In the 1980s, a wave of incredibly popular game shows swept the nation, bringing joy and entertainment to households everywhere. What makes a game show truly great? Is it the host’s ability to captivate you with their charm and humor? Or perhaps it’s the hilarious blunders made by contestants that keep you glued to the screen? Maybe it’s the sheer thrill of the games themselves that keep you coming back for more. Whatever it is, the ’80s had an abundance of amazing game shows that we can’t help but adore.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane and explore the crème de la crème of ’80s game shows, the ones that kept us on the edge of our seats. We’ll delve into the classics like The Price Is Right and Family Feud, which had already won our hearts in previous decades but continued to captivate us throughout the ’80s. These shows never failed to bring excitement to our living rooms year after year.
But the ’80s also introduced us to a whole new breed of game shows that were truly unique and unforgettable. Take Tic-Tac-Dough and Everything Goes, for instance. These shows brought their own special flavor to the era, leaving us begging for more.
One trend that dominated ’80s game shows was the inclusion of celebrity panels. Shows like Hollywood Squares gave us the chance to interact with our favorite stars while competing for fabulous prizes. It was an electrifying experience that added an extra dose of entertainment and excitement to the game.
Now it’s time for you to dive in and share your thoughts. What do you believe were the absolute best game shows of the ’80s? Were you a fan of the star-studded shows or did you prefer the ones that showcased the talents of everyday people? Scan through this list and see if your favorites made the cut. Let your voice be heard and vote for the game shows that you believe truly defined the ’80s!
1. The Price Is Right
The Price Is Right, hosted by the legendary Bob Barker, was a classic ’80s game show that brought contestants on stage to guess product prices, win luxury cars, and take their chances with the iconic Big Wheel. This show had a great appeal to the vibrant ’80s audience, thanks to its relatable tasks and big-ticket rewards. As a result, The Price Is Right stayed popular throughout the entire decade.
Actors: Bob Barker, Janice Pennington, Dian Parkinson
2. Press Your Luck
Press Your Luck was a super exciting game show back in the ’80s. Contestants would do their best to steer clear of those pesky “Whammies” while racking up loads of cash and cool prizes. Peter Tomarken, the charming host, brought together luck, smarts, and a dash of silly humor with those cute little Whammies, making it a truly one-of-a-kind and fun game show.
Actors: Peter Tomarken, Savage Steve Holland, Charlie O’Donnell, Rod Roddy
3. Family Feud
Family Feud was a super fun and exciting game show back in the day. It was all about two families going head-to-head, trying to outsmart each other by answering survey questions. And let me tell you, the host Richard Dawson was an absolute riot! He had this great sense of humor that added a delightful twist to the whole show.
The goal was simple: the families had to guess the most popular answers to the survey questions. But let me tell you, things didn’t always go as planned. Sometimes, the answers would be so off-the-wall that it would lead to some seriously hilarious moments. And that’s exactly why this show became such a big hit in the ’80s. It became a total must-watch and a major part of pop culture during that time.
Actors: Al Roker, Richard Dawson, Louie Anderson, Gene Wood, Burton Richardson
Jeopardy! was a real treat for viewers in the ’80s who were fascinated by the quick-wittedness and vast knowledge of host Alex Trebek and the contestants who battled it out for cash prizes. Trebek would throw out clever questions (or technically, answers), and the contestants had to come up with their responses in the form of a question, adding a clever twist to the game format.
Actors: Mike Richards, Alex Trebek, Johnny Gilbert, Jimmy McGuire
5. Wheel of Fortune
The Wheel of Fortune game show, hosted by Pat Sajak, really captured the attention of audiences in the 80s. It was all about spinning the wheel and winning cash prizes, which brought a lot of drama and excitement. But what made it even more thrilling was the hangman-style word puzzles that participants had to solve. It was like a double dose of fun – the adrenaline rush of spinning the wheel combined with the challenge of solving puzzles. And let’s not forget the lovely Vanna White, who gracefully revealed letters on the board. She added an extra touch of elegance to the whole show.
Actors: Pat Sajak, Vanna White, Charlie O’Donnell
Pyramid, hosted by the legendary Dick Clark, was a captivating word-association game where celebrities and contestants collaborated to guess words or phrases using clever clues. The game had an exhilarating pace, and combined with the undeniable charm of Dick Clark and an impressive prize pool, it quickly amassed a devoted fan following in the 1980s.
Actors: Betty White, Dick Clark, Dara Torres, John Davidson, Bob Hilton
7. Hollywood Squares
Hollywood Squares was a super fun game show that revolved around celebrities playing tic-tac-toe. It was hosted by the awesome John Davidson, and let me tell you, the cast was absolutely glamorous! These celebs would give answers that were either super helpful for the contestants or just totally confusing, leaving them scratching their heads. But that’s what made it so entertaining! The vibe on the show was always light-hearted and full of jokes, with the celebrities and the host engaging in witty banter. It was a total delight for anyone watching, a guaranteed laugh fest!
Actors: Tom Bergeron, Shadoe Stevens, Whoopi Goldberg
8. Match Game
The Match Game, hosted by Gene Rayburn, was all about contestants trying to match clever responses from a panel of celebrities to complete fill-in-the-blank statements. It was famous for its wild and eccentric style, pushing boundaries with its naughty jokes. This show quickly became a beloved classic in the ’80s game show scene.
Actors: Betty White, Patty Duke, Richard Dawson, Marcia Wallace, David Doyle
9. Let’s Make a Deal
Let’s Make a Deal, a game show that was originally hosted by Monty Hall and later revived by Bob Hilton in the ’80s, was known for its unique and whimsical style. Contestants would often wear wild and outrageous costumes as they made deals with the host. They had the chance to choose hidden prizes, taking a gamble that could lead to a big jackpot or, as it became famous for, a “zonk”.
Actors: Wayne Brady, Jonathan Mangum, Rob Marrocco Jr.
10. Card Sharks
Card Sharks, hosted by Bob Eubanks, was a thrilling game where players had to predict the outcome of high-low playing card sequences. It was all about quick thinking and nerves, as contestants tried their luck at predicting their fate amidst the shuffling of cards. The show remained a hit throughout the ’80s, with a constant flow of winners and nail-biting moments.
Actors: Joel McHale, Markie Post, Bob Eubanks, Gary Kroeger, Gene Wood
11. The Newlywed Game
The Newlywed Game, hosted by Bob Eubanks, was a game show that added a touch of romance to the television scene. In this show, newly married couples would compete by trying to predict how their partners would answer questions about their relationship. The mix of heartwarming and sometimes embarrassing revelations would often bring smiles and laughter to viewers of this popular ’80s game show.
Actors: Bob Hilton, Charlie O’Donnell, Johnny Jacobs