The 1970s was an electrifying era for game show enthusiasts. Whether you were a casual viewer or a die-hard fan, there was an abundance of thrilling shows to indulge in during that time. Some of the most legendary game shows in history were either created or perfected during this groovy decade. While shows like Jeopardy, Match Game, and Let’s Make a Deal had their roots in the swinging sixties, there were also countless popular game shows that made their debut in the 1970s. This groovy list ranks the most sensational game shows that aired during that rad period, as chosen by the community.
The 1970s witnessed the emergence of mind-blowing game shows like The $20,000 Pyramid, The Gong Show, and Family Feud. Many of these shows featured contestants and panelists who were bona fide Hollywood stars. Hollywood Squares and Celebrity Sweepstakes, for instance, were renowned for featuring A-list celebrities on their teams. While not every show from that era has stood the test of time, they were unquestionably distinctive in the ’70s television scene.
So, which game shows from the 1970s had you totally hooked? Did your favorites make it onto this list? Get ready to groove as you take a trip down memory lane and reminisce about the phenomenal game shows that made the ’70s so out-of-sight.
1. The Price Is Right
Bob Barker, with his iconic presence and a clever formula for assessing the value of everyday items, turned The Price Is Right into the ultimate game show success of the ’70s. This show had a timeless charm, where participants made guesses about prices, spun the famous Big Wheel, and showed off their strategies and skills. As a result, the show soared in popularity and left a lasting impact on popular culture. The Price Is Right demonstrated that in the realm of game shows, anything was achievable when the stakes were set just right.
Actors: Bob Barker, Janice Pennington, Dian Parkinson
2. Family Feud
Family Feud, hosted by the charming Richard Dawson, was the perfect blend of competition and friendship in the ’70s game show universe. It brought together two families to engage in a lively showdown of wit, where they tried to guess the most popular answers to survey questions. This unique format not only captured the hearts of Americans but also revolutionized the genre of game shows. And little did we realize that this exciting battle would continue to entertain countless viewers for many years to follow.
Actors: Al Roker, Richard Dawson, Louie Anderson
3. Match Game
Match Game, a game show from the ’70s, was known for being zaney, irreverent, and downright hilarious. It stood out from the crowd and broke the mold like no other show. With host Gene Rayburn guiding the way, celebrity panelists and contestants embarked on a wild journey through a series of fill-in-the-blank questions. The answers were often as outrageous and unpredictable as the contestants themselves. It’s safe to say that Match Game left a lasting impression and cemented its place as a trailblazer in television history.
Actors: Betty White, Patty Duke, Richard Dawson
Jeopardy! revolutionized the game show format by introducing the question-as-answer style. It completely defied expectations, offering a challenging and prestigious experience. And who can forget the iconic host, Alex Trebek? Under his guidance, the show became the ultimate test of intellectual prowess, attracting competitors eager to showcase their mental agility on a national stage.
Jeopardy! turned the traditional question-and-answer game show on its head, leaving a lasting impression on audiences. Its unique approach continues to captivate us, fueling our desire for more trivia mastery.
Actors: Mike Richards, Alex Trebek, Johnny Gilbert
5. The $20,000 Pyramid
Dick Clark’s charm and the exciting game format of The $20,000 Pyramid instantly captivated audiences. Contestants teamed up with celebrities to guess phrases by using clues. This unique blend of teamwork, wordplay, and fast thinking turned the show into a legendary game show experience during the 1970s.
Actors: Dick Clark
Password was a game that perfectly combined collaboration and quick thinking. It was the ultimate game for brainy contestants who loved to outsmart their opponents. The host, the friendly and charming Allen Ludden, made the show even more enjoyable. In Password, players formed teams with celebrity partners to guess secret words using just one clue. This often resulted in some truly amazing displays of intuition. The show captivated audiences all over America, demonstrating the incredible ability of a single word to capture the attention of television viewers.
Premiered: October 2, 1961
Actors: Betty White, Allen Ludden, Gene Wood
7. Hollywood Squares
Hollywood Squares was an incredibly popular game show in the 70s, featuring a gigantic tic-tac-toe board filled with famous stars. Hosted by Peter Marshall, the show was a perfect blend of hilarious humor and fast-paced competition. Contestants had the exciting opportunity to face off against their favorite celebrities, strategically plotting their next move. This game show was a unique experience that brought together wit, charm, and the allure of Hollywood’s brightest stars.
Actors: Tom Bergeron, Shadoe Stevens, Whoopi Goldberg
8. Wheel of Fortune
In the 70s, the game show Wheel of Fortune became a huge hit and captivated millions of viewers. It brought a fresh and exciting energy to the game show scene. The charming Chuck Woolery hosted the show and contestants took a gamble on a gigantic wheel, hoping to strike it rich by solving puzzles with a mix of letters and clever thinking. This linguistic roulette quickly became a part of pop culture and transformed the world of game shows. It showed everyone that words could be the key to success and fortune.
Actors: Pat Sajak, Vanna White, Charlie O’Donnell
9. The Newlywed Game
The Newlywed Game was a show that brought together newly married couples in a fun and exciting way. Hosted by Bob Eubanks, this show was a rollercoaster of tension, laughter, and surprises. Eubanks knew just how to ask the right questions that got to the heart of each couple’s domestic habits, quirks, and compatibility. Nothing was off-limits, and no stone was left unturned.
Every episode of The Newlywed Game was like opening a present, as the couples revealed their true dynamics on national television. It was a delightfully unpredictable experience for both the participants and the viewers.
Actors: Bob Hilton, Charlie O’Donnell, Johnny Jacobs
10. Let’s Make a Deal
The contestants of Let’s Make a Deal soared to incredible heights thanks to their sharp thinking and clever ability to seize opportunities. They confidently strutted in their vibrant outfits on Monty Hall’s eccentric stage, brimming with enigmatic options. These potential winners engaged in the timeless game of chance, striking deals, exchanging prizes, or resisting tempting offers. Let’s Make a Deal, a beloved game show from the ’70s, captivated viewers with its thrilling and colorful ambiance, not to mention the unforgettable “zonks,” making it a true TV treasure.
Premiered: October 5, 2009
Actors: Wayne Brady, Jonathan Mangum, Rob Marrocco Jr.
11. Card Sharks
Card Sharks was a game show that combined strategy and chance, keeping the contestants on their toes with ever-increasing odds. Jim Perry, the host, skillfully guided participants through the unpredictable world of playing cards, where success relied on a mix of determination and luck. This thrilling show captivated audiences throughout the ’70s, demonstrating the incredible impact of something as simple as a playing card.
Actors: Joel McHale, Markie Post, Bob Eubanks