Friday, March 7, 2014

Rant #1,359: The Big Game Show In the Sky

We lost another of the classic TV game show hosts this week.

Geoff Edwards, host of many game shows including “Treasure Hunt,” died this week at age 83.

Edwards hosted many, many game shows during his time on television, but unlike Jim Lange, who passed a week earlier, he wasn’t clearly associated with just one single game show.

And honestly, most of his game shows were relative flops.

But he made a name for himself on TV and on radio, particularly in California, where he was probably better known as a DJ and radio personality than as a TV game show host.

One remarkable fact that I found out about Edwards was that he was in the building when Lee Harvey Oswald was shot by Jack Ruby right after the JFK assassination in November 1963.

Edwards was one of the eyewitnesses that was interviewed about what he saw there.

Although many of his game shows were pretty much forgotten, Edwards made his mark more for the way he looked than for the shows themselves.

He was something of a trendsetter, breaking the mold of the staid game show host with a suit and tie and perfectly coiffed hair.

He wore jackets without ties, wore very visible chains around his neck, and his hair was fairly out of control.

That was certainly not the norm for a game show host of the time, but he played the period he was in very well.

In later years, he became a travel writer and blogger, but he will always be the answer to a pretty good trivia question:

Who subbed for Monty Hall on “Let’s Make a Deal” for a week while Hall suffered from laryngitis during the height of that program’s popularity?

It was Edwards, the sort of "Jack of all Trades" TV game show host who never really had a super popular show to be linked to, but was ubiquitous on television for decades.

R.I.P. Geoff, and since I hate ties, you are one of my heroes.

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