American audiences love good game shows. As well as being entertaining, they’re also engaging, offering a healthy challenge and a dose of inspiration. Viewers can play from home or support their favorite contestants, who are often average people with an amazing opportunity to win big. These seed contestants inspire members of the public by hinting that we too could stand a chance of hitting the jackpot.
The presenters of these productions are charged with a double duty. They need to orchestrate the suspense and momentum with their live competitors, and also entertain home audiences – no small feat. The humor and charisma of a good game show host are part of what keeps these shows going for years, if not decades. Hosts such as Pat Sajac and Alex Trebek, for example, have some of the longest careers in game show history. (Game shows are some of the longest-running prime-time shows in history.)
24/7 Tempo has compiled a list of famous game show hosts by reviewing various media sources and websites, including IMDb, an online movie and TV series database owned by Amazon. We considered their longevity and their place in television history, and exercised editorial discretion to create our list of the most popular of them. (These are some of America’s most beloved TV personalities.)
Game shows have entertained America since the heyday of radio. Our list only covers television shows, but includes some of the early big names in this medium, like Dennis James, who was dubbed “the godfather of game shows” and was the host of the first network game show, ” Cash and Carry”.
Also included are icons like Bob Barker — longtime ‘The Price is Right’ host and winner of 15 Emmy Awards — as well as Chuck Woolery, who debuted as the first ‘Wheel of Fortune’ host. , then went on to host the hit dating show “The Love Connection.”
Click here to see 38 iconic game show hosts from history
A background in comedy isn’t necessary to be a host, but it certainly helps. Famous comedians including Drew Carey and Steve Harvey may have started their careers doing stand-up comedy, but they’ve since landed roles as hosts of popular game shows. Other comedians-turned-hosts on the list are Groucho Marx, Wayne Brady, and Howie Mandel.