The other day I was watching an old episode of Password Plus. Jon “Bowzer” B auman was one of the celebrity panelists. Now, Bowzer is a ridiculous man. He was a member of Sha Na Na and his whole schtick because of that was that he was a greaser. There was Bowzer on Password Plus with his hair slicked back wearing a leather jacket covered in patches. I rolled my eyes. Then, I was impressed. Bowzer was quite good at the game. This made me think about one of the best things about game shows: When celebrities crush it.
Celebrities are staples of many game shows. It gives people a reason to watch and it’s a thrill for the game show contestants as well. Match Game has its full panel of six celebrities. Pyramid, Password, and more involved celebs as well. Some of them are bad. There are old, and current, Match Game panelists known for their inability to provide matches. Then, there are the celebs who really know their stuff. When they can be entertaining but also take the game seriously, even better.
I don’t want to just shout out regulars like Richard Dawson. Yes, he was great at Match Game, but he was there for basically every episode. When somebody can step in and show their stuff it’s even better. I remember watching the first week of the new Match Game and being impressed with Rosie O’Donnell’s skills. Elizabeth Montgomery was a sharp Password player herself. She didn’t even need her witch powers. Markie Post was known for her skills on Pyramid. I know I saw some good celebs in the newer version of Pyramid hosted by Michael Strahan. I just don’t remember who they were.
It’s frustrating when celebrities let the contestants down on game shows. When they are excellent at the game, though, it makes it even better to watch. It also makes things more competitive. I only hope Bowzer and Elizabeth Montgomery, or Liz as Bill Cullen called her, got to compete against each other at some point.