod a year before his death, he had warm memories of the city... Especailly of Freddie's Doughnuts. For TPIR audio tracks with Rod, as well as the entire TPIR music library, check out The The Special Compliations section of staffannouncer.com. There is a Rod Roddy Aircheck from KB Radio at Airchecks or by e-mailing me.
READY FOR ACTION! Gene is best remebered (by me anyway) As the voice of Family Feud and "CaaaAAAAARRRRD Sharks!" His gritty voice is a classic. He was the best on the "Some Contestants will receive" fast reads at the end of the show. For some reason, I always associate his voice with Turtle Wax and the Hiigh Karate Gift set for Men. There is some Gene Wood voiceover magic on the Game Show Sound Effects Collection located in the The Special Compliations section of staffannouncer.com.
Let's Make a Deal Announcer
Another guy who was great on the fast reads, I always felt bad for him because he never got his own microphone... He had to share with Monty Hall. I also thought is was wierd that he had to carry tables and other stuff around... The other shows always had nice looking women for that.
Announcer: You Bet Your Life
Seeing re-runs of this show, it strikes me as the first modern game show. Both Groucho Marx the host and Fenneman had fun... Not everything was scripted. George was often Groucho's straight man on the show. As did most radio/tv guys in the late 40s/early 50s, George had fantastic pipes. Radio episodes of You Bet Your Life are available by e-mailing me.
The Sesame Street Game Show Host has everything anyone could want in a host. He's perfect.
Known as the Spanish Bob Barker on the Spanish Price is Right, Don Francisco is the host of Sabado Gigante! On Univision. This is a great program, even though I don't really speak Spanish.
Wink is one of many West Coast DJs turned game show hosts. He emceed the great "Tic Tac Dough."
The Definitive Cheesy Game Show The Match Game was less a game show and more a bacchanalian display of debauchery and complete inebriation... Where poor unwitting contestants were trying to answer questions to win money, and the drunken celebrities wanted nothing more than make their drunken celebrity neighbors laugh... In other words, GREAT SHOW! Gene Rayburn was a complete pervert, always looking to cop a feel or kiss from either a ditzy broad celebrity or contestant. It disturbed me to discover that this show was a "can't miss" program for my late great-grandma Wargo.
joker... Joker.... JOKER! Another disturbing death in my Childhood. Jokers Wild was my favorite gameshow as a very small lad, and when Jack Barry died, I took it pretty hard. My brother and I used to play Jokers Wild on my mom's funky clock radio... The reading light on the unit looked like a miniature version of the big stick one pulled to spin the big slot machine on the show... One of us would yank on the light, and the other would make the digital numbers on the clock flip. I think kids had more fun before video games.
Survey Says-- He was good on Hogans Heroes, better on Match Game, and at his best on the Family Feud. Never has any man ever looked so good kissing broads while wearing a three piece suit.
Dick Clark always tries to protray that clean, white bread, good guy image, as he did while hosting the Pyramid. But I sense that he derived a sick pleasure out of throwing in a great clue after a contestant failed in the winners circle..."What if I had said, 'I'm a pretty ballerina.'" Then the light goes on, but the poor bastard still walks away with a parting gift.
|Charles Nelson Reilly|
After being in the upper right corner of Match Game through the 70s, Reilly became one of those guys who does nothing in eye of most of the public but appear on game shows. He even hosted one... Which I don't remember much about and am too lazy to research.
You can take the box or one hundred dollar bill Jay is holding right now... I think what I liked most about this show when I was small was the costumes. Whating the re-runs, though... Its really a great show, and Monty Hall a great host.
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Steve Cichon & Staffannouncer.com