Before America’s obsession with reality shows, it was game shows. Quite frankly, those were better times for television. The competition was more balanced and the people were much more tolerable as they competed in various way without having to give 1-on-1 insight about their feelings on every situation. From the most challenging of game shows, the most simple and the most lucrative to the most irrelevant, each one is fun and unique in its own way. The Game Show Network is still being included in the cable package that we pay too much for and theres a reason for that:
10) The Weakest Link– This show was responsible for the most repeated and dismissive phrase for a stretch of 2 or 3 years on television. A lot was going on here as a mean, old british lady tossed people quicker than James Dolan, meanwhile, Chad and Brad are ganging up to eliminate the same person. This is one of the few games in the world where you are at more risk of being kicked off if you are doing well.
9) Cash Cab– I can almost guarantee this show is on right now somewhere on cable. Regardless of how much I may age, I can always go for a round. In the comfort of my own home, I am locked in like Michael Jordan, but I’m sure that once in the cab I would fold like Russell Westbrook. The amount of money is small even though you are getting transportation along the way, as long as you keep getting questions right. For the amount of money involved the questions are ridiculously challenging.
8) Match Game- The memory I have of this show is a bunch of celebrities in the 70’s smoking and drinking on t.v. while writing incredible one liners. Recently there has been a reinvention that has actually been more tolerable than expected. Out of all the shows on the list I think this would definitely be one of the easier ones I’d do well in personally.
7) $100,000 Pyramid– Seeing celebrities and contestants pair up on a team to try and associate words is nothing short of amazing. You can tell the contestants put in hours of prep time for the show and the celebrity doesn’t give a shit. The athletes that come on the show are always competitive, but rarely any good. No doubt this is one of the more slept on game shows of all time.
6) Deal or No Deal– If it weren’t for Howie Mandel this show would be higher on my list. I love the concept of the contestant negotiating with the stingy deal maker along the way, while also getting mixed signals from his spouse and sibling. You can go from a house to a car in just one suitcase reveal and that is the fun part. I would definitely be out early on this game though and play it safe.
5) Wheel of Fortune– The game show in which I swear they do not have criteria for what it takes to be a contestant. Some of the all time worst misses have come from this show, but what makes it even better is how they try to overhype their prizes at all times. 44 Years strong and tomorrow someone will still use a “Z” rather than an “S” off the top. You’d think they’d watch some film before stepping into Pat Sajak’s house.
4) Jeopardy!– Most people consider this the greatest game show ever. It certainly is the most iconic, but due to how terrible I am at it, 4th place is high as I can go. No other show has had the host become so famous and maintain that level of success for so long. Even Saturday Night Live felt like he was enough of a pop icon to have a character created for him. All you can guarantee is that these contestants are going all in on the daily double because they are cocky with their answers.
3) Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?– This is the first game show I remember watching live on a weekly basis. Regis would toy with contestants using pompuss rhetoric to taunt them as the questions accelerated in difficulty at an unjustifiable level. The first questions up to about $1,000 could be answered by any level of human being while the $250,000 question was reserved for the top 1% of Harvard. Nevertheless, the amount of money on the line always had the potential to be life changing.
2) The Price is RIght– I am certainly more keen on the Bob Barker version, but Drew Carey is a formidable replacement. The sheer amount of games created within one game show is what impresses me the most. Every 90’s baby remembers watching this show from a very young age. To this day if it is on I will constantly be yelling at the contestants, while bidding, about the strategy they should take while they get swayed by the audience against their better judgement.
1) Family Feud– The greatest concept of any game show plain and simple. Let’s get your family to compete against my family in a game that requires speed, logic and wit. There are the classic overly supportive families even though your cousin has clearly given an absolutely abysmal answer. Then, you have the family of over thinkers who can never say anything remotely normal. The OG Richard Dawson was easily the best host. The final rounds are an absolute battle and you always know which family member is gonna come up clutch and he is going to blow it.