70s Game Shows
On weekday mornings, the airwaves on all three network stations were full of 70s game shows and people loved watching the antics of the often kooky hosts and their sometimes equally-as-kooky contestants who were there for one reason only – to win as much cash as prizes as possible!
The 70s was truly the decade of the game show and the last to host an abundance of daytime shows.
Once the 80s appeared and more women started to leave the house to be part of the workforce, the face of daytime television changed and the game show was limited to a few nighttime offerings.
But for those who love game shows, the 70s meant hours of television watching fun, and today, viewers can catch some of these retro game shows on cable TV’s Game Show Network (GSN).
70s Game shows were fun. Contestants didn’t get slime dumped on their heads or pies in their faces. They used their brains and – in some cases – their physical ability and they were rewarded for their prowess.
The 70s games show hosts were usually fun to watch as well. Many went on to further their careers in show biz. Others were never seen again after their stint as hosts.
Below is a list of some of the true 70s game show gems:
The Match Game – Hosted by Gene Rayburn, this show asked six varying celebrities to answer some very salacious questions and the two contestants of the day tried to match their answers.
A few stars became regulars on this show – namely Charles Nelson Reilly, Richard Dawson, Fannie Flagg, Brett Sommers, and Betty White. It was hilarious!
$10,000 Pyramid – This long-running game show later upped its ante to $25,000, but in the 70s, $10,000 was a bundle!
On Pyramid, contestants teamed up with a star to guess answers to questions in a particular category. Whichever contestant got the most correct answers went to the “Contestant’s Circle”, where they could win the big bucks.
High Rollers – Based on a casino-style dice game, High Rollers marked the premiere of Alex Trebek, who donned plenty of curly hair, a 70s mustache, and plaid jackets for this gig.
Joined by Ruta Lee, the two enticed contestants to roll the dice for cash and prizes.
The Joker’s Wild – Hosted by Jack Barry, this game show involved a huge slot machine which contestants would spin to determine the amount of cash for which they’d be playing. It only lasted about 3 years but was immensely popular.
Jackpot - A young Geoff Edwards hosted this show, where 16 players answered riddles – only one of which held the jackpot for the day.
The prize? A whopping $50,000! That was big money in 1974!
Tattletales – Best described as The Newlywed Game for celebrities, Tattletales was hosted by Bert Convy, who also hosted a number of other shows in the years that followed.
The show ran from 1974-1978. The audience was divided into 3 sections with one celebrity couple trying to win money for their section.
Producers say the most the studio audience usually won was a few hundred dollars each but the TV audience loved hearing about the lives of their favorite stars.
There were a number of other game shows on TV in the 70s that had their start in the 60s but remained popular throughout the following decade.
These included The Newlywed Game, Jeopardy, Concentration, The Price is Right, Password, Let’s Make a Deal, and Hollywood Squares.