Friday, June 15, 2007

Fun & Games for Everyone

Everyone knows I like game shows. Well, maybe not everyone, but I do like game shows. Not all game shows, but some of them. There's no shortage of choices.

Although games are spread over many channels, there's one cable channel with nothing but game shows, the Game Show Network where the viewer can choose to actually participate. Not just viewing pleasure, but playing along and competing with other viewers. Everybody gets a chance to play.

My favorites are the word games and trivia games. They keep my mind active and provide me with delightful conversational tidbits.

A key element in game show popularity is the host. And sometimes the co-hosts. Through the many years of televised games, most hosts have been men. It was Monty Hall of Let's Make a Deal who brought the model out of the background and into the spotlight when he highlighted Carol Merrill. That led to many models and assistants being named and becoming familiar to the audience, and the Wheel of Fortune's Vanna White who was elevated from model/helper to co-host.

Though men remain dominant as game show hosts, there are more women now. Betty White, a game show fixture, hosted in 1954 a short-lived self-named show as 'femcee.' She remains the only female Emmy winner for best game show host (Just Men). Hosts are not limited to men and a few women; Cyber Lucy was the virtual host for a one-year run of Wheel of Fortune 2000, also known as "Kid's Wheel."

Just as with most television formats, there is more than half a century of history and details. Too much to keep up with. To help, there is even a magazine to keep fanatics updated on current and past games, hosts, panelists, contestants, rumors and more.

Too much of this. I have to go. Lingo is about to start.

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