Alec Baldwin: Current 'Match Game' Host
‘Match Game’ has been around for decades. Everyone loves it, everyone is talking about it, especially since Alec Baldwin became the host. The game has changed quite a bit over the years, but the essence remains the same: making people laugh. This show just comes to prove how creative the human mind can be.
The Beginning of ‘The Match Game’
It was the year of 1962 when it all began on NBC. Gene Rayburn was the host and the program was pretty straight forward. It firstly consisted of two groups: two normal citizens matched with a celebrity. Rayburn would read a sentence and leave part of it off for the groups to guess. Even though Rayburn often made jokes, he tried to keep it clean as much as possible.
Its first time, the show only lasted until 1969 in order to make room for another show, 'Letters to Laugh-In', but the producers were not to give up that easily. The show was revived several times over the years and people are quite happy that it did. Especially since there are new rules nowadays.
Hosts, Hosts, and Celebrities
The show is still on the air to this day, even though it has been canceled quite a few times. As you can imagine and might have seen it with your own eyes, every time the show gets revived there is a new host in the game – and also, new celebrities. Shall we take a brief (blank)?
Johnny Olson – ‘Match Game’ 1973 – 1979
In 1973, on CBS, Olson joined Rayburn as an announcer and started letting people know about the revival of the show. The radio personality made his stand with his catchphrases and good humor, along with his amazing host ability, since he was also presenting ‘The Price is Right’. For more than a decade, he was part of both shows, and at the time of his passing, he was still working his craft!
Richard Dawson – “Celebrity Match” 1973 – 1979
According to NPR, Dawson actually broke the game. In the new format, two normal citizens were to pick celebrities to match their answers and Dawson would always get chosen, no matter what. Once again, they had to change a little bit the format of the show and inserted a wheel to choose which celebrity would be assigned to them.
Money was at stake and Dawson was a hit or miss. He would either give the right answer because he knew it or, because he was also a comedian, he would give a tricky answer to make people laugh. Unfortunately, that would mean that the contestant would lose the money. However, this new version had a more risqué humor to it.
Jon Bauman and ‘The Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour’
A combination of two games, ‘The Match Game’ and ‘Hollywood Squares’, was made and thus this new show was born. Half-way through 1983, Jon Bauman was the host of this one-hour long show. The game was co-hosted by both Bauman and Rayburn, each taking a seat in the panel during the part of the show they used to host. The match was short-lived, coming to an end in 1984.
Charlene Tilton – “Celebrity Match” 1979 – 1982
The actress, who is best known for her part as Lucy Ewing in the TV series ‘Dallas’, was a part of the panel just like Dawson. She was cheerful and ready to take on the challenge. For almost five years, she was part of the program as a recurring panelist. She even attempted her own version revival of the show in 1996, but it never took off.
People just could not get enough of her, but she already had a lot on her plate. She is not only an actress but also a singer. She participated in ‘Happy Days’ and ‘Eight is Enough’. Most recently, she actress rejoined the cast of ‘Dallas’ and reprised her role as Lucy Ewing in the revived series.
Michael Burger – ‘Match Game’ 1988 – 1989
Michael Burger had his time under the spotlight in the ‘Match Game’ for only one season, along with Paul Boland serving as the announcer. This revival of the show had only five celebrities instead of the usual six, but it did not make it any less fun. Burger was also the host for shows such as ‘Straight to the Heart’ and ‘Man O’ Man’.
Ricki Pamela Lake – ‘Match Game’ 2006
Known better as just Ricki Lake, for seven episodes, she was the host of ‘Gameshow Marathon’, which included ‘Match Game’. Aside from being a television presenter, she is also an actress and a producer. Talk about a do-it-all!
She made her debut in the film industry in 1988 in ‘Hairspray’ as Tracy Turnblad. She has not stopped either with her acting career nor with her role as a contestant and hostess in various shows. More recently, Lake starred in the movie ‘Gemini’ as Vanessa and participated as a guest panelist in ‘Loose Women’.
Finally, but Certainly Not Least, Alec Baldwin
He is an actor; he is a comedian; he is a host; he is a writer, a producer, and even a political activist! The man has done it all. When the ‘Match Game’ was revived the last time, the producer’s decided he would be the main face of the show. This was nothing but a recipe for success.
Known better for his comedy, the actor has won countless awards for his wit and humor, all the while keeping a happy family. The actor has been married to Hilaria Thomas since 2012 and the two share four children, one daughter, and three sons. The comedian already had a child from his previous marriage to Kim Basinger, a daughter named Ireland Baldwin.
Now it is time for some fun facts about the show that are probably unknown to you but which you will find extremely amusing. We certainly did! Are you ready to take on this (blank)?
It All Began During a Meeting
According to MF, Frank Wayne, who was a part of the Goodson-Todman staff, had the idea during a creative meeting. They tried out the idea during the meeting and came to the conclusion that there was a common link: there were no right or wrong answers, only the matches mattered to the winner.
The human mind can be trickier when tested out for the first time. It was only after 10 months after its airing that question writer Dick DeBartolo had the idea of writing more daring questions. Of course, neither the contestants nor the celebrities would give the desired answers, but it certainly made the public laugh with all the possibilities.
Nowadays, however, there is a different reality. Anything is allowed and the show, with Baldwin as the host, became funnier and funnier with celebrities and contestants becoming embarrassed of their own answers. Has it gone too far? The public does not seem to think so. In fact, the show is funnier than ever. Although, now is more advisable for grown-ups.
Don’t You Dare Laughing!
When the show was first revived in 1973, the executive producer did not intend for people to laugh. Everything was bigger than the previous show. They were really going at it with trying to make the show a big hit. For that reason, the executive producer did not want people to take it as a joke.
Goodson was very strict with his procedures and rules and absolutely hated when anyone went off the rails. However, it was just simply irresistible for the writers not to put on the air questions that would lead to a double meaning. After all, that was what the show was all about, (blank)?
Shhh, You Can’t Say That!
Nowadays, almost everything is allowed but, at the time, there was a very strict policy when it came to using forbidden words. In one of the shows, previously recorded, Fannie Flagg, wrote one of the forbidden words on one card and was warned by director Ira Skutch that it was her first and last time doing it, otherwise she would be kicked out of the show.
It’s All About the Casting
It was not long before the producers realized that it was all about the casting. The public did not only need to create a rapport with the host but also the celebrity guest stars. It was also important for the host to have a connection with the celebrities so that the show would flow better. Soon they had recurring celebrities attending the show and playing, even our beloved Betty White was in it. At some point, it was just strange when they were not there.
Marathon for Life
During a weekend, an average of 12 episodes would be shot. No wonder that the celebrities were already all over the place and looking tipsy. It was just fatigue. Has it never happened to you? You are so tired that everything seems (blank) to you?
It is, however, rumored by MF, that the celebrities and the host would often have great lunch and dinner breaks, during the exhaustive taping of the show. If that is true or not, we will leave you to decide. “During the shooting of the shows, the participants were already pretty (blank)." We will leave that for you to decide.
Fill-in the Blanks
We have left a few blanks throughout the article. Let us know in the comments what do you think happened during those marathon-weekends and what the rest of the sentences were. Let's play together!